High Alpha-Linolenic Acid Diet Decreases Inflammation and Cholesterol in Both Men and Women with High Cholesterol
High levels of bad cholesterol (non-HDL cholesterol) and high
levels of inflammatory markers are both risk factors for cardiovascular
disease. Putting test subjects on a diet high in Alpha-Linolenic Acid,
an omega-3 fatty acid (17% of calories from these polyunsaturated
fatty acids) decreased inflammation-causing substances in the body
and also decreased total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and
triglycerides. The inflammatory components lowered included the
very dangerous C-reactive protein, plus vascular cell adhesion
molecule-1, E-Selectin, and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1,
all chemicals native to our blood stream that can contribute to
hardening of the arteries. The study is published in the November
2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Dietary sources of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) include Flaxseed
(the highest source), and also to a lesser extent soybeans and
soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. ALA is an
omega-3 fatty acid precursor eventually being transformed into the
EPA and DHA found in fish oil capsules (in most people).
High Dietary Potassium Aids Alkalinity, Healing, and Protects from Various Disease States
A transition toward modern Western diets has led to a substantial
decrease in the consumption of potassium. A large segment of the
population may now have suboptimal intake of potassium. High
potassium intake is protective against major pathological states
that affect the cardiovascular system, kidneys and bones.
Additionally fruits and vegetables have potassium in the form
of malates and citrates, forms that have an alkalinizing effect.
Low-grade metabolic acidosis can worsen various catabolic processes
especially in the elderly, such as the loss of calcium from bone
(leading to bone thinning). The study appears in the November 2004
issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
When individuals tend to be more acidic (low-grade metabolic
acidosis) they tend to be more inflamed, allergies, asthma, skin
conditions, the break down of bone, arthritis and autoimmune
diseases all tend to be worse. When a person has metabolic balance
with short periods of acidity, and a tendency to be alkaline, it
is a period of healing and rebuilding. The many servings of fruits
and vegetables daily help to supply potassium and help improve
metabolic balance. Low intake of potassium can lead to elevations
of or even high blood pressure, blood vessel damage and this
contributes to hardening of the arteries, kidney damage, and
Fish Oil Capsules and Fish Help Control Inflammation
Fish oil capsules and fish supplying EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty
acids have a variety of anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating
(immune controlling) effects that may be relevant to hardening of
the arteries and its risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden
death. A variety of effects from these fatty acids have been
demonstrated in human and animal studies. They help lower
triglycerides, help improve cholesterol to HDL levels, help
prevent improper blood clots, help protect the lining of blood
vessels and improve blood flow, help lower elevated blood pressure,
help prevent excitability of the heart, help decrease free
radical damage, help normalize immune function, and help control
inflammation. Epidemiological studies give evidence for reducing
coronary artery disease and stroke, whereas randomized, controlled
clinical trials support this and show protection from sudden heart
related death due to cardiovascular disease. Trials demonstrate a
clinically important anti-inflammatory effect in rheumatoid
arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
The review is published in the November 2004 issue of Current