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High Blood Pressure Linked To Memory Problems

 

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High blood pressure is linked to memory problems in people over 45, according to research published in the print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study found that people with high diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading, were more likely to

 have cognitive impairment, or problems with their memory and thinking skills, than people with normal diastolic readings.

For every 10 point increase in the reading, the odds of a person having cognitive problems was seven percent higher. The results were valid after adjusting for other factors that could affect cognitive abilities, such as age, smoking status, exercise level, education, diabetes or high cholesterol.

The study involved nearly 20,000 people age 45 and older across the country who participated in the Reasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study and had never had a stroke or mini-stroke. A total of 1,505 of the participants, or 7.6 percent, had cognitive problems, and 9,844, or 49.6 percent, were taking medication for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as a reading equal to or higher than 140/90 or taking medication for high blood pressure.

“It’s possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia,” explained a research team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including members of the American Academy of Neurology.

Research has shown that high diastolic blood pressure leads to weakening of small arteries in the brain, which can result in the development of small areas of brain damage.

They explained more research is needed to confirm the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive impairment.

The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The REGARDS study is one of the largest population- based studies of risk factors for stroke. These latest data suggest that higher blood pressure may be a risk factor for cognitive decline, but further studies will be necessary to understand the cause-effect relationship.

The deputy director of the American Academy of Neurology noted “The National Institutes of Health is now organizing a large clinical trial to evaluate whether aggressive blood pressure lowering can decrease a number of important health outcomes including cognitive decline.”

Adapted from materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Benefits of Nut Consumptio​n for People With Abdominal Obesity, High Blood Sugar, High Blood Pressure

Scientists now are reporting a significant link between eating nuts and higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) who are at high risk for heart disease. Serotonin is a substance that helps transmit nerve signals and decreases feelings of hunger, makes people feel happier and improves heart health. It took only one ounce of mixed nuts (raw unpeeled walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) a day to produce the beneficial effects.

The report appears in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research

Resaerchers from the Biomarkers & NutriMetabolomics Research Group of the University of Barcelona in collaboration with the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University explain that the rise in obesity around the world means more and more patients have metabolic syndrome. Symptoms include excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, which increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Dietary changes may help patients reduce the excess weight and become healthier. They’re recommending increased regular consumption of nuts, which are packed with healthful nutrients, such as healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids) and antioxidants (polyphenols). Nuts have been recommended to fight the metabolic abnormalities associated with MetS.

To check the biochemical effects of nut consumption, the researchers put 22 MetS patients on a nut-enriched diet for 12 weeks and compared them to another group of 20 patients who were told to avoid nuts.

The scientists analyzed the broad spectrum of compounds excreted in the patients’ urine and found evidence of several healthful changes. One surprise was evidence that nut consumption had boosted patients’ levels of serotonin metabolites in urine, since these findings suggest the role of serotonin in the beneficial effects of nuts. They point out that the study provides the first evidence in humans of the beneficial effects of nut consumption in reducing levels of substances in the body associated with inflammation and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Journal Reference: Metabolomics Unveils Urinary Changes in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome following 12-Week Nut Consumption. Journal of Proteome Research, 2011;

American Chemical Society (2011, November 2). Benefits of nut consumption for people with abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

New Study Reports Soluble Fibre May Reduce Belly Fat

Increased consumption or soluble fibre may reduce the amount of deep belly fat that people accumulate, according to new research. The study has been published in Nature’s Journal “Obesity” found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre eaten per day, deep belly visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 per cent over five years.

The researchers also reported that increased moderate activity resulted in a 7.4 per cent decrease in the rate of visceral fat accumulation over the same time. It is important to recognize that visceral fat is known to be more dangerous than subcutaneous found near the skin.

“Our study is valuable because it provides specific information on how dietary fibre, especially soluble fibre, may affect weight accumulation through abdominal fat deposits; “Making a few simple changes can have a big health impact.”said researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, USA.

The research team examined whether lifestyle factors, including diet and frequency of exercise, were associated with a five-year change in abdominal fat of people who are disproportionally at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure and diabetes and accumulating visceral fat.

The researchers reported that intake of dietary soluble fibre was associated with a decreased rate of visceral fat, but not the accumulation of subcutaneous fat;

“Results from the current study reveal that increased consumption of soluble fibre led to a decreased rate of visceral adipose tissue accumulation, suggesting that increased soluble fibre intake may be instrumental in slowing this natural progression,” said the researchers.

Fat Risk…
The negative effects of obesity has been associated with hypertension, blood lipid imbalances, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and type-2 diabetes.

“Studies indicate a direct relationship between levels of visceral adipose tissue and future risk of impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes,” they added.

“We [also] know that a higher rate of visceral fat is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease,” they emphasized.

The researchers noted that increasing dietary fibre has been specifically recomended to help fight weight gain, with many previous studies suggesting a link between fibre intake and levels of obesity.

Source: Obesity (Published online)
“Lifestyle Factors and 5-Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: The IRAS Family Study”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult with your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutrition advice.

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