A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

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A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby health4ni on Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:53 pm

http://www.jonnybowden.com/2009/08/smar ... -risk.html

Jonny Bowden wrote:Think the best way to predict heart attacks is by knowing your cholesterol?

Think again.

Researchers from the Hanyang University in Seoul, matched 50 men and women who had experienced a non-fatal heart attack with 50 age and gender-matched controls who did not have a history of heart attack. The researchers analyzed the red blood cells of both groups and measured their levels of both trans-fatty acids and omega-3's. (As readers of this newsletter know, trans-fatty acids are those spawn-of-Satan fats made by hydrogenating or partially hydrogenating vegetable oil; omega-3's are the wonderful anti-inflammatory fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish and ALA found in flax and hemp.)

The researchers wanted to see how well blood levels of trans-fatty acids and blood levels of omega-3's could predict heart attack. Specifically, they wanted to see if these two measures- trans-fats and omega 3's-- did any better in predicting cardiovascular disease than the "standard" Framingham risk scores.

Framingham risk scores- named after the famous study of adults in Framingham Massachusetts that began in 1948- are calculated using age, gender, smoking status, total cholesterol levels, HDL-cholesterol levels, diabetes history and hypertension history.

While an individual's Framingham score is 70 to 80 percent accurate in predicting coronary heart disease risk, it fails to take into account more recently recognized risk factors that could improve its predictive value.

The current research-- published online on June 9, 2009 in the British Journal of Nutrition-- found that the new measures did even better than the Framingham measures in predicting heart attacks. Those who had the lowest levels of omega-3's in their blood had the greatest risk of heart attack as did those who had the highest levels of trans-fats.

Specifically, the omega-3 fatty acid index-- which is the sum of red blood cell EPA and DHA-- was significantly lower in heart attack patients compared with controls, while total trans-fatty acids were significantly higher. Those whose omega-3 fatty acid index was among the top third of participants had an amazing 92 percent lower risk of heart attack than those whose levels were in the lowest third.

Meanwhile, when it came to trans-fats, the exact opposite was true. For those whose total trans-fatty acids were in the top third, the risk of heart attack was a whopping 72.67 percent higher than subjects in the lowest third.

The authors note that omega-3 fatty acids are associated with decreased blood viscosity, and have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, anti-arrhythmic, lipid lowering and vasodilatory effects. Conversely, trans-fatty acids have been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The researchers wrote that "the fatty acid profile is more powerful than the Framingham risk score for identifying patients" with non-fatal heart attacks.

There are two take-home points here:

1. keep your man-made trans-fat intake as close to zero as possible
2. keep your omega-3 intake nice and high. You can do this by eating cold-water fish (like the virtually toxin-free cold-water fish available frozen and in cans from Vital Choice) and/or by taking fish oil on a daily basis.

Vegetarians can get omega-3's from flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, but to make sure you're getting enough of the all-important EPA and DHA that were measured in the study (and that are found naturally in fish) be sure to take at least two tablespoons or more a day of flaxseed oil.


Nothing we didn't already know... but still good to have it reaffirmed.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Dtlv74 on Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:31 pm

Good post. What amazes me on this is that the above knowledge and information is out there and easy enough to find with only a little digging... yet the media and and even health incentives from official bodies still don't really put any of this forward.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Alex on Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:48 pm

Media and others are an ass at the best of times and it's something I'd like to change. We'll see how things pan out over the next 12 months or so.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Gym-pig on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:07 pm

I remember reading that weight training can lead to hardening of the wall of the heart and cause health problems .
H4N , would you suggest that weight training must be combined with cardio to maintain the heart ??
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby health4ni on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:37 pm

Lactic acid is the "killer" with regards to exercise. Being very acidic it plays havoc with your body; and is a contributory factor in arterial wall hardening. So imo it matters not whether you do cardio or not... and indeed weight training is no worse/better than cardio for heart health.

Now I'm not saying don't do anything that produces lactic acid. That's not possible for us that train hard/properly. What I'm getting at is that we want to remove the lactic acid asap. Using alkaline nutrition to so this is best. I've found that sodium bicarbonate taken some time after training (either immediately, with next solid meal or before bed) can really help. I can tell this with not just pH testing of my urine after and indeed the next morning, but also a significantly reduced amount of DOMS; and even none. It works very well.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Gym-pig on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:56 pm

health4ni wrote:Lactic acid is the "killer" with regards to exercise. Being very acidic it plays havoc with your body; and is a contributory factor in arterial wall hardening. So imo it matters not whether you do cardio or not... and indeed weight training is no worse/better than cardio for heart health.

Now I'm not saying don't do anything that produces lactic acid. That's not possible for us that train hard/properly. What I'm getting at is that we want to remove the lactic acid asap. Using alkaline nutrition to so this is best. I've found that sodium bicarbonate taken some time after training (either immediately, with next solid meal or before bed) can really help. I can tell this with not just pH testing of my urine after and indeed the next morning, but also a significantly reduced amount of DOMS; and even none. It works very well.


Cheers pal , appreciated .
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Alex on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:56 pm

I've been taking bicarb around 3o mins after training for some time now along with the usual morning dose and I think have benfited from this.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby RoB on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:10 pm

Butt you are forgetting that the lactic acid build up IS transient, it will not cause a chronic acidosis. The body naturally neutralizes lactate after exercise and recycles it, to say it is damaging to the heart is very over the top. If anything it will have a hormetic effect and be beneficial. I'm not arguing with keeping a relatively alkaline diet, but there is a big difference between chronic and transient acidosis.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby health4ni on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:33 pm

I just said lactic acid is a contributing factor is ill-health with regards to heart health. It's sadly ironic that it mainly affects those that choose to get fit & healthy.

The human body is alkaline by design and acidic by function. Everything we do is acidic. The body constantly neutralises this using it's alkaline buffer "pool". If the pool is low or runs out then problems start to occur. I don't believe we are designed to get huge, ripped & very strong. That has a huge effect on us and so we must try to help our body's natural processes in neutralising this lactate, for example.
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Re: A Smarter Way to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Postby Dtlv74 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:47 am

health4ni wrote:I just said lactic acid is a contributing factor is ill-health with regards to heart health. It's sadly ironic that it mainly affects those that choose to get fit & healthy.

The human body is alkaline by design and acidic by function. Everything we do is acidic. The body constantly neutralises this using it's alkaline buffer "pool". If the pool is low or runs out then problems start to occur. I don't believe we are designed to get huge, ripped & very strong. That has a huge effect on us and so we must try to help our body's natural processes in neutralising this lactate, for example.


Agree with that. While on the whole a training lifestyle does confer a lot of health benefits, certainly over the sedentary lifestyle, i do think when taken to extremes it does put the body under different kinds of stresses.

Am not sure about the impact of lactate on arterial restriction/hardening - it may well play a part i suppose but i wouldn't have thought it would be responsible on tis own. I know that continued high blood pressure from lots of cardio can increase the likelyhood of calcium deposits in the arterial walls and thicken arteries that way... is only an increased likelyhood though rather than a definite, which suggests that other factors are involved too.
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