Heart Health

Brexit’s impact on the sugar tax: Greater reductions in coronary heart disease mortality rates

15 Oct 2018 --- The British “sugar tax” will continue to reduce coronary heart disease deaths (CHD), regardless of whether the terms of the UK's impending exit from the EU are “soft” or “hard,” finds a study published in Public Health Nutrition. The researchers identified that reductions in CHD mortality were 4 percent and 8 percent greater under “soft” and “hard” Brexit scenarios, respectively.

Study: Fried and processed foods linked to increased hypertension in black Americans

09 Oct 2018 --- A change in diet could mitigate the increased risk for stroke in black Americans over white Americans, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found. The findings suggest that lifestyle changes, particularly changes in diet around processed, fried and sugary foods, could help reduce the disparities seen in black versus white Americans.

Probiotics for pharma: Optibiotix launches heart health supplement range

26 Sep 2018 --- OptiBiotix Health has launched a new cholesterol management range, coined CholBiome, that harnesses probiotics for heart health. The range uses OptiBiotix’s patented probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum (LPLDL), which the company recently enabled to be developed as a biotherapeutic pharmaceutical product for the first time following a deal with an unnamed US-based pharmaceutical company.

Can olive oil and sleep stave off heart attacks and strokes? New study examines plasma protein's role

10 Sep 2018 --- Foods high in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, may protect against cardiovascular disease, and new research published in Nature Communications has uncovered why. Apolipoprotein A-IV, known as ApoA-IV, is a plasma protein. Levels of this protein increase after the digestion of foods, particularly foods high in unsaturated fats. Higher levels of ApoA-IV in the blood have been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

1 in 4 adults physically inactive and at risk of disease, says WHO

05 Sep 2018 --- More than one in four adults globally – amounting to 1.4 billion people – are physically not active enough, with inactivity levels reaching one in three adults in some countries, new data published in The Lancet Global Health show. Policies to increase the physical activity levels of populations need to be prioritized and scaled up urgently to stave off the risk of poor health, note the involved World Health Organization experts. Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and different types of cancer. It has also been linked to improved mental health, quality of life and well-being. Moreover, it helps prevent hypertension and obesity.

Few people at risk for heart disease understand food labels, Irish survey reveals

30 Aug 2018 --- Many consumers have difficulty understanding food labels, especially men and people at risk for heart disease, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2018. To remedy this, the lead researcher is calling for label improvements to avoid gaps in consumers’ use and interpretation of food labels.

Guidelines to limit dairy intake need to be reconsidered, research suggests

29 Aug 2018 --- Current guidelines to limit consumption of dairy products should be relaxed, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2018, the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology. The consumption of dairy products has long been thought to increase the risk of death, particularly from coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease and cancer, because of dairy's relatively high levels of saturated fat. Yet evidence for any such link, especially among US adults, is inconsistent. With the exception of milk, which appears to increase the risk of CHD, dairy products have in fact been found to protect against both total mortality and mortality from cerebrovascular causes, according to the research presented.

Long-term cooking with coal, wood or charcoal linked to cardiovascular death

28 Aug 2018 --- A new study finds that long-term use of coal, wood, or charcoal for cooking is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Moreover, compared to persistent long-term use of solid fuels, adopting clean fuels was associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The findings were presented last week at the ESC Congress 2018.

Patients with high blood pressure rely on medication over salt reduction, study finds

28 Aug 2018 --- Patients with high blood pressure are relying solely on medication to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure, rather than decreasing salt intake as instructed by their physicians, according to research presented at the ESC Congress 2018, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

Too much of a good thing? Excessive levels of “good” cholesterol may be harmful to heart

27 Aug 2018 --- Very high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol may be linked to an increased risk of heart attack and death, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2018 last week. In fact, the lead author of the research concludes that the mantra of HDL cholesterol as the “good” cholesterol may no longer be the case for everyone.

Diabetes epidemic will trigger “sharp rise” in UK heart attacks and strokes, warns British Heart Foundation

24 Aug 2018 --- The number of people in the UK suffering heart attacks and strokes as a result of their diabetes will rise by 29 percent by 2035, according to new analysis by the British Heart Foundation. This rise is likely to put an “unprecedented burden” on the country’s medical services, with previous estimates suggesting the yearly cost of treating people with diabetes will be £16.9 billion (US$21.7 billion) by 2035, up from £9.8 billion in 2012.

Raisio looks to Benecol brand growth amid company “renewal”

08 Aug 2018 --- Raisio is targeting renewed growth for its “star” international brand Benecol, with an increased focus on marketing products featuring the cholesterol-lowering plant stanol esters. The strategy includes a €2 million (US$2.3 million) marketing investment in the brand during Q2 and the opening of a new entity to serve the strong Irish market, as well as the launch of product innovations, including a new cereal bar line which uses the ingredient.

Plant-based portfolio diet found to lower risk factors for heart disease

30 Jul 2018 --- The portfolio diet, a plant-based way of eating previously shown to lower cholesterol levels, also reduces other risk factors for cardiovascular disease including blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation, University of Toronto researchers have found. In addition to reducing LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol by about 30 percent when combined with a low-saturated fat diet – a level comparable to medications – the researchers found the diet limited other factors for an estimated 13 percent reduction in the overall risk for coronary heart disease, which includes angina and heart attack.

Omega 3 supplementation has “little to no effect” on risk of heart disease, stroke or death: study

18 Jul 2018 --- Debunking the commonly held belief that omega 3 supplementation can protect against heart disease, a new study has found that consuming additional omega 3 fatty acids, compared to usual or lower omega 3, has little to no effect on the risk for cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities.

While men lose weight on low-carb diet, women see healthy heart gains, study finds

18 Jul 2018 --- Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine recently found that while men may lose more weight on low-carb diets, women actually see better improvements in artery flexibility. The finding holds promise for helping pre-diabetic women reduce their risk of heart disease through a low-carb diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one out of three American adults live with higher than normal blood sugar levels known as prediabetes.

Study: Stop avoiding whole dairy products for heart health

12 Jul 2018 --- New research at The University of Texas could banish the feeling of guilt some consumers may have around consuming whole dairy products amid conflicting information about fats and heart health. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found no significant link between dairy fats and cause of death, or, more specifically, heart disease and stroke – two of the US’s biggest killers. In fact, certain types of dairy fat may help guard against having a severe stroke, the researchers reported.

“Never intended as a magic bullet”: CRN responds to multivitamin supplement study

11 Jul 2018 --- Supplements have a critical place in the general public’s diet, but were never intended to serve as magic bullets for the prevention of serious diseases, the US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has stressed. The comment comes in response to a widely circulated study that emphasizes that taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent strokes, heart attacks or deaths related to cardiovascular disease.

Red raspberries boost vascular health, study finds

11 Jul 2018 --- The consumption of red raspberries can improve the blood vessel function among healthy males, a study published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and supported in funds by The National Processed Raspberry Council, has found. The findings indicate the potential of raspberries for cardiovascular health.

First time finding: Allergy to red meat may be a factor in heart disease

18 Jun 2018 --- A team of researchers says it has linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat to the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart. While high saturated fat levels in red meat have long been known to contribute to heart disease for people in general, the new finding suggests that a subgroup of the population may be at heightened risk for a different reason – a food allergen. The study, which is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health and appears in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Mediterranean diet boosts heart health – even with lean red meat, study suggests

14 Jun 2018 --- Adopting a Mediterranean-style eating pattern improves heart health, with or without reducing red meat intake, if the red meat consumed is lean and unprocessed, according to a Purdue University nutrition study. The study does not, however, encourage the consumption of red meat in people who otherwise do not eat red meat.