Weight Loss Surgery Slashes Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease By 40%

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have found that weight loss surgery in obese individuals dramatically improves several cardiovascular risk factors, reducing the 10-year risk of coronary heart disease by an estimated 40%.

The study, which was published online last month in the American Journal of Cardiology, involved the analysis of 52 studies comprising more than 16,000 patients who had undergone bariatric surgery between 1950 and 2010.


Eating Smaller Meals More Frequently Can Lower Cholesterol

Eating a regular number of “micro-meals” throughout the day rather than one or two large meals can lead to dramatic improvements in cholesterol levels as well as aiding weight loss according to recent research.

One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1992, involved surveying the eating habits of 2034 men and women from Rancho Bernardo, California. The participants were asked about the number of meals and/or snacks they normally ate per day. 9% of participants ate 1-2 meals per day, 72% ate 3 meals per day, and the remaining 19% ate 4 or more meals per day.


Which Meats Have The Lowest Cholesterol Levels?

A leg of hamFor people on a low cholesterol diet, eating meat  can be a tricky issue because virtually all meats have some degree of cholesterol in them. Fortunately there are many meats that are relatively low in cholesterol that can be enjoyed in moderate quantities as part of a balanced diet. The following table shows the cholesterol content of some common meats and meat products listed from highest to lowest cholesterol levels.


Switching To Rye Bread May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

A loaf of rye breadTwo recent studies have found that consuming rye bread, rather than wheat based bread, may reduce cholesterol levels by more than 10%. Rye bread is a popular food item in Germany and eastern European countries such as Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine. It is also widely available in the United States and tends to be darker, slightly denser, and with a stronger flavour than the more common wheat based breads.


Vitamin E Inhibitis Atherosclerosis By Reducing LDL Oxidation

High levels of LDL cholesterol have long been considered to be a major risk factor for heart disease. Many scientists now believe that it is not the LDL cholesterol itself that causes heart disease but the oxidation of the LDL molecule that causes the most damage to arteries. Oxidized LDL molecules are extremely reactive and once deposited in the arteries react strongly with substances in the lining of the arterial wall leading to tissue damage and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.


Baked Beans Lower Cholesterol, Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Some baked beansAt just a dollar a can, baked beans are a quick, inexpensive choice when you’re stuck for meal ideas, however there is also evidence that baked beans can lower cholesterol and reduce your overall risk of heart disease.

A study, published in 1990 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved the study of 24 men with an average age of 58 who all  suffered from high cholesterol levels. The men had their cholesterol levels and body weight measured at the beginning of the study and were then put on one of three diets for 21 days.


Diet Changes As Good As Statins For Cholesterol Reduction

A combination of cholesterol lowering foods can achieve similar cholesterol lowering results to statins according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005.

The research, conducted by Canadian scientists, involved the comparison of a diet rich in foods known to reduce cholesterol with a popular statin known as lovastatin.


High Cholesterol Levels Double Lifetime Heart Disease Risk

A study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2004 has found that high total cholesterol levels can double an individuals remaining lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease.

The researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) to determine how total cholesterol levels influence overall heart disease risk. More than 7,000 men and women were studied of which 1,120 developed coronary heart disease during the 25 year study period.


Which Types Of Fat Are Bad For The Heart?

Many people believe that diets high in fat will lead to a greater risk of heart disease in later life however this is not necessarily the case. Countries such as Spain, Greece, Italy, and France all have remarkably low rates of heart disease while consume a Mediterranean style diet that is relatively high in fat.

Recent scientific studies point instead to two specific types of fat, trans fats and saturated fats, which are thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Consumption Of Soy Protein May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

Soy beansDiets high in soy may reduce the incidence of heart disease according to recent studies. One such study, published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002, looked at 64,915 women from Shanghai, China, in order to determine the effects of soy food consumption on the risk of coronary heart disease.

Over an average follow up period of 2.5 years, 62 new cases of coronary heart disease were documented. The researchers found that women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake were 75% less likely to develop coronary heart disease over the study period compared to women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake.


500mg Of Vitamin C A Day Reduces LDL Cholesterol Levels

An orangeA study published this month in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine has found that high doses of vitamin C can reduce an individuals LDL cholesterol levels and subsequently lower their risk of heart disease.

The research, conducted by Marc McRae of the National University of Health Sciences in Illinois, involved the analysis of results from 13 previous trials on the effect of vitamin C on cholesterol levels. The minimum dosage of vitamin C taken across the studies was 500mg/day for a period of between 3 and 24 weeks.


Smoking Dramatically Increases The Risk Of Heart Problems

A number of cigarettesWhile most people know that cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer cancer, what many people don’t know is that most premature deaths due to smoking are actually due to coronary heart disease rather than lung cancer. It is estimated that 20% of all deaths from heart disease are attributable to cigarette smoking.

Smoking has many effects on the body that lead to increased coronary heart disease risk. First, toxic substances in cigarettes such as carbon-monoxide, nicotine, and aromatic hydrocarbons lead to inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels in the body.


Lack Of Exercise In Childhood Leads To Metabolic Syndrome

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Northern Carolina and published in the journal Dynamic Medicine, has found that young adults with metabolic syndrome are much more likely to have had been physically inactive and had poor aerobic fitness levels as children.

The data from the study came from children aged 7-10 years who were part of the Cardiovascular Health in Children and Youth Study, a follow up of the participants was conducted 7 years later when the individuals were aged between 14 and 17 years.


Pectin, Found In Apples & Grapefruit, Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Apple on treeHigh levels of LDL cholesterol and a high ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol are both considered to be strong risk factors for heart disease. Several studies have found that pectin, a complex carbohydrate found in many fruits, can lower LDL cholesterol levels and therefore improve heart health.

In 1987, a group of scientists at the University of Florida studied the effects of pectin on serum cholesterol levels in a group of 27 individuals who were at a moderate to high risk of heart disease.


Cholesterol And Coronary Heart Disease – The Facts

Cholesterol is a lipid that can be both manufactured by the body and ingested in food. Cholesterol plays an important role in the body however excessive cholesterol levels can lead to health problems later in life.

It should be noted that dietary cholesterol is not the same as cholesterol found in the blood (serum cholesterol) and that dietary cholesterol often has little impact on the levels of cholesterol in the blood compared to other factors such as saturated fat intake and exercise.


Moderate Alcohol Consumption Helps Prevent Ischemic Heart Disease

A pint of beerPeople who consume two alcoholic drinks a day may be as much as 30% less likely to die from heart disease compared to non-drinkers according to a recent Danish study published in the European Heart Journal.

The study included 11,914 men and women from the Copenhagen Heart Study and spanned a period of almost 20 years. Researchers tracked participants leisure time, physical activity levels, and weekly consumption of alcohol in order to determine the effects of physical activity and exercise on ischemic heart disease.


Fine Particles In Air Pollution Lead To Heart Problems

Factories emitting pollutionA recent American study published in the Journal of Circulation Research has suggested that very fine particles emitted from vehicles triggers an inflammatory response in the arteries which in turn leads to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The five week study involved exposing mice to ultra-fine particles sourced from a Los Angeles freeway. These mice experienced a 55% increase in the formation of atherosclerotic lesions when compared to mice breathing filtered air free of the particles.