Friday November 15, 2019

Plant-Based Food May Boost Your Heart Health

Adherence to the diet can be challenging for some patients, but many find that incorporating just a few more plant-based foods offers noticeable benefits

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They found that specific risk factors varied from about a 2 per cent reduction (for blood pressure) to a 32 per cent reduction (for inflammation).
They found that specific risk factors varied from about a 2 per cent reduction (for blood pressure) to a 32 per cent reduction (for inflammation). Pixabay

Consuming a plant-based diet that includes nuts, soy, pulses, beans, peas and a little amount of plant sterolsa may reduce many risk factors for cardiovascular disease including blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation, a new study has found.

According to the researchers, the plant-based dietary pattern is known as portfolio diet and it is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

In addition to reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by about 30 per cent when combined with a low-saturated fat diet — a level comparable to medications, the researchers found the diet limited other factors for an estimated 13 per cent reduction in the overall risk for coronary heart disease, which includes angina and heart attack.

“We have known the portfolio diet lowers LDL cholesterol, but we didn’t have a clear picture of what else it could do,” said co-author John Sievenpiper, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

“This study allows for greater clarity and certainty about the effects of the diet and its health potential,” Sievenpiper added.

According to the researchers, the plant-based dietary pattern is known as portfolio diet and it is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
According to the researchers, the plant-based dietary pattern is known as portfolio diet and it is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis that combined results from seven controlled trials involving more than 400 patients.

They found that specific risk factors varied from about a 2 per cent reduction (for blood pressure) to a 32 per cent reduction (for inflammation).

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The researchers said that dietary and lifestyle modifications can enable patients to manage high cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, and the current study provides further rationale for that approach.

Adherence to the diet can be challenging for some patients, but many find that incorporating just a few more plant-based foods offers noticeable benefits, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How E-Cigarettes Can Be More Dangerous For Heart Health

The study also estimates that in 2018, around 3.62 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users

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E-Cigarettes
For the current findings, the team of researchers compared healthy, young adult smokers aged 18 to 38 who were regular users of E-Cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay

Researchers have found that electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as E-Cigarettes might be just as harmful to the heart, than traditional cigarettes.

“Our results suggest that e-cigarette use is associated with coronary vascular dysfunction at rest, even in the absence of physiologic stress, these findings indicate the opposite of what e-cigarette and vaping marketing is saying about their safety profile,” said study researcher Susan Cheng, Director of Public Health Research at the Smidt Heart Institute.

A recent study by the US Food and Drug Administration found that 27.5 per cent of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2019, as compared to 20.8 per cent in 2018.

The study also estimates that in 2018, around 3.62 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users.

For the current findings, the team of researchers compared healthy, young adult smokers aged 18 to 38 who were regular users of e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes.

The researchers then measured participants’ blood flow to the heart muscle – focusing on a measure of coronary vascular function – before and after sessions of either e-cigarette use or cigarette smoking, while participants were at rest and also after they performed a handgrip exercise which simulates physiologic stress.

It was also found that in smokers who had inhaled the traditional cigarettes, blood flow increased modestly and then decreased with subsequent stress.

However, in smokers who used e-cigarettes, blood flow decreased after both inhalation at rest and handgrip stress.

“We have known for decades that smoking increases your risk for heart attack and dying from heart disease, now, with this study, we have compelling evidence suggesting that newer methods of electronic nicotine delivery may be equally, or potentially more, harmful to your heart as traditional cigarettes,” said researcher Christine Albert.

E-Cigarettes
Researchers have found that electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as E-Cigarettes might be just as harmful to the heart, than traditional cigarettes. Pixabay

Given that e-cigarettes represent a relatively new product in the market, Albert cautions users that there may be a number of unforeseen health effects.

To better understand the potentially dangerous consequences of e-cigarettes, investigators plan on studying the mechanisms underlying changes in heart and blood vessel flow seen in their work to-date, as well as the effects of e-cigarette use across a more diverse population of study participants including those with existing cardiovascular risk.

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“What we are learning from our own research, along with the work of others, is that use of any electronic nicotine delivery system should be considered with a high degree of caution until more data can be gathered,” said study senior author Florian Rader.

The findings were presented at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019. (IANS)