As readers of this blog will know well, I do not believe that cholesterol levels have anything to do with heart disease, which would more accurately called coronary artery disease (CAD) or coronary heart disease (CHD). This is not a view that is widely accepted in the medical community, nor in society as a whole. In fact, this view places me very firmly in the ‘nut job’ category. I have been told that my views mean that I feature on several quack watch sites. Hoorah, fame – of a kind – at last.
So when I come across information that supports my position, I am always keen to make as much noise about it as possible. Today, or at least today as I write this, someone sent me an article entitled ‘Continuous decline in mortality from coronary heart disease in Japan despite a continuous and marked rise in total cholesterol: Japanese experience after the Seven Countries Study.’
Background and purpose of the study
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors plays a critical role in treating hypertension. The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate ACE inhibition activity of 50 Iranian medicinal plants using an in vitro assay.
The ACE activity was evaluated by determining the hydrolysis rate of substrate, hippuryl-L-histidyl-L-leucine (HHL), using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric method and DPPH radical scavenging assay respectively.
Six extracts revealed > 50% ACE inhibition activity at 330 μg/ml concentration. They were Berberis integerrima Bunge. (Berberidaceae) (88.2 ± 1.7%), Crataegus microphylla C. Koch (Rosaceae) (80.9 ± 1.3%), Nymphaea alba L. (Nymphaeaceae) (66.3 ± 1.2%), Onopordon acanthium L. (Asteraceae) (80.2 ± 2.0%), Quercus infectoria G. Olivier. (Fagaceae) (93.9 ± 2.5%) and Rubus sp. (Rosaceae) (51.3 ± 1.0%). Q. infectoria possessed the highest total phenolic content with 7410 ± 101 mg gallic acid/100 g dry plant. Antioxidant activity of Q. infectoria (IC50 value 1.7 ± 0.03 μg/ml) was more than that of BHT (IC50 value of 10.3 ± 0.15 μg/ml) and Trolox (IC50 value of 3.2 ± 0.06 μg/ml) as the positive controls.
In this study, we introduced six medicinal plants with ACE inhibition activity. Despite the high ACE inhibition and antioxidant activity of Q. infectoria, due to its tannin content (tannins interfere in ACE activity), another plant, O. acanthium, which also had high ACE inhibition and antioxidant activity, but contained no tannin, could be utilized in further studies for isolation of active compounds.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff discusses the role of cholesterol and sulfur in the body and how they are directly connected. Find out why we have it wrong when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease and what key things we need to know to stay healthy!
Statins did not reduce sudden cardiac death (SCD) events in HF patients [relative risk (RR) 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70 to 1.21], all-cause mortality [RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.02] but significantly reduced hospitalization for worsening heart failure (HWHF) although modestly [RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.94]. Nevertheless, estimated predictive intervals were insignificant in SCD, all-cause mortality and HWHF [RR, 0.54 to 1.63, 0.64 to 1.19, and 0.54 to 1.15], respectively. An important finding was the possible presence of publication bias, small-study effects and heterogeneity of the trials conducted in HF patients.
Statins do not reduce sudden cardiac death, all-cause mortality, but may slightly decrease hospitalization for worsening heart failure in HF patients. The evaluation of the risk of biases suggested moderate quality of the published results. Until new evidence is available, this study supports the 2013 ACCF/AHA guidelines to not systematically prescribe statins in “only” HF patients, which should help avoid unnecessary polypharmacy.
Results: During reperfusion, the numbers and durations of ventricular fibrillation (VF) decreased in all groups compared to the CTL group (p < 0.05). Ventricular tachycardia (VT)/VF numbers (3.2 ± 1.2), durations (4.9 ± 2.6) and also arrhythmia severity (1.9 ± 0.35) were decreased significantly in the Saf100 group versus CTL group values (18.4 ± 11.6, 52 ± 31 and 3.3 ± 0.3, respectively). The PR and QTcn intervals of ECG were significantly longer in the Saf200 group (p < 0.001 versus CTL). The other doses of saffron only significantly prolonged the QTcn interval.
