Why Eating Sesame Seed Paste (Tahini) Could Save Your Life

Why Eating Sesame Seed Paste (Tahini) Could Save Your Life | sesame_tahini_saves_the_heart | Natural Medicine

We don’t think of sesame seed paste as a ‘life saver,’ but new research shows it is capable of reducing blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk by 39% within only six weeks.

Sadly, in the Western world, when the average Joe thinks of protecting himself from heart disease, aspirin and statin drugs are often as high on the list – if not higher – than exercise and eating better. Through decades of intense marketing and miseducation millions have been made to think of the #1 killer as an inevitable force; one against which we fling pills and various pharmaceutical potions to ‘minimize risk,’ never to strike to the core of the problem and resolve it permanently.

This is one reason why natural medicine continues to gain popularity, as it is founded in more than a palliative approach to disease, and does not require the ingestion of patented chemicals (i.e. pharmaceuticals) whose side effects are often worse and far more plentiful than their claimed therapeutic ones. Instead of simply managing and/or suppressing symptoms, the goal is to invoke bodily self-healing, which is to say remove the interference that keeps it from doing so. And often, this is simply a matter of modifying the diet – adding something medicinal here, removing something not so healthy there.

One of the most promising studies to come through the biomedical pipeline of late was a gem published this month in the journal Archives of Iranian Medicine, and which looked at a traditional, sesame-based food-medicine known as Ardeh (aka tahini) for its ability to decrease cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics – a group whose risk of cardiac mortality is greatly enhanced due to unhealthy ratios and quantities of blood lipids associated with chronically elevated blood sugar, glycation and insulin resistance.

Titled, “Ardeh (Sesamum indicum) Could Improve Serum Triglycerides and Atherogenic Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial“,[i] the study consisted of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, who were randomly assigned to one of the two groups: group A (Ardeh 28 g/d, n = 21) and group B (control, n = 20).  The patients in group A were given 28 grams (two tablespoons) of Ardeh with their breakfast, while group B patients continued with their regular breakfast, both for six months (the energy content of both groups was kept within the same range).

Both groups were evaluated at baseline and six weeks later for blood pressure, serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), LDL-C, HDL-C, and the so-called atherogenic index (i.e. heart disease promoting index) of plasma (AIP; log TG/HDL-C), TC/HDL-C ratio, and LDL/HDL-C ratio .

Remarkably, after the six week test period, significant positive changes were reported:

“After six weeks, there were significant decreases in serum TG (15.3 mg/dL) and AIP (39 %) in group A. Moreover, slight decreases in serum TC, LDL-C, and other atherogenic lipid parameters and a mild increase in HDL-C also were observed during Ardeh supplementation. Anthropometric measures and blood pressure were unchanged during the study period in both groups.” [emphasis added]

Based on these promising observations the researchers concluded: “Ardeh could have favorable effects in decreasing CVD risk factors in type 2 diabetics.” Keep in mind that they found a 39% decrease in the so-called atherogenic index of plasma (AIP), which is no small effect for a relatively small dietary change. It should be noted that the brand of tahini used in this study (Oghab Halva Company) had no additional additives or oil. It was ground sesame seed, plain and simple. Were this a drug trial, results like these would be broadcast the world over as the next life-saving (multi-billion dollar selling) blockbuster drug. For a more detailed explanation of the results, read the entire study at the link here.

This is not the first human clinical study to find a beneficial effect of sesame on cardiovascular health or diabetes. Here are few others:

Sesame is truly a super star among medicinal foods.  In fact, recently, we reported on a study that found that eating 40 grams of sesame seeds, or the equivalent of two tablespoons of tahini, was superior to Tylenol in reducing pain in those suffering from knee arthritis. You can also take  a look at the over 40 health benefits of sesame seed and/or its components on our sesame seed health benefits research page to learn more about this remarkable healing food.

Let’s face it. At this point, with human clinical research from respected, peer-reviewed journals revealing that simple dietary changes – yes, as simple as eating some sesame paste (tahini) daily — can have huge impacts on risk factors for the most deadly and common diseases known in modern times, the time has come to reevaluate what exactly it is that is going on under the name of medicine today. Drugs don’t cure disease any more than bullets cure war. Foods, on the other hand, can be curative, and may just help us to put our ‘war against heart disease’ – like are failed ‘war on cancer’ —  to rest once and for all.

Finally, for a quick tahini recipe, take a look at this About.com how to, and consider super-charging the heart-friendly properties of this food with the addition of garlic, whose life-saving properties we have expanded on in another article.


[i] Parvin Mirmiran, Zahra Bahadoran, Mahdieh Golzarand, Asadolah Rajab, Fereidoun Azizi. Ardeh (Sesamum indicum) Could Improve Serum Triglycerides and Atherogenic Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Apr;20(2):202-8. doi: 10.1177/2047487312437625. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

[ii] Kalliopi Karatzi, Kimon Stamatelopoulos, Maritta Lykka, Pigi Mantzouratou, Sofia Skalidi, Nikolaos Zakopoulos, Christos Papamichael, Labros S Sidossis. Sesame oil consumption exerts a beneficial effect on endothelial function in hypertensive men. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Jan 25. Epub 2012 Jan 25. PMID: 22345690

[iii] Devarajan Sankar, Amanat Ali, Ganapathy Sambandam, Ramakrishna Rao. Sesame oil exhibits synergistic effect with anti-diabetic medication in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun ;30(3):351-8. Epub 2010 Dec 16. PMID: 21163558

[iv] D Sankar, M Ramakrishna Rao, G Sambandam, K V Pugalendi. A pilot study of open label sesame oil in hypertensive diabetics. J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):408-12. PMID: 17004907

[v] D Sankar, M Ramakrishna Rao, G Sambandam, K V Pugalendi. Effect of sesame oil on diuretics or Beta-blockers in the modulation of blood pressure, anthropometry, lipid profile, and redox status. Yale J Biol Med. 2006 Mar;79(1):19-26. PMID: 17876372

© April 20, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Hawthorn Berry Benefits: The Ultimate Heart Supporting Herb

Hawthorn Berry Benefits: The Ultimate Heart Supporting Herb | hawthorn-berry | Natural Medicine Special Interests

In the United States, someone is affected by cardiovascular disease every 42 seconds.[1] If you or a loved one are experiencing heart-related health problems, then you should be aware of natural herbs that support heart health. Among these beneficial herbs, hawthorn berry is the most used and effective. For centuries, it has been cherished for its culinary and therapeutic value.[2] While its popularity has waned in the United States, the herb is popular across Europe as a way to promote normal heart health. Research confirms the heart-related benefits of hawthorn berry include reduced chest pain, normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol levels, and healthy arteries.

