Dr Dingle's Blog / blood pressure
Artificial sweeteners or Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are commonly added to food with increasing controversy regarding their potential ability to promote metabolic imbalances and lead to weight gain instead of weight loss and diabetes type 2. Unfortunately, many people see these drinks and additives as being healthy. The research shows the opposite
The first report on NAS interactions with the microbiome dates back to the early 1980s. Since then, diets containing non-caloric artificial sweeteners (including saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame) have been linked to gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance even at relatively low doses (5–7 mg/kg/d, equivalent to an adult consuming two to three cans of diet soda per day).
A study of Splenda, a nonnutritive sweetener containing 1% sucralose, found that the substance impaired the growth of gut bacteria in rats. Ace-K, like sodium saccharin and sodium cyclamate, belongs to sulfonamides, a chemical class associated with antimicrobial activity. In previous studies, saccharin was recognised to enrich the biosynthesis pathway of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of the mouse gut microbiome, which is a common trigger of inflammation and leaky gut. Studies have also shown different and healthier bacterial diversity for nonconsumers compared to consumers of artificial sweeteners.
In another experiment where commercial formulations of saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame were added to the drinking water of lean mice for 11 weeks all three NAS-consuming groups developed glucose intolerance. NAS was also shown to induce changes in gut microbiota previously observed in T2DType 2 diabetes; notably, the over-representation of gram-negative Bacteroides and under-representation of gram-positive Clostridiales. Another study of 800 healthy and prediabetics showed variability in their after meal (postprandial) glucose responses to the same foods attributed to differences in gut microbiota. While a study of 345 Chinese volunteers revealed that diabetics have a decrease in butyrate-producing bacteria and an increase in opportunistic pathogens relative to healthy subjects.
On the positive side, the sugar alcohol xylitol inhibits the growth of some negative bacterial species including Streptococcus mutans. It is used as a food additive to prevent dental caries and in rats fed a high-fat diet, xylitol improved lipid/fat metabolism. Dietary supplementation with low- or medium-dose xylitol significantly positively altered the fecal microbiota composition in studied mice.
So what are you having in your next drink??
A large amount of evidence has shown a high intake of tree nuts is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), mortality from type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and all-cause mortality.
In this study after 4 weeks on a pecan-rich diet the researchers saw beneficial changes in serum insulin, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and beta cell function (HOMA-β) as well as cardiometabolic disease. That is a significant reduction in the risk of diabetes2, heart attacks and stroke.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of death worldwide, and is primarly caused by inflammation and oxidation. Within the past few decades, there has also been a dramatic increase in diet-related chronic diseases related to CVD risk, i.e., diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, in both industrialized and developing nations. The problem is only getting worse even though we spend more money on pharmaceuticals and the medical system than ever before. Increased production of reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, and inflammation, are the leading causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), arterial hypertension, and dyslipidemia.
A growing body of evidence has shown that a high intake of nuts (all types) is associated with a reduced risk of CVD development, all-cause mortality, and mortality from diabetes. Indeed, a nut-containing diet also contributes to weight control and weight loss despite the large number of calories.
Bioactive compounds present in nuts, include essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, have all been shown to reduce inflammation, improving vascular reactivity as well as fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity, and by lowering oxidative stress. Numerous studies have now shown that consumption of nuts is effective in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Other studies have shown frequent nut consumption is associated with lower concentrations of inflammation (CRP, IL-6) and some endothelial (the artery lining) markers in clinical trials. In a study of 5,013 participants, a greater intake of nuts was associated with lower amounts of inflammatory biomarkers. Subjects with nut intake of five or more times per week had a 20% nearly 20% reduction in inflammation compared to those who never or almost never consumed nuts. Pistachio nuts, for example, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Pistachio kernels have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties at lower doses than reported previously and decreased inflammation (TNF-α and IL-1β) in a dose-dependent way. That is, the more the participants consumed, the lower the inflammation.
EAT MORE NUTS
But not peanuts and cashews
For much more information on how to reverse diabetes and cardiovascular disease (and all chronic illness) “Overcoming Illness” our latest book is a must read.
A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Diane L. McKay 1,*, Misha Eliasziw 2, C. Y. Oliver Chen 1 and Jeffrey B. Blumberg 1http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/3/339/htm
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as acute heart atacks and stroke remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Both epidemiological and clinical studies have shown a strong link between inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-6, and the risk of cardiovascular events. Studies have also shown a strong link with inflammation and insulin resistance, an important determinant of CVD and diabetes.
