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Fruits & Veggies Help to Prevent Heart Failure

Posted May 08 2013 10:09pm

Colorful fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, compounds that may protect against cardiovascular disease by preventing lipid oxidation and endothelial damage – both of which can lead to atherosclerosis, and by preserving the nitric oxide  pool – which helps to reduce blood pressure.  Susanne Rautiainen, from Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected from 33,713 women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, ages 49 to 83 years.  The team surveyed dietary intakes and calculated the dietary total antioxidant capacity for each participant.  Over 11.3 years of follow-up, 884 cases of heart failure occurred.  The researchers found that those women with the highest average antioxidant capacities were 42% less likely to develop heart failure, as compared to women with the lowest capacities.  Observing that: “The total antioxidant capacity of diet, an estimate reflecting all antioxidants in diet, was associated with lower risk of heart failure,” the study authors conclude that: “These results indicate that a healthful diet high in antioxidants may help prevent heart failure.”

Susanne Rautiainen, Emily B. Levitan, Murray A. Mittleman, Alicja Wolk.  “Total Antioxidant Capacity of Diet and Risk of Heart Failure: A Population-based Prospective Cohort of Women.”  Amer J Med., 3 April 2013.

  
A cup of beetroot juice a day may help reduce blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg.
Routine dental cleanings and treating periodontal disease may reduce a person’s risks of ischemic stroke.
A diet rich in antioxidants may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by 42%.
Stroke and subclinical markers of vascular disease may be predicative of those older patients with type 2 diabetes who may develop cognitive decline.
Cognitive training exercises – and completing crossword puzzles and Sudoku – may help to prevent cognitive decline in aging.
Diets laden with fried and sweet foods, processed and red meats refined grains, and high-fat dairy products reduce a person's likelihood of achieving older ages
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American Cancer Society urges that a coordinated effort to change individual health behaviors could prevent much of the suffering and death from cancer.
The indigestible carbohydrate content in barley kernels may increase satiety hormones and reduce subsequent energy intake.
Netherlands researchers suggest that men who have higher levels of the mineral selenium may be at a lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
Higher dietary intake of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) associates with reduced risk of hip fracture, among women.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, helps to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Study results suggest that regularly taking certain supplements, including multivitamins, folic acid, iron, and copper, may increase the risk of death in older
Engaging in regular physical activity is associated with less decline in cognitive function in older adults.
UK study reveals that tall women may be at greater overall risk for cancer, with significant increases in risk for each four-inch increase in height.
Among older women, indoor air pollution associates with increased blood pressure.
Pre-menopausal women with the highest average intakes of folate from the diet are at a 40% reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
Among older women, Vitamin D supplementation extends longevity.
Daily physical activity, a low-fat whole-grain diet, low BMI, and other healthy behaviors significantly reduce a woman’s risk of sudden cardiac death.
Women who take supplements of vitamin D and calcium may be at a reduced risk of developing skin cancer.
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Tip #160 - Brew Better Health
Certain studies suggest that coffee mitigates disease by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and supporting the normal function of the blood vessel lining. Coffee also is a rich source of antioxidants and magnesium, nutrients that are key in maintaining cardiovascular and circulatory health.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) studied 20 years of data collected on 41,736 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and 86,214 women involved in the Nurses’ Health Study. The team found that in general, regular coffee consumption was linked to a slightly lower risk of death from any cause, and from cardiovascular disease in particular. Among women, those who drank at least 2 to 3 cups per day were one-quarter to one-third less likely to die of heart problems or stroke than women who did not drink coffee. For men, a protective effect was seen when drinking 4 to 5 cups daily.

A team from the University of Kuopio (Finland) completed a 21-year long study involving 1,409 men and women, ages 65 to 79 years old at the study’s concluding point. The researchers found that those study subjects who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day at midlife lowered their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by 65%, as compared to those who drank no or a little coffee.

Opt for drip brewed coffee – the kind that uses a paper filter. Coffee beans contain cafestol, a very potent dietary cholesterol-elevating compound. Whereas paper filters remove much of the cafestol during the drip brew process, French press coffee, Turkish and Scandinavian preparations, and espresso retain very high levels of cafestol.

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