Health Effects of Fats: Vascular Disease

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Exercise protects the cardiovascular system: effects beyond traditional risk factors
You strengthen the cardiac muscle that surrounds your heart. It should be noted at the outset that this paper is not a comprehensive review of ideas on this topic. Making healthy eating habits a way of life contributes beneficial nutrients and diminishes many conditions that promote vascular disease and other disorders. One recent notable example investigated the effects of moderate to high doses of statin treatment in a large cohort of patients who were judged at high risk for cardiovascular disease. The heart is a muscle, and like other body muscles, it depends upon a steady supply of blood. When the heart is strong, you recover faster from any injury or health problems. For example, endothelial function is blunted in patients with a number of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and treatment of those risk factors tends to improve or restore endothelial function.

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Effects of Diet on Cardiovascular System

Vascular disease that affects the heart is commonly known as coronary heart disease, that affecting the brain as cerebrovascular disease and that affecting the limbs principally the legs as peripheral vascular disease. What health conditions are associated with vascular disease?

Many vascular disorders are associated with the atherosclerotic buildup of plaque, which is formed from cholesterol, fat, calcium and other substances in the blood. Atherosclerosis is by far the most common cause of vascular disease.

The long-held view underlying vascular disease risk told us that consumption of total fat, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol raised total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol bad cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby causing cardiovascular disease.

But the famous Framingham Heart Study showed there are many factors affecting the chance of developing heart disease, stroke and vascular disease—including smoking, stress, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol good cholesterol , diabetes, advancing age, being overweight, family history of premature heart disease, high blood triglycerides and others. Dietary habits contribute to many of these factors and can be effective in reducing their contribution to vascular disease.

In particular, the quality of fat we eat, including the omega-3 fatty acids from fish, can reduce the impact of several of these factors.

Early observations on diet and vascular disease. Over two decades ago, investigators reported that deaths from coronary heart disease were more than 50 percent lower among people who consumed at least 30 grams of fish per day than among those who did not eat fish. Even before that, it was known that native Arctic populations, whose diet was rich in sea animals, were free of heart disease, thanks in part to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids omega-3s they consumed.

Population studies and clinical trials indicated that dietary fish oils favorably modified various risk factors and had the potential to reduce vascular disease progression, the chance of dying from heart disease and the possibility of sudden cardiac death.

In elderly individuals, eating tuna or other broiled or baked fish was associated with a lower chance of experiencing ischemic stroke. Other studies found that the consumption of omega-3s reduced the chance of vascular disease, heart attack, inflammation, heart arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death, atherosclerosis and ischemic, but not hemorrhagic, stroke.

In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease—that is, prevention following the occurrence of an initial coronary incident—studies have largely concluded that the consumption of fish or omega-3s significantly reduces the chance of another heart attack or major cardiac event. The American Heart Association and many other professional groups have recommended the consumption of at least two fish meals a week to reduce the chance of heart disease. They note, too, that the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid has only weak effects on heart disease and does not affect as many factors as the omega-3s in seafood.

The precise mechanisms for how omega-3s affect vascular disease are becoming better understood. Long-chain omega-3s are key components of cell membranes where they affect the communication within and between cells. By partially replacing their corresponding omega-6 counterparts in membranes, omega-3s can dampen the effect of omega-6s on inflammation and heart arrhythmias.

In vascular endothelial cells, omega-3s have numerous anti-inflammatory effects, especially at the sites where plaque accumulates. Omega-3 fatty acids affect all stages of vascular disease, including alterations in blood lipids and lipoproteins, blood pressure, platelet adhesiveness, relaxation of the arteries which eases blood flow and lowers blood pressure , changes in the electrical properties of the heart and alterations in gene expression.

Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the growth of endothelial cells and the release of growth factors from injured blood vessels.

These effects may help reduce the recurrence of narrowed blood vessels. Making healthy eating habits a way of life contributes beneficial nutrients and diminishes many conditions that promote vascular disease and other disorders. Healthy food patterns, especially when accompanied by positive lifestyle habits such as exercising regularly and not smoking, can improve endothelial function, too.

Improved nutrition has also been associated with less peripheral artery disease. Eating patterns like those in the Mediterranean Figure 3 and the DASH diets minimize the intake of saturated and trans fatty acids, too much salt, and fried and heavily processed foods.

Instead, they emphasize eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, cereals rich in dietary fiber, fats such as olive and canola oils, herbs and spices instead of salt, nuts, moderate red wine, very little red meat, and eating fish and shellfish at least twice a week. In North America and elsewhere, current dietary intakes of omega-3s are well below those recommended by the American Heart Association and other health authorities.

Intakes of to mg per day are considered more beneficial to health. Read on and find out! The heart never rests. It beats 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the minute you were conceived to the time you die. This organ beats , times in one day.

Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and vices could break down the heart. Regular exercise keeps the heart strong so it does not work harder in circulating the blood. This is called resting heart rate.

Physical fitness lowers the resting heart rate by up to two beats per minute. This means, your heart will beat 2, less in a day.

Exercising increases the stroke volume of the heart. This refers to the amount of blood being pumped by the heart with every beat. Every time your heart beats, blood enters the left ventricle and out the blood vessels. This motion pushes blood into the veins and into your every organ. This is how your tissues get access to oxygen. By exercising, the heart achieves stronger, more powerful muscle contractions. This literally increases the pumping power of your heart.

When the stroke volume of the heart is increased, it does not work as hard as it should. Capillaries are diminutive blood vessels linked to bigger arteries and veins. They go to organs and other tissues to supply nutrients. Exercising regularly boosts the density of the capillaries. This means the organs and tissues get more nutrients. The organs become even more efficient in eliminating wastes like carbon dioxide with more capillaries.

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