Curcumin Helps Enhance Cardio Protective Effect

Curcumin has been used as a medicinal healing agent for more than 5,000 years. This compound is deeply rooted in Ayurveda and has been used in poultices even before it became a popular ingredient in supplements.

The orange-yellow pigment of turmeric comes from the compound curcumin. There are plenty of other compounds in turmeric but none as important as this one. Typically found in warmer regions such as Southeast Asia, China, and India, this compound is also used in foods, especially curries.

Curcumin offers plenty of health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, boosting immunity, cleansing the liver and more. However, one benefit that puts this compound in high regard is heart health. Let’s have a look at the cardioprotective effects of these benefits:

Prevents Inflammation

Atherosclerosis is a heart disease that prevents the blood vessels and arteries from carrying oxygen to the heart. As plaque builds up in the arteries, it hardens and narrows the passageway, which is what causes a stroke. The low supply of blood and oxygen can also cause a clot, which leads to a heart attack. Since the connection is quite intricate, anything can happen.

Chronic inflammation causes pathogens, such as bacteria, to take over the body. When the nutrients you consume don’t reach the organs, bacteria prevents them from functioning properly. This is where curcumin comes in. According to a study published in the journal of Nature, atherosclerosis is responsible for most types of strokes. Inflammation plays a huge roll in malfunctioning inflammatory mediators. The study revealed that lipid-lowering therapies might be the answer to prevent blockage of arteries.

According to another study published in the Nutritional Journal, curcumin helps CVD patients in improving their serum lipid levels. The study concluded that curcumin has the potential to replace conventional CVD drugs.

Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in the world. A study published in the International Journal of Cardiology revealed that curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, cardiovascular protective and anti-thrombotic effects. The results revealed that all these effects offer numerous benefits such as easing cardio-toxicity, preventing diabetic cardiovascular problems, decreasing serum cholesterol level and preventing atrial arrhythmias.

Another study published in the American Journal of Cardiology reported that curcumin can help lower the risk of a heart attack in a short time. The study involved 121 people who were about to have a coronary artery bypass surgery. Some of the people were given 4 grams curcumin and others a placebo for a few days before their surgery. The results revealed that the risk of a heart attack had decreased by 65% in the curcumin group.

These studies show that curcumin is the ultimate compound that offers cardioprotective effects. So, better stock up your pantry with turmeric and try out new recipes with it or if you are looking for an easy option then go for the supplements.

CoQ10 – Protective Effects After a Heart Attack

Did you know that strokes and heart attacks are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide? From obesity to high cholesterol, diabetes and many other problems contribute to heart disease. Today, maintaining a healthy diet is not enough to prevent yourself from falling prey to this ailment. Exercising and taking supplements are important too!

According to a study published in the Frontiers of Bioscience, people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or brains disorder have low levels of CoQ10.

One supplement that shows immense promise in the world of medicine is the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This coenzyme helps in mitochondrial energy production and preserving membrane integrity. In simple words: CoQ10 is an antioxidant, which is produced naturally in your body. This coenzyme is used by the body for maintenance and growth. As you age, the level of CoQ10 falls in your body. Other than that, people who have heart problems also have a short supply of this coenzyme.

CoQ10 can be consumed through wholegrain, meat, and fish. However, due to our body’s changing needs and growth, these food sources may be insufficient. This is where supplements come in. CoQ10 is available in tablets, capsules, and intravenous solutions. Along with treating heart conditions, CoQ10 supplement also treats migraines and alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What Causes CoQ10 Deficiency?

  • Statin treatment side-effects
  • Nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B6
  • Mitochondrial diseases
  • Genetic defects in the synthesis of CoQ10
  • Oxidative stress caused by aging
  • Increased demands by body tissues

Effects of CoQ10 on Your Heart

Heart failure is caused by many health issues like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, etc. These conditions cause inflammation of arteries and veins and oxidative damage that reduce the level of CoQ10 in your body. After a heart attack, the damage caused to your heart prevents it from contracting regularly and, as a result, less blood is pumped through the body.

Statins and other heart failure treatments often cause undesirable side effects that can further lower the level of CoQ10 in your body.

So you get the idea how CoQ10 supplements can restore your energy levels.

It Lowers the Mortality Rate in Heart Failure Patients

According to a study published in the journal of JACC: Heart Failure, CoQ10 can reduce the risk of death in heart patients.

420 heart failure patients took part in a 2-year study. The participants were divided into two sets: the first set was given 100mg of CoQ10 three times a day, and the other set was given a placebo. Along with the CoQ10 supplement, they were also given standard therapy.