So it all comes down to inflammation
In this study they investigated the link between inflammation insulin resistance and fat consumption and found insulin resistance linked with inflammation (hs-CRP and IL-6) and these inflammatory biomarkers were positively associated with saturated fatty acids and negatively associated with unsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Dietary components, especially fatty acids, affect the expression and release of inflammatory biomarkers. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have a cardioprotective effect by reducing inflammation. Indeed, clinical studies have shown that diets may have effect on inflammatory biomarkers.
What does this mean?
One step to lower you inflammation and risk of CVD the major killer in in the world (and all chronic illness if you read my work) is to increase your omega 3 fatty acid and lower some of your saturated fats. There are many other ways to lower your inflammation and risk of chronic disease including lifestyle and dietary changes.
All chronic illness including cancers, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and renal disease and more are linked through inflammation which is described in my latest book "Overcoming Illness". Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in different communities accounting for more than 31% or 17.5 million deaths worldwide.
In this study of 454 patients aged 35-80 years a high dietary inflammatory Index (DII- higher inflammation producing in the foods they eat) scores were associated with higher age, higher prevalence of diabetes and myocardial infarction (MI- heart attack) and lower educational attainment. Male patients in top half of DII had significantly higher total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), albumin, creatinine, BUN and hs-CRP concentrations and lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) concentrations compared with male patients in lower half. While in female patients, only lipoprotein (a) concentrations and hematocrit (HCT) percentage in the 4th and 2nd quartile were significantly higher than lower quartiles.
The results clearly show a positive association with the inflammation level in foods and several cardiovascular risk factors. The higher inflammatory potential of diet denoted higher values of serum lipids, CRP and kidney function tests.
Current evidence supports that inflammation is a major driving force in patients with coronary artery disease, underlying the initiation of coronary plaques, their unstable progression, and eventual disruption. The pro-inflammatory nature of the cardiovascular disease can be explained by this fact that almost in all of the atherosclerosis processes inflammatory molecules are involved
Diet and dietary habits play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and dietary habits are potential determinants of the disease severity. The role of dietary factors and nutritional regimens in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its progression has been extensively studied; numerous reports suggested the role of healthy dietary choices and improved life style with higher physical activity level and higher intakes of healthy foods including fruits and vegetables and dietary antioxidants in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular event.
Overcoming Illness is the book that explains all about inflammation and oxidation, their link with chronic illness and how to lower inflammation to improve your health and overcome illness.
I have been researching and writing on cholesterol and statin drugs for more than 10 years and millions of people still take them. Cholesterol is not the killer it is inflammation, oxidation and acidosis. No one has ever died from cholesterol. It is associated with CVD but not the cause. So if you lower cholesterol you do not lower the risk of CVD more than 1%.
The statin drugs are at best ineffective but in reality are dangerous. The real cause of heart attacks and strokes, Cardiovascular disease is inflammation and oxidation. If you want to lower your risk of these conditions lower your inflammation, oxidation and acidosis.
In support of this a recent study out of Oxford University showed that one apple a day out performs the statin drugs without the side effects of diabetes, muscle disease, dementia and other serous side effects.
Using mathematical modelling, the researchers say that eating an apple a day could prevent 8,500 deaths from heart disease every year if 70 per cent of the total population of over-50s ate one, compared to 9,400 saved lives if everyone took a statin.
Source: BMJ, 2013; 347: f7267. A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study. BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7267
While another study in the Journal of Functional Foods back in 2012 found the consumption of just one apple/day for 4 weeks drastically lowered plasma concentrations of oxidized low-density lipoprotein and showed that an easily accomplished dietary intervention had a major effect on an atherosclerosis risk factor, in part via polyphenols. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2012.08.010)
Unlike stain drugs apples are full of nutrients that lower inflammation and your risk of all forms of chronic illness.
Apples are rich in polyphenols, which provide antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties and modulation of gut microbiota.
Cholesterol is not the killer it is inflammation.
For information on inflammation and how to lower it
In today’s busy and hectic society many see sleep as a luxury rather than what it is – a necessity. More and more people are working overtime, and shift work trying to juggle a busy family life around their work. Along with this, it is not unusual for both parents to be working full time. The advent of our 24/7 society has pushed regular sleep to the side. Because of this, many men and women (and even children) wrongly consider sleep a waste of time.