Hawthorn Berry Quick Facts
Common Species Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus oxyacantha
Other Names English Hawthorn, Haw, Hawthorn Tops, Mayhaw, and Whitethorn Herb
Family Rosaceae
Origin Temperate climates in Europe, Asia, and North America
Health Benefits Heart Health, Digestive Support, and Skin Protection
Common Uses Herbal Medicine, Candies, Preserves, and Landscaping

How Hawthorn Berry Works

The main parts of the hawthorn tree—the berries, leaves, seeds, and flowers—have therapeutic value. Each is packed with beneficial flavonoids, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), saponins, phenolic acids, and other phytonutrients that encourage good health and stimulate internal healing mechanisms.

Promotes a Healthy Heart

The flavonoids and OPCs in hawthorn berry are specialized nutrition to support a healthy heart. They are potent antioxidant agents that help reduce free radicals, promote circulation, and support normal health of the arteries.[3] These heart-related benefits are the main reason hawthorn has such a long history of use.

Heart failure, which exists in two forms—diastolic and systolic—routinely results in injury or death. Diastolic is when the heart can’t fill with blood correctly; systolic is when the heart can’t pump blood efficiently. In a study involving over 800 patients with chronic heart failure, hawthorn berry provided significant benefit.[4]

Supports Normal Blood Pressure

Twenty-nine percent of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, and all signs suggest that number will continue to grow.[5] High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and, left unchecked, it may even lead to heart attack or stroke. Several studies have found that hawthorn may promote balanced blood pressure.[6]

Encourages Balanced Cholesterol

There is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). The accumulation of bad cholesterol can lead to serious health complications. High cholesterol may double your risk of heart disease.[7] Studies suggest that hawthorn berry supports normal cholesterol levels. One animal study found that extracts of the plant given to rabbits with high cholesterol helped reduce cholesterol levels.[8] In another study involving mice, hawthorn berry reduced LDL levels.[9]

Antioxidant Activity of Hawthorn

This herb’s primary antioxidant activity comes from two compounds—flavonoids and OPCs. They help support a healthy heart, and they can support your health in other ways, too.[10] Antioxidants protect against free radicals. Unchecked, free radicals damage cells, cause aging, and negatively affect well-being.

Other Benefits of Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn berry does more than support heart health. It has a long history of use in folk medicine and Ayurveda to support overall health in many capacities, including digestive health and skin health. In one study, hawthorn berry demonstrated gastro-protective benefits in mice.[11] In another study, hawthorn supported the development of healthy skin cells.[12]

Hawthorn Berry Side Effects and Precautions

Aside from a few caveats, hawthorn berry is generally safe to consume. In most studies, few if any side effects were reported. However, possible side effects include headache, nausea, and irregular heartbeat.[13] As a general precaution, women who are pregnant or nursing and children should not take hawthorn berry. Additionally, if you take any form of medication or have any heart concerns, consult your trusted health care practitioner before taking hawthorn berry.

Available Forms of Hawthorn

As a source of plant-based nutrition to support good health, hawthorn extract provides the best value. It’s available as a powder, capsule, or liquid. Hawthorn berry usually refers to the herbal extract as a product of the whole plant, not just the berries. Some researchers exclusively use the plant’s flowers and leaves because of their higher flavonoid concentration.

Beyond its therapeutic value, hawthorn berries are enjoyed around the world in the form of candies, jams, jellies, and even wine. The tender, spring leaves are edible and make a wonderful salad garnish. Berry size, color, and name vary from region to region. Small, tart, red berries called mayhaw are found in the United States. Native to many southeastern states, mayhaw has a rich tradition of culinary use. Mayhaw jelly is considered a delicacy, and the syrup from the berries is used to make sauce, pie filling, and desserts. While the plant was once easy to find in the wild, it’s quickly disappearing due to deforestation and disease.

Natural Ways to Promote a Healthy Heart

While hawthorn berry provides specialized nutrition for supporting a healthy heart, lifestyle is also important. Eating heart-healthy food, regular exercise, and managing stress are all effective, long-term strategies for promoting a healthy heart.

Have you used hawthorn berry to support your heart health? Have you tried any jam, jelly, syrup, or other product that contains hawthorn berries? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

 

References (13)
  1. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, et al; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association
  2. Roberts, Margaret. Edible & Medicinal Flowers. Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  3. Tabassum, Nahida, and Feroz Ahmad. Role of Natural Herbs in the Treatment of Hypertension. Pharmacognosy Reviews 5.9 (2011): 30–40. PMC. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  4. Pittler MH, Guo R, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(1):CD005312.
  5. High Blood Pressure Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., 30 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  6. Hempel B, Kroll M, Schneider B. Efficacy and safety of a herbal drug containing hawthorn berries and D-camphor in hypotension and orthostatic circulatory disorders/results of a retrospective epidemiologic cohort study. Arzneimittelforschung. 2005;55(8):443-50.
  7. High Cholesterol Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  8. Zhang Z, Ho WK, Huang Y, James AE, Lam LW, Chen ZY. Hawthorn fruit is hypolipidemic in rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet. J Nutr. 2002;132(1):5-10.
  9. Xu H, Xu HE, Ryan D. A study of the comparative effects of hawthorn fruit compound and simvastatin on lowering blood lipid levels. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(5):903-8.
  10. Zhang Y, Zhang L, Geng Y, Geng Y. Hawthorn fruit attenuates atherosclerosis by improving the hypolipidemic and antioxidant activities in apolipoprotein e-deficient mice. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2014;21(2):119-28.
  11. Tadić VM, Dobrić S, Marković GM, et al. Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, free-radical-scavenging, and antimicrobial activities of hawthorn berries ethanol extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(17):7700-9.
  12. Mustapha N, Mokdad-bzéouich I, Maatouk M, Ghedira K, Hennebelle T, Chekir-ghedira L. Antitumoral, antioxidant, and antimelanogenesis potencies of Hawthorn, a potential natural agent in the treatment of melanoma. Melanoma Res. 2016;26(3):211-22.
  13. Daniele C, Mazzanti G, Pittler MH, et al. Adverse-event profile of Crataegus spp.: a systematic review. Drug Saf. 2006;29(6):523-35.

 

 

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Evidence That Flaxseed Is A Heart Disease Reversing Food

Evidence That Flaxseed Is A Heart Disease Reversing Food | wheat-and-grain-bread | Natural Medicine

Flaxseeds contain unique heart friendly properties, which the scientific research is only now beginning to reveal in greater clarity. Should we wait around for randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trials and the FDA’s explicit drug approval, or take out our coffee grinders and start incorporating the meal into our diet right now? Thankfully, its a choice you still get to make for yourself.

The biomedical literature freely available to view on the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic citation database MEDLINE reveals a growing number of foods, nutrients and plant compounds with cardiovascular disease reversing properties, with 129 of these characterized on our research project alone [see Clogged Arteries].

Of course, the vast majority of these studies are preclinical, non-human in nature, as only so much precious capital flows into research on natural substances, which by their very nature do not grant patents (and therefore offer little to no return on investment), nor easily reveal their secrets through the optic of pharmacology. This does not mean, however, that we must wait around for future randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter trials to take some of this data to heart, letting it guide us into making simple dietary and lifestyle changes that could in fact prevent or regress disease at the same moment that it is most certainly nourishing us.