Conclusion: The results suggest that pretreatment with saffron, especially at the dosage of 100 mg/kg/day, attenuates the susceptibility and incidence of fatal ventricular arrhythmia during the reperfusion period in the rat. This protective effect is apparently mediated through reduction of electrical conductivity and prolonging the action potential duration.
Smoking (odds ratio 2·87 for current vs never, PAR 35·7% for current and former vs never), raised ApoB/ApoA1 ratio (3·25 for top vs lowest quintile, PAR 49·2% for top four quintiles vs lowest quintile), history of hypertension (1·91, PAR 17·9%), diabetes (2·37, PAR 9·9%), abdominal obesity (1·12 for top vs lowest tertile and 1·62 for middle vs lowest tertile, PAR 20·1% for top two tertiles vs lowest tertile), psychosocial factors (2·67, PAR 32·5%), daily consumption of fruits and vegetables (0·70, PAR 13·7% for lack of daily consumption), regular alcohol consumption (0·91, PAR 6·7%), and regular physical activity (0·86, PAR 12·2%), were all significantly related to acute myocardial infarction (p<0·0001 for all risk factors and p=0·03 for alcohol). These associations were noted in men and women, old and young, and in all regions of the world. Collectively, these nine risk factors accounted for 90% of the PAR in men and 94% in women.
Whole rice has been widely studied due to the abundance of bioactive compounds in its pericarp. Some of the beneficial effects of these compounds on human health have been attributed to their antioxidant and other biological activities, such as enzyme inhibition. In this work, we evaluated the contents of total, soluble and insoluble phenolic compounds of 6 red and 10 non-pigmented genotypes of whole rice as well as their inhibitory effect on the activity of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). The effects of cooking on phenolics and their inhibitory activities were also investigated. Red genotypes showed high content of phenolics, mainly soluble compounds, at an average of 409.7 mg ferulic acid eq./100 g, whereas overall lower average levels (99.4 mg ferulic acid eq./100 g) at an approximate soluble/insoluble compound ratio of 1:1 were observed in non-pigmented rice. Pigmented rice displayed a greater inhibitory effect on ACE than non-pigmented rice. In fact, a significant correlation between the content of soluble phenolics and ACE inhibition was observed (r = 0.8985, p < 0.05). In addition to significantly reducing the levels of total phenolics and ACE inhibition, cooking altered the soluble/insoluble compound ratio, especially among red rice genotypes
The prevalence of detectable CAC (CAC score >0) was 11.7% (n = 2,604). After adjustment for age; sex; center; year of screening examination; education level; physical activity; smoking; alcohol intake; family history of cardiovascular disease; history of hypertension; history of hypercholesterolemia; and intake of total energy, fruits, vegetables, and red and processed meats, only the highest category of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption was associated with an increased CAC score compared with the lowest consumption category. The multivariable-adjusted CAC ratio comparing participants who consumed ≥5 sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages per week with nondrinkers was 1.70 (95% CI, 1.03-2.81). This association did not differ by clinical subgroup, including participants at low cardiovascular risk.
Our findings suggest that high levels of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption are associated with a higher prevalence and degree of CAC in asymptomatic adults without a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.
Consumption of pomegranate juice which is rich in tannins, possess anti-atherosclerotic properties which could be related to its potent anti-oxidative characteristics. As some antioxidants were recently shown to reduce blood pressure, we studied the effect of pomegranate juice consumption (50 ml, 1.5mmol of total polyphenols per day, for 2 weeks) by hypertensive patients on their blood pressure and on serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity. A 36% decrement in serum ACE activity and a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure were noted. Similar dose-dependent inhibitory effect (31%) of pomegranate juice on serum ACE activity was observed also in vitro. As reduction in serum ACE activity, even with no decrement in blood pressure, was previously shown to attenuate atherosclerosis, pomegranate juice can offer a wide protection against cardiovascular diseases which could be related to its inhibitory effect on oxidative stress and on serum ACE activity.