Sleep is an essential element of the human body, without it we cannot survive. Getting enough sleep is associated with energy, joy, optimistic thinking and coping with negative emotions. Despite this almost 90 percent of Australians suffer from some type sleep disorder at some stage of their lives. Of these, 30 percent suffer from severe sleep disorders. Very few people regularly enjoy the amount or quality of sleep that they need. The estimated economic costs to the country from this are between $3 billion and $7 billion annually. There are also huge, unmeasured physical, psychological, emotional and social costs.
Sleep is complicated in the way that there are many different factors that influence the effectiveness of sleep. It’s not just duration that determines the effectiveness of said sleep, factors such as quality, frame of mind and deepness all contribute to the maximum desired outcome and even our perception of how we sleep. Many factors can play a part in the quality and quantity of our sleep and to maximise our sleep time an understanding of this is essential.
On average a healthy person will spend around one third of their life sleeping (Duman et al, 2009). Sleep is considered a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes will usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost resulting in a decrease in bodily movements and responsiveness to external stimuli (Blanch et al, 2009). Inadequate hours of good quality sleep leads to a disruption to vital biological processes resulting in a decrease in cognitive function mental and physical health (Anderson et al, 2009) including impaired work performance due to a decrease in attention, judgement and responsible decision making (Volkow, 2009).
Why we sleep
Mammals are naturally diurnal animals and sleep for humans are broken into two distinct phases. These phases, Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) and Rapid Eye Movement (REM), represent the depth of sleep and electrical activity in the central nervous system (CNS) (Cirelli & Tononi, 2008). However, sleep is a heightened anabolic state where rejuvenation of many organ systems occurs, especially the immune and nervous systems. NREM is further broken into phases one to three during which have different waves of sleep and cognitive perceptions, phase one for example is associated with hyper‑CNS responses. During this phase the body may quickly jerk out of steep and this will be felt as a falling sensation (Walsh, 2009). Various genetic mutations have been associated with sleep including DEC2 mutations that lower the sleep requirement from eight hours to six and the 600072 prion gene that predisposes to Fatal Familial Insomnia (Kniff in, 2009; McKusick and Kniffin, 2009). The natural circadian rhythms of the body are a result of variations in levels of circulating melatonin hormone, from the pineal gland, and also adenosine levels which increase over the course of the day (Imeri & Opp, 2009).
Among the theories on why humans sleep, scientists have proposed the following:
Sleep may be a way of recharging the brain. The brain has a chance to shut down and repair neurons and to exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to lack of activity or over activity.
Sleep gives the brain an opportunity to reorganize data to help find a solution to problem, process newly learned information and organize and archive memories.
Sleep lowers a person’s metabolic rate and energy consumption.
The cardiovascular system also gets a break during sleep. People with normal or high blood pressure experience a 20 to 30% reduction in blood pressure and 10 to 20% reduction in heart rate.
During sleep, the body has a chance to replace chemicals and repair muscles, other tissues and aging or dead cells.
In children and young adults, growth hormones are released during deep sleep (World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies
Immune function is highest when we sleep
Detoxing. There appear to be “hidden caves” inside the brain, which open up during sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flush out potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The research discovered “hidden caves” inside the brain, which open up during sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flush out potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The interstitial spaces in the mouse’s brain took up only 14% of the brain’s volume while it was awake. Yet, while it slept, this increased by almost two-thirds to take up fully 23% of the brain’s total volume. The effect is that potential neurotoxins, like β-amyloid, are cleared twice as fast during sleep as during waking. While many neurological diseases, like strokes and dementia, are associated with problems sleeping. It could be that lack of sleep, and restriction of the brain’s cleaning system, may cause toxic metabolites to building up, leading to long-term damage.
Most likely we sleep for a combination of these reasons
Part 2 and more coming
Sleep, like most other processes in our body, is mediated by the interaction of cytokines and chemokines with neurotransmitters (Dilger & Johnson, 2008). During infection our sleep patterns change and interactions of cytokines, especially IL‑1 and IL‑1 2 and the neurotransmitter serotonin amplify (Dantzer et al. 2008; Lange et at. 2006). During sleep, it has been suggested that, the synapses not used during the day's activities are given an opportunity to prime and regenerate, cognitive function also rejuvenates, memories are consolidated and on a cellular level glycogen stores can re‑fuel. However, sleep deprivation has been associated with inflammatory based diseases including obesity, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (lmeri & Opp, 2009).