All the more reason why we should be encouraged by new research into the fabulous flaxseed’s ability to reverse cardiovascular disease progression in a new animal study, especially considering that 30 billion dollars is pumped every year into the statin class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, which have been linked to over 300 adverse health effects.

If the science is now showing that a simple food could outperform a highly toxic patented chemical class of drugs, perhaps we are getting closer to the realization of Thomas A. Edison’s famous prediction:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. “

Flaxseed’s Potential Cardiovascular Disease Reversing Properties

A promising study published in the American Journal of Physiology and Circulation Research titled, “The Effects of Dietary Flaxseed on Atherosclerotic Plaque Regression,” looked at whether flaxseed in the diet of rabbits is capable of regressing atherosclerotic plaque, the primary pathological process associated with gradual constriction or sudden blockage in the arteries leading to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. [i]

According to the study, “Dietary flaxseed can retard the progression of atherosclerotic plaques. However, it remains unclear whether these anti-atherogenic effects extend to plaque regression.”

Rabbits were divided into either a regular diet (Group I) or a 1% cholesterol-supplemented diet (Group II), with the latter group showing signs of steady plaque growth, as well as lowered response to stress hormone (norepinephrine) induced vessel contraction and impaired relaxation response to acetylcholine, which are indications of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerotic plaque progression.

Another group (Group IV) was given a 10% dietary flaxseed-supplemented diet, which resulted in “a significant ≈40% reduction in plaque formation (P = 0.033),” leading the researchers to conclude: “Dietary flaxseed is a valuable strategy to accelerate the regression of atherosclerotic plaques.”

Evidence That Flaxseed Is A Heart Disease Reversing Food | Endo_dysfunction_Athero | Natural Medicine This is not the first report of flaxseed’s seemingly miraculous ability to regress the pathological process that leads to the #1 cause of death in the developed world.

Back in 2004, the journal Atherosclerosis published a study in hamsters revealed that flaxseed might provide an ideal solution for aging women, who following the failure of their ovarian reserve in the mid-40’s to late 50’s, begin to develop adverse changes in their blood lipids and increased atherosclerotic lesions.

What the researchers found by using an animal model was that dietary flaxseed consumption was as effective estrogen (estradiol) for preventing some of the adverse blood lipid changes associated with the ‘change of life,’ and the furthermore, flaxseed was capable of preventing fatty streak area and the incidence of lesions that were also induced by hormone deficiency. [ii]

This finding is consistent with previously reported research that indicates that flaxseed has significant estrogen-like activity, however, without the well-known cancer risks associated with the use of estradiol (E2). [See: Confirmed: Flaxseed Contains ‘Estrogens’ That Regress Cancer.]

How Does Flaxseed’s Cardiovascular Benefits Work?

Like any complex food, flaxseed has multiple modes of action.  The three primary beneficial compounds are:

  • Omega-3: Known as alpha-linoleic acid, this dietary fatty acid, which is relatively rare in the Western diet, is essential to human metabolism (meaning, we can’t produce it ourselves), and has been the subject of thousands of studies, many of which indicate its value in reducing risk factors for heart disease.
  • Soluble Fiber: Flaxseed is a rich source of soluble fiber, one of the benefits of which is to that it binds to bile acids (which include oxidized cholesterol and other fat-soluble waste products like toxic hormone metabolites, and other bile constituents) and help to pull them out of the body.
  • Lignan: Lignans are a class of plant compounds with both estrogen-like and antioxidant properties. The major lignan found in flaxseed is known as secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, is metabolized into enterodial and enterolactone within the human body, which can affect a wide range of bodily tissues, including the reproductive and the cardiovascular systems.

What Are Some of the Other Benefits of Flaxseed?

Flaxseed is a true medicinal marvel. GreenMedInfo.com has identified research indicating it has potential value in preventing or treating over 50 health conditions. [See Flaxseed Benefits research]

Here are some highlights:

  • Flaxseed Improves Skin Quality: A 2010 study found that supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition.[iii]
  • Flaxseed Protects Against Radiation: A 2009 study found that dietary flaxseed prevents radiation-induced oxidative lung damage, inflammation and fibrosis in a mouse model of thoracic radiation injury.[iv]
  • Flaxseed Helps the Swollen Prostate: A 2007 study found that dietary flaxseed improves lower urinary tract symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as drug therapy.[v] A 2004 study found that flaxseed supplementation in combination with a low-fat diet reduced the proliferation of prostate cells and PSA in men.[vi] There are also 3 studies on GreenMedInfo.com indicating flaxseed has direct anti-prostate cancer properties.[vii]

How Much Flaxseed Should You Take?

While there is no hard and fast “right amount” for everyone, it makes sense to incorporate a tablespoon of ground flaxseed a day in a culinary application, such as oatmeal or a smoothie, if you are looking to attain a ‘medicinal’ dose.  It helps to remember that regardless of flaxseed’s evidence-based therapeutic properties, it is actually an excellent food, and should be incorporated into the diet in a way that actually provides some enjoyment (vitamin P[leasure] is of course as important as the nutritional composition of the food].

I personally try to consume a tablespoon of ground flaxseed daily. Grinding it fresh is ideal. This will also release the nutrient-dense interior of the seed for easy digestion, increasing the surface area by several orders of magnitude vs. consuming the seed whole.

Remember that you must consume enough liquid with the flax meal or it may constipate (this seed suck up quite a bit of water and produces a soothing mucilaginous gel as a result). On the other hand, when used properly with water, it is a traditional ‘cure’ for constipation.

For additional research on flaxseed’s nutritional composition, you can visit the NutritionData.com page on flaxseed here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2

Finally, for a discussion of other foods that may regress plaque buildup in the arteries, read our recent article on the topic, 7 Ways to Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease with Nutrition, or, view our research page on the topic: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/guide/health-guide-heart-health


[i] Andrew A Francis, Justin F Deniset, Jose A Austria, Renee K Lavallee, Graham G Maddaford, Thomas E Hedley, Elena Dibrov, Grant N Pierce. The Effects of Dietary Flaxseed on Atherosclerotic Plaque Regression. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013 Apr 12. Epub 2013 Apr 12. PMID: 23585134

[ii] Edralin A Lucas, Stanley A Lightfoot, Lisa J Hammond, Latha Devareddy, Dania A Khalil, Bruce P Daggy, Brenda J Smith, Neil Westcott, Veronica Mocanu, Do Yu Soung, Bahram H Arjmandi. Flaxseed reduces plasma cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesion formation in ovariectomized Golden Syrian hamsters. Atherosclerosis. 2004 Apr ;173(2):223-9. PMID: 15064095

[iii] K Neukam, S De Spirt, W Stahl, M Bejot, J-M Maurette, H Tronnier, U Heinrich. Supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 Nov 18;24(2):67-74. Epub 2010 Nov 18. PMID: 21088453

