Saturday April 4, 2020

Plant-Based Diet Decreases Risk of Heart Disease: Study

Follow plant-based diets for better heart health

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Plant diet
Reducing animal product intake and following a primarily plant-based diet can decrease the risk of heart disease. Pixabay

Reducing animal product intake and following a primarily plant-based diet can decrease the risk of heart disease, say health and lifestyle researchers, adding that it’s because plant-based food minimises the negative effects of a gut-microbiome associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The body’s gut microbiota is comprised of a series of microbes that play an important role in our metabolism, nutrient absorption, energy levels and immune response.

A gut-microbiota related metabolite known as trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is produced when gut bacteria digest nutrients commonly found in animal products such as red meat. It has been connected to increased heart attack and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. According to the researchers, maintaining a vegan or vegetarian diet has been found to reduce the amount of TMAO produced in the body.

“The findings of the study provide further evidence for the role of TMAO as a predictive biomarker for heart disease and strengthens the case for TMAO as a potential intervention target in heart disease prevention,” said Paul A Heidenreich, Professor at Stanford University in the US.

Plant diet
Following a plant-based diet has can help reduce the amount of TMAO produced in the body. Pixabay

In the study, women were asked to report data on dietary patterns, smoking habit and physical activity, plus other demographic data and provide two blood samples taken at Cleveland Clinic, 10 years apart.

After adjusting for participants with available plasma TMAO levels at both collections, there were 380 cases of CHD and 380 demographically matched-control participants without CHD chosen by the researchers included in the analysis. The risk of CHD was calculated by changes in TMAO levels in the body throughout the follow-up period.

Women with the largest increases in TMAO levels across the study had a 67 per cent higher risk of CHD, the study said. The researchers found no differences in TMAO levels between the CHD and control participants at the first blood sample collection.

TMAO levels examined in the second blood sample collection taken 10 years later were significantly higher the participants with CHD. Every increase in TMAO was associated with a 23 per cent increase in CHD risk, the researchers said.

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“Our findings show that decreasing TMAO levels may contribute to reducing the risk of CHD, and suggest that gut-microbiomes may be new areas to explore in heart disease prevention,” said the study’s senior author Lu Qi, Director of Obesity Research Centre, Tulane University, US. (IANS)

Next Story

Light Physical Activity is Good For Stroke Survivors, Says Study

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day

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Heart Stroke
Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers.

In the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the research team used accelerometers to measure daily physical activity in 30 stroke survivors for a week, assessing how much the participants moved and how well they performed routine physical tasks.

Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally.

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“Our findings are preliminary but suggest that – in addition to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity — those daily routines that keep us on our feet and physically engaged in lighter tasks also contribute to better physical functioning in stroke survivors,” said study researcher Neha Gothe, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana in the US.

For the findings, the research team used two measures of physical ability — the Short Physical Performance Battery, which measures balance, walking speed and lower-limb endurance, and the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument, which asks participants to report how difficult it is for them to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of a car or pouring water from a heavy pitcher.

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Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers. Pixabay

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day. “In contrast, they averaged more than three hours of light physical activity each day,” Gothe said.

“This includes things like walking at a leisurely pace, housekeeping, light gardening or other activities that do not cause a person to break a sweat,” she added.

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The amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was the best predictor of participants’ performance on objective measures of physical function, the researchers found. But a person’s self-reported ability to perform daily tasks was much more closely associated with the amount of time they engaged in light physical activity.

“Engaging in light physical activity can be healthy and beneficial, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as stroke,” Gothe noted. (IANS)