Tests were done in 2 batches: after 16 weeks and after 2 years. The results showed that CoQ10 and standard therapy worked better in the long run. The researchers reached the conclusion that CoQ10 is not only a safer drug option for heart failure patients, but it also reduces adverse cardiovascular events and improves symptoms.

Lowers the Frequency of Hospitalization

Another study published on the effects of CoQ10 on heart problems in the journal of Clinical Investigation came to the conclusion that heart failure patients who take CoQ10 supplements regularly are less likely to get hospitalized. The research revealed that people who took this supplement had less serious complications and weren’t subjected to any problems that worsened their heart failure.

The bottom line is that CoQ10 restores the energy that your heart loses after a heart attack. Along with eating CoQ10-rich foods, you should also think about taking supplements to boost your heart health.

Folate Has Demonstrated Lowering Homocysteine Levels

Folate was previously referred to as folacin. It is a generic term for both naturally occurring folate found in food as well as for folic acid, which is a completely oxidized form of monoglutamate used as a component for dietary supplements and fortified foods.

What is Folate?

Folate is actually a type of B vitamin, which is an essential component for cell growth, development and metabolism. Folate, also known as vitamin B9, can be administered either orally or via IV and is often recommended for daily consumption. The suggested daily intake for adults (in the U.S.) is 400 micrograms (sourced from dietary supplements, multivitamins, and foods).

Benefits of Folate

Folate has countless different health effects and benefits. The vitamin has also been known to cure the anemia caused as a result of folic acid deficiency. Other benefits include being used as a dietary supplement by pregnant women to minimize the developmental risks of neural tube defects (NTDs) in the fetus. Prolonged supplementation of fortified foods not only reduces the threats of strokes, but also causes a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.  

What is Homocysteine?

Homocysteine is a identified as a non-proteinogenic α-amino acid and is essentially a homologue of the amino acid cysteine, only set apart by the characteristic additional methylene bridge (-CH2-). Homocysteine is biosynthesized from methionine after the removal of its terminal Cε methyl group. It can be either recycled into methionine or converted into cysteine after associating it with a few certain B-vitamins.

High levels of Homocystein are regarded as the root cause of a number of cardiovascular diseases. Since folate can help reduce levels of homocycteine, it is often prescribed as a dietery supplement .

A high level of homocysteine in the blood can lead to hyper-homocysteinemia, making the patient more susceptible to endothelial cell injury. This could also subsequently lead to inflammation in the blood vessels, which in turn may cause atherogenesis. This is how increased levels of homocysteine in the blood can lead to Hyperhomocysteinemia, which can then act as a potential risk factor for coronary artery disease.

Effects of Folate on Homocysteine

Folate is recommended to mitigate the risks of the injuries and diseases mentioned above. Taking folic acid for a prolonged period of time has demonstrated a significant lowering of homocycteines and shown visible signs of reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease by 4%. A number of other scientific reports and studies presented preliminary evidence regarding how folate-rich diets were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing homocysteines blood levels.

Vitamin K Shows Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Vitamin K for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (Review) by Hartley L, Clar C, Ghannam O, Flowers N, Stranges S, Rees K.

“A deficiency in vitamin K has been associated with increased calcium deposition and coronary artery calcification, which may lead to cardiovascular disease.”

Vitamin K is a group of beneficial, fat-soluble vitamins that aid in regulating calcium in the blood, bone metabolism, and blood clotting. This vitamin is essential for producing prothrombin, a protein that is important for the functions mentioned above.

A deficiency of vitamin K can lead to an increase in blood clotting, which can cause excessive bleeding and hemorrhage. The vitamin K group contains two types of vitamins: K1 and K2. The former vitamin is the important one and is mostly found in leafy green vegetables, while the latter is found in animal products and fermented food.

Vitamin K1 Food Sources

  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

Vitamin K2 Food Sources

  • Natto
  • Soft cheese
  • Pork sausages
  • Hard cheese
  • Chicken (especially the leg and thigh)
  • Pork chop (with the bone)
  • Egg yolk

In order to know which vitamin K reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, you need to know the difference between the two vitamins.

Differences Between Vitamin K1 and K2

As mentioned earlier, the production of prothrombin is how vitamin K boosts the body’s blood clotting process and other functions. However, vitamins K1 and K2 are absorbed and transported differently in the body, which means they benefit the body differently too.