[iv] James C Lee, Ryan Krochak, Aaron Blouin, Stathis Kanterakis, Shampa Chatterjee, Evguenia Arguiri, Anil Vachani, Charalambos C Solomides, Keith A Cengel, Melpo Christofidou-Solomidou. Dietary flaxseed prevents radiation-induced oxidative lung damage, inflammation and fibrosis in a mouse model of thoracic radiation injury. Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;8(1):47-53. Epub 2009 Jan 1. PMID: 18981722

[v] Wei Zhang, Xiaobing Wang, Yi Liu, Haimei Tian, Brent Flickinger, Mark W Empie, Sam Z Sun. Effects of dietary flaxseed lignan extract on symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Ren Nutr. 2007 Jan;17(1):23-9. PMID: 18358071

[vi] Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Cary N Robertson, Philip J Walther, Thomas J Polascik, David F Paulson, Robin T Vollmer. Pilot study to explore effects of low-fat, flaxseed-supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific antigen. Urology. 2004 May;63(5):900-4. PMID: 15134976

[vii] GreenMedInfo.com, Flaxseed and Prostate Cancer

 

©  March 11, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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Cardiovascular Benefits of Turmeric Found To Be As Powerful As Exercise

Cardiovascular Benefits of Turmeric Found To Be As Powerful As Exercise | exercise-fitness1 | Natural Medicine

Nothing can replace exercise, but turmeric extract does a pretty good job of producing some of the same cardiovascular health benefits, most notably in women undergoing age-associated adverse changes in arterial health.

Despite the general lack of interest by conventional medical practitioners in turmeric’s role in preventing heart disease, there is a robust body of published research on its remarkable cardioprotective properties, with three dozen study abstracts on the topic available to view on our database alone: turmeric’s cardioprective properties.

We reported on a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that found turmeric extract reduces post-bypass heart attack risk by 56%. Now, we would like to bring attention to a remarkable study published in the journal Nutrition Research in 2012 that revealed that curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric and which gives the spice its golden hue, is as effective in improving vascular function in postmenopausal women as a moderate aerobic exercise training regimen. [1]

The 8-week long study involved 32 postmenopausal women who were assigned into 3 groups: a non-treatment control, exercise, and curcumin. Researchers ascertained the health of the inner lining of their blood vessels (known as the endothelium) by using ultrasound to measure flow-mediated arterial dilation, a well-known indicator of arterial elasticity and therefore endothelial function. A disturbance of the endothelial function is considered a key cause of the development of atherosclerosis.[2] Anything, therefore, that can prevent, reduce or reverse endothelial dysfunction therefore may reduce morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease.

Subjects in the curcumin group received 150 mg turmeric extract per day, for 8 weeks, supplying 25 mg of collodially dispersed nanoparticle curcumin. Their diet and exercise habits were unchanged during the study period.

Subjects in the exercise group underwent aerobic exercise training more than 3 days per week (2-3 supervised sessions and additional home-based training). Over the course of the 8 week exercise program involving cycling and walking, they engaged in between 30-60 minute long sessions, ranging in intensity from 60% of their individually determined maximal heart rate in the initial phase of the trial, to 70-75% maximal heart rate in the latter half.

After eight weeks of intervention, flow-mediated dilation increased significantly in both curcumin and exercise groups, compared to the control.  The researchers concluded:

The present study showed that regular ingestion of curcumin or regular aerobic exercise training significantly improved endothelial function. The magnitude of improvement in endothelial function to the same extent, suggesting that curcumin may prevent the age-associated decline in endothelial function in postmenopausal women.”

Discussion:

While this study is encouraging for those who already use turmeric in their diet, or perhaps take a curcumin supplement to ward off a wide range of potential ailments (we have indexed over 600 conditions that may benefit from turmeric/curcumin ingestion), it should be clearly noted that exercise shouldn’t, and can’t be replaced with a supplement. Nor can exercise necessarily supplant the critical role that turmeric can play in human health and disease. Of course, if one incorporates plenty of regular exercise with regular culinary doses of turmeric, the synergy of health benefits produced would most likely far exceed exercise or turmeric taken alone.  The study didn’t look at what would happen if both exercise and supplements were used, but if we feel the necessity to sit around waiting for another clinical trial before employing this obviously optimal strategy, we probably need a healthy dose of commonsense more than a supplement or exercise program.

Interestingly, another study published by the same research group in 2012 in the American Journal of Hypertension did look at the combined effect of curcumin and exercise in postmenopausal women in improving heart muscle stress tolerance, finding that “regular endurance exercise combined with daily curcumin ingestion may reduce LV [left ventricular] afterload to a greater extent than monotherapy with either intervention alone in postmenopausal women.”  Chronic heightened left ventricular afterload can contribute to pathological hypertrophy of that region of the heart, and is associated with elevated blood pressure an aortic valve disease. These findings clearly indicate that combining exercise with turmeric (or curcumin) would produce the most benefit.

Another ‘side benefit’ of using turmeric with exercise is the fact that it an ideal remedy for reducing exercise-associated pain and inflammation. It has already been found quite effective in relieving symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, the details of which are discussed here: Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame.

For additional research on the benefits of turmeric and curcumin visit our research page on the topic, which includes over 1500 study abstracts: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/curcumin

For additional research on over 80 natural substances which prevent, reduce or reverse endothelial dysfunction visit our page on the topic: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/disease/endothelial-dysfunction   


Resources

  • [2] M Toborek, S Kaiser. Endothelial cell functions. Relationship to atherogenesis. Basic Res Cardiol. 1999 Oct ;94(5):295-314. PMID: 10543305

 

© March 6, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

 


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Are Statin Drugs Killing The Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fat?

Are Statin Drugs Killing The Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fat? | pills-omega-3-fish-oil | Big Pharma General Health

There is a growing awareness that the unintended, adverse health effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs far outweigh their purported benefits. But now new research indicates that these drugs may even interfere with the heart-protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids in those who are taking them.

A study published in the journal BMC Medicine is shedding much needed light on why the widely publicized fish oil study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which diverged from earlier randomized controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrating the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, showed no evidence of cardiovascular disease risk reduction associated with omega-3 intake.

In the study, researchers at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France proposed that more recent RCTs on fish oil and heart health that have reported negative findings, like the JAMA study, can be explained by two hidden confounding variables:

  1. Today, with both increased awareness of the health benefits and increased consumption of omega-3 fats, the vast majority of participants in these newer controlled trials are no longer as omega-3 fat deficient and therefore may not show as great (if any) measurable beneficial effect when given additional supplemented omega-3.
  2. The vast majority of contemporary RCT study participants are also on statin drugs, which suppress the beneficial properties of omega-3 fatty acids within the body, making negative findings more likely.[i]

The second confounding variable, that statins suppress omega-3 fatty acid benefits, is the most groundbreaking, as very few doctors or patients are aware of this possibility.  On the other hand, statins exert such a broad range of adverse health effects in the body, including major deficiencies of zinc, copper, selenium, coq10, vitamin E, and possibly vitamin D, as well, that we shouldn’t be all that surprised.[ii]

In support of their hypothesis they cite research indicating that statin drugs favor the metabolism of omega-6 fatty acids, which in turn inhibit omega-3 fatty acids; essentially omega-6 and omega-3 compete with one another for the same metabolic enzymes, indicating that the ratio in the diet is more important than absolute values.[iii] Also, omega-6 fats, contrary to omega-3’s, increase insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes. This may explain the well-known diabetogenic properties of statin drugs.[iv]

An over preponderance of omega-6 fats have also been linked to inflammatory health conditions and cancer,[v] which may be due to the role they play in the excessive formation of arachidonic acid, a substrate for inflammation-associated enzymes COX2 and LOX, as well as contributing to the downstream formation of many inflammatory hormones in the body, e.g. PGE2, thromboxane, leukotriene, etc.

