Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toxic Compounds in Fried Foods Cause Cancer and Brain Deterioration

Many health-minded individuals understand that eating fried or overcooked foods is unhealthy due to the chemical transition of normally stable fats to trans-fats that have been shown to dramatically increase heart attack risk. Researchers from the University of the Basque in Spain publishing in the journal Food Chemistry are the first to discover compounds released from common cooking oils that significantly increase the risk of neurologic degenerative diseases and a variety of different cancers.

Breakdown chemical structures known as aldehydes are formed in cooked vegetable oils such as sunflower oil when heated to normal frying temperatures, and are also released into the air where they can be inhaled. Alternate food preparation methods such as roasting, steaming and broiling are safe methods of cooking foods to avoid the dangerous release of aldehydes and afford a shield against cancer forming particles and neurodegenerative decline.

Many Common Vegetable Oils Produce Dangerous Aldehydes When Heated
Prior studies have identified the health degrading nature of aldehydes, where their presence in organisms is linked to different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Researchers also know that these compounds remain in vegetable oils after they have been used to fry foods and wanted to determine how they interact with proteins, hormones and enzymes in the body to impede its correct functioning.

The study team heated three types of oil (olive, sunflower and flaxseeds) in an industrial deep fryer at 190 degrees Celsius for a period of forty hours (twenty hours was used for the flaxseed oil). This length of time was used to approximate oils used commercially at a restaurant where fryers remain heated for extended periods of time. The oils were then analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a Healthier Oil for Cooking
Researchers found that the sunflower and flaxseed oils degraded significantly and are the ones that create the most toxic aldehydes in the least amount of frying time. These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats (linoleic and linolenic) and breakdown quickly to form the health-demoting aldehyde compounds that permeate the air and penetrate into the food. Olive oil, known to be high in monounsaturated fat, generates aldehydes to a lesser degree and after cooking much longer.

The research team concluded “The fact that significant concentrations of these toxic compounds were found in some oils … is a cause of concern for human health.” Although the scientists did not use coconut oil in their tests, studies have shown that the medium-chain fatty acid does not rapidly convert to deadly trans fats when heated, and may be less likely to produce aldehydes when compared to other vegetable oils. While fried foods are not part of a healthy eating plan, it is important to avoid cooking with low flash-point oils that produce aldehydes and increase the risk of neurologic disorders and cancer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Coenzyme Q10 Prevents and Treats Heart Disease by Attacking Multiple Metabolic Pathways

Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) is well known as a critical compound required by the body to facilitate normal breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within each cell into energy we need for metabolism and life itself. It should come as no surprise that this vital natural enzyme complex may hold the key to prevention and reversal of many potentially life-threatening forms of cardiovascular disease.

Several research studies reveal that CoQ10 works at a cellular level to protect delicate DNA and reduce dangerous inflammatory levels that are closely linked to heart disease. Further evidence exists to explain how the coenzyme improves blood flow to the heart muscle and enhances vascular elasticity to prevent arterial stiffening, commonly referred to as ‘hardening of the arteries’. Scientists have also found that CoQ10 lowers unhealthy levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol by modulating gene signals involved with cholesterol metabolism.

Coenzyme Q10 Lowers DNA Stress and Inflammation to Improve Heart Health
Researchers from Spain publishing in the journal Age found that supplementing CoQ10 while consuming a healthy Mediterranean diet lowered markers of DNA damage within cells and reduced systemic inflammation. The net effect of this human study was a dramatic reduction in biological markers associated with cardiovascular disease.

The study was conducted by placing twenty participants, aged 65 or older, on three different diets for four weeks each: a Western diet, a Mediterranean diet, or a Mediterranean diet with 200 mg of Q10. The group taking the Mediterranean diet experiences moderately lowered levels of DNA stress, largely due to the anti-inflammatory effect of a diet high in monounsaturated fats in the form of olive oil.

The group that included CoQ10 had a marked decline in all metabolic markers known to promote DNA damage and a decline in cardiovascular health. The study authors concluded that the Mediterranean diet plus CoQ10 “improves oxidative DNA damage in elderly subjects and reduces processes of cellular oxidation. Our results suggest a starting point for the prevention of oxidative processes associated with aging.”

CoQ10 Increases Arterial Elasticity by Improving Cellular Energy
A Chinese research team published in the journal Atherosclerosis examined the effect of CoQ10 on the delicate endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Endothelial dysfunction is known to be a progenitor to heart disease and heart attack. The scientists demonstrated that individuals placed on CoQ10 (300 mg per day for 12 weeks) showed marked improvement in arterial stiffness due to increased blood flow and improved cellular energy within their endothelial cells.

