Low diversity of gut bacteria linked to heart disease, obesity


By Staff Writer
NYR Natural News

Natural Health News — New research shows that there is a link between number and diversity of bacterial species in the gut and the risk of chronic disease.

An international consortium of researchers report that overweight people with fewer bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In addition, a gut with decreased bacterial richness appears to function entirely differently to the healthy variety with greater diversity.

Says lead researcher Jeroen Raes from the University of Brussels: “This is an amazing result with possibly enormous implications for the treatment and even prevention of the greatest public health issue of our time.”

Diversity is the key

Gut bacteria strengthens our immune system, produces vital vitamins and communicates with the nerve cells and hormone-producing cells within the intestinal system. The researchers add that gut bacteria also produces a variety of “bioactive substances” which enter the bloodstream, affecting our biology.

The gut needs a wide diversity of intestinal bacteria in order to maintain all these processes. In the current study people who were overweight were more likely to have low diversity in their gut flora.

The bacterial link

In this current study researchers took a closer look at the intestinal flora of 169 obese Danes and 123 non-obese Danes. The results were published in the journal Nature.

According to Raes “We were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a fewer bacterial species. A species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety. It was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups.”

The scientists found that the group with lower species richness in their intestinal flora was more susceptible to developing obesity-related conditions and chronic inflammation.

In addition, the obese people in this group were more at risk of cardiovascular conditions than the obese people in the other group. These are important results that suggest that it is not only weight gain and dietary habits that play a role in the development of medical complications in obese people.

Chicken and egg?

Metabolic conditions have become an epidemic partly due to the modern sedentary lifestyle and the and easy access to large amounts of energy-dense food. It is expected that obesity will increase tremendously all over the world; from 400 million obese people in 2005, to more than 700 million in 2015.

Some people appear to be more vulnerable to putting on eight than others and many studies over the years have examined the possible cause of this.

The researchers say they do not know whether lack of intestinal bacteria is the cause of obesity, or whether obesity causes a decrease in intestinal bacteria.

However, previous research has also suggested a link between gut bacteria and obesity. A study from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, for example, found that certain types of bacteria in the gut cause it to take more calories from food, therefore leading to weight gain.

Dietary measures

Another finding of the international study was that a quarter of the participants had 40% fewer gut bacteria genes and correspondingly fewer bacteria than average.

Extrapolated to the entire population this suggests that a low number and diversity of gut bacteria could play a major role in health problems.

They say they cannot yet explain fully why some people have fewer intestinal bacteria compared with others, but they believe our diet may be a contributing factor.

They point to a 2012 study from a French research team, which revealed that a group of overweight participants who followed a low-fat diet for 6 weeks and who had fewer intestinal bacteria at the beginning of the diet, showed an increase in gut bacteria in both variety and amount.

“Our intestinal bacteria are actually to be considered an organ just like our heart and brain, and the presence of health-promoting bacteria must therefore be cared for in the best way possible. Over the next years, we will be gathering more knowledge of how best to do this.”

Diabetes lifetime costs – as expensive as a house?

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Main Category: Diabetes
Also Included In: Primary Care / General Practice
Article Date: 11 Aug 2013 – 1:00 PDT

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A recent report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine breaks down the costs of living with type 2 diabetes over the course of a lifetime. The dollar amount is eye-opening, and so are the differences in costs between men and women.

To calculate the costs of living with type 2 diabetes on an individual basis, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Research Triangle International created a simulation model that could compile the costs of both treating the condition and managing its complications. This is as opposed to only focusing on the overall economic burden of treating type 2 diabetes in a year.

The findings reveal that on average, a person with type 2 diabetes spends more than $85,000 over the course of their lifetime on treating the disease and managing complications.

Additionally, the point at which a person is diagnosed with the disease can affect how much they spend during their lifetime. For example, a man diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when he is between 25 and 44 will spend $124,700.

But women from the same age range will pay over $5,000 more, at $130,800 during their lifetime. Researchers note that costs go down the later in life a person is diagnosed with the condition.

The costs include not only those directly related to treating diabetes, but also to treating complications like kidney disease, nerve and eye damage, heart disease, amputations and stroke.

The amount of money spent each year on treating diabetes has significantly risen recently. Robert Ratner from the American Diabetes Association says that direct medical costs for treating diabetes totaled $176 billion in 2012.