Since most of prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs on the market increase the blood concentration of arachidonic, it is quite possible that statin-induced dysregulation of omega-3/omega-6 production, their ratio and metabolism, may contribute to a whole host of adverse health effects. Indeed, the biomedical literature signals over 300 health problems caused by this chemical class of drugs.[vi]

The French researchers also cite post-hoc statin drug research demonstrating that when separating statin users and non-users, omega-3 mediated cardioprotection was observed only in non-statin users, but not statin users.  Also, in recent randomized controlled testing omega-3 supplementation was found to reduce the risk of arrhythmias only in patients not taking a statin.

Discussion

Millions of asymptomatic patients are now taking statin drugs as a primary preventive strategy against cardiovascular disease, despite the well-known myotoxicity,[vii] neurotoxicity,[viii] and yes, cardiotoxicity of this class of drugs.[ix] Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are increasingly being shunned as ineffective, despite their profound safety, low cost and the broad range of experimentally confirmed therapeutic properties associated with their consumption, and which now number in the hundreds. You can view 250 such health benefits on our database: Omega-3 Health Benefits.

If the French researchers’ hypothesis is correct, statin-induced adverse changes in essential fatty acid metabolism may be contaminating clinical trials that attempt to demonstrate the value of omega-3 fats and fish oil for human health. Given the near universal prevalence of statin drug use among today’s studied populations, and the other mentioned variable of increasing background rates of omega-3 fat consumption, it is unlikely that future studies on omega-3 (or fish oil) intake and cardiovascular disease will differ from the latest negative JAMA study.

For additional research on natural substances and interventions which have been studied to be of value to cardiovascular health, visit our health section on the topic: Health Guide: Heart Health


Resources

 

©  December 15, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

The post Are Statin Drugs Killing The Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fat? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


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Research: Garlic Supplement Slows Cardiovascular Disease Progression

garlic-cardiovascular-disease

Given that cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death within industrialized societies, anything that can slow the underlying pathological process in its decades-long, mostly subclinical march towards heart attack, embolism or stroke, is worth considering as a prophylactic — especially if it is as safe, accessible and affordable drug alternative.

Indeed, a study published in the International Journal Cardiology indicates that aged garlic extract, in combination with vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin B6 and arginine, is capable of favorably altering the ratio of brown to white adipose (fat) tissue surrounding the heart muscle, reducing homocysteine (a blood vessel damaging amino acid) and slowing the progression of coronary artery calcification in human subjects.[i]

The study involved sixty subjects, randomized to receive either a daily placebo capsule or a supplement containing 250 mg of aged garlic-extract, 100 μg vitamin-B12, 300μg folic-acid, 12.5mg vitamin-B6  and 100 mg of l-arginine. From baseline to 12 months, the researchers found a strong correlation between the increase in the white fat tissue surrounding the heart muscle, also known as white epicardial adipose tissue (wEAT), and the level of coronary artery calcification. They found that at 1 year, the risks of coronary artery calcium progression and increased wEAT and homocysteine were significantly lower in the supplement group when compared to the placebo group.  Researchers also found an increase in brown epicardial adipose tissue (wEAT) and improved vascular reactivity (an indication of lessened vascular dysfunction) in subjects who received the supplement.

There are two types of fat found in mammals, brown and white. Brown fat’s primary role is to generate heat in animals, which is why it is abundant in newborns and hibernating animals. White fat, on the other hand, is primarily a way of accumulating energy for storage, and does not have the high density of iron-containing mitochondria which enables it to generate heat and which makes it brown.  The study found a higher ratio of brown to white fat around the heart muscle “[C]orrelated strongly with increases in vascular function measured by temperature-rebound and predicted a lack of CAC [coronary artery calcification] progression and plaque stabilization in response to AGE-S [supplement].”

Garlic is actually already well-established to have therapeutic properties in calcification disorders of the cardiovascular system.

Here is a review on the literature on this topic

  • Decalcifiation of hydroxylapatite calcium crystals: A 2003 study found that it was possible to dissolve the type of calcium hydroxypatite crystals found in cardiovascular pathologies with organic solutions of hawthorn, onion and garlic.[ii]
  • Inhibits nanoplaque formation: A 2004 study found that garlic was able to inhibit lipoprotein associated arteriosclerotic nanoplaque formation.[iii]
  • Retards progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: A 2004 study found found that aged garlic (in combination with B vitamins and arginine) inhibited the progression of subclinical plaque in human subjects.[iv]
  • Inhibits coronary artery calcification in patients on statin therapy: A 2004 study found a 3-fold reduced progression in coronary calcification in those taking an aged garlic supplement versus a placebo.[v]

Other heart-friendly features of garlic include

  • Anti-platelet (blood thinning) properties.[vi] [vii]
  • Anti-inflammatory.[viii]
  • Improving endothelial function.[ix]

For additional Heart Disease research on the GreenMedInfo.com database visit the links below


© November 17, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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Do Cholesterol Drugs Have Men By Their Gonads?

statins_damage_male_testicles_cholesterol

Cholesterol-lowering agents in the statin drug class have long been linked with erectile dysfunction and low testosterone — effects that compromise more than just a man’s general sense of well-being and physical health, but his ego as well.

Now, a study on statins and male fertility has found for the first time that this cholesterol-lowering class of drugs may be causing significant and lasting damage to men’s testicles and sperm, and by implication, possibly the health of future generations.

The new study published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology titled, “Evaluation of atorvastatin efficacy and toxicity on spermatozoa, accessory glands and gonadal hormones of healthy men: a pilot prospective clinical trial,” evaluated the effects of 10 mg daily of Lipitor (atorvastatin), daily, for 5 months, in 17 normal men with normal plasma lipid and standard semen parameters.

Sperm health parameters, accessory gland markers, semen lipid levels and blood levels of testicular hormones were evaluated before Lipitor intake, during the treatment, and 3 months after its withdrawal.