Sleep deprivation has been shown to further enhance end stage renal disease, decrease vaccine efficacy as attested with both Influenza and Hepatits A vaccines, prolong wound healing, lengthen critical care stays and enhance depression or other psychiatric disorders (Lange et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2004; Koch et al. 2009).
Several recent studies report that reducing sleep to 6.5 or fewer hours for successive nights causes potentially harmful metabolic, hormonal and immune changes. All of the changes are similar to those detected in the normal aging process (Cobb, 2002) and so sleep deprivation could be the biggest indicator of how long you live (Sateia, et al., 2004). There is a strong link between sleep deprivation and low immune system function (Redwine, et al., 2003). A reduction of sleep makes people more prone to infection and potentially more prone to cancer; one study found that poor sleep was associated with a 60 percent increase in breast cancer.
In one study of 153 volunteers who spent less time in bed, or who spent their time in bed tossing and turning instead of snoozing, were much more likely to catch a cold when viruses were dripped into their noses, while those who slept longer and more soundly resisted infection better. The study showed that even relatively minor sleep disturbances can influence the body's reaction to cold viruses ( Cohen et al Archives of Internal Medicine). The men and women who reported fewer than seven hours of sleep on average were 2.94 times more likely to develop sneezing, sore throat and other cold symptoms than those who reported getting eight or more hours of sleep each night. Volunteers who spent less than 92 percent of their time in bed asleep were 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill than better sleepers, they found.
Sleep and weight
Obesity in another disorder linked with insomnia. Research shows that diets that are higher in saturated fats are more susceptible to chronic diseases and disorders which includes insomnia (Novak et al. 1995). This is an alarming fact as 20% of the population of the United States of American are overweight or obese (Patterson et al. 2004).
Many studies, including one spanning twenty years, have tested the hypothesis that sleep and obesity are linked and the majority of results show positive correlations (Gangwisch et al. 2005). Further studies, with over 500,000 total participants via meta‑analysis have supported obesity and insomnia in adults and children (Cappuccio et al. 2008). The trends of increasing BMI and reduced sleep hours appear to go hand in hand, along with sleeping troubles related to Sleep Apnoea often seen in obese patients.
This link between Obesity and the symptoms of its associated diseases demonstrates a common trend towards diminishing an individual’s peak performance. Obesity and many of the health conditions which result from it increase the lower productivity levels associated with lower mental and cognitive functioning.
Obesity is also a serious factor in poor sleep habits. In a number of studies obesity was associated with "reduced sleeping hours " (Ko et al (2007). Obesity, particularly abdominal and upper body obesity, is the most significant risk factor for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Patients with sleep apnea often experience daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating (Teran-Santos et al, 1999). Studies have also shown a strong association between sleep apnea and the risk of traffic accidents (Terán-Santos et al (1999). In fact, subjects suffering from sleep apnea were at a higher risk than those who had consumed alcohol to be involved in a traffic accident. This has major implications, particularly for overweight and obese workers using any form of equipment of driving vehicles.
This lack in sleep will then leave the employee going to the work already feeling tired, irritable and stressed, therefore making it difficult to concentrate, and highly increasing the chances of being injured or making a mistake which may put fellow workmates in danger (Lynch, 2005) It is situations like this, where the worker comes to work already feeling tired, that the employee is putting his safety and other's safety at risk.
Shift workers are known to be a high-risk group for obesity. In the current study population, rotating-shift workers showed a higher distribution of the highest body mass index compared with daytime workers
In a study of the brains of 24 participants after both a good and a bad night’s sleep. after disturbed sleep, there was increased activity in the depths of the brain, areas which are generally associated with rewards and automatic behaviour. It seems a lack of sleep robs people of their self-control and so their good intentions are quickly forgotten.
What we have discovered is that high-level brain regions required for complex judgments and decisions become blunted by a lack of sleep, while more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified.”
In other words: lack of sleep robs people of their self-control and so their good intentions are quickly forgotten.
On top of this, the researchers found that after being deprived of sleep, participants displayed greater craving for high-calorie junk food. The more sleep-deprived they were, the greater the cravings. A stufy of 13,284 teenagers found that those who slept poorly also made poor decisions about food. Similarly, a Swedish study found that at a buffet, tired people were more likely to load up their plates.
The link has even been made from poor sleep through to food shopping. A Swedish study found that men who were sleep-deprived bought, on average, 9% more calories than those who’d had a good night’s sleep. These results were likely the result of the poor decision-making. It had been thought that the tendency to eat more after poor sleep was related to the so-called ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin. But the latest studies suggest that it’s simple self-control that is most important in causing the sleep-deprived to over-indulge.