“This is up 40% in 5 years,” he says.

On the more positive side, he notes that complications from diabetes have decreased due to better blood sugar level control. In fact, he points to a 50% decrease in amputations and a 35% decrease in dialysis or transplantation for kidney disease in the past 12 years.

However, Ratner says that the benefits of these positive outcomes are overshadowed by the number of new cases of the disease each year.

Ratner says:

“When you look at the annual costs, you can clearly see this is an untenable rate of growth.”

Quite a few studies have recently suggested ways to decrease the incidence of the disease. For example, some recommend that “catch-up” sleep could prevent type 2 diabetes, while other recommend taking short walks to lower risk of the disease.

Written by Marie Ellis

Copyright: Medical News Today

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Too much soft drink may put youngsters at risk of diabetes , heart disease

Young people consuming more than one can of soft drink daily are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease or a stroke, a new study has claimed.

The health of 1400 teenagers were followed by The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, as part of its ongoing long-term Raine Study into children’s health.

The new results showed that drinking more than one can of fizzy, sugary drink resulted in lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of bad triglyceride in the blood – regardless of whether the people consuming it were overweight, the Age reported.

Researchers said that meant that these teenagers were at higher risk of cardio-metabolic disease later in life.

The Raine Study began in 1989 when 2,900 pregnant women were recruited, and their kid’s health has been assessed from birth.

The study has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Too much soft drink may put youngsters at risk of diabetes, heart disease

Young people consuming more than one can of soft drink daily are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease or a stroke, a new study has claimed.

The health of 1400 teenagers were followed by The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, as part of its ongoing long-term Raine Study into children’s health.

The new results showed that drinking more than one can of fizzy, sugary drink resulted in lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of bad triglyceride in the blood – regardless of whether the people consuming it were overweight, the Age reported.

Researchers said that meant that these teenagers were at higher risk of cardio-metabolic disease later in life.

The Raine Study began in 1989 when 2,900 pregnant women were recruited, and their kid’s health has been assessed from birth.

The study has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Croydon could ban new fast-food outlets due to obesity crisis | Metro …

The fries have it: The number of fast-food shops in Croydon  has almost doubled in five years
The fries have it: The number of fast-food shops in Croydon has almost doubled in five years

The opening of new fast-food outlets could be banned in a borough suffering an obesity crisis.

The move in Croydon, south London, follows a surge in the number of takeaways in the past five years.

A total of 246 chicken, chips and kebab shops traded in the borough last year, according to figures released under freedom of information rules.

The level has nearly doubled since 2008, figures show.

One in four adults in Croydon and a similar level of children are said to be morbidly obese. Nationally, some 1.3million children are obese, with more than one in four adults.

‘If people realised the damaging effect fast food and high-fat, deep-fried food can have on your health, they probably wouldn’t choose to eat it,’ said Croydon North MP Steve Reed.

‘There’s a particular issue with young people whose health can be damaged in the long term if they have an unhealthy diet. I’d like to see efforts made to reduce the number near schools.’

He added: ‘Croydon council has a duty to promote the wellbeing of the community. I’d like to see it pushing the law to see what it can do in terms of promoting a wider range of shops and healthier options for local people.’

Justine Sharpe, of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said children were suffering obesity-related problems that were usually confined to adults.

‘There are multiple health risks associated with eating fast food,’ she said.

‘The biggest are obesity and its related health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.’

Croydon council confirmed: ‘We are considering using planning powers to control the number of fast-food shops.’

Hard times behind fall in heart disease and diabetes in 90s Cuba, says study

The hard times experienced by the people of Cuba in the early 1990s – when food was short and petrol almost unobtainable owing to the tightening of the US embargo and loss of Russian support – led to falling rates of heart disease and diabetes, say doctors.

Researchers studied the so-called “special period” between 1991 and 1995, when people resorted to donkeys to transport loads and the government imported 1.5m bicycles from China, to see whether eating less, walking, cycling and manual labour made a difference to the health of the population as a whole.

Unusually for a scientific study, the researchers, from eminent universities in the US as well as Spain and Cuba, put on record their condemnation of the political activity that caused the crisis and their admiration of the way the Cuban people coped. “We would like to acknowledge our great respect and admiration for the Cuban people who faced extremely difficult social and economic challenges during the special period – and by making common cause against this tragedy held up with courage and dignity. This tragedy was ‘man made’ by international politics and should never happen again to any population,” they write.

