Heart Supplements

Coffee is good for your heart

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries – a heart disease risk factor.

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries - a heart disease risk factor.Researchers studied more than 25,000 male and female employees who underwent routine health checks at their workplace.

Employees who drank a moderate amount of coffee – three to five cups a day – were less likely to have early signs of heart disease on their medical scans.

The findings reopen the debate about whether coffee is good for the heart.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the effect of coffee on heart health- as some studies have linked consumption to heart risk factors, such as raised cholesterol or blood pressure, while others suggest the beverage may offer some heart protection.

But there is no conclusive evidence either way, and the latest research from South Korea, which is published in the journal Heart, only adds to the discussion.

In the study, the researchers used medical scans to assess heart health. Specifically, they were looking for any disease of the arteries supplying the heart – the coronary arteries.

In coronary heart disease, the coronary arteries become clogged by the gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.

The scan the researchers used looks for tiny deposits of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries to provide an early clue that this disease process may be occurring.

None of the employees included in the Korean study had outward signs of heart disease, but more than one in 10 of them were found to have visible calcium deposits on their scans.

The researchers then compared the scan results with the employees’ self-reported daily coffee consumption, while taking into account other potential heart risk factors such as smoking, exercise and family history of heart problems.

People who drank a few cups of coffee a day were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than people who drank more than this or no coffee at all.

The study authors say more research is needed to confirm and explain the link.

Coffee contains the stimulant caffeine, as well as numerous other compounds, but it’s not clear if these might cause good or harm to the body.

So how much caffiene should one drink?

In the US, experts say up to 400mg a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. There is no recommended daily upper limit for caffeine consumption in the UK, except for pregnant women. If you’re pregnant, you should limit the amount of caffeine you have to 200mg a day – equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee.

Caffiene per serving:
  • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
  • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg
  • one mug of tea: 75mg
  • one can of cola: 40mg
  • an espresso contains about 50mg of caffeine However, please note- coffee shop caffeine levels can vary widely.
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Eating grapefruits can trigger drug overdoses in dozens of medicines researchers warn

Millions of people taking medicines for high cholesterol, cancer and to prevent heart attacks are at risk of potentially life threatening side effects if they eat grapefruits, doctors have warned.Eating grapefruits can trigger drug overdoses in dozens of medicines researchers warnA study has listed 43 major drugs which are affected by eating grapefruits or drinking the juice and experts have warned there needs to be more awareness of the risks.

The number of drugs that interact with grapefruit increased from 17 in 2000 to 43 in 2008, researchers in Canada found.

Eating one grapefruit a day or drinking 200ml of juice was enough to trigger significant side effects in some of the patients.

Elderly patients were at particular risk because they are more likely to eat grapefruit and be on the medicines that interact with it, while their bodies are less able to cope with the effects of an overdose, the researchers said.

Grapefruits and some other citrus fruits, contain specific chemicals that affects an enzyme in the gut which can lead to a greater proportion of the drug being absorbed into the body.

This can result in massive overdoses causing serious side effects ranging from hallucinations, low blood pressure, to kidney poisoning, muscle damage, high heart rate and breathing problems.

The findings were published Grapefruit-medication interactions: Forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences? in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Some people have died following the interaction and experts said doctors and pharmacists needed to be more aware of the problem.

The study, conducted by Dr David Bailey, of the Lawson Health Research Institute, in London, Ontario, listed several examples of interactions including one patient who suffered a potentially life threatening increase in heart rate while on the heart disease drug aimodarone and drinking between one and 1.5 litres of grapefruit juice a day.

Another one atorvastatin for high cholesterol suffered serious muscle damage after drinking freshly squeezed grapefruit juice daily for five days and one who developed a blood clot while on Ethinylestradiol, a form of hormone replacement therapy for menopause symptoms who had eaten a whole grapefruit at breakfast for three days.

Popular drugs affected in this way include simvastatin, taken for high cholesterol, clopidogrel to thin the blood, Tyverb for breast cancer, domperidone for sickness and powerful painkillers Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Ketamine.

One drug, dextromethorphan, is an anti-cough preparation used in over-the-counter products and other drugs that interact with grapefruit are some antibiotics, some anti-HIV drugs, quinine that is in tonic water and has been used against malaria, heart rhythm medicines, and anti-rejection drugs used following organ transplants.

For some drugs drinking 200ml of juice daily was enough to deliver three to six times the normal dose.

Dr Bailey said: “Many of the drugs that interact with grapefruit are highly prescribed and are essential for the treatment of important or common medical conditions.

“Unless health care professionals are aware of the possibility that the adverse event they are seeing might have an origin in the recent addition of grapefruit to the patient’s diet, it is very unlikely that they will investigate it.

