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Posts Tagged ‘low cholesterol diet’

Health Benefits Cacao

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Health Benefits Cacao Cacao is the dried partly fermented fatty seed of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae) used in making cocoa, chocolate and cocoa butter—called also cacao bean, cocoa bean.
is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
ORAC – HDL – LDL Cholesterol 
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The biological relevance of this metric is questionable. Because it’s done in a test tube it may not have the same effect in OUR bodyHDL stands for High Density Lipids. LDL stands for Low Density Lipids
In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period. Another study revealed that eating chocolate 2 or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect.
Yet another study showed that chocolate 5+ times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%

Health Benefits Cacao

These studies are observational studies. Provided is a biological mechanism – lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL. So it is plausible that regular consumption of dark chocolate can in fact reduce the risk of heart disease.
Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk for the people who consume the most chocolate
In a controlled trial, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men.
It also increased HDL and lowered total LDL in men with elevated cholesterol
Oxidised LDL means that the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) has reacted with free radicals
It makes perfect sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL.
It contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants. These make it into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage.

Cacao Health Benefits Cacao and The Body Youth Code

The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO). This gas sends signals to the arteries to relax. This lowers resistance to blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
Many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The effects are usually mild. However, one study in people with elevated blood pressure hows no effect, so may be not actually medicinal.


Our skin is an important barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damageStudies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.      [tweetthis]Studies show flavanols from cocoa improve blood flow & prevent sun-induced skin damage[/tweetthis]

Chocolate Benefits

Chocolate Benefits

Chocolate Health Benefits – Nutrition for Healthy Skin

Bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can account for our youthful skin complexion. At Susannah Makram Clinics we’re interested in bringing out the best in our body – and our skin is the largest organ! Flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage. They improve blood flow to skin, increasing skin density and skin hydration. Minimal erythemal dose (MED) – this is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin, 24 hours after exposure. In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks

Chocolate Health Benefits – Consider This COCOA

Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease.

Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine. These might be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term

Nutrition is a science and your body is as unique as your DNA

Gut Microbiome Diet

Gut health

Gut health diet; our nutrition influences our gut microbiome. Diet influences the function of the gut #microbiota in the long term.
It’s not clear yet how rapidly our microbiota is affected by short-term dietary change.

Gut health is well aligned with our environment and our food choices. Gut health is well aligned with our environment and our food choices.

As it remains unclear how rapidly and reproducibly the human gut microbiome responds to short-term macronutrient change we personalise functional nutrition. big shift in what we’re feeding our bodies i.e. consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products – alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression.

DNA contains instructions for building all the parts of the body. The DNA in our bodies is wrapped around proteins called histones. Both the DNA and histones are covered with chemical tags. This second layer structure is called the Epigenome.
The epigenome shapes the physical structure of the genome. It tightly wraps inactive genes making them unreadable. It relaxes active genes making them easily accessible.

gut microbiome diet

gut microbiome diet

Different sets of genes are active in differential types. The DNA code remains fixed for life but the epigenome is flexible. Epigenetic tags react to signals from the outside world such as diet and stress. The epigenome adjusts specific genes in our genomic landscape that responds to our rapidly changing environment

Beneficial Metabolic Effects of the Enteric Microbiota

5 Ways Diet Affects Our Gut Microbiome

1. Biotransformation of bile salts. Bile Acids as Metabolic Regulators.
2. Production of micronutrients (e.g., vitamin K, biotin and folate).
3. Participation in the fermentation of otherwise indigestible polysaccharides by colonic bacteria
to short chain fatty acids.
4. Aiding in the metabolism and/or activation of medications (e.g., sulfasalazine, digoxin). This can support healthy weight loss.
5. Prevention of luminal colonisation by pathogenic microorganisms. This can assist with improving low immunity symptoms.

Cholesterol and Heart Attack Risk

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is bad; lowering cholesterol is good for our health. So, we’re led to believe. Low and high cholesterol levels are perceived to reflect our diet or genes, to one extent or another. Chances are we know at least one person on cholesterol lowering drugs  e.g. lipitor or atorvastatin.

Fast Fact: 75% OF PEOPLE who have a HEART ATTACK have NORMAL CHOLESTEROL     [tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#heartdisease”]75% of people who have a heart attack have normal #cholesterol [/tweetthis]

Liposcan HDL & LDL Subfractions is a new procedure that determines actual heart attack risk by means of differentiated analysis of HDL and LDL subfractions.

Cholesterol Levels

The clinical value of the Liposcan Test lies in the readings it gives you.
Liposcan is a unique fat metabolism test. It identifies and differentiates all cholesterol particles quantitatively by their size. This is the first test of its time.