Cuba, which has a much-admired healthcare system based on the “barefoot doctors” who provide comprehensive primary care, has excellent data on the health of its people as well as complete and publicly accessible death records. The researchers, publishing their findings in the British Medical Journal, say they were able to track what happened to the weight of the population and look at the subsequent death rates from coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes from 1980 to 2010, focusing on the city of Cienfuegos.

Led by Dr Manuel Franco, associate professor at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, the team found the population lost an average of 5.5kg (12lb) in weight during the five years of the economic crisis. That had a real impact on health, cutting deaths from diabetes by half and from coronary heart disease by a third.

“Marked and rapid reductions in mortality from diabetes and coronary heart disease were observed in Cuba after the profound economic crisis of the early 1990s,” the doctors write. “These trends were associated with the declining capacity of the Cuban economy to assure food and mass transportation in the aftermath of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and the tightening of the US embargo. Severe shortages of food and gas resulted in a widespread decline in dietary energy intake and increase in energy expenditure [mainly through walking and cycling as alternatives to mechanised transportation.”

But as the economic crisis ended in 1996 and Cuba began to become more prosperous again, the weight started to go back on. From 2000, the economy has had sustained growth. From 1996, physical activity levels have declined, although only slightly. But energy intake – the amount of food and drink consumed – had increased above pre-crisis levels by 2002.

As a result, write the researchers, “by 2011, the Cuban population has regained enough weight to almost triple the obesity rates of 1995″.

Diabetes levels had dropped during the five hard years, but from 1995 they began to surge. With economic recovery, the incidence of the disease peaked in 2004 and again in 2009. From 2002 to 2010, death rates from diabetes were rising again every year at the same rate as before the crisis. Deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke were declining, as they have done elsewhere with better treatment, but only at the same rate as before 1991.

What this shows, say the authors, is that interventions to bring down the weight of whole populations – as opposed to leaving it up to individuals – can have real benefits. But, they say, “so far, no country or regional population has successfully reduced the distribution of body mass index or reduced the prevalence of obesity through public health campaigns or targeted treatment programmes”.

Franco, in a video explaining the study, says that one of the lessons from Cuba for governments is that “transportation policies are fundamental – therefore we should encourage walking and bicycling as means of transportation. The results also highlight the need for physical activity and diet changes to happen at the same time, involving the whole population.”

But he doubts whether the Cuban crisis holds out any hope for a beneficial health outcome from the current economic crisis afflicting European countries like his own. Europe is far more heterogeneous than Cuba, which has around 11 million people mostly of the same racial background and similar social circumstances.

In a commentary supporting the call for government action, Walter C Willett, professor and chair department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, says the study offers “powerful evidence that a reduction in overweight and obesity would have major population-wide benefits. To achieve this is perhaps the major public health and societal challenge of the century. Medical treatment of people at high risk for disease will have limited impact on mortality rates if the primary causes of disease are not dealt with, and reviews agree that solutions will require multi-sectoral approaches.”

Potential strategies include “educational efforts, redesign of built environments to promote physical activity, changes in food systems, restrictions on aggressive promotion of unhealthy drinks and foods to children, and economic strategies such as taxation.”

Congestive Heart Failure – Symptoms and Treatment

Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is caused by a number of factors which when combined make it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body to vital organs. Causes of the condition include:

 

  • Previous heart attacks and resulting scar tissue
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Narrowing of the arteries which supply blood directly into the heart (coronary artery disease)
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Cardiomyopathy – disease of the main heart muscle
  • Endocarditis – infection of the heart valves
  • Myocarditis – infection of the heart muscle
  • Fatigue due to the heart’s inability to pump blood quickly enough

The disease causes a cumulative build up of blood inside the arteries as the flow from the heart is much slower than required, so blood flowing back in has nowhere to go resulting in congestion within tissue. An indication of CHF is swelling in the ankles and legs (it can occur in other areas of the body too) which is made worse by water retention when the kidneys are unable to perform properly due to lack of blood and oxygen.  This also leads to high sodium content as the kidneys are unable to flush toxins and unused minerals.

Fluid can also gather in the lungs which leads to breathing difficulties, and this aspect of the condition is generally worsened when the sufferer is lying down.

