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Tag: lower HDL cholesterol

Sugar Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

Eating large amounts of sugar increases risk of heart disease according to research. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association published studies that found added sugars in processed foods were linked with lower levels of HDL cholesterol, or ‘good’ cholesterol.

The study followed 6,113 patients and found the higher their sugar levels, the more likely they were to have higher risk factors for heart disease. Eating a healthy high fibre diet can help lower cholesterol levels.

High triglyceride and high cholesterol levels have been linked with heart disease since the 1970s. Today we know how to lower cholesterol with foods high in fibre, and the benefits of diets such as the Mediterranean diet in lowering cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a sterol in the fat family and is found in food as well as in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is transported through the blood in two forms: LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL is considered the “bad” cholesterol while HDL which transports cholesterol out of tissues, back to the liver and out of the body is often called “good” cholesterol.

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Cinnamon hope for type II diabetes

cinnamon and type 2 diabetesA recent review published online in The Annals of Family Medicine has revealed that patients with Type II diabetes showed improved blood glucose and cholesterol levels when they took cinnamon in a pill form.

The researchers examined data from 10 randomised, controlled trials involving 543 patients with type 2 diabetes, comparing patients who took cinnamon supplements with those who didn’t.

Results showed that Type II diabetes patients who took cinnamon supplements had lower blood sugar fasting levels compared to patients who did not take them.  Their levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped, and HDL (good) cholesterol levels rose.

The participants in all 10 trials took the cinnamon supplements in addition to their diabetes medicine — a combination that lowered their fasting blood sugar levels by approximately 25 milligrams/deciliter.

From aching muscles to digestive disorders

Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and for menstrual problems. In Oriental medicine it is used as a digestