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HEART DISEASE

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HEART DISEASE

Post by pmmutiti on Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:46 pm

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in western society. For men, the risk of heart attack begins very young and remains fairly constant throughout life while the female incidence of heart disease begins to equal and surpass that of men as women reach menopause.
Studies indicate that omega 3 can reduce the chance of a primary cardiac arrest by 70% and a second arrest by 30% This results primarily from the fact that omega 3 facilitates the maintenance of the walls of the blood vessels, making them smoother and more elastic, thus reducing vessel blockages which are often the cause of heart problems.

Omega 3 also tends to retard the rate of the blood clotting, by reducing the "stickiness" of platelets. Heart muscle damage may still take place from a temporary stoppage of an artery, and omega 3 PUFA’s prevent this damage from interfering with heartbeats.

Studies further indicate that omega 3 helps reduce a person’s blood pressure, which is becoming a chronic problem in an aging population.
Cardiovascular Disorders

The International Atherosclerosis Project (1992)

Since 1990, researchers from the Louisiana State University have analyzed the coronary arteries of 23,000 deceased persons from 16 countries. The interim results reveal that the Greenlanders have the lowest rate of atherosclerosis among all those tested. Some of the fascinating early results are as follow:

The Inuit who ate a modern diet had the same rate of this disease as ordinary Europeans and therefore the results were not based on heredity.
The Inuit who lived on a traditional diet of marine mammals (mainly seal) had, at the age of seventy, the same coronary artery elasticity as a 20 year old European.
Some European countries may eat more fish than is found in the traditional Greenland diet, but have a far higher incidence of atherosclerosis and, in general, higher levels of cholesterol.

At the National Hospital in Nuuk, a person with very high cholesterol was given various diets and medicines without major impact. When he was placed on a traditional Greenland diet (mostly of seal), his cholesterol level fell dramatically in one month.


The Orsoq Study

Dr. E. Jorgenson of the Center of Arctic Environmental Medicine in Denmark recently presented the initial results of the Orsoq Seal Research Project, a pilot study on the effect of seal oil on human health These preliminary findings indicate that the general population of Denmark, fed on a modern diet, was ten times more likely to develop cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases that Greenlanders on their traditional diet of seal, a food high in omega 3 "Inuit Whaling", Inuit Circumpolar Conference, June 1992, special issue. Gerth Mulved and Henning Sloth Pederson, Doctors of Medicine Dronning Ingrids Hospital.

Numerous studies show that increased long term intake of marine oils, rich in EPA and DHA, reduces the morbidy and mortality associated with cardiovascular disorders in middle-aged men. Conflicting data exist as to whether it is EPA or DHA, or the combination which is responsible for the various beneficial effects. in any event, it is known that there may be limits to the elongation and desaturation of EPA to DHA, whereas the retroconversion of DHA to EPA occurs.
-Harris et al., Grimsgaard et al., 1995

It is generally agreed that omega-3 fatty acids moderate hyperlipidemia, particularly hypertriglyceridemia, very rapidly in a dose dependent manner. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood by a reduced synthesis and secretion of VLDL particles from the liver and enhances the in vivo liposysis of the VLDL-particles. An improved balance between LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol is also normally found, whereas the effect on total cholesterol is marginal. A large number of studies report such findings.

Omega-3 fatty acids influence on platelet aggregability at rather low doses (50-350mg), whereas significant effects on blood lipids and blood pressure can be achieved at higher doses (2 g/day).
-Christensen et al, 1995

Recent data (from a parallel group study) show that 3 g pure DHA (95% DHA, ethyl ester) produce a 30-40% greater reduction in triglyceride levels in plasma than a corresponding amount of EPA (90% EPA, ethyl ester). DHA also seems to have a more marked effect on increasing HDL-cholesterol, whereas EPA was found to slightly decrease both total cholesterol and APO-1 in normal subjects (Grimsgaard et al, 1995). This study suggests that DHA might be more beneficial than EPA in terms of effects on blood lipids. Others have reported that DHA-rich oils (4 g/day, 42% DHA) are less active than EPA-rich oils and fish diet on both fasting and postpprandial triglyceride levels.
-Agren, 1995

A positive correlation has been observed between supplementation with EPA and DHA (85% ethyl ester) and improvements in blood pressure and heart rate in subjects suffering from mild hypertension. Recently published studies showed that DHA (EE), not EPA (EE), lowered the heart rate in healthy humans.
-Bönaa el al, 1995

Even short time supplementation with large amounts (19g/day) of a combination of EPA and DHA (as ethyl esters) has shown to have long-lasting effects on the human platelet aggregation, an effect suggested by inhibition on TXA2/PGH2 receptor by EPA and/or DHA-sensitive mechanisms.
-Di Minno et al, 1995

Studies on cardiac arrhythmias do not give any clear evidence on the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids. However, a trend towards reduction in ventricular extracystoles in patients with ventricular tachyarrhythmias has been observed after supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (Christiansen et al, 1995). Animal studies show that DHA may inhibit ventricular tachyarrhytmias more significantly than EPA (Leaf, 1995), and also increases the cardiac contractability.
-Grynberg et al, 1995

Recent data also show that DHA has more pronounced inhibitory effect on the expression of cytokines in endothelial cells, which clearly downregulate the inflammatory process and may inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis.
-DeCaterina & Libby, 1995

Epidemiological and clinical research have shown that omega-3 fatty acids intervene in the atherosclerotic process at all steps, and that there probably are synergistic effects of EPA and DHA at many levels.
-Argen,1995[b]


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Peter Mwaura Mutiti : Teaching old blood cells new tricks:
When you hear someone mention circulation you probably think of the heart and major arteries—and for good reason. Circulatory disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

But there’s more to it than that. With all the attention on the heart and arteries, it’s easy to overlook serious health problems affecting the smallest components of the circulatory system—microscopic blood vessels called microcapillaries, where the critical exchange of oxygen and nutrients actually takes place. If blood isn’t flowing through this web properly, it can trigger all sorts of health problems, many of which may not seem related to circulation at all.

A number of factors contribute to poor circulation as we age. Arteries and veins become stiff and congested as cholesterol and calcium plaques accumulate and restrict blood flow. Spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the circulatory arteries and veins can also choke off circulation. These same processes also occur in our microcapillaries, reducing microcirculation and impairing the critical exchange of nutrients and gases in tissues and major organs.

This problem only gets worse as we get older because of changes in the composition and structure of blood cells. As you reach middle age, the blood starts to thicken and congeal as platelets and blood proteins make cells sticky. Plus, the spleen—the organ that removes old, damaged blood cells from circulation—begins to slow down with age, which means new, healthy blood cells are replaced at a sharply reduced rate. And to make matters even worse, as blood cells age, they become stiff and no longer appear round and evenly shaped. This makes it harder for them to pass smoothly through the capillaries. In fact, the angular, jagged shape of the old cells can damage the fragile microcapillaries even further.

Eventually, these age-related changes take their toll on the microcapillaries, reducing circulation to the tissues and blocking the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Removal of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste products is also hindered. This leads to a slow buildup of metabolic garbage that can gradually bury the cells in their own waste products. In time, the cells, poisoned by their own metabolic byproducts, begin to waste away and ultimately cease to function altogether.

The combined effect of poor circulation and old blood contributes to a host of symptoms, including deep fatigue, fuzzy thinking, frequent infections, and lowered sex drive—all conditions usually considered just “normal parts of aging.”

If circulation doesn’t improve, it can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. But giving your body a fresh supply of healthy blood may target all of these problems and more.
Ann Njoki : Forum assistant
Registration date : 2008-01-10

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