Archive for the ‘Fiber’ Category

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Fiber Intake Shown to Lower Heart Disease Risk in Middle Age

July 21, 2011
Young and Middle Age Adults Need a Minimum of 25 Grams of Fiber Each Day

Young and Middle Age Adults Need a Minimum of 25 Grams of Fiber Each Day

Nutrition researchers from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago report that a diet naturally high in fiber provides critical protection from heart disease in a study of adults aged 20 to 59 years. Results presented to the American Heart Association`s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions draws the direct correlation between fiber consumption and heart disease risk.

This is the first study to establish the connection between dietary fiber and lifetime cardiovascular disease risk in adults up to age 59. High-fiber diets have long been associated with weight loss, reduced cholesterol levels and improved hypertension. Experts now recommend a minimum of 25 grams of fiber each day to dramatically lower heart disease risk.

Those with the Highest Fiber Intake Show Maximum Protection from Heart Disease

Apples are and Excellent Fiber Source Shown to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Apples are and Excellent Fiber Source Shown to Lower Heart Disease Risk

The study consisted of an analysis of questionnaires compiled as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by lead author Dr. Hongyan Ning. A nationally diverse group of 11,000 adults were questioned for factors including diet, blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking status and history of diabetes and then used to formulate a lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease. Body weight, cholesterol and hypertension are considered to be primary determinants of long-term risk for heart disease, and combined can be used to provide an accurate risk assessment.

Dr. Ning found the results to be quite amazing, and noted that “younger (20 to 39 years) and middle-aged (40 to 59 years) adults with the highest fiber intake, compared to those with the lowest fiber intake, showed a statistically significant lower lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.” In this study, 25 grams or more fiber each day was found to provide the most protection against heart disease. Processed foods, even if promoted as high-fiber were determined to be high in sodium and calories and did not provide the same degree of protection when compared to fiber obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fiber Consumption Found to be More Important during Early Years

High Fiber Diet More Important for Younger and Middle Aged Adults

High Fiber Diet More Important for Younger and Middle Aged Adults

Interestingly, the study found that fiber consumption did not affect the long-term risk of heart disease among the senior group aged 60 to 79 years. Researchers believe that the beneficial effects of a high-fiber diet may require a long time to achieve, and older adults may have already developed advanced disease risk factors requiring more intense natural interventions (vitamin D and omega-3 fat optimization) to correct.

Dr. Ning said “As for young and middle-aged adults, now is the time to start making fiber a big part of your daily diet.” She concluded “the study suggests that starting a high-fiber diet now may help improve your long-term risk.” Some research has indicated that optimal disease risk reduction is attained with a daily fiber intake between 40 and 50 grams. It`s important to ensure that the fiber in your diet comes mostly from raw vegetables, nuts and seeds (including flaxseeds, almonds and walnuts) with minimal amounts from fruit and whole grains to maximize your protection against cardiovascular disease.

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Fish Oil Component DHA Lowers Heart Disease and Stroke Risk

July 1, 2011
DHA From Fish Oil Lowers Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

DHA From Fish Oil Lowers Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

As the population of American baby boomers continues to swell, age related afflictions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and complications such as blindness are growing at a similar pace. The number of people aged 65 or older will double over the next 20 years creating an epidemic of chronic conditions that perpetuate with age.

According to the result of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a diet supplemented with the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) can significantly lower the risk of sudden cardiac death, heart disease and visual degeneration leading to blindness.

Omega-3 Fats Provide Critical Protection Against Heart Attack

DHA Boosts Energy Production in Heart Muscle Cells

DHA Boosts Energy Production in Heart Muscle Cells

Many scientific studies have proven the importance of Omega-3 fish oils in the prevention of cardiac disorders and specifically lowering the risk of sudden death from a heart attack. Research conducted by the Division of Cardiology and Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland found that the DHA fraction of fish oil dramatically alters the mitochondria in the heart muscle increasing healthy heart energy production. Researchers found that DHA activates the gene PPAR to help prevent the increasing incidence of heart failure and risk from a deadly heart attack.

Another key component in the progression of cardiovascular disease is systemic inflammation that leads to unstable plaque known to rupture and cause a heart attack. Further evidence of the importance of DHA in lowering heart diseases risk is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Researchers found that DHA influences the action of immune system macrophages. Working at the genetic level, DHA is shown to control the release of cellular antioxidants that inhibit the damage caused by excessive and chronic inflammation to the coronary arteries.

DHA Fat Dramatically Lowers Risk of a Fatal Stroke

DHA Stabilizes Plaque and Lowers Stroke Risk

DHA Stabilizes Plaque and Lowers Stroke Risk

DHA is an important tool in the prevention of stroke. Many of the mechanisms that increase incidence of a heart attack also contribute to stroke risk. DHA becomes incorporated into the cell wall structure where it stabilizes existing plaque, making it less likely to break off and cause a stroke. DHA has been shown to help blood flow easier, lower the risk for clotting and reduce blood pressure. High levels of DHA can prevent hardening and thickening of the arteries that result in vascular decay.

The journal Science Translational Medicine reports the result of research that demonstrates how DHA regulated genes that can prevent blindness. DHA is highly concentrated in the retina and can control the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye that cause visual degradation. By halting unnecessary growth, DHA regulates vessel formation so that healthy blood vessels form and undesirable ones do not.

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout are ideal sources of Omega-3 fats including the DHA fraction. Due to the ever-increasing problem of mercury contamination in fish, supplementation is well advised. Nutrition experts recommend a molecularly distilled, dosage-controlled supplement that supplies 250 to 500 mg of DHA (not EPA and DHA combined, read labels carefully) daily to dramatically lower the risks from heart disease, heart attack, stroke and blindness.

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High Fiber Diet Lowers Heart Disease Risk

June 10, 2011
Dietary Fiber Shown to Reduce Chronic Disease Risk

Dietary Fiber Shown to Reduce Chronic Disease Risk

We’ve been told that a diet high in fiber is good for our health as it improves digestion and lowers biomarkers associated with chronic disease. Researchers publishing in the Archives of Internal Medicine provide important evidence to show that a high daily intake of fiber can lower the incidence of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases as well as reduce the risk of death from all-causes.

Fiber is the inedible part of plants and whole grains that has been shown to lower the risk from certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and assist with weight management. Fiber helps to control blood glucose as it is slowly broken down through digestion and also improves healthy cholesterol metabolism. Prior research indicates that it can also lower blood pressure, reduce systemic inflammation and bind with potential carcinogens for removal from the body.

High Fiber Intake Linked to Lower Disease Risk

Nuts are a Perfect Source of Healthy Fiber

Nuts are a Perfect Source of Healthy Fiber

The research consisted of nearly 400,000 men and women taking part in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study over a period of nine years. Participants answered a food questionnaire at the beginning of the study and cause of death was determined by linking personal records to national registries to establish dietary fiber intake over the period.

Researchers found that fiber intake ranged from 13 to 29 grams per day for men and 11 to 26 grams for women. Over the nine year course of the study nearly 32,000 participants died. When the average amount of fiber consumed daily was analyzed by the researchers, they found a significantly decreased risk of death for those with the highest fiber consumption.

High Fiber Diet Shown to Lower Heart Disease Incidence by up to 59%

High Fiber Diet Can Lower Heart Disease Risk by 59%

High Fiber Diet Can Lower Heart Disease Risk by 59%

For men and women in the top fifth percentile of fiber consumption(29.4 grams per day for men and 25.8 grams for women), the all-cause risk of death decreased by 22% over those in the lowest dietary fiber group (12.6 grams per day for men and 10.8 grams for women). When breaking the statistics down by specific chronic conditions, risk of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases was reduced by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and 34 percent to 59 percent in women with the highest fiber intakes.

Based on the results of this study, researchers recommend a daily fiber intake of 14 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains were found to provide optimal disease protection, while fruit consumption was not found to lower the risk of total, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory disease deaths. Individuals looking to lower their disease risk profile will want to target 30 grams of fiber each day for optimal health.