Archive for the 'Chronic Diseases' Category

Nov 11 2014

Study finds high protein diets lead to lower blood pressure

(Boston)–Adults who consume a high-protein diet may be at a lower risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP). The study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), found participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g protein/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level.

One of three U.S. adults has hypertension and 78.6 million are clinically obese, a risk factor for the development of hypertension. Because of the strain that it puts on blood vessel walls, HBP is one of the most common risk factors of stroke and an accelerator of multiple forms of heart disease, especially when paired with excess body weight.

The researchers analyzed protein intakes of healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for development of high blood pressure over an 11-year period. They found that adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up. In general, these beneficial effects were evident for both overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) and normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2) individuals. They also found that consuming more dietary protein also was associated with lower long-term risks for HBP. When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40–60 percent reductions in risk of HBP.

“These results provide no evidence to suggest that individuals concerned about the development of HBP should avoid dietary protein. Rather, protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of HBP,” explained corresponding author Lynn Moore, associate professor of medicine at BUSM. “This growing body of research on the vascular benefits of protein, including this study, suggest we need to revisit optimal protein intake for optimal heart health,” she added.

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This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study (NHLBI/NIH Contract N01-HC-25195), the Boston University School of Medicine, and a grant from the American Egg Board/US Department of Agriculture.

Griffin Medical Group

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Jan 20 2009

Turmeric Component Protects Against Toxic Compound Consumed in Many Meals

Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow color, may reduce the damaging effects of acrylamide (AA), a potential carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted, fried or toasted.

Swedish scientists first reported on acrylamide’s widespread presence in the food supply in 2002, when they found unexpectedly high levels of acrylamide in carbohydrate-rich foods. This was of concern since the toxin causes cancer in laboratory rats. Other scientists have found that acrylamide causes DNA to fragment, increases formation of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and triggers the death of liver cells. It is also genotoxic, meaning that it damages a cell’s genetic material affecting the cell’s integrity. Genotoxic substances have the potential to be carcinogens and can cause genetic mutations that lead to the development of tumors.

Due to its antioxidant abilities, researchers studied curcumin’s effects on human liver cells exposed to acrylamide. They found that curcumin significantly reduced the production of reactive oxygen species that occurred in acrylamide-treated cells. Curcumin also inhibited the acrylamide-induced DNA fragments and significantly reduced the acrylamide-triggered cell death, indicating curcumin could ameliorate acrylamide’s known genotoxicity.

The researchers believe that curcumin’s effects are likely due to its antioxidant abilities. They concluded, “Consumption of curcumin may be a plausible way to prevent AA-mediated genotoxicity.”

Reference:

Cao J, Liu Y, Jia L, Jiang LP, Geng CY, Yao XF, Kong Y, Jiang BN, Zhong LF. Curcumin Attenuates Acrylamide-Induced Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity in HepG2 Cells by ROS Scavenging. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 14. Published Online Ahead of Print.

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Jan 20 2009

Grape Seed Extract May Stop Bacteria Involved in Bad Breath and Gum Disease

A new study suggests that grape seed extract may inhibit the bacteria known to cause bad breath and gum disease.

Periodontitis is a gum disease that destroys the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Thirty to 50 percent of the US population suffers from the condition, which is thought to be the second most common disease worldwide.

In an in vitro study, researchers investigated whether grape seed extract could inhibit Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, bacteria responsible for both periodontitis and bad breath. The researchers tested the effects of grape seed extract (97 percent polyphenols) on these two anaerobic bacteria.

The results indicated that grape seed extract exhibited antibacterial activity against the two strains. Moreover, the grape seed extract could penetrate the biofilm that surrounded the bacteria. Biofilms serve to protect bacteria against antimicrobial agents and dental plaque’s biofilm is particularly complex.

Grape seed extract also had an antioxidant activity higher than vitamins C and E, according to measures taken with the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) test. This was important to the findings of the study because gum disease originates due to the bacteria’s presence and its biofilm protection, but the disease progresses because of an excess release of reactive oxygen species that trigger the inflammatory process. Grape seed extract’s antioxidant abilities may quench the free radicals implicated in the progression of gum disease.

The researchers concluded, “These findings indicated that GSE could be used in oral hygiene for the prevention of periodontitis.”

Reference:

Furiga A, Lonvaud-Funel A, Badet C. In vitro study of antioxidant capacity and antibacterial activity on oral anaerobes of a grape seed extract. Food Chemistry. 15 April 2009;113( 4);1037-1040. Available online prior to April publication date.

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Jan 20 2009

Low Antioxidant Levels Linked to Asymptomatic Coronary Artery Disease

Low plasma concentrations of the antioxidant vitamins A and E and the carotenoids beta carotene and lycopene are significantly associated with atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries, a new study has found.

Atherosclerosis remains clinically mute for a long time and frequently manifests itself with an acute cardiovascular event. The possibility of detecting this disease in a subclinical phase and reducing or reversing its progression is therefore an issue of relevance.

Researchers studied 220 consecutive, asymptomatic participants and examined their carotid arteries by ultrasound to determine the thickness of the arteries and whether the arteries had developed pre-atherosclerotic lesions. A medical history also was taken, a physical examination was performed and blood samples were analyzed for concentrations of antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids.

The scientists found that low concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin E, lycopene and beta carotene were significantly associated with carotid atherosclerosis as measured by increased thickness of the carotid arteries. In addition, marginally higher body mass index and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were also associated with carotid atherosclerosis. Other factors considered in the study (total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and C-reactive protein) were not significantly associated with carotid atherosclerosis.

According to the researchers, “Low plasma concentrations of antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, E and beta-carotene) and lycopene were associated with early carotid atherosclerotic lesions as measured by carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Regular intake of foods rich in lycopene and antioxidant vitamins may slow the progression of atherosclerosis.”

Reference:

Riccioni G, Bucciarelli T, D’Orazio N, Palumbo N, di Ilio E, Corradi F, Pennelli A, Bazzano LA. Plasma Antioxidants and Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerotic Disease. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008 Oct 21;53(2):86-90.

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Jun 04 2008

The Deadly Truth About Diabetes


The Thin Man’s Diabetes

America‘s fastest-growing disease has a sugar-coated secret: You don’t need to be overweight for it to kill you

By: Jeff O’Connell

One of my most enduring childhood images is from a newspaper clipping. The grainy photograph freezes a lanky teen named Tom O’Connell launching a hook shot from his right thigh. Tucker, as he was known, led a team from tiny Merchantville High School in scoring and rebounding during an improbable run to the South Jersey Championship. New Jersey had its own version of Hoosiers in 1952, and for that one season, my father was his team’s Jimmy Chitwood.

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