Vitamin K1 is absorbed poorly by the body because it’s plant-based. In fact, less than 10% K1 is absorbed by the body. On the other hand, K2 is found in fatty foods, which means its absorption rate is much better. By eating healthy food, vitamin K is better absorbed, which is why K2 circulates longer in the blood. It can remain in the body for days, which is why it is better used by the tissues. On the other hand, K1 is used by the liver.

Vitamin K and Cardiovascular Disease

Calcium deposits can lead to heart problems. The activation of a protein by vitamin K in the body can prevent calcium deposits from blocking the arteries. Since calcium leads to the buildup of plaque, a deficiency in vitamin K can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Since K2 remains longer in the body, it is better at protecting the heart. According to a study published in the journal of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases (NMCD), vitamin K2 is good at lowering the risk associated with coronary heart disease. Another study published in the journal Atherosclerosis looked at 564 post-menopausal women who were given phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinone (vitamin K2). The results showed that K2 worked significantly better than K1 in reducing coronary calcification.

This brings us to the conclusion that vitamin K2 works better at protecting the heart from calcium deposits.

3 Ways to Boost Your Vascular Health

The circulatory or vascular system is made up of veins and arteries that transport blood around the body. When a person gets older, the cumulative effect of cholesterol and plaque take a toll on their blood vessels, causing them to become narrower and stiffer. This restricts blood flow, leading to vascular disease such as aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or hardening of the arteries due to buildup of blood clots in the vein. Poor blood flow results in cramps, pain, stroke, heart attack, and in worse case scenarios, even loss of a limb.

Given the vascular system’s important role in the body, it is important to cultivate habits that can prevent or at least slow down the progression of vascular disease. These habits include the following:

  • Eating a low fat, healthy diet
  • Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol
  • Not being overweight
  • Keeping blood pressure at normal levels
  • Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle by exercising regularly
  • No smoking at all

Besides the above, researchers have found therapeutic benefits in sweet onion peel, pomegranate, and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

1) Sweet Onion Peel

Onions are widely popular around the world because of their role in cuisine. Not as popular are the anti-clotting properties of these sulfur rich compounds. Experts recommend to remove as little of the outer skin of an onion as possible to prevent. This is to minimize damage to the outer layer, which is thought to be the most nutritious component, having the highest amounts of flavonoids.

Even a minute amount of overpeeling can cause a large percentage, as much as 75 percent anthocyanins and 20 percent quercetin, to be lost as a result. Some people chop onions hurriedly in order to avoid ‘crying’, due to the release of lachrymatory factor (LF), a gas responsible for tearing up. A good habit is to refrigerate onions in order to minimize the production of LF. This way, you can take your time to chop onions and preserve as much of the outer layer as possible.

2) Pomegranate

Studies have shown that pomegranate juice can prevent the hardening of arteries. Researchers have discovered that the antioxidant properties reverse damage done to blood vessels due to atherosclerosis, a term used to describe the hardening of the arteries. This shows that pomegranate juice helps with the treatment of cardiovascular disease and prevents the factors that lead up to it entirely.

The antioxidant properties of pomegranate are higher than other fruit juices including orange, cranberry, red wine, and even blueberry.

Aside from its beneficial effect on vascular health, pomegranate juice is a natural ACE inhibitor, which reduces blood pressure.   A placebo controlled study in 19 patients found that as little 2 ounces or less of pomegranate juice reduced blood pressure by over 12 percent after 12 months, and 16 percent in 36 months.

3) Superoxide Dismutase

Superoxide dismutase (SOD) plays a pivotal role in the body’s defense against various pathological and physiological conditions such as diabetes, aging, and vascular diseases. SOD regulates the vascular levels of the superoxide anion O(2)(*-), making it clear that it can prevent cardiovascular diseases. The body cannot absorb SOD from fruits directly, but the consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in SOD and vitamin C can speed up the production of SOD.

Preserving Your Heart – How Healthy Aging Affects Your Ticker

Has you ticker been lately creating some trouble for you? It’s time to take it easy on those beer bottles and frozen dinners. The things you enjoy the most might be causing a lot of trouble for your heart, which you will experience as you age.

So, attention to-be senior citizens! You better start making some changes in your lifestyle. Otherwise, you might not age gracefully.

So, how does aging affect your heart health?

When you reach the age of 65, your heart beats slower. If you try to do any strenuous activity that your personal strength cannot keep up with, it takes a toll on your heart muscles. Perhaps the two most harmful factors that destroy your heart health beyond repair are weight gain and diabetes.

These cause fatty deposits and plaque buildup that block the arteries. This prevents the heart from pumping blood efficiently to the heart and other parts of the body, which causes a stroke.

