Tag Archives: Cardiovascular disease

Caralluma fimbriata

Botanical Name : Caralluma fimbriata
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Caralluma
Species: C. fimbriata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Caralluma

Habitat  :  Caralluma fimbriata is native to Asia, the Mediterranean, and Africa.

Description:
Caralluma fimbriata plants are shrubs that tend to grow in small groups to form clumps. The plant can be identified with its angular stems and its leaves are somewhat underdeveloped which look like spines. The flowers of this plant are star shaped and they grow in summer or fall. Its flowers are of many different colors like purple, black, red or yellow. Another distinguishable feature of this plant is that it has an unpleasant smell.
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Edible Uses:
Traditional Uses
In urban India, Caralluma fimbriata grows as a roadside shrub. Some people use this wild plant as boundary marker in their gardens. Traditionally, in rural India, various tribes used it as a vegetable for regular consumption. It is consumed in raw form or is cooked with salt and spices. It can also be preserved as pickles. Its unique qualities of appetite suppression and thirst quenching abilities have been known to many for centuries. For this reason, tribesmen used to pack this plant as a portable food and carry it along with them, when they went for hunting. They also referred to it as ‘famine food’ as this plant could help them to sustain for days together.

Constituents:  pregnane ester glycosides in the aerial parts and leaves of certain species. in addition to these compounds, fiber, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, and aromatic compounds.

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Appetite Depressant/Obesity

Caralluma fimbriata has a number of traditional ethnobotanical uses that include: diabetes, leprosy, rheumatism, paralysis, joint pain, migraines, fever, malaria, and inflammation. The species C. fimbriata and C. adscendens var. fimbriata have been used in traditional Indian medicine in this manner. In addition, C. tuberculata has been used as a digestive aid and to treat diabetes. Today most interest is centered on caralluma’s use as an appetite suppressant. Caralluma works in much the same way as hoodia; both hoodia and caralluma contain preganane glycosides thought to aid in weight loss. 1

Caralluma Fimbriata Plant as a Weight Loss Supplement :
Today, one of the most popular uses of Caralluma herb is to prepare the extract, which is included in different weight loss diets. The extract contains concentrated form of the raw ingredients of the plant, which acts as an excellent appetite suppressant. Various research studies have been conducted to understand the mechanism of its weight loss properties. The active ingredients of this herb are pregnane glycosides, megastigmane glycosides, flavone glycosides and saponins. These phytochemicals play a major role controlling body weight. Pregnane glycosides have the ability to block the activities of a number of enzymes such as citrate lyase, etc. This kind of blockage affects formation of fat in the body. In this way, it ensures that no fat is accumulated in the body at all. In this condition, the body is forced to use up its fat reserves. Thus, lots of calories are burned in the process. On the other hand, the components of this herb have inhibitory effects over the hypothalamus in the brain. This part of the brain controls the feeling of thirst and hunger in the human body. When these sensations are suppressed, it facilitates in better appetite control. It has two other positive effects on the body. One is that it improves stamina and endurance really well. Secondly, it has the ability to decrease blood sugar level in the body.

Side Effects of Caralluma Fimbriata Extract:
Studies have found that this plant does not have any toxic component in it that can cause any harm to human health. Even its extract does not have any major side effects. Soon after starting consumption of the plant extract, some people may get minor gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach, flatulence, constipation, etc. Usually, these problems disappear after a few days once the body gets used to the supplement. However, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid using this plant extract.

After reading all these qualities of Caralluma fimbriata plant, if you are planning to utilize it for its weight loss properties, then you must keep two things in mind. Firstly, there are several weight loss products that claim to have Caralluma fimbriata extract in them as a component. The amount of extract present in various weight loss products often varies, which in turn can give you varied results. And the second and most important thing is, like in case of any other supplement, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using this plant extract. The doctor will decide whether it is suitable for you or not and will also recommend the correct dosage for you.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/caralluma-fimbriata-plant.html
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail540.php
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Caralluma_fimbriata?o=3986&qsrc=999

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Statins May Raise Stroke Risk in Some

People who have had a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain should avoid taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, U.S. researchers said
. The drugs increase the risk of a second stroke in these patients.

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It was especially true of people who had strokes in one of their brain’s four lobes, which have a greater chance of recurrence than strokes that occur deep in the brain.

People who have a stroke in one of their lobes have a 22 percent risk of a second stroke when they take statins, compared with a 14 percent risk among those not taking a statin.

According to Reuters:
“The researchers said it is not clear how statins increase the bleeding risk in these patients. It may be having low cholesterol increases the risk of bleeding in the brain, or it may be that statins affect clotting factors in the blood that increase the risk of a brain hemorrhage in these patients.”


Resources:

Reuters January 10, 2011
Archives of Neurology January 10, 2011

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Healthy Heart

Introduction:
Why do you need to keep a healthy heart?

Heart disease is the number one  cause of death in men and women, greater than the next five causes of death combined!

According to the latest estimates by the American Heart Association, over 64 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Fortunately, there are ways to significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease and reverse the effects of a current heart condition you may or may not be aware of. Lower cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and CRP levels are a start to promoting healthy hearts.

Healthy Heart Guide  educates people about the risk factors of heart disease, attempting to persuade them to adopt a healthier lifestyle .

Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, making lifestyle changes can help you live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life.