Obvious symptoms of sleep deprivation constant yawning and the tendency to doze off when not active for a while; for example, when watching television, Grogginess when waking in the morning Sleepy grogginess experienced all day long (sleep inertia) Poor concentration and mood changes (more irritable).
Some of the physical effects found from long term fatigue are heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders and depression (Workplace health and safety QLD, 2008). A study conducted by Andersen involving rats also showed sleep deprivation affects the expression of genes related to metabolic processes, response to stimulus and signalling pathways (Andersen et al, 2009).
Numerous studies have shown that even a little bit of sleep deprivation decreases efficiency and increases risk of disease, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Sleep deprivation has been shown to negatively affect endocrine (hormones) and metabolic functioning as well as nervous system balance (Nilsson, et al., 2004). Sleep deprivation is associated with an increased concentration of cortisol plus other indicators of increased stress such as elevations in pulse rate, body temperature and adrenaline secretion (Vgontzas, et al.,1999). Sleep deprivation also appears to increase blood concentrations of certain chemicals called cytokines and C-reactive proteins (Irwine, 2001 and Vgontzas, et al., 1998), indicating an inflammatory reaction. The effect of unremitting low-grade inflammation may be to damage the inner walls of the arteries, which sometimes leads to vessel narrowing, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease (Irwine, 2001). During truncated sleep, your heart might have to work harder, constricting blood vessels and increasing blood pressure even more, which could conceivably result in a heart attack or stroke (Martins, 2003).
Sleep is as important to the human body as food and water, but most of us don’t get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep or disruptions to the sleep contribute to adverse health effects. Numerous studies have also shown that even a little bit of sleep deprivation decreases efficiency and increases risk of disease, including cardiovascular disease.
Initial changes to cardiovascular system from insomnia include hypertension, which is a potent co‑morbidity for other cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension has been linked to reduced sleep duration, with the highest correlation shown under 6 hours sleep per night (Gottlieb et al. 2006). However, associations have also been made between sleep of over 9 hours per night and hypertension and obesity. Furthermore this has not been supported at all in some studies and PPI in one older North American population actually showed a reduced risk of hypertension (Phillips, BOková and Enrigh, 2009.).
A study of 71,617 female health professionals found that sleeping fewer than five hours per night was associated with a 39 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease; even six hours per night showed an increase of 18 percent compared to sleeping eight hours per night (Najib, et al., 2003). In an analysis of data on more than one million people, the levels of nearly all forms of death were two-and-a-half times higher for people who slept four hours or less compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours on average
A study of 71,617 female health professionals found that sleeping fewer than five hours per night was associated with a 39 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease; even six hours per night showed an increase of 18 percent compared to sleeping eight hours per night. In an analysis of data on more than one million people, the levels of nearly all forms of death were two-and-a-half times higher for people who slept four hours or less compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours on average
Experimentally, sleep deprivation has been shown to negatively affect glucose metabolism and to enhance factors associated with Type 2 diabetes (Nilsson, et al., 2004). Research has also shown that people who experience sleep disorders were as much as three times as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes (Kawakami, 2004). Subjects in one study demonstrated impaired glucose tolerance for ten days after four hours of sleep deprivation (Spiegel, et al.,1999). It is also found that sleep deprivation can play a role in obesity. Sleep deficits bring about physiologic changes in the hormonal signals that promote hunger and, perhaps thereby, obesity (Spiegel, et al., 2004). One study found that after two days of sleep curtailment the subjects had reduced levels of the fat-derived hormone leptin and increased levels of the stomach-derived hormone ghrelin. These hormones are responsible for regulating hunger and appetite (Spiegel, et al., 2004). These hormonal differences are likely to increase appetite, which could help explain the relative high BMI in short sleepers.
Part 5 and more coming
Many studies have now shown that nut consumption has consistently been found to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and mortality. In this meta-analysis they combined 10 trials involving 374 participants and showed nut consumption significantly improved FMD (This is an indicator of the endothelial tissue on the inside of the arteries). Further analyses showed the real benefits were from the walnuts.
Nuts are a rich source of nutrients (eg, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, essential fatty acids, fiber, and protein) and phytochemicals.
Walnuts and other nutrient-rich nuts have been found to contribute to satiety, which can help control appetite and total caloric intake and have been associated with healthy weight and weight loss despite the fat and calorie content.