Heart Disease and Stroke - Mechanisms/Disease Processes

Specifics relating to the development of heart disease and disease mechanisms

The vegetarian lifestyle and DNA methylation.

Vegetarians have a lower intake of vitamin B12 than omnivores do. Vitamin B12 deficiency (holotranscobalamin II <35 pmol/L or methylmalonic acid >271 nmol/L) was found in 58% of 71 vegetarians studied. Higher homocysteine levels (>12 micromol/L) found in 45% indicate disturbed remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. The methylation of DNA is strongly linked to homocysteine metabolism.

Effects of long-term vegetarian diets on cardiovascular autonomic functions in healthy postmenopausal women.

The incidence of cardiovascular disease is higher in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. We hypothesized that long-term vegetarian diets might modulate cardiovascular autonomic functions measured by frequency-domain techniques in healthy postmenopausal women. A total of 35 healthy vegetarians (mean age +/- SEM 55.0 +/- 1.3 years) who had been vegetarians for > or =2 years and 35 omnivores (55.1 +/- 1.4 years) participated in this study. These subjects were all postmenopausal without hormone replacement therapy.

Long-term low-calorie low-protein vegan diet and endurance exercise are associated with low cardiometabolic risk.

BACKGROUND: Western diets, which typically contain large amounts of energy-dense processed foods, together with a sedentary lifestyle are associated with increased cardiometabolic risk. We evaluated the long-term effects of consuming a low-calorie low-protein vegan diet or performing regular endurance exercise on cardiometabolic risk factors.

Overall glycemic index and glycemic load of vegan diets in relation to plasma lipoproteins and triacylglycerols.

BACKGROUND:To investigate the overall glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and intake of dietary fiber, and to examine the associations between these factors and plasma lipoproteins and triacylglycerols in adult vegans in the German Vegan Study (GVS). METHODS:Cross-sectional study, Germany. Healthy men (n = 67) and women (n = 87), who fulfilled the study criteria (vegan diet for >or=1 year prior to study start; minimum age of 18 years; no pregnancy/childbirth during the last 12 months) and who participated in all study segments.

A comparison of some of the cardiovascular risk factors in vegetarian and omnivorous Turkish females.

BACKGROUND:Elevated serum total homocysteine (tHcy) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine levels may be influenced by dietary habits. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of a vegetarian diet on some of the cardiovascular risk factors in Turkish females. METHOD:The study was conducted on 26 vegetarian and 26 omnivore females. Serum tHcy, folate, vitamin B(12) and lipids were determined and dietary data were assessed using a 4-day food intake record at two time points.

Omega-3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA.

Long-chain EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can be co-preventative and co-therapeutic. Current research suggests increasing accumulated long chain omega-3s for health benefits and as natural medicine in several major diseases. But many believe plant omega-3 sources are nutritionally and therapeutically equivalent to the EPA/DHA omega-3 in fish oil. Although healthy, precursor ALA bio-conversion to EPA is inefficient and production of DHA is nearly absent, limiting the protective value of ALA supplementation from flax-oil, for example.

Alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in postmenopausal women is related to LDL cholesterol levels.

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in healthy postmenopausal women is related to lipid metabolism. A total of 70 healthy postmenopausal women not on hormone therapy participated in this study: 35 were vegetarians (mean age 55.0 years) and 35 were omnivores (mean age 55.1 years). Cardiovascular autonomic functions and baroreflex sensitivity were evaluated by specific frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial blood pressure fluctuation.

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