The alarming results were reported as follows:

  • Atorvastatin treatment significantly decreased circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol concentrations by 42% and 24% (p < 0.0001) respectively, and reached the efficacy objective of the protocol.”
  • “During atorvastatin therapy and/or 3 months after its withdrawal numerous semen parameters were significantly modified, such as total number of spermatozoa (-31%, p < 0.05), vitality (-9.5%, p < 0.05), total motility (+7.5%, p < 0.05), morphology (head, neck and midpiece abnormalities, p < 0.05), and the kinetics of acrosome reaction (p < 0.05). Seminal concentrations of acid phosphatases (p < 0.01), alpha-glucosidase (p < 0.05) and L-carnitine (p < 0.05) were also decreased during the therapy, indicating an alteration of prostatic and epididymal functions.”
  • “Moreover, we measured at least one altered semen parameter in 35% of the subjects during atorvastatin treatment, and in 65% of the subjects after withdrawal, which led us to consider that atorvastatin is unsafe in the context of our study.”

They concluded:

“Our results show for the first time that atorvastatin [trade name Lipitor] significantly affects the sperm parameters and the seminal fluid composition of healthy men.”

Why Are We Taking Statin Drugs If They Harm The Heart?

Statin drugs are purported to have cardioprotective properties because they reduce the production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – colloquially known as, and falsely equated with, ‘cholesterol‘ (there are actually hundreds of lipid species in the human liposome) – despite the fact the drug class itself has been found to be cardiotoxic to the heart muscle in several ways:

On the Greenmedinfo.com Statin Research database we have cataloged over 15 studies from the National Library of Medicine indicating the heart-damaging properties of this class of supposedly ‘heart friendly’ drugs.  View our professional data page here, or if you are not a member, view the open access reference page for public view and linking here.

Statins do not only reduce lipoprotein production but have so-called pleoitropic properties, which include immune system down-regulating and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why they are believed to have a small benefit in reducing the inflammatory burden caused by autoimmune processes in the artery that can precipitate myocardial infarction (heart attack) in some individuals — but not without having the unintended, adverse effect of increasing cancer risk (at all sites) and contributing to congestive heart failure, effectively cancelling out the small, mostly theoretical benefit of reduced heart attack risk. For instance, it has been estimated that “…at least 23,000 low-risk people would have to take statins for five years to prevent one death from heart disease.” [Source]

Statins are also clearly diabetogenic, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50% in some populations, with the FDA now requiring drug manufacturers to include a warning of diabetes risk on statin drug labels. Considering morbidity and mortality from type 2 diabetes is caused not by the elevated blood sugar in and of itself, but the damage glycated sugar does to the vascular system and the subsequent cardiovascular harm it produces, the case against using statins for primary and secondary prevention of heart disease seems clear as day.

Moreover, cardiovascular harm is not the only concern. Statin drugs have been linked to over 300 adverse health effects. We issued a consumer alert on the topic several years ago. For the more technically minded, here is the database page on Statin drugs listing 300+ adverse health effects based on 465 published studies.

Heart Disease Is Not Caused By A Lack of A Drug

Should we be surprised to find so much research on this drug class’s adverse health effects? After all, cholesterol is fundamental for the health of each cell in the human body, and low cholesterol has been found to cause a wide range of health problems, including psychiatric states such as violence against self and other. The food and drug industries have used cholesterol phobia to manipulate health professionals and the lay public into believing that the cause of heart disease is genetic, and can only be addressed through the use of synthetic, patented, essentially toxic chemicals, i.e. pharmaceuticals, or eating semi-synthetic ‘low fat,’ ‘low cholesterol’ foods with very little nutritional value.

This latest study speaks to why we must exercise the precautionary principle when considering taking a patented chemical – technically a xenobiotic alien to human physiology – for suppressing a symptom of a much deeper and more complex problem. While oxidized cholesterol forms a significant part of the problem of atherosclerotic build-up in the arteries, it is not the primary cause of the damage to the inner lining of the arteries (endothelium), and the pre-existing endothelial dysfunction that can go on for many decades silently in the background. Ox-LDL deposits in atheromatous lesions have been viewed as an epiphenomenon, generated as part of a cascade of immune-mediated events the body activates in order to attempt to heal arterial damage. In certain respects, cholesterol deposits in the arteries at the site of damage can be likened to a Band-Aid. Do we blame the Band-Aid for causing the injury upon which it is placed?

It is important to point out that oxidized cholesterol (ox-LDL) can be toxic and harmful to the vascular system, but the problem with modern blood testing for ‘cholesterol’ is that it does not take into the quality of the lipoproteins, only their quantitative dimensions.  Depending on one’s diet, environmental factors, and overall bodily health, LDL particles will oxidize at different rates. If you are eating an antioxidant rich diet, full of healthy fats, phytocompounds, etc., your properly functioning LDL will be less susceptible to conversion to ox-LDL.  On the other hand, eating a diet full of non-essential, oxidized fats, deficient in phytonutrients, antioxidants, etc. – and adding in environmental toxins and toxicants, e.g. smoking – will produce more ox-LDL, rendering it artherogenic. Obviously, therefore, diet and lifestyle form the basis for a sound preventive approach if the ‘lipid hypothesis‘ of cardiovascular disease is even deemed truly relevant. [For more research on natural substances which inhibit cholesterol oxidation, view our database on the topic: Prevent Cholesterol Oxidation.]

Furthermore, there are many ways to address underlying vascular pathologies without suppressing the production of a vital building block and signaling molecule, which is what cholesterol is. Pomegranate, chocolate, and many other natural substances, have been confirmed in research to have profound heart disease preventive and reversing properties. You can explore our database sections relevant to the topic within our Heart Health guide, to find hundreds of studies proving this point. Basic nutritional incompatibilities, including the consumption of wheat which has cardiotoxic properties in genetically susceptible individuals, and excessive consumption of omega-6 versus omega-3 fats can profoundly increase the risk of heart disease. One groundbreaking study published last year, in fact, indicates that statins actually reduce the health benefits of omega-3 fats in the diet – adding another mechanism by which statin drugs exert heart disease promoting effects.

Beyond the Pharmaceutically-Driven Medical Paradigm

If statin drugs are toxic to human sperm, and if the men within whom this statin-induced damage is occurring are of reproductive age, the implications of this latest study on statins and fertility are potentially devastating to the health of future generations. Changes in our species germlines – sperm or egg – are carried on to future generations, possibly forever. With recent research indicating that even changes to somatic cells in this lifetime are capable of transferring information to the sperm, what we do here and now – our chemical exposures, our nutritional status, and even our psychospiritual and mental orientation (which gear into real physiological and genetic/epigenetic processes – can have critical and irreversible affects on our offspring.

Clearly, the time has come both to re-evaluate the role of pharmaceuticals in ‘preventive’ health care, as well as the effects these novel new chemical compounds will have on the next generation, and the next.

For alternatives to lipid lowering chemicals, take a look at the following, evidence-based natural interventions:

 

©  October 28, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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These Blockbuster Drugs Destroy Heart Benefits Of Fish Oil

statin_fish_oil_cancel_fish_oil

Millions take these blockbuster drugs for ‘heart protection,’ and yet they are actually killing the well established heart protective properties of fish oil.

The published literature on the cardiovascular health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is increasingly contradictory, with multiple studies in the past demonstrating their significant cardioprotective properties, but with newer trials revealing far less certainty of a benefit, including null results.