Liposcan tells us for the first time:

  • Small, dense LDL – are they high? If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but have a low HDL (good cholesterol) there is no benefit in your taking statins. (i)
  • Differentiations between IDL and LDL and the large, less artherogenic LDL and VLDL
  • Subfractions of LDL1 LDL2 LDL3 LDL4 LDL5 LDL6 LDL7
  • These are non-pathogenic/pathogenic – by size, the small particles  LDL3-7 carry a significant heart attack risk potential. This is due to their higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids meaning  they can be oxidised easier, which further increases their aggressiveness.
  • The protective HDL as LDL/HDL quotient i.e. indicates actual protective effect of the HDL

If high quantities of atherogenic LDL particles have actually been found, there will be the possibility to identify the cause of these findings. Nearly half of patients without heart attack have high cholesterol levels. Which type of cholesterol is elevated and which size the distribution particles have give us parameters for risk assessment and will tell us what is the best therapy for you.


High Cholesterol

Cure For Cholesterol

Our functional approach to treatment is your Naturopathic Portfolio. This is  personalised nutrition. Susannah takes the effect of lipid lowering drugs or statins. She uses your lifestyle as the canvas for change. Your routines and your habits are reformed. Your work other life demands will not change. Life is not a luxury spa. Our modern environment needs to work for us. This does not happen overnight. Our time the food you eat and the choices you make become easier. It is encouraging that you feel and see results from the start.

Low Cholesterol

Get the right treatment. Prevent disease. Prevent this disease from being passed on to future generations. Do you think you have true High Cholesterol levels that predispose you to myocardial disease? First, understand the physiological process that links high cholesterol to a heart attack.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver that is used to help perform thousands of bodily functions. The body uses it to help build your cell membranes, the covering of your nerve sheaths, and much of your brain. It is a key building block for our hormone production. Without cholesterol we are not be able to maintain adequate levels of testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone and cortisol.

People with the lowest cholesterol as they age are in fact at highest risk of death. Under certain circumstances, high cholesterol or higher cholesterol can actually help increase life span.

Think there is 36% reduction in risk of having a heart attack using lipid lowering drugs or statins ..? Think again. The touted “36% reduction” actually means a reduction of the number of people getting heart attacks or death from 3% to 2% (or about 30-40%)
If you are a healthy woman with high cholesterol, there is no proof that taking statins reduces your risk of heart attack or death.(ii) If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but don’t reduce inflammation (marked by a test called C-reactive protein), there is no benefit to statins. (iii) Keep reading…

Heart disease is not only about cholesterol. It is important to look at many factors that contribute to your overall risk. And it seems that insulin and blood sugar imbalances, and inflammation are proving to be more of a risk that cholesterol.                         At Susannah Makram Clinics our CardioMetabolic Profile Panel provides an assessment of: Disease risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease), metabolic syndrome.

Low Cholesterol Diet

The Right Test = The Right Treatment.

High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol

Total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Your total cholesterol should be under 200. Your triglycerides should be under 100. Your HDL should be over 60. Your LDL should be ideally under 80. Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 3.0. Your ratio of triglycerides to HDL should be no greater than 4, which can indicate insulin resistance if elevated.

Cardiometabolic Combination Panel – Blood Sugar 

Haemoglobin (Hb)A1c – DBS.  measures whether target levels of blood sugar control have been achieved and your average blood sugar level over 6-12 week period. Anything over 5.5 is high. Glycated haemoglobin indicates poorly controlled blood sugar.

Glucose Insulin Tolerance Test. Testing your blood sugar levels are not the same thing. Most clinics just check blood sugar and not insulin, which is the first thing to go up. Measurements of fasting and 1 and 2 hour levels of glucose AND insulin helps identify pre-diabetes and excessively high levels of insulin and even diabetes. By the time your blood sugar levels go up, you have missed the boat which is why we measure:

Fasting Insulin – DBS. At Susannah Makram clinics this is an assessment of insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease risk (via a measure of insulin resistance).

Cardio C-reactive protein. This is a marker of inflammation in the body that is essential to understand in the context of overall risk. Your C-reactive protein level should be less than 1.
Inflammation is a key contributor to heart disease. A major study done at Harvard found that people with high levels of a marker called C-reactive protein (CRP) had higher risks of heart disease than people with high cholesterol. Normal cholesterol levels were NOT protective to those with high CRP. The risks were greatest for those with high levels of both CRP and cholesterol.

Homocysteine. Your homocysteine measures your folate status and should be between 6 and 8.

(i)Barter P, Gotto AM, LaRosa JC, Maroni J, Szarek M, Grundy SM, Kastelein JJ, Bittner V, Fruchart JC; Treating to New Targets Investigators. HDL cholesterol, very low levels of LDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular events. N Engl J Med. 2007 Sep 27;357(13):1301-10.

(ii) Abramson J, Wright JM. Are lipid-lowering guidelines evidence-based? Lancet. 2007 Jan 20;369(9557):168-9

(iii) Ridker PM, Danielson E, Fonseca FA, Genest J, Gotto AM Jr, Kastelein JJ, Koenig W, Libby P, Lorenzatti AJ, MacFadyen JG, Nordestgaard BG, Shepherd J, Willerson JT, Glynn RJ; JUPITER Study Group. Rosuvastatin to prevent vascular events in men and women with elevated C-reactive protein. N Engl J Med. 2008 Nov 20;359(21):2195-207.

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