MND: Nutrition is always a substantial part of the prevention of disease. Heart disease is no exception. We follow here 8 of these nutrients that have been shown in at least one study to have heart health benefits.

Here they are:  Lycopene, Cocoa, Zinc, Soy , vitamin B12, Fish oil, Onions, Quercetin

lycopene:

“…Considerable evidence suggests that lycopene, a carotenoid without provitamin A activity found in high concentrations in a small set of plant foods, has significant antioxidant potential in vitro and may play a role in preventing prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease in humans…”

From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  “Lycopene and cardiovascular disease”;  2000

 

Your Heart

Dark Chocolate:

“… recent research demonstrates a beneficial effect of cocoa on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and vascular and platelet function. …”

From Circulation ; “Cocoa and cardiovascular health.” ; 2009

 Zinc:

“…[Zinc] appears to have protective effects in coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy…”

From Nutrition ; “Zinc and cardiovascular disease”; 2010

But watch about too much of a good thing:

  • Very high doses of zinc between 150 mg and 450 mg daily are associated with decreased immunity and lowered levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

Long-term overdose of zinc can result in a deficiency of copper in the body, as high doses of zinc interfere with the body’s ability to absorb copper. The Linus Pauling institute has linked copper deficiency to heart disease.

From Livestrong ; “Zinc overdose and heart rate”; 2010

 Soy:

“.. analysis revealed that the stressor-induced alteration of protein expression profile was reversed by the soy extract or the genistein/daidzein mixture..”

From Hamostaseologie ; “Protective effects of soy-isoflavones in cardiovascular disease”; 2008

Vitamin B12

“…Recent research has shown that individuals with cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes both demonstrate elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Vitamin B-12 has the ability to lower homocysteine levels in the blood, therefore it may help patients at risk for heart attacks and diabetics manage their conditions more effectively…”

From Livestrong ;  ”Vitamin  B-12 For heart attacks and diabetes” ; 2011

That might be a bit of a stretch because decreasing the high level of homocysteine might or might not treat the disease itself, since homocysteine level changes might be a non controlling result of the disease, or do we expect the tail to wag the dog?

“…Current data do not support vitamin B12 supplementation to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes…”

From the European Journal Of Nutrition ; “Is a low blood level of vitamin B12 a cardiovascular and diabetes risk factor? A systematic review of cohort studies.”

 Fish oil:

“…n-3 Fatty acids have been shown to modify several key risk factors for cardiovascular disease…”

From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ; “Fish oil and cardiovascular disease: lipids and arterial function.”;2000

But then again, many fish are mercury contaminated. so there is a public discourse about balancing the cardiovascular benefits and the mercury toxicity. The study concludes choose your fish wisely :It should have  high PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and low MeHg (methylmercury).

This might be a case for “molecular distilled”  fish oil supplements

From Environmental Health ; “Public health guidance on cardiovascular benefits and risks related to fish consumption” ; 2007

 Onions: 

“…There is growing awareness of the beneficial potential of onion intake to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

 From the European Journal of Nutrition    ; “Methanolic extract of onion (Allium cepa) attenuates ischemia/hypoxia-induced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes via antioxidant effect.”

Quercetin 

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, whose deficiency could result in long-term impairment of the organism’s survivability (Wikipedia)

“…available evidence indicates that quercetin and wine polyphenols might be of therapeutic benefit in cardiovascular diseases…”

From Free Radical Research : “”Endothelial function and cardiovascular disease: effects of quercetin and wine polyphenols.”

 

Talk to your  health provider about tailoring these to your heart health!

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Here are 2 of many published research articles that you may want to check out. There are many more on the website.
    Journal of Nutrition 2003; 133: 2188-2193 Samman S, et al. A mixed fruit and vegetable concentrate increases plasma antioxidant vitamins and folate and lowers plasma homocysteine in men.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2003; 41: 1744-1749 Plotnick GD, et al. Effect of supplemental phytonutrients on impairment of the flow-mediated brachial artery vasoactivity after a single high fat meal

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