What is behind this confusion and inconsistency?

Last year, we reported on a study published in JAMA which proposed that statin drugs are responsible for interfering with contemporary fish oil trial results by inhibiting the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids – a still widely unrecognized confounding variable which we have not found reported elsewhere. At the time of the JAMA report, this explanation was strictly speculative. Now, a new retrospective study lends significant epidemiological support to the hypothesis.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists and titled, “STATIN USE MAY MITIGATE THE BENEFIT OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS SUPPLEMENTATION: A META-REGRESSION OF RANDOMIZED TRIALS,” researchers performed a meta-analytical review of twenty three randomized and controlled studies reporting clinical outcomes in a total of 77,776 patients. Thirty eight thousand, nine hundred and ten patients received at least 6 months of treatment with animal-derived omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA), concomitant with lipid lowering/statin therapy, whereas a control group of 38,866 patients received lipid lowering/statin therapy alone.

The study revealed that:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids in combination with lipid therapy had no effect on total mortality and myocardial infarction [heart attack], with only a marginal reduction in cardiovascular mortality, with a 7% reduction in relative risk [.93; 95% CI, 0.73-1.02]
  • Lower control group statin use and higher DHA/EPA ratio was associated with higher reduction in total mortality.

The researchers concluded, “Statin use may mitigate, and higher DHA/EPA ratio is associated with, the beneficial effect of PUFA supplementation.”

What Is the Mechanism of Statin-Induced Cancellation of Omega-3 Fatty Acid’s Beneficial Effects?

Research indicates that statin drugs favor the metabolism of omega-6 fatty acids, which in turn inhibit omega-3 fatty acids. The statin-induced preferential metabolism of omega-6 fatty acids favors the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, contributing to a cardiotoxic state. Also, since omega-6 and omega-3 compete with one another as substrates for the same metabolic enzymes, their ratio in the diet is probably more important than absolute values.[1] Additionally, omega-6 fats, contrary to omega-3’s, increase insulin resistance, increasing the risk of diabetes. This may contribute to an explanation of the the well-known diabetogenic properties of statin drugs.[2]

How Do We Really Know Fish Oil Is Therapeutic?

The mainstream media’s news cycle fixates on the latest new study when it comes to medical and health reporting, often implying that if a significant body of positive results already exists in the biomedical literature, it should be relegated to secondary importance, if not all together jettisoned if a single new study contradicts it.  At GreenMedInfo.com we believe the type of ‘news’ should be properly balanced and contextualized by the past research. In the case of fish oil and omega 3 fatty acid literature we have several relevant sections of on our database that clearly show their multitudinous benefit for cardioprotection and active therapy. Our fish oil section contains research on its over 100 health benefits. Our omega-3 fatty acid page is even more convincing, with over 200 health benefits documented for these essential fats. Conversely, we have documented over 300 adverse effects linked to statin drug use. Cleary, given the weight of the biomedical evidence, it is not surprising that statin drugs would interfere with the significant health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

For natural alternatives to synthetic suppression of cholesterol production, take a look at the relevant articles and research on our database:

References


[1] Michel de Lorgeril, Patricia Salen, Annabelle Guiraud, Sabrina Zeghichi, François Boucher, Joël de Leiris. Lipid-lowering drugs and essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in patients with coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Feb ;15(1):36-41. PMID: 15871849

[2] GreenMedInfo.com, Statin-Induced Diabetes Research

 

© October 27, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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Curry Dilates Arteries With One Serving

Clove, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, red pepper, turmeric, curry, spices, food, cooking

Did you know that a single culinary serving of spices in the form of curry can dilate your arteries, preventing the cardiovascular harms associated with eating common foods?

While spices are thought of mainly as culinary agents for the aesthetical enhancement of the flavor of food, they are also powerful medicinal agents, and in certain respects may actually mitigate the harms of things we like to eat that may not be as good for us as their pleasurable tastes and textures would have us believe.

nutrition-journalA study published in Nutrition Journal titled, “A single consumption of curry improved postprandial endothelial function in healthy male subjects: a randomized, controlled crossover trial,” brought home exactly this point. Moreover, it reveals that certain culinary formulas, sometimes handed down through countless generations, may have indispensable value for our health. Interestingly, we find this concept echoed in the word recipe itself, whose first recorded use in Mid 16-century French literally means “medical prescription.”

A curry is essentially a blend of various spices used as a sauce in dishes, and in the case of this study’s tested formula, a traditional Japanese combination was used containing the following 8 herbs:  Clove, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, red pepper, turmeric. [Note: click the hyperlinks of the preceding 8 herbs to view the extensive database of healing properties we have amassed on each one]  Interesting, Japanese curry was actually introduced to Japan by the British during the Meiji period (1868–1912) when India was still under colonial rule, making it a “Western” influence there, even though it ultimately originated in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

In the study, researchers tested 14 healthy male subjects with an average age of 45 years, who were given either a single serving of curry meal or spice-free control meal (180 g of curry or control and 200 g of cooked rice; approximately 500 kcal in total). Researchers then tested what happened to the blood vessels of subjects before and consuming either meal.

food, dinner, curry, meal, healthy, rice,

A variety of Indian curries. Image Source: Wikicommons.

Based on post-meal measurements of the ability of blood to pass through the blood vessels (postprandial flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and other parameters, clearly the consumption of curry increased the blood flow through the blood vessels (increased FMD), whereas the consumption of the curry-free control meal resulted in a decrease in blood flow (decreased FMD). More specifically, the results were reported as follows:

The consumption of the control meal decreased FMD from 5.8 ± 2.4% to 5.1 ± 2.3% (P = 0.039). On the other hand, the consumption of the curry meal increased FMD from 5.2 ± 2.5% to 6.6 ± 2.0% (P = 0.001), and the postprandial FMD after the curry meal was higher than that after the control meal (P = 0.002). Presence of spices in the curry did not alter significantly the systemic and forearm hemodynamics, or any biochemical parameters including oxidative stress markers measured.”

The researchers concluded that curry prevented the negative effects of the meal upon post-meal “endothelial function,” that is, it prevented the inner lining (endothelium) of the blood vessels from contracting and inhibiting the normal flow of blood throughout the cardiovascular system. They surmised that the antioxidant activity of the spices likely are responsible for the observed positive outcomes, possibly through blunting the post-meal increases in blood sugar and/or oxidative stress. They summarized their findings:

Curry consumption ameliorates postprandial endothelial dysfunction and may be beneficial for preventing cardiovascular events. Lifestyle-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus have become serious health problems in the modern world. Curry may be helpful in the fight against those lifestyle-related diseases.”

The reason why this finding is highly relevant to concerns about cardiovascular function is because atherosclerosis — the so-called “hardening of the arteries” — takes decades to develop within the system, often completely without symptoms, and one of the characteristic predisposing features of this pathological process is endothelial dysfunction, often starting with the inability of the blood vessels to fully relax when confronted with any number of stressors – dietary incompatibilities (e.g. wheat) and deficiencies (e.g. magnesium), environmental (e.g. smoking), infectious (e.g. periodontal pathogens), and psychological (e.g. stress) — and resultant damage incurred by them. You can see a more extensive list of nutritional approaches to keeping your arteries healthy here.