Diagnosing and treating congestive heart failure

The earliest signs as mentioned previously are breathing difficulties and/or swelling to the ankles and legs. A less obvious indication is weight gain caused by fluid retention. If you think you have any of these symptoms contact your doctor immediately to be safe.

The treatment of CHF is usually carried out by a series of programs which comprise of the following elements:

  • Extended rest periods
  • Healthy diet (lots of greens and fruit)
  • Moderate exercise (walking)
  • Specific drug prescriptions including:
  • Beta Blockers (a relaxant)
  • Diuretics (to eliminate water retention)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE)
  • Digitalis (Foxglove – derivative of a plant which increases the heart rate and regulates its rhythm)
  • Vasodilators (which widen arteries)

Specific causes of CHF can be treated directly without the need to use several different treatments and the doctor’s diagnosis should ensure the correct treatment is given. Specific cases include things like treating high blood pressure or surgery to replace a damaged valve.

In worst scenario cases the patient may need a heart transplant.

Please share your thoughts on Congestive Heart Failure by leaving a comment.

Read about sugar’s contribution to heart disorders; excessive dieting can lead to heart conditions; how dark chocolate can reduce heart risks; heart disease responsible for almost half a million US deaths per year; more younger patients with high blood pressure.

images: medicinembbs.blogspot.com; ratfanclub.org

Heart disease awareness: red hot celebrities kick off New York Fashion Week for charity

The Red Dress came to life in a flurry of glitz and glamor at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City last night with the debut of the Red Dress Collection 2011. Stunning fashion and celebrities galore, all in the name of encouraging women to be heart smart.

Wearing red in February isn’t just reserved for Valentine’s Day anymore. On 4 February woman across the States were rummaging through their cupboards and slipping into their favorite red numbers, all in the name of a good cause: to raise awareness about heart disease.

Last night was the glammed up version, with celebrities including Burlesque dancer  Dita von Teese, former Hills star Audrina Patridge and model Camila Alves donning ravishing gowns and sashaying down the catwalk to show their support for the American Heart Association’s annual Wear Red Day.

National Wear Red Day was created in support of The Heart Truth, a national awareness campaign implemented to “give women a [adsense]personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk of heart disease.” In 2002 it launched its eye-catching logo of a red dress to remind people: ” “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear — It’s the #1 Killer of Women.” According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, approximately 8.6 million women die from heart disease annually.

Heart disease, which is brought on when arteries in the heart become clogged and oxygen and essential nutrients can no longer  travel freely to the heart, is the number one killer of women. One in four women will die of heart disease, compared to one in 30 who will die from breast cancer. In fact, according to Susan B. Shurin, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), more women die of heart disease than from all types of cancer combined.

African Americans and Hispanics are more prone to heart disease and people with a high blood pressure, cholesterol, who are overweight and who smoke are also at an increased risk. The good news is that with the awareness that is being generated about how to be heart smart, people are increasingly taking the necessary steps to lower the risks by giving smoking the boot, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and physically active lifestyle.  Together, these lifestyle changes can lower a woman’s chance of heart disease by more than 82 percent.

This year’s dresses will go online after the show, with proceeds to benefit the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and their efforts related to women’s heart health awareness and research.

Click here to read about getting healthy with the vegetarian diet, the raw food diet and the vegan diet.

Images: dita-von-teese.org and freakgossip.com

Heart Disease: spread the message on National Wear Red Day

Wearing red in February isn’t just reserved for Valentine’s Day anymore. Today woman across the States are rummaging through their cupboards and slipping into their favorite red numbers, all in the name of a good cause: to raise awareness about heart disease.

Heart disease, which is brought on when arteries in the heart become clogged and oxygen and essential nutrients can no longer  travel freely to the heart, is the number one killer of women. One in four women will die of heart disease, compared to one in 30 who will die from breast cancer. In fact, according to Susan B. Shurin, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), more women die of heart disease than from all types of cancer combined.

African Americans and Hispanics are more prone to heart disease and people with a high blood pressure, cholesterol, who are overweight and who smoke are also at an increased risk. The good news is that with the awareness that is being generated about how to be heart smart, people are increasingly taking the necessary steps to lower the risks by giving smoking the boot, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and physically active lifestyle.  Together, these lifestyle changes can lower a woman’s chance of heart disease by more than 82 percent.

