Exploring New and Old Health News Today – Anti-Ageing and Nutraceuticals for Atherosclerosis
If we want to enjoy the benefits of any Anti-Ageing regime whether they be medications such as metformin, a diet that involves fasting to induce autophagy (the clean-up of dysfunctional components and cells), exercise, supplements such as Spermidine (see yesterday’s News Flash) or anti-ageing beauty products one needs to ensure their cardiovascular system is protected.
In this News Flash we’ll talk about supplements which are nutraceuticals that may help with atherosclerosis, we can then move onto diets best for anti-ageing. Which nutraceuticals confer cardioprotective benefits? Thanks to a review article published in the Nat Rev Cardiol in September 2016 we can have a look at the clinical evidence in humans. So here we go:
Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fats
People who consume omega 3 fatty acids either through supplements or food shown a decreased level of triglycerides. One of the omega 3 fatty acids called DHA reduced endothelium function and improved arterial stiffness. Sudden cardiac death was 45% lower in one study lasting a year in the group that took Polyunsaturated Fats.
Omega 6 Polyunsaturated Fats
Low levels of Omega 6 have been correlated with peripheral arterial disease. One small study shown a decrease in triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol as well as an increase of HDL cholesterol. However, too much Omega 6 can lead to arterial stiffness and increased CRP levels.
Supplementation with garlic in one study involving 152 participants, high-dose dietary garlic supplementation decreased lesion volumes by 6-18%. Another study showed that treatment with statin plus aged garlic extract slowed the rate of atherosclerotic development by reducing coronary calcification. A meta-analysis of 45 trials found that garlic supplementation was also able to reduce serum levels of LDL, triglycerides and cholesterol after 1-3 months but not after 6 months, meaning the body probably gets use Allicin. Garlic exerts its cardioprotective effects via alternative mechanisms as well, such as reducing ROS production and attenuating pro-inflammatory gene expression, rather than directly altering the ratio of LDL to HDL in the bloodstream after 6 months.
One epidemiological study involving 22,256 participants found a correlation between diets with high levels of phytosterols and low levels of serum LDL, supporting the role of phytosterols in LDL lowering. Another study consistent in that finding involving 233 participants shown a significant decrease in serum LDL inside of 12 weeks of taking phytosterols. Phytosterols have also been shown to mediate strong anti-inflammatory effects in humans.
High flavanol diets increase nitric oxide production showing flavanols exert cardioprotective benefits. Flavanols might exert their cardiovascular health benefits by lowering circulating LDL levels and possibly blood pressure through the increase of nitric oxide, both of which are key risk factors of atherosclerosis development.
Vitamin C and E
Both vitamin C and E once considered ideal supplements for the prevention of atherosclerosis owing to their antioxidative and vasodilatory properties, they have not been proven to be consistently effective in long-term prevention of CVD.
The relationship between increased fibre intake and reduced cardiovascular disease is well known. A 6 year follow up study involving nearly 40,000 patients with high fibre intake was associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
Carnosine has shown to reduce the glycation (bonding of a sugar molecule to a lipid) of LDL in human monocyte-derived macrophages resulting in reduced intracellular cholesterol accumulation. Carnosine also improved insulin resistance but did not decrease blood pressure.
If you’re taking statins for their lipid lowering effect the production of Coq10 will be affected. Considering CoQ10 is involved in the electron transport chain in the mitochondria you may feel low in energy, taking CoQ10 may help restore the side effects of low energy by statins. CoQ10 may also prevent atherosclerosis.
One randomised double-blind trial involving 240 individuals with type 2 diabetes reported a decrease in CVD risk with 6 months of curcumin dietary supplementation.
Mice fed a high-cholesterol diet with a 0.01% dietary supplementation of resveratrol were found to have smaller atherosclerotic lesions by approximately 50% compared with control mice, in addition to improved lesion stability due to increased ratio of collagen to macrophages. However, the cardioprotective benefits were similar between the reservatrol-only and statin-only groups. More studies are needed to see if resveratrol separated away from statins are required to determine its potential as a nutraceutical.
No supplements can outrun a well planned and executed exercise and diet regime especially in anti-ageing. Adding some of the supplements mentioned here may help to give you those cardioprotective benefits. Please note before adding these supplements speak to your health practitioner first.
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Joe W.E. Moss, Dipak P. Ramji, 2016. ‘Nutraceutical therapies for atherosclerosis’ Nat Rev Cardiol. vol. 13. no. 9. pp. 513-532