New Study Suggests That Belly Fat Is Worse Than Obesity For Your Heart Health


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The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to assess overall fitness, however, a new study has found that weight concentrated around the middle can be more harmful than obesity itself.

The waist to hip ratio is proving to be a better predictor of heart disease and other illness than BMI alone.

Participants were divided into six groups based on which of the three BMI groups they fell into, and whether they had a normal or high waist-to-hip ratio. Men whose waist measurement was 90 percent or more of their hip measurement were considered to have a high hip-to-waist ratio. The same was true of women; those with waists that were 85 percent of their hip size were classified as having a high hip-to-waist ratio.

Participants with normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio had the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and the highest risk of dying from any causes among the six groups.
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from any cause was 2.08 times higher among normal-weight people with “central obesity,” compared with normal-weight people who had a normal waist-to-hip ratio.
“The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors,” said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, also of Mayo Clinic.

Men can be highly susceptible to accumulating belly fat and inactivity, poor diet and stress contribute to visceral fat.

Keeping your abs toned and your middle “whittled” is the best way to avoid disease and keep your heart strong.

In a previous Q&A I discuss food and hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of things. In this country, diet is the main culprit. Our food supply is so deficient in nutrients and loaded with anti-nutrients that it’s really no surprise we are experiencing health problems in epidemic proportions. Vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fats) are a huge contributor to hypothyroidism, obesity, cardio vascular disease and other health problems. These are man-made foods that have only been around since the early 1900s, with soy oil becoming the number one cooking oil by the 1950s.

Soy products, like soy oil and protein, contain extremely high amounts of goitrogens. Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances that interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland by blocking the synthesis of thyroid hormones and slowing ones metabolism. Before inexpensive polyunsaturated fats became common place, beef tallow, lard, olive oil and tropical oils were in use; heart disease, hypothyroidism, obesity, diabetes and other diseases were but a fraction of the incidence they are today.

Read the rest HERE.

Low testosterone levels hinder your health.


low testosterone levels put men at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death?? One study shows that testosterone treatment reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.? Another study that looked at the cause of death in almost 2000 men aged 20 to 79 years.? The men with low testosterone at the start of the study had a 2.5 times greater risk of dying during the next ten years compared with men with higher testosterone levels.? These studies, and more, will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in San Francisco, suggest that testosterone therapy has several positive effects.
(Vitacost.com Daily Health Tip; June, 2008)

How to Find a Vascular Specialist

A cardiovascular specialist specializes in issues related to the cardiovascular system, which is made up of the heart and circulatory system. Some cardiovascular specialists (also “vascular” specialists) work with patients that have existing conditions, while others focus on diagnosis and treatment. Still, some work in adult or pediatric treatment and others work with specific issues such as transplants, defibrillators or artificial hearts. Some vascular specialists work in all areas of vascular health from prevention to treatment.

There are several ways to locate a vascular specialist that deals with your particular condition. You can talk to your family physician who will give you several referrals. Ask your doctor how long he’s worked with the specialists on his list and which ones he highly recommends. Other ways to locate a vascular specialist include contacting a few local hospitals for a referral list, checking with your health insurance provider and using resources provided by professional groups. These include:

·The Society of Interventional Radiology
·The Society for Vascular Surgery
·The Society for Vascular Medicine

The Society of Interventional Radiology allows users to search for doctors by specialty using the sites “Doctor Finder.” The Society for Vascular Surgery of the American Vascular Association has a “Find a Vascular Specialist” feature that allows users to search by state, country and/or name. The Society for Vascular Medicine “Physician Finder” allows users to search for vascular specialists by state.

For information about cardiovascular health, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

Hormones and heart health

If you had to rank the most important factors for a healthy heart, hormones would likely show up last on your list. But the truth is that these chemical messengers have a strong influence on just about every single one of your body’s delicate systems… and your cardiovascular system is no exception.

You may not realize it, but your blood vessels are lined with estrogen receptors, which play a key role in regulating healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and normal clot formation in both men and women.1 This may be one reason why pre-menopausal women enjoy more optimal heart health statistics than their male and postmenopausal counterparts—and why heart health becomes an important focus for women as they grow older.

Read The full article

Debunking salt myths

There are many myths about salt. The following are all false:
Myth 1: There is no difference between unrefined sea salt and refined table salt.
Unrefined salt contains over 80 minerals and elements that are useful in our body. Refined table salt, contains 2 along with chemicals that were used to process it.
Myth 2: Salt causes hypertension.
Two authors looked at 57 trials of people with normal blood pressure. A low sodium diet resulted in an insignificant reduction of blood pressure. Many other studies have found similar findings. (Blood pressure has more to do with chronically elevated insulin levels associated with a higher carb diet.)
Myth 3: A low salt diet is healthy.
Researchers have found there is no difference in deaths and cardiovascular events between low salt groups and high salt groups.
(Vitamin Research News 2008;22(1))

U.S. News and World Report; Best hospitals of 2010-2011

US News and World Report ranks America’s hospitals? They also rank colleges, law schools and medical schools. I’ve read that these institutions go through great lengths to improve their standings because these reports have so much influence. This year, only 152 of the 4,852 hospitals evaluated performed well enough to rank in any specialty. And of the 152, just 14 qualified for a spot in the Honor Roll by ranking at or near the top in six or more specialties. Below are the top 3 in three major categories.