National Wear Red Day was created in support of The Heart Truth, a national awareness campaign implemented to “give women a [adsense]personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk of heart disease.” In 2002 it launched its eye-catching logo of a red dress to remind people: ” “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear — It’s the #1 Killer of Women.” According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, approximately 8.6 million women die from heart disease annually.

On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the Red Dress will come to life in a flurry of glitz and glamor at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, with the debut of the Red Dress Collection 2011. Stunning fashion and celebrities galore, all in the name of encouraging women to be heart smart.  Thumbs up!

Click here to read about getting healthy with the vegetarian diet, the raw food diet and the vegan diet.

Images: blisstree.com and freakgossip.com

US Health authorities want statins added to drinking water

US Health authorities are currently pushing for ‘anti-cholesterol’ drugs to be added to the water supply. The drugs, known as ‘statins’ supposedly help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease, but in-depth studies have shown that the drugs can actually have a detrimental effect on the health of people without cholesterol or heart disorders.

Adding statins to the water supply would be disastrous as known side-effects of the drugs include depression, mood swings, short term memory loss and liver dysfunction.

Statins are prescribed daily to millions upon millions of people, understandably so given the type of food the majority consumes. Unhealthy GM foods full of white flour and sugar, combined with a lack of exercise and couch potato culture are the real cause of artery clogging.

What are statins?

Statins: Soon we'll all be taking them.

Statins are produced by companies like Merck, and in 1975 their CEO, Henry Gadsden dreamed of the day he could sell a drug to people who had no discernible illness. Mike Adams put it more accurately when he said, “They needed a way to sell drugs to healthy people.”

Statins came along at around the same time as genetically modified food, and the big bucks started rolling in for Big Pharma and the food and chemical industries.

The manufacturers claim that statins have been proven to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease and strokes, and this has led to many health experts insisting they be added to public water supplies. That suggestion comes straight from the pages of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley in which the population were mass controlled and pacified by a drug called Soma.

Cochrane Library research

A study recently published in the Cochrane Library, which reviews drug trials, examined data from 14 different drugs trials that used 34,000 patients as subjects. The results showed disturbing evidence of “short-term memory loss, depression and mood swings,” which in the past had been deliberately underplayed by the drug companies funding the research.

The researchers warned that, “Statins should only be prescribed to those with heart disease, or who have suffered the condition in the past. Researchers warn that unless a patient is at high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, statins may cause more harm than good.”

However, despite the fact that statins have also been linked to a greater risk of liver dysfunction, acute kidney failure, cataracts, muscle damage, and in pregnant women – especially the first trimester – foetal abnormalities, spontaneous abortions and foetal death; health authorities are still insisting they be added to our water.

Aldous Huxley predicts the future

Just last week, the editor of MedPage Today, George Lundberg, MD, wrote an op-ed entitled Should We Put Statins in the Water Supply? And in May 2008, renowned cardiologist Professor Mahendra Varma called for statins to be artificially added to drinking water.

In 1962, Aldous Huxley said that humans would one day be made to “love their servitude” via the state-sponsored introduction of mind-altering drugs.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution,” said Huxley.

Mass Medication

John P. Holdren, White House science magnate wrote in his 1977 book, Ecoscience, that sterility drugs should be added to the water supply as part of a program of “involuntary fertility control”.

The program of mass medication has already begun. 60 Years ago fluoride was added to the drinking supply, purportedly because of the health benefits it offered, especially to our teeth. Dentists still promote the use of fluoridated toothpaste which is equally harmful.

[adsense]Water purification is also not completely reliable, and many drugs such as Prozac have found their way into the water supply courtesy of urination. When it is passed through the body Prozac enters the sewers and is not completely destroyed by the processes used to clean water and return it to our taps.

The earliest recorded use of sodium fluoride in water was in Germany’s Nazi prison camps. The Nazis explained that the reason for mass-medicating water with sodium fluoride was to sterilize women and coerce the victims of their concentration camps into calm submission.

Please share your thoughts on the state of drinking water by leaving a comment.

Read about water fluoridation, hexavalent chromium in the water, feminizing uranium conspiracy, mass animal deaths, water pollution caused by fracking and dioxin pollution in Germany.

images: coretheatreensemble.com, topnews.in