Sunday December 16, 2018

Exposure to Arsenic, Lead May Spike up Risk of Heart Disease

Since metals are associated with cardiovascular disease even at relatively low levels of exposure, "population-wide strategies to minimise exposure will further contribute to overall cardiovascular prevention efforts," the researchers concluded

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Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay
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Even low levels of exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment like arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium pose a significant risk to cardiovascular health, finds a study, led by one of an Indian-origin.

Although often naturally occurring, these contaminants have made their way into water supplies and, via irrigation, into the food chain.

Concern has often focused on the toxicity or carcinogenic properties of the metals, particularly at high doses.

However, the findings, published by The BMJ, showed there is increasing evidence to suggest that heavy metals may have other adverse effects on health – including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke – even at lower levels of exposure, the researchers said.

“It’s clear from our analysis that there’s a possible link between exposure to heavy metals or metalloids and risk of conditions such as heart disease, even at low doses – and the greater the exposure, the greater the risk,” said lead author Rajiv Chowdhury, from Britain’s University of Cambridge.

Heart Disease
Concern has often focused on the toxicity or carcinogenic properties of the metals, particularly at high doses. Pixabay

“While people shouldn’t be overly worried about any immediate health risk, it should send a message to policymakers that we need to take action to reduce people’s exposure.”

The study “reinforces the (often under-recognised) importance of environmental toxic metals in enhancing global cardiovascular risk, beyond the roles of conventional behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, poor diet and inactivity,” the researchers said.

For the study, the team conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies involving almost 350,000 participants.

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Chowdhury noted that the study highlighted the potential need for additional worldwide efforts and strategies “to reduce human exposures even in settings where there is a relatively lower average level of exposure.”

Since metals are associated with cardiovascular disease even at relatively low levels of exposure, “population-wide strategies to minimise exposure will further contribute to overall cardiovascular prevention efforts,” the researchers concluded. (IANS)

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Eat Vegetarian Diet to Ward Away Heart Disease

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels -- and heart disease risk -- rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said

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Leafy vegetables. Pixabay

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, consuming fish, seafood and a primarily vegetarian diet may help reduce hypertension-related heart disease symptoms, a study suggests.

Intake of fish, seafood and vegetarian food increases levels of a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), known to boost heart health, said researchers from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland.

The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.

“Our study provides new evidence for a potential beneficial effect of a moderate increase in plasma TMAO on pressure-overloaded heart,” the researchers said.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, researchers analysed the effect of TMAO on rats, which have a genetic tendency to develop high blood pressure.

One group of hypertensive rats were given low-dose TMAO supplements in their drinking water, and another group received plain water.

They were given the TMAO therapy for either 12 weeks or 56 weeks and were assessed for heart and kidney damage as well as high blood pressure.

Heart Attack, women
The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.
Pixabay

The results showed that TMAO treatment did not affect the development of high blood pressure in any of the spontaneously hypertensive rats.

However, condition of the animals given the compound was better than expected, even after more than a year of low-dose TMAO treatment.

In addition, four- to five-fold increase in plasma TMAO does not exert negative effects on the circulatory system.

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels — and heart disease risk — rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said.

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“It seems that a fish-rich and vegetarian diet, is associated with a significantly higher plasma TMAO than red meat-and egg-rich diets, considered to increase the cardiovascular risk,” the researchers noted.

“However, further study is needed to assess the effect of TMAO and TMA on the circulatory system.” (IANS)