Imagine what would happen if we could address endothelial dysfunction decades before it progresses into atherosclerosis?  Since heart disease is the #1 killer, worldwide, adding certain medicinal spices to the diet could perhaps help to neutralize the cardiotoxic and highly lethal disease vector which is the standard Western diet. We’ve reported, previously, on how something so simple as adding fresh avocado to a traditional American hamburger completely ameliorates the artery-contracting properties of this typical meal. It is amazing when you consider all of the edible things now studied which are capable of ameliorating endothelial dysfunction. You can peruse the Endothelial Dysfunction page on GreenMedInfo.com’s healing substances database and find over 90 substances that may help with this goal.

Take a look at the 1700 studies on turmeric’s health benefits on our database.

Consider, also, that some of the spices in curry, such as turmeric, and which features almost universally in all the different cultural variations, have themselves been studied individually to have powerful cardiovascular benefits. Turmeric extract, for instance, was found to confer health benefits to the cardiovascular system as powerful as exercise. Garlic has been found to clear the arteries of plaque and to have blood-pressure lowering properties in hypertensive patients about as potent as pharmaceutical drugs.  You can learn more by looking at the over 1,000 studies we have indexed on the therapeutic potential of dozens of culinary herbs and spices here.

The beauty, however, is that culinary combinations of herbs often require lower doses than are typically used in the context of traditional herbal medicine. In fact, recent research on the spice rosemary known by poets and herbalists for centuries to be “for remembrance,” shows that lower culinary doses are much more effective than larger ‘pharmacologic’ doses for boosting cognition. Less can be more, and with the possibility of synergistic combinations, even lower amounts are needed to obtain a beneficial effect, especially when the purpose is to prevent disease, rather than just treat it after the fact with an aggressive ’emergency care’ model typical of allopathic approaches. Also, for those who do not like “spicy food,” consider drinking spices like turmeric by preparing beverage called “Turmeric Milk.” Check out this DIY recipe here.

Also, consider that the quality of the spices you consume may make all the difference to your health. It is a underreported fact that many of the spices available on the shelf in the U.S. today are irradiated with massive doses of gamma radiation, in a process euphemistically called “cold-pasteurization.” Read my article on the topic, “The Invisible Nuclear Threat Within Non-Organic Food,” to learn more. Suffice it to say, unless it is certified organic, or wild-harvested, it may actually be harmful to your health.

Finally, another useful culinary hack you can employ to reduce white rice’s potential toxicity is to cook it with coconut. It will significantly reduce both the caloric content and blood-sugar elevating properties of the dish if you do so. Learn more by reading: Coconut Oil May Reduce White Rice Calories 50-60%.

© October 22, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

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7 Simple Ways To Unclog Your Arteries Naturally

heart health

We all want to live a long life, but did you know eating these simple foods has been proven scientifically to prevent and in some cases reverse the #1 cause of death in the modern world?

Statistically, atherosclerosis (the progressive clogging of the arteries) is the #1 killer on the planet.  A complex process, involving autoimmunity, infection, dietary incompatibilities, and many known and unknown factors, it is – despite conventional medical opinion – entirely preventable, and in some cases reversible.

Here is the peer-reviewed, published research proving the fact:

  • B Vitamins – yes, something as simple as adding a source of B-complex to your regimen can prevent the juggernaut of heart disease from taking your life prematurely. A doubled-blind, randomized study, published in 2005, in the journal Atherosclerosis found that a simple intervention using 2.5 mg folic acid, 25 mg Vitamin B6, and 0.5mg Vitamin B12 for 1 year, resulted in significant reductions in arterial thickness (as measured by intima media thickeness).[1] Even niacin[2][3]or folic acid[4][5] alone has been show to have this effect in patients. [Note: Always opt for natural sources of the B-group vitamins, including probiotic supplementation (which produce the entire complement for you), or a whole food extract, versus synthetic or semi-synthetic vitamins which, sadly, predominate on the market today].
  • Garlic – as we have documented extensively previously, garlic can save your life. It has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries, among many other potentially life-saving health benefits.[6]
  • Pomegranate – this super healing fruit has been found to regress plaque buildup in the arteries,[7][8] as well as being demonstrated to provide dozens of validated health benefits, including replacing the function of the mammalian ovary!
  • Fermented CabbageKimchi, a Korean recipe, which includes fermented cabbage, hot pepper, and various other ingredients, including fermented fish, appears to stall the atherosclerotic process in the animal model.[9] Additionally, strains of good bacteria in kimchi have been found capable of degrading toxic chemicals that can additional bodily harm.
  • L-Arginine: This amino acid is capable of preventing arterial thickening – up to 24% reduction! — in the animal model.[10][11]We have done an extensive literature review on arginine supplementation and have found that in over 30 studies demonstrating this fact addition to 150 known health benefits, it is capable of addressing the underlying dysfunction associated with cardiovascular disease: endothelial dysfunction, with no less than 20 studies proving this fact.
  • Turmeric (curcumin): the primary polyphenol in the Indian spice turmeric known as curcumin has been found to be an excellent cardioprotective, with over 30 studies demonstrating this fact. One study found that curcumin prevented damage to the arteries associated with blockage (neointima formation).[12]
  • Sesame Seed: probably one of the most underappreciated super foods on the planet, sesame seed, which we have shown is as effective as Tylenol for arthritic pain, may be an excellent cardioprotective substance, ideally suited for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. One animal study found it was capable of preventing atherosclerosis lesion formation.[13]

This is a small sample of evidence-based natural interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention and/or regression. We have a much larger set of studies on over 200 natural substances capable of reducing the risk of heart attack and related heart disease related conditions.

Remember, heart disease is not a natural process, that we must accept as inevitable based on family history of an outdated gene-based model of human disease risk. Our daily decisions, especially regarding what we decide we are going to eat or do not eat, are first and foremost. We can use food as medicine, sloughing off the pharmaceutical industry meme that we need statins to stave off the ‘inevitable.’ Take back control of your health with nutrition, and realize that food is the only medicine that will both nourish us and heal our bodies in a way that will produce lasting health.

REFERENCES


[1] Uwe Till, Peter Röhl, Almut Jentsch, Heiko Till, Andreas Müller, Klaus Bellstedt, Dietmar Plonné, Horst S Fink, Rüdiger Vollandt, Ulrich Sliwka, Falko H Herrmann, Henning Petermann, Reiner Riezler. Decrease of carotid intima-media thickness in patients at risk to cerebral ischemia after supplementation with folic acid, Vitamins B6 and B12. Atherosclerosis. 2005 Jul;181(1):131-5. Epub 2005 Feb 16. PMID: 15939064

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The post 7 Simple Ways To Unclog Your Arteries Naturally appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


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