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‘Avocados, olive oil combat stroke’



*More gray hair linked to higher risk of heart disease

A new review investigates the effects of avocados on different components of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

According to studies reported in the literature, avocados have the most beneficial effects on lipid profiles, with changes to Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL- bad cholesterol), High Density Lipo-protein (HDL- good cholesterol), triglycerides, total cholesterol, and phospholipids.

The peel, seed, flesh, and leaves of avocados have differing effects on components of metabolic syndrome.“Avocado is a well-known source of carotenoids, minerals, phenolics, vitamins, and fatty acids,” wrote the authors of the Phytotherapy Research review. “The lipid- lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies.”

Also, a new research shows that a compound found in extra-virgin olive oil can reverse the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet.Previous research has shown that olive oil – and especially extra-virgin olive oil – may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, not much is known about the mechanisms responsible for this association between olive oil consumption and cardiovascular health benefits.

This is why a team of researchers – led by Dr. Rodrigo Valenzuela from the University of Chile in South America – set out to investigate the effects of a compound found in extra-virgin olive oil on the health of mice.

The compound is called hydroxytyrosol and, as the scientists explain, it is a polyphenol with well-known antioxidant properties. These properties have been suspected to be the reason behind the many health benefits of olive oil.

This new research, however, shows that hydroxytyrosol also has a protective effect on the liver. The findings were published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.

Dr. Valenzuela and colleagues examined the effects of hydroxytyrosol on mice that were fed a diet high in fats.Specifically, they looked at certain enzymes that play a key role in the synthesis of some polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are beneficial to one’s health because they can lower “bad” cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, brain function, and cell growth.

The so-called bad cholesterol is also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. It is referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because it is the kind of fat that can build up inside the arteries, hardening or blocking them over time and contributing to a number of cardiovascular diseases.

By contrast, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol because it transports the cholesterol from other parts of the human body back to the liver, where it is processed and eliminated.

Also, researchers have found that graying hair and coronary heart disease share some of the same mechanisms that come with ageing. A new observational study links the two events, suggesting that gray hair may be an indicator of heart disease.

In atherosclerosis, plaque – which is made of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances – starts building up inside the blood vessels. With time, this plaque becomes calcified, limiting the elasticity of the arteries and the supply of blood to the heart and other vital organs in the body.

If untreated, atherosclerosis may cause serious heart conditions including stroke, heart attack, and even heart failure.One of the main cardiovascular events connected with atherosclerosis is coronary artery disease, also called coronary heart disease. This disease occurs as a consequence of plaque building up inside the coronary arteries – the two main blood-supplying arteries that start from the heart’s aorta.

It is well-known that aging is a risk factor for heart disease. Furthermore, atherosclerosis and graying hair have similar causes: the damaged DNA that comes with aging, increased oxidative stress, and the aging of cells.

A new observational study – presented at the EuroPrevent 2017 conference of the European Society of Cardiology – suggests that the amount of gray hair in adult men is correlated with an increased risk of heart disease.

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