Thursday, 3 May 2012

Heart and Cardiovascular Disease and Blood Pressure Studies

Drinking beetroot juice lowers heart disease risk
Jun 30, 2010
By Laura Trowbridge.

The results of a study published in the American Heart Association's medical journal, Hypertension, show beetroot juice dramatically reduces blood pressure, and cuts the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Patients who drank a glass of beetroot juice a day had significantly lower blood pressure within just 24 hours.
According to Daily Mail, researchers at William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University in London compared patients who drank a 250ml glass of beetroot juice a day with patients who took nitrate tablets.
It was found that both methods, the beetroot juice and the tablets, were equally successful in reducing blood pressure in the patients. This led the researchers to conclude that the naturally occurring nitrates in beetroot cause its beneficial effects.
Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at the William Harvey Research Institute, said: "We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure.
"We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed - just 250ml - to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate.
"Our previous study two years ago found that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure; now we know how it works."
Beetroot juice can be found in health food stores or you can make your own juice at home.
Agro Products advises mixing other juices with the beetroot because of its strong flavor. Adding carrot, apple, celery, cucumber or pineapple are among the recommended juices to add.
Argo Products warns that beetroot juice can turn stools and urine red. It can also temporarily paralyze your vocal chords, make you break out in hives, increase your heart rate, cause chills or a fever if drunk by itself, undiluted. Pregnant women should not drink beetroot juice without first consulting with their physician.

Study: Regular teeth brushing may offset heart problems
May 28, 2010
By Andrew John

Brushing your teeth could help offset the risk of heart disease, according to new research published today. But you shouldn’t neglect other factors that can lead to cardiovascular problems, say campaigners.
The BBC reports that a Scottish study of more than 11,000 adults has found that those with poor oral hygiene had a 70 percent greater risk of contracting heart disease, compared with those who brushed twice a day.
The study was carried out by the British Medical Journal, and backs up previous research in this area, which showed a link between gum disease and heart problems.
However, Judy O’Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, is quoted as saying: “If you don’t brush your teeth, your mouth can become infected with bacteria, which can cause inflammation.
“However, it is complicated by the fact that poor oral hygiene is often associated with other well-known risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and poor diet.
“Good personal hygiene is a basic element of a healthy lifestyle,” she added. “But, if you want to help your heart, you should eat a balanced diet, avoid smoking and take part in regular physical activity.”
“It is known that inflammation in the body, including in the mouth and gums, has an important role in the build-up of clogged arteries, which can lead to a heart attack,” says the BBC report.
For the study, data was collected on lifestyle behaviour such as oral health routines, smoking and physical activity. those taking part were also asked how often they brushed their teeth and visited their dentist.
“Then nurses collected information on medical history and family history of heart disease, took blood pressure and blood samples,” says the BBC.
Cardiovascular events
“Overall, six out of ten people said they visited the dentist every six months and seven out ten reported brushing their teeth twice a day.
“Over the eight-year study there were 555 ‘cardiovascular events’ such as heart attacks, 170 of which were fatal.
“Taking into account factors that affect heart disease risk, such as social class, obesity, smoking and family history, the researchers found those who brushed twice a day were at a lower risk.”
The study leader, Professor Richard Watt, of University College London, said future research would be needed to confirm whether the link between oral health and cardiovascular disease “is in fact causal or merely a risk marker.”

New study: Poor oral hygiene increases chances of heart disease
Jun 1, 2010
By Gemma Fox

New research shows that people with poor oral hygiene have a greater chance of developing heart disease than those with good oral hygiene.
How often do you brush your teeth? If it's only once a day you may want to consider the results of a Scottish study, published in the British Medical Journal, which shows that people who only brush their teeth once a day have a 70% increased chance of developing heart disease.
The study of 11,000 adults highlighted the significant increase in development of heart disease with those who only brushed once per day and those who brushed twice per day or more.
The study backs up previous studies which had before linked gum disease and heart disease. These studies have shown that inflammation elsewhere in the body can increase the chances of clogged arteries and heart attacks.
This is the first study that confirms the link between oral hygiene and heart disease.
This recent study took into consideration the participants lifestyles including their eating and exercise habits, what they smoked and drank. This information was analysed along with the information collected on the participants visits to their dentists and the amount of times they cleaned their teeth.
Out of those surveyed, six out of ten said they visited the dentist every 6 months and seven out of ten said they brushed their teeth at least twice daily.
In the eight year study there were 555 cardiovascular events among participants of which 170 were fatal.
The conclusion is that, taking into account lifestyles, people who brushed twice per day had a decreased chance of developing heart disease.

Study suggests processed meats increase risk of heart disease
May 30, 2010
By Paris Franz

Researchers from Harvard University have found that eating processed meat such as sausages increases the likelihood of heart disease. Red meat seems not to be as harmful.
The team from Harvard School of Public Heath looked at 20 studies involving more than one million people from 10 countries, and found just 50g of processed meat a day raised the risk of both heart disease and diabetes. Yet eating twice as much unprocessed meat, such as beef, lamb or pork, posed no such risk.
The two forms of meat have a similar fat content, and the researchers have speculated that the difference may be explained by the salt and preservatives added to processed meats, according to the BBC. Salt can increase blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for heart disease.
On average, each 50g serving of processed meat per day - the equivalent of a sausage or a couple of rashers of bacon - was associated with a 42% higher chance of developing coronary heart disease and a 19% higher risk of diabetes.
While good news for fans of red meat, it still pays to be careful in preparing food. "If you like red meat, this can still be included as part of a balanced heart-healthy diet,” Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at the British Heart Foundation, told the BBC. “Go for lean cuts and aim to cook from scratch using healthier cooking methods like grilling or baking. If you need to add flavour, then try using fresh and dried herbs, spices and chillies instead of salt."