Effect of Changes

  • Emotional stress
  • Certain medicines
  • Physical exertion
  • Injuries
  • Illness
  • Infections

Common Aging Problems

  • Arrhythmias: abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Angina:when flow of blood to the heart experiences a decrease, chest pain and shortness of breath is felt, which may be an indication of heart disease.
  • Anemia:might be caused due to chronic infections, malnutrition and blood loss from complications involving the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Arteriosclerosis: when fatty plaque gets deposited in the blood vessels, the arteries harden and narrow down the channel, eventually blocking it.

While exercise and regular heart checkups can keep you on track, you still need to monitor a many things in your lifestyle that might lead to heart issues as you age.

Following are a few tips to maintaining your heart health as you reach your late 50s:

Stay Active

Exercise allows you to manage your blood pressure, weight, stress and heart performance. An exercise routine will help your heart to effectively pump oxygen rich blood to other parts of the body, which will prevent any kind of stiffness or organs from failing.

Eat Healthy

It goes without saying that if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you adopt a balanced diet. Avoid Trans fats, as well as refined sugar. Limit the amount of saturated fats you take in and start counting your carbs. Include the following four food items in your diet:

  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Berries

Eating healthy will not just keep you fit internally as you age but it will also show on your skin. The less fatty food you eat, the less fatty buildup your heart will have.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is what causes atherosclerosis, a heart condition that we explained earlier on in this article. As you age, not only does tobacco affect your lungs but your heart too. The chemical in tobacco attack your blood cells and stop them from doing their function. This causes inflammation, which then forces the artery channel to narrow down, thus causing severe problems that eventually lead to death.

The number one factor that can keep your ticker running is exercise. Its importance cannot be stressed enough! If you are already a patient of musculoskeletal problems, then you need a different exercise regime, one doctored by a specialist.

So, before you reach the point where you can no longer take a long walk because your lungs start feeling heavy and your heart barely pumps its rhythm, better get on the plan of changing your diet. Take it easy on the alcohol and diet coke.

Garlic Extract Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases

Garlic has been used for centuries as a part of our foods. But, do you know that it helps in keeping your heart healthy and free from diseases?

Scientists have been researching on garlic and its effects on heart health since the 1950s. It has shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis, high blood pressure, and elevated levels of cholesterol. For the people who are looking for broad ranged cardiovascular benefits, garlic extract is a must-have in their daily lives, as validated from clinical studies.

Cardio-Protective Effects of Garlic

Garlic is highly rich in unique sulfur compounds that gives it its unique taste, scent, and the beneficial health effects. In a review published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2016, the benefits of garlic for the heart were cited. These included the following:

  • Reduction in systolic blood pressure
  • Reduction in diastolic blood pressure
  • Reduction in total cholesterol
  • Reduction in C-reactive proteins that cause inflammation
  • Improved pulse wave velocity
  • Reduced progression rates of corona artery calcium

Garlic Extract – The Magical Potent Form of Garlic

For the people who are not able to consume a healthy amount of garlic, garlic extract supplements are available in the market. Different forms of garlic are used on the preparation of these extracts and supplements, but the best one that has the most benefits for the heart is the one made from aged garlic. The long-term aging of garlic without heat in diluted alcohol produces S-allyl and S-allylcysteine compounds that have highly effective oxidant reducing qualities. A number of other beneficial compounds are also produced in the aging process of garlic.

The effects of using garlic extract are remarkable. The most compelling effect of using aged garlic extract is its ability of reversing early heart diseases. This is achieved by its ability to strip the artery walls of deadly plaque buildup that is the main cause of many heart diseases. The people taking garlic extract regularly also have a lower rate of accumulation of the total plaque as compared to others.

Inhibits Inflammation

Aged garlic extract is also known to inhibit inflammation that helps prevent heart diseases and the buildup of plaque. The anti-atherosclerotic effects of garlic extract help in preventing heart diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Reduced Cholesterol Levels

High levels of unhealthy cholesterol can create a havoc in your body, especially your heart. With garlic extract taken regularly, the levels of cholesterol are kept under check which keeps your heart active and healthy. It also helps prevent low-grade inflammation that is the main cause of many cardiovascular diseases.

Lower Blood Pressure

Garlic extract has also been found to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range. Aged garlic extract has been found to reduce the systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.1 mmHg.

Conclusion

Garlic has been long known for its cardio-protective qualities. However, the scientific validation of the benefits it has for the heart did not begin until the 1950s. Garlic extract helps prevent your heart against heart disease risk factors and keeps you healthy and active.