“In addition, the patient may not volunteer this information. Thus, we contend that there remains a lack of knowledge about this interaction in the general healthcare community.”

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Exercise could repair heart damage

Vigorous daily exercise could repair damage caused by a heart attack, a new study has suggested.Exercise could repair heart damageResearchers found for the first time that regular and strenuous exercise can make dormant stem cells in the heart spring into life, leading to the development of new heart muscle.

Scientists had already discovered that stem cells could be coaxed into producing new tissue through injections of chemicals known as growth factors, but the new study is the first to suggest that a simple exercise programme has a similar effect.

The findings suggest that damage from heart disease or failure could be at least partially repaired through 30 minutes of running or cycling a day, at enough intensity to work up a sweat.

An early-stage study on healthy rats showed that an equivalent amount of exercise resulted in more than 60 per cent of heart stem cells, which are usually dormant in adults, becoming active.

After just two weeks of exercise the mice had a seven per cent increase in the number of cardiomyocites, the “beating” cells in heart tissue, researchers reported in the European Heart Journal.

The team from Liverpool John Moores University said they would now study the effects on mice which had suffered heart attacks to determine whether it could have an even greater benefit.

Dr Georgina Ellison, who led the study, said: “The exercise is increasing the growth factors which are activating the stem cells to go on and repair the heart, and this is the first time that this potential has been shown.

“We hope it might be even more effective in damaged hearts because you have got more reason to replace the large amount of cells that are lost.”

Although some patients with severe heart damage may not be capable of intensive exercise, Dr Ellison said a significant number would easily be able to jog or cycle for 30 minutes a day without risking their health.

“In a normal cardiac rehabilitation programme patients do undertake exercise, but what we are saying is maybe to be more effective it needs to be carried out at a higher intensity, in order to activate the resident stem cells,” she said.

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Intensive two minute exercise as good as a 90 minute run

Short bursts of exercise lasting just 150 seconds could help protect against heart disease as much as a 90 minute run or longer but less strenuous workouts, according to new research.Intensive two minute exercise as good as a 90 minute runEvidence from a study of men aged 18 to 35 indicated brief but intense exercise was more effective at reducing blood fat levels, which can linger in the body after eating and begin the process of clogging up arteries.

In an experiment led by researcher Stuart Gray, a group of men was asked to sprint, cycle or walk for half an hour.

Those who exercised at peak levels for 30 seconds before resting for four minutes and repeating, saw the fat in their blood drop faster than those who walked at a brisk pace in line with Government guidelines.

The results showed walking cut fat by 11 per cent, compared with not doing any exercise, while short periods of exercise helped reduce fat by 33 per cent – the same effect as a 90 minute run.

Dr Gray, of Aberdeen University, told the British Science Festival that two minute workouts may be more effective in causing the liver to process more fat from the blood before storing it or burning it off.

He said that, while the high intensity training “won’t necessarily” improve strength, it does boost endurance.

He added that the short duration of the exercise was ‘highly important as time is often cited as the main barrier to taking part in exercise.”

However, he said exercising for brief period between resting meant the whole workout took 20 minutes and had to be done regularly.

Dr Gray said: “Although moderate intensity, longer sessions of exercise can help protect the body against cardiovascular disease, the findings of our study showed that higher-intensity shorter intervals of exercise might be a more effective method to improve health and reduce the time commitment to exercise.”

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Healthy living related to wealthy gross domestic product

Fruits and vegetables, proteins and non-saturated fats are consumed more often by the wealthy, while poorer people consume more carbohydrates.Healthy living related to wealthy gross domestic product The findings of the research were reported to the European Society of Cardiology conference.

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study found that the greater a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) then the higher the consumption of healthy heart foods among people.

Commenting on the implications of the results, principal investigator Salim Yusuf from McMaster University, Canada, said: “Policies to prevent cardiovascular disease need to focus on different aspects of lifestyle among the rich versus the poor and between rich and poor countries. In particular, healthy foods need to become more affordable.”

A total of 154,000 people from 628 communities in 17 countries were recruited for the study, which analysed data such as medical history, lifestyle and ECGs.

Results from the study found people in poorer countries such as Bangladesh and India derived far less energy from fat, and also consumed less fruit and vegetables.

However, poor individuals or those from poorer countries were more active, chiefly because of higher energy expenditure in jobs, at home, and during transportation.

The difference in overall physical activity between the poorest and richest countries amounted to nearly 2,000 METS per minute per week or 2.7 hours brisk walking every day.

Smoking cessation rates were “markedly” higher among men living in richer countries and smoking rates overall were lower in wealthier individuals and countries.