Scientific evidence is mounting to support coenzyme Q10 as a powerful tool when used to improve cellular energy levels and fight the advances of cardiovascular disease. Most new research is now evolving around the reduced form of the coenzyme known as ubiquinol. Ubiquinol has been found to be up to eight times more potent than the standard CoQ10 and last much longer in blood circulation. It is quite apparent that most health-minded individuals should supplement with CoQ10 (50 to 300 mg per day depending on cardiovascular health) to improve energy levels and improve vascular circulation to the heart.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vitamin D Hailed in the Fight against Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes

Scientific research bodies extolling the amazing virtues of the prohormone, vitamin D have been published in rapid succession to explain the preventive mechanism shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Three independent reviews demonstrate that maintaining a vitamin D blood level between 50 and 70 ng/mL can provide optimal protection against many chronic diseases.

Researchers’ publishing in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases provide evidence that vitamin D is intrinsically involved in the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system. Disruption of the body’s natural stasis system contributes to diabetes, obesity, elevated blood lipids, high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, stroke and risk of coronary artery disease. Scientists advise supplementation of 4,000 to 8,000 IU of vitamin D per day to achieve optimal levels, far above the anemic 400 IU currently recommended.

Vitamin D Controls Genetic Receptors to Guard against Chronic Disease
Scientists at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine demonstrate a direct genetic link between low vitamin D levels and the development of amyloid proteins in the brain, commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Reporting in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, researchers looked at gene signaling in relation to the vitamin D receptor in 492 late onset Alzheimer’s patients and 496 control subjects.

When vitamin D receptors were not activated on the surface of individual cells due to poor vitamin D saturation in the blood, precise gene signaling went awry that halted normal clearance of the dementia-related protein clumps. The team conducting the study concluded “Our findings are consistent with epidemiology studies suggesting that vitamin D insufficiency increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Test Vitamin D Blood Levels Regularly to Ensure Optimal Range
Researchers in Spain evaluated the vitamin D status of 1,226 individuals in 1996. The participants were again tested eight years later, and vitamin D levels were contrasted with development of diabetes over the course of the study. The results, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, found that those with vitamin D blood levels above 18.5 ng/mL had an 83 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the eight year period. No one in the study with a vitamin D score over 30 ng/mL developed type 2 diabetes.

It has become very clear from countless research studies published over the past decade that vitamin D qualifies among the most crucial and essential hormone-based nutrients. And still millions of people continue to place themselves at unnecessary risk by ignoring this information.
Most people above the age of twenty-one should supplement with a minimum of 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day and have their blood tested to ensure they reach the optimal range of 50 to 70 ng/mL. Extensive research provides more than sufficient evidence that maintaining a proper vitamin D level can dramatically lower the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease diabetes and many other chronic illnesses.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Carnosine and Lifestyle Changes Extend Telomere Length to Extend Lifespan

Scientists have understood the basic mechanism of telomeres, the small zipper-like capsules that bind our DNA genetic material and enable precise cellular reproduction, for more than a decade now. As each cell replicates, the telomere shortens and the potential life-cycle of the cell diminishes slightly until there is no more telomere and cell death ensues. Researchers publishing in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology have found that telomere shortening accurately predicts the risk of developing heart disease, suffering a heart attack and early death from all causes.

Smoking and obesity cause systemic inflammation and are a direct cause of telomere shortening. In addition to improving diet and lifestyle risk factors, carnosine supplementation is emerging as an important nutrient that can block telomere shortening and reduce aging effects to increase lifespan.

Carnosine Shown to Dramatically Lower Heart Attack Risk from Shortened Telomeres
Researchers from The University of Copenhagen in Denmark examined the DNA of 20,000 Danes to analyze their specific telomere length, an established measurement of cellular aging. The participants were followed for a period of nineteen years and the results demonstrated that when the telomere length was short, the risk of heart attack and early death was increased by fifty and twenty-five per cent, respectively.

The study author and team leader, Dr. Borge Nordestgaard noted “The risk of heart attack or early death is present whether your telomeres are shortened due to lifestyle or due to high age.” Many lifestyle choices including smoking and poor diet leading to overweight and obesity are independent risk factors for telomere shortening that increase heart attack risk and early death. Any factor that shortens the length of these critical DNA markers, whether from lifestyle digressions or age, will have the same detrimental consequences.

Nutritionally Optimized Diet and Healthy Lifestyle Slow the Aging Process
It is now possible to examine cellular wear and aging by means of a simple blood test to reveal a person's telomere length. In addition to following a diet optimized for proper nutrients and calories and avoiding negative lifestyle habits, the dipeptide carnosine has been shown to maintain and actually lengthen telomeres. Due to the potent antioxidant action of carnosine, the naturally derived nutrient is shown to play a protective role in preventing telomere damage while decreasing the rate of telomere shortening during cell division, effectively slowing down the aging process.

Carnosine is presently used for preventing or treating complications of diabetes such as nerve damage, cataracts and kidney problems, as it prevents the damaging effects of advanced glycation end products (AGE’s). Carnosine is naturally found in free-range meats and fish. As many health-minded individuals avoid animal based foods, carnosine supplements are available (1000 mg per day) that may help prevent telomere shortening and protect against heart attack and premature death.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Sound Sleep Helps Defend against Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease presently ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the US, as the number of new cases is projected to triple by the year 2050 and affect as many of sixteen million people. The result of a new study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting has found that the level and duration of quality sleep may later affect memory function and the risk of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

Researchers determined that poor quality sleep is associated with the build-up of neural tangles between synapses that is associated with the loss of ability to form new memories and progression of Alzheimer’s dementia. Making time for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night may be a crucial factor to Alzheimer’s risk reduction as we age.

A Good Night’s Sleep Dramatically Lowers Risk of Developing Brain Plaques and Alzheimer’s Disease
The lead study author, Dr. Yo-El Ju from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis notedDisrupted sleep appears to be associated with the build-up of amyloid plaques, a hallmark marker of Alzheimer’s disease, in the brains of people without memory problems”. In an effort to determine the link between poor sleep habits and cognitive decline, researchers tested the sleep patterns of 100 people between the ages of 45 and 80 who were free of dementia.

Half of the participants tested had a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, while a second control group had no familial history of the disease. A special device used to measure sleep patterns was placed on all participants for a period of two weeks to assess quality and depth of sleep time. Additionally, sleep diaries and questionnaires were employed to further analyze sleep cycles.

Eight Hours of Sleep Necessary for Optimal Brain Function and Health
The study found that 25% of the subjects tested showed signs of amyloid plaques, a consistent marker of Alzheimer’s disease progression. Although the participant’s averaged 8 hours of sleep each night, this was reduced to 6.5 hours due to sleep disruptions during the night that affected the total sleep time and quality of deep sleep required by the brain to perform repair functions.

Those who did not wake up frequently during the night were 5 times less likely to possess the amyloid plaque build-up compared to those who slept poorly or less than 7 total hours. Participants who did not sleep well were significantly more likely to exhibit the amyloid markers associated with cognitive decline resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.

Although this study did not provide a direct reason for the finding, scientists believe that the amyloid protein clumps and tangles that occur as a normal process of metabolism in the brain are only cleared during quality sleep time and duration of 7 to 9 hours each night. In addition to the myriad of lifestyle and dietary patterns presently known to help prevent most chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, a good night’s sleep in a totally dark room with no interruptions should now be added to the top of the risk reduction list.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curcumin Protects against Prostate Cancer and Alzheimer’s Dementia

Curcumin, the active anti-inflammatory compound found in the Indian spice tumeric, has gained an impressive reputation in the fight against many deadly forms of cancer. New evidence released in the journal Cancer Research finds that the natural phenol can slow prostate tumor growth by blocking receptors used to propagate cell tissue growth.

Additional research published in the journal PLoS One explains the precise mechanism exerted by curcumin molecules to target the amyloid fibrils associated with the unnatural progression of protein-like plaque tangles that are characteristic in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Adding curry spice to your healthy diet or supplementing daily with a standardized curcumin capsule will help win your individual war against cancerous proliferation and Alzheimer’s dementia.

Curcumin Blocks Prostate Cell Receptors to Thwart Cancer Progression
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease, with more than 250,000 diagnoses in the US each year. Any natural compound that targets the proliferation of prostate cancer cells would provide a significant remedy compared with the allopathic methods of radiation, surgery and chemical agents. To conduct the study, researchers subjected prostate cancer cells to hormone deprivation in the presence and absence of curcumin with ‘physiologically attainable’ doses.

The researchers found that curcumin blocked two genetic receptors necessary for prostate cancer advancement. These receptors have been shown is past studies to predict cancer incidence and rate of growth of existing tumors. They noted that the spice extract was “a potent inhibitor of both cell cycle and survival in prostate cancer cells.”

Curcumin Enhances Brain Activity to Improve Cognition and Shield against Alzheimer’s Disease
The lead study author, Dr. Karen Knudsen and her team found that other cancer cell lines multiply by a similar receptor mechanism and may also be inhibited by the curry compound. She commented that curcumin “also has implications beyond prostate cancer… in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumors where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent.”

In a separate research body, scientists found that curcumin prolongs life and enhances activity of brain neurons, acting as a neuroprotective shield against Alzheimer’s disease advancement. The research team determined that curcumin acted to prevent the damaging accumulation of amyloid fibrils around the nerve synapse. Amyloid tangles are known to prevent normal electrical and chemical transmissions required to form memories and maintain cognition.

Scientific research models continue to extol the virtues of natural spice and herbal extracts such as curcumin to help prevent and treat many deadly diseases that kill countless millions each year. Incorporate curry spices as part of your healthy diet or include a daily supplement (250 mg to 500 mg standardized curcumin extract) to significantly lower cancer risk and support healthy brain function.