Essential Blood Tests :
Find out the risk factors for developing heart conditions:

*Risk Factors Heart Disease :
*Cholesterol Levels :
*Homocysteine Levels :
*Triglyceride Levels :
*C-Reactive Protein :

Lowering Your Risks:
Specific Ways to Promote a Healthy Heart
:


*Cholesterol Ratio

*CRP Blood Test
*Diet For Lowering Cholesterol
*Homocysteine and Heart Disease
*LDL Cholesterol Heart Disease
*Lowering Triglycerides
*Natural Blood Thinners

Being active:
Being active Being active is absolutely essential for a healthy heart – for the simple reason that your heart is a muscle. Even if you haven’t been active for some time, your heart can become stronger, so that it’s able to pump more efficiently giving you more stamina and greater energy. Becoming more active will also improve the ability of your body’s tissues to extract oxygen from your blood, help you

maintain healthy levels of blood fats and speed your metabolism. Three types of exercise are needed in order to become fitter and healthier. These are aerobic, resistance training and flexibility. All three are vital for all-round fitness.

Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise:
Particularly important to prevent coronary heart disease is aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. This is any kind of activity that increases your breathing rate and gets you breathing more deeply. These activities include: walking, running, swimming, dancing or any of the aerobic (cardiovascular) machines at the gym such as the rowing machine, treadmill, stepper or elliptical trainer.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.
Stretching:
Stretching helps relax and lengthen your muscles, encourages improved blood flow, and helps keep you supple so you can move more easily. Experts say it’s good to stretch for 5-10 minutes every day. There are a number of simple stretches which you’ll find in virtually any book about exercise or can be taught by the instructor at the gym.

If you want more organised stretching, yoga and Pilates are safe and gentle for people with heart problems, as they help calm the mind and body and reduce stress. That said, there may still be some exercises or postures that are not recommended if you have heart disease, so check with your doctor first and tell your instructor if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Getting started:
There’s no need to join a gym or take part in organised sport, unless you want to, of course. Simply incorporating more activity into your daily life and doing activities like walking, gardening, cycling can be just as effective as a structured exercise programme.

Your aim should be to be moderately active for 30 minutes most days of the week. If you find it hard to fit this into your life, split it up into shorter periods. You should feel that your heart rate is increasing, you are breathing more deeply and frequently. You should be able to walk and talk at the same time – if you can’t then the activity is too strenuous.

Safety first:
If you experience any or all of the following, stop exercising and consult your doctor.

•Chest pain
•Dizziness, light-headedness or confusion
•Nausea or vomiting
•Cramp-like pains in the legs (intermittent claudication)
•Pale or bluish skin tone
•Breathlessness lasting for more than 10 minutes
•Palpitations (rapid or irregular heart beat).
•Continued fatigue (lasting for 24 hours or more)
•Fluid retention (swollen ankles, sudden weight gain)

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/heart/prevention_activity.shtml

Your Guide to Heart Health & Lowering Your Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke

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Garlic ‘Remedy for Hypertension’

Garlic may be useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure, a study suggests.
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Australian doctors enrolled 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication.

Those given four capsules of garlic extract a day had lower blood pressure than those on placebo, they report in scientific journal Maturitas.

The British Heart Foundation said more research was needed.

Garlic has long been though to be good for the heart.

Garlic supplements have previously been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension.

In the latest study, researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, looked at the effects of four capsules a day of a supplement known as aged garlic for 12 weeks.

They found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo.

Researcher Karin Ried said: “Garlic supplements have been associated with a blood pressure lowering effect of clinical significance in patients with untreated hypertension.

“Our trial, however, is the first to assess the effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged garlic extract as an additional treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension.”

Experts say garlic supplements should only be used after seeking medical advice, as garlic can thin the blood or interact with some medicines.

Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said using garlic for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years, but it is essential that scientific research proves that garlic can help conditions such as raised blood pressure.

She said: “This study demonstrated a slight blood pressure reduction after using aged garlic supplements but it’s not significant enough or in a large enough group of people to currently recommend it instead of medication.

“It’s a concern that so many people in the UK have poorly controlled blood pressure, with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease as a consequence. So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don’t stop taking your blood pressure medication.”

You may click to see :
Why garlic is good for the heart

Raw garlic tackles cancer


Source
: BBC News

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Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease

Numerous studies have shown that cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this has now been uncovered by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden. When a group of volunteers devoured a good-sized piece of dark chocolate, it inhibited an enzyme in their bodies that is known to raise blood pressure.

“We have previously shown that green tea inhibits the enzyme ACE, which is involved in the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure regulation. Now we wanted to study the effect of cocoa, since the active substances catechins and procyanidines are related,” says study leader Ingrid Persson.

The researchers recruited 16 healthy volunteer subjects for the study. They were not tobacco users and were not allowed to take any pharmaceuticals for two weeks. During the last two days they were not allowed to eat chocolate or anything containing similar compounds, including many kinds of berries and fruits, nor could they drink coffee, tea, or wine.

When the study took place, everyone in the group – ten men and six women between the ages of 20 and 45 – ate 75 grams of unsweetened chocolate with a cocoa content of 72 percent. To analyze what happened with the ACE enzyme, blood samples were taken in advance and then a half hour, one hour, and three hours afterward.

In the sample taken three hours afterward, there was a significant inhibition of ACE activity. The average was 18 percent lower activity than before the dose of cocoa, fully comparable to the effect of drugs that inhibit ACE and are used as a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure.

When the activities of the enzyme decline, the blood pressure goes down with time. As expected, no such effect was found in the subjects. To show this, the study would have to continue over a longer period.

“Our findings indicate that changes in lifestyle with the help of foods that contain large concentrations of catechins and procyaninides prevent cardiovascular diseases,” she says

Source
:Elements4Health

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