Archive for women’s heart health
Taurine is an organic acid found in dark meat poultry, beef, lamb, eggs, dairy and some seafood such as white fish like cod, mussels and clams. It is not found in any substantial amount in plant products. It is a requirement for some carnivores like felines because, unlike humans, they cannot synthesize it. Feline deficiencies can result in blindness, heart disease and a host of inflammatory conditions. A small study from NYU was recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition. Researchers examined blood samples and diet information from 223 womenages 34 to 65 between 1985 and 1991 who developed heart disease or died from it during the study follow-up from 1986 to 2006 compared to an equal number who did not. For those women with baseline total cholesterol over 250 mg/dL who were in the highest tertile of taurine consumption, there was a 60% reduction in coronary heart disease. The exact mechanism is unclear, although taurine does have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also appears to effect blood pressure regulation. While the association is correlative, not causative it is intriguing. The current study is small and involves only women but provides interesting food for thought for women (and possibly men) with high cholesterol levels.
February launches Women’s Heart Health awareness month. Here’s a great article (with quotes by yours truly) to kick it off:
Apples are good for a lot of reasons. The fact that, at least for post menopausal women, they can keep the cardiologist at bay is just icing on the apple spice cake, as it were. A study that was recently presented at presented at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting in Washington, D.C that provided just such evidence. The study looked at post menopausal women who were asked to consume a daily serving of apples (dried) each day. After a year, the women saw their total cholesterol drop by an average of 14%. Their LDL or “bad” cholesterol was reduced by an average of 23%. Levels of lipid hydroperoxide, a biochemical involved in the formation of heart-clogging plaques, and C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation, were both down by about one-third. Both of these compounds are associated with a higher inflammatory state. In the study, the apple group achieved superior results to a similar group that ate prunes.
Dr. Hyson, from UC Davis completed a review of 80 studies, published since 2005, on the health benefits of apples. She notes that in addition to their aforementioned cardiovascular benefits, apples seem to help regulate blood sugar and control appetite and may protect against cancer. As for how they do it, apples are rich in pectin, which acts blocks cholesterol absorption. Apple peels are also a rich source of antioxidants. Experts agree fresh apples are likely even better than dried; so they fresher you get, the better!
For those who couldn’t get the link (or were just too lazy to click), here’s the medical TV show.
Don’t forget to join us tonight for Basil Radio at 6:30!
Please join me as I chat with Mary McBryde on nationally syndicated radio program, Heartbeat Sunshine Radio for Women. You can listen Tuesday morning at 8:20 EDT by following the link:
I hope you will tune in and let us know what you think of the program!