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Eating two apples a day reduces heart disease by quarter

Eating two apples a day for six months could help protect women against heart disease by cutting their cholesterol levels by almost a quarter according to new research.Eating two apples a day reduces heart disease by quarterScientists found apples significantly lowered blood fat levels in postmenopausal women, the group most at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Snacking on the fruit every day for six months slashed cholesterol by almost a quarter.

The biggest reduction was seen in low density lipoprotein, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol that furs up arteries and raises the risk of a life-threatening clot forming near the heart or brain.

The findings, by a team of researchers at Florida State University in the US, support previous evidence that apples could be good for the heart.

But the latest study suggests they could benefit one of the highest risk groups.

Around 45 per cent of British women will suffer from heart disease or a stroke and it is the biggest single cause of death among post-menopausal women.

Up to the menopause, women appear to have a natural immunity to heart disease and the rate of illness is only a third of that seen in men.

But from the age of around 50 onwards, the incidence increases sharply.

Researchers wanted to see if eating the equivalent of two apples every day could have a significant effect on heart disease risk.

They recruited 160 women who had been through the menopause and got half to eat 75 grammes a day of dried apple – the equivalent of two medium sized fresh apples.

As a comparison, the other half were told to eat the same quantity of prunes to see if they had a similar effect. Each volunteer underwent blood tests every three months for one year.

The results, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed that after three months total cholesterol levels in the apple eating group had dropped by nine per cent and LDL cholesterol by 16 per cent.

After six months, levels were even lower, with total cholesterol down 13 per cent and LDL levels dropping by 24 per cent. There was no further decline in the remaining six months of the experiment.

Prunes lowered cholesterol levels slightly but not to the same extent as the dried apple.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: ‘Consumption of about two medium-sized apples can significantly lower cholesterol levels as early as three months.’

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Two-apples-a-day-keeps-the-cardiologist-away

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Eat fish twice a week to protect the heart

Everyone should eat two portions of fish a week to prevent heart disease leading experts are suggesting.Eat fish twice a week to protect the heartThe new guidance was compiled by the European Society of Cardiology at its conference EuroPrevent in Dublin.

One of the two portions consumed a week should be oily fish, such as salmon, mackeral, sardine or trout, they said as these contain the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids.

Supplements can be taken by people who do not like fish but they should stick to pharmaceutical grade products because many over-the-counter capsules contain sufficient amounts of omega 3.

The recommendation was that those taking supplements should have 1g of omega 3.

Philip Calder, a metabolic biochemist and nutritionist from the University of Southampton, UK, said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are really important to human health, whether you’re talking about CVD, brain or immune health. Heath professionals have a key role to play in educating the public about the beneficial effects of including fish in their diets.”

Mr Calder added: “It’s important that health professionals give clear guidance around the need for patients to take 1g of omega-3 a day to achieve any beneficial effects.

“With over the counter brands containing different concentrations there’s a danger people may not be receiving sufficient intakes.”

“Fish, it needs to be remembered, don’t provide a total panacea against cardiovascular disease. As well as consuming fish, people need to eat healthy diets, not smoke and be physically active.”

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Heart Health- how to improve your cardiovascular system

A healthy heart- the average adult heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood each day. As one of the hardest working organs in the body, the heart has unique nutritional needs. Nutritional deficiencies may even contribute to cardiovascular disease – the number one cause of death in the United States.

Our Heart Health supplements are specially designed to support healthy heart function.

BiOmega™ You know that fish oil is really good for you because it contains important omega fatty acids, which contribute to brain development and both joint and cardiovascular health. But storing fish and cooking it properly is a hassle.

And when you have a busy lifestyle, eating fish out every night can get pretty pricey, pretty quick. BiOmega is a fish oil supplement that’s easy to take every day, especially when you don’t feel like you’re getting enough fish in your diet.

What makes BiOmega exceptional is that it has all the benefits of fish oil in a convenient gel capsule, and it is essentially free of harmful contaminants like mercury because of its triple distillation process.

It also contains concentrated doses of DHA, a beneficial fat that supports memory and learning, and is greatly recommended for pregnant women.

And BiOmega contains an additional dose of vitamin D, a nutrient found deficient in the average diet. BiOmega is also formulated with lemon oil to kill the fishy aftertaste found in other fish oil supplements. Because of its exclusive advantages, when you buy BiOmega, you know you’re getting quite the catch!

BiOmega also supplies 200 IU per day of vitamin D. Added lemon flavour also helps reduce fishy aftertaste.

Health Basics

  • Provides advanced and guaranteed levels of EPA and DHA, two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids important for memory and learning
  • Supports sound cardiovascular health and joint health
  • Critical for promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies

BiOmega Difference

  • Each capsule delivers 100 IU of vitamin D
  • Formulated with lemon oil to eliminate the fishy aftertaste associated with most fish oil supplements

USANA Difference

  • Effective
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