Cancer:
#1 University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX
#2 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY
#3 Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
#9 Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio

Heart and Heart Surgery:
#1 Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH (Hometown pride)
#2 Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
#3 Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

Neurology and Neurosurgery:
#1 Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD
#2 Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
#3 Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA
#6 Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio

Go to USNews see all the rankings of the best hospitals including the top children’s hospitals

More good news for saturated fat

A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (March 2010 9(3)535-546), combined the relative risk rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) from 21 studies. This Mega-analysis represents almost 350,000 subjects whose diets and health outcomes had been followed for 5 to 23 years. The conclusion: “There is no significant evidence concluding that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CVD.
Fallon, S, & Enig, M. (2010). Caustic commentary. Wise Traditionsin Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, 11(2).

Coconut oil for optimum health

Taken from the fruit portion of the seed off the coconut palm tree, coconut oil is one the most beneficial foods you can consume. In tropical regions where coconut oil or fat is a large portion of their caloric intake, people are much healthier and experience a much lower incidence of the modern diseases we do in the U.S. [1, 2]

There is an array of positive research published in the last few years showing the significance of coconut oil. [3] Coconut oil is classified as a “functional food” because of its health benefits that go far beyond its nutritional content. In fact, the coconut palm is so highly valued by Pacific Islanders as a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” [4]

Coconut oil is the most saturated of all fats. Saturated fat has three subcategories: short chain, medium chain and long chain. Coconut oil contains approximately 65% medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Although recognized for its health benefits many centuries ago, it wasn’t until 40 years ago that modern medicine found the source to be MCFA. Remarkably, mother’s milk contains the same healing powers of coconut oil. [5]

The saturated medium chain lipid lauric acid, which comprises more than 50 percent of coconut oil, is the anti-bacterial, anti-viral fatty acid found in mother’s milk. [6] The body converts lauric acid into the fatty acid derivative monolaurin, which is the substance that protects adults as well as infants from viral, bacterial or protozoal infections. This was recognized and reported as early as 1966. [7]

Since the first half of the 19th century, infection has been implicated as a cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). [8] Researchers have been studying what causes the changes in the arterial wall. Professors Russell Ross and John Glomset formulated a hypothesis in 1973 about what causes CVD, concluding that CVD occurs in response to localized injury to the lining of the artery wall, which has been brought about by a number of things including viruses. [9, 10] The injury, in turn causes inflammation/infection. The plaque that develops is a result of the body trying to heal itself. It has been very well established that pathogens play an integral role in cardiovascular disease.

What is interesting about the role of viruses that have been found to initiate cardiovascular disease is they can be inhibited by the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil. One could say that consuming coconut oil decreases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sources of Coconut oil:
Only use organic virgin coconut oil. I am currently using Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is truly unrefined and made from organic coconuts. It contains a very high lauric acid content between 50 and 57 percent. I use between two and four tablespoons per day, which is what is recommended.

references:
1. Enig, Mary. “A New Look at Coconut Oil.” westonaprice.org. http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut_oil.html

2. Rethinam, P. Muhatoyo. “The Plain Truth About Coconut Oil.” http://www.apccsec.org/truth.html

3. Enig, Mary. “Latest studies on coconut oil.” Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts. Spring,2006;7(1).

4. “Coconut.” Coconut Research Center. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

5. Kabara, Jon J. “Health Oils From The Tree of Life – Nutritional and Health Aspects of Coconut Oil.” http://www.coconutoil.com/John%20Kabara.pdf

6. Enig,Mary. Know Your Fats. Silver Spring: Bethesda Press, 2000

7. Lee, Lita. “Coconut Oil: Why is it Good for you.” Dec. 2001. coconut.com http://www.coconutoil.com/litalee.htm

8. Epstein, Stephen, et al. “Infection and Atherosclerosis.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2000;20:1417 http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/20/6/1417

9. “Getting to the Heart of Atherosclerosis.” The UW Office of Research. http://www.washington.edu/research/pathbreakers/1973b.html

10. Furci, Michael. “Fats, Cholesterol and the Lipid Hypothesis.” www.bullz-eye.com.

Veggies vs animals

A study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, 28 February, 2009, found vitamin K consumption to strongly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. This finding surfaced with an analysis of a cohort study, Prospect-EPIC, consisting of 16,057 women aged between 49 and 70, none of whom had cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. To the surprise of many, those who got their vitamin K from plant forms by eating lots of leafy vegetables did not fare better than the normal population. However, those women who got their vitamin K from animal sources like whole eggs, cheese, goose liver, and animal fats had substantially reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Enig, Mary., and Sally Fallon. ?Caustic commentary? Wise Traditions, 2009;(10)2:11

Unfortunately, the researchers are calling for vitamin K2 supplementation not a healthy diet consisting of animal products, which would yield a whole host of other health benefits.

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