Posts Tagged ‘heart and wellness test’

A recent study, published in the American Heart Association Journal, Stroke, studied Japanese men and women and reported that both coffee and green tea can help cut the risk of suffering a stroke.

The research discovered that the more green tea a person drank, the more it reduced the risk of suffering a stroke.  The study showed an almost 20% lower risk of stroke in green tea drinkers versus those that did not or rarely drank green tea.  Similarly, coffee drinkers only needed one cup per day to receive the same 20% decrease in the risk of stroke during the 13 year follow-up period.

tea benefits

What is the Science?

Green tea contains compounds called catechins.  Catechins are known to regulate blood pressure and improve blood flow through an anti-inflammatory response.  Likewise, coffee has caffeine and quinides compounds that affect our health positively although through a different mechanism.

Note that many of these studies that refer to tea and coffee as good dietary practices do not include those drinks that are laden with fat and sugar.  There has been an increase in both tea and coffee consumption, but those extra large lattes and teas can contain high amounts of fat and sugar when cream, milk and sugar are included.  The US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states that a 6-ounce cup of black coffee contains just 7 calories. Add some half & half and you’ll get 46 calories. If you flavor a liquid nondairy creamer, that will set you back 48 calories. A teaspoon of sugar will add about 23 calories.

Regular coffee, sans the heavy cream & sugar has been linked to a range of benefits that reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes and to have a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease.

Be cautioned:  drinking coffee and tea is not cause and effect as there may be other lifestyle habits amongst java and tea drinkers that lead to reduced risk of disease.  So if you currently drink a cup ‘o joe or have some tea, there’s no need to stop.  If you don’t, maybe enlist a friend for some tea, that is, after you do your exercise and eat your healthy meal.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Cholesterol Blood Test – NMR Lipo Test

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So, you had your cholesterol tested recently and some or all of your values are out of the normal range.  We always recommend discussing your lab results with your physician and together you may decide to recheck your cholesterol lipid levels with a more sophisticated test: NMR LipoProfile.

The NMR LipoProfile Test

The NMR LipoProfile test indicates the number of LDL particles (LDL-P).  The blood test is used to assess your risk of cardiac heart disease and a means to provide a protocol to minimize the damaging affects of cholesterol.  Knowing your LDL particle information along with your LDL cholesterol values provides a more complete picture to manage and maintain your heart health.

The NMR LipoProfile test should be used in conjunction with other lipid measurements (e.g. the typical, inexpensive Lipid Panel) to manage cardiovascular disease.

plaque in arteries

Lipid Panel Test

The typical lipid panel, an inexpensive test, is an excellent way to test for the following components and estimating your risk for heart disease:

  1. Total Cholesterol
  2. Triglycerides
  3. HDL Cholesterol
  4. VLDL Cholesterol
  5. LDL Cholesterol
  6. Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
  7. Estimated Cardiac Heart Disease (CHD) Risk

The NMR LipoProfile test also includes Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, but also measures the LDL density pattern.   LDL is what is considered the bad cholesterol and the density pattern provides additional information – small and dense LDL can infiltrate the lining of the artery walls and can aggressively promote plaque formation. It is believed that the smaller, denser LDL particles are more likely to cause clogged arteries than particles that are light and less dense.  The NMR LipoProfile test can provide this additional information.

The NMR LipoProfile test also provides an Insulin Resistance Score.  The score combines information from lipoprotein particle concentration and size to give improved assessment of insulin resistance and diabetes risk.

Should You Get the NMR LipoProfile Test?

If you have any of these factors that contribute to cardiometabolic risk, the NMR LipoProfile test — The Particle Test — may be right for you:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Previous heart attack
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Low HDL (dyslipidemia)
  • High triglycerides

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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Control the Risk Factors of Heart Disease

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February is National Heart Month and there will be many articles on how to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.  Note that if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol is even higher. Some researchers indicate that it is better to get your blood pressure and cholesterol under control then work on your glucose levels.  Check with your physician for the best protocol.

Research shows that you can control one or more of these risk factors if you elicit help from a friend, family member or professional.  Everyone can benefit from these simple choices, so find a partner and see if you can make some healthy choices:

  1. Get regular check-ups to monitor your health
  2. Measure your blood pressure and test lipids (cholesterol)
  3. If you are overweight, take control and start to lose pounds gradually
  4. Take all prescribed medicine as directed
  5. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise
  6. Quick smoking
  7. Modify your diet to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish
  8. Read food labels to minimize food high in saturated fats & cholesterol
  9. Limit your salt intake to 2300mg/day.  Most of this comes from processed foods
  10. Drink in moderation – men: 2 drinks/day and women: 1 drink/day

Research also indicates that alternative medicine can be a major factor in meeting goals for a heart healthy lifestyle.  Studies show that massage and acupuncture can reduce stress, reduce blood pressure, assist with smoking cessation and improve circulation and range of motion to help maintain an exercise program.

Do you know your numbers?  There are convenient ways to get your blood pressure and cholesterol (lipid) blood tests done.  Almost every pharmacy has a blood pressure machine and it is a good practice to check your blood pressure often.  Discount blood testing is available to have your lipids checked.  This includes cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL and VLDL.  Test now then make dietary changes and test again.

Other simple ways to incorporate heart healthy lifestyle changes is to

  1. meditate
  2. prioritize and delegate tasks to reduce stress
  3. limit distractions or focus on less stressful events
  4. grill, steam or roast your food
  5. reduce portion sizes – try a smaller plate
  6. exercise in short bursts – 3×10 minute intervals = 30 minutes of recommended exercise and is just as effective

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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BMI and Heart Disease

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It’s been proven that being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease.  A recent research study in Denmark studied the link between excess body weight and the increased risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD): Body Mass Index (BMI) and Heart Disease.  The researchers used the BMI as a means to determine excess body weight.

Lab tests for heart disease

What is Ischemic Heart Disease?

Ischemic heart disease is caused by an accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the artery they can restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.  When the supply of blood and oxygen decreases, pain (angina) can occur and the risk of a heart attack, due to the lack of oxygen (ischemia) can occur.

In this particular study, researchers found that for every four-point increase in an individual’s BMI, there was a 26 percent increased risk of IHD. For example, an obese person with a BMI of 32 would be 52 percent more likely to develop IHD, than someone with a BMI of 24.

What are other Risk Factors?

There is increased risk for mortality when the following are present:

The majority of these risk factors are attributed to being overweight.  The research shows that maintaining a healthy weight and BMI can reduce the risk of IHD.  A person who is 5’8″tall and weighs 180 pounds has a BMI of 27.4. A weight loss of lost 25 pounds would drop his or her BMI to 23.6, an almost-four-point drop, and reduce the risk of a heart attack by 25 percent.

Other Lifestyle Modifications to Reduce Risk

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  2. Add exercise – it can be as simple as walking briskly for 30 minutes or more at least 5 times per week
  3. Minimize consumption of red meat
  4. Consume three or more servings of whole grains daily
  5. Introducing small quantities of nuts into your diet (Omega 3 and other nutrients
  6. Not smoking

Take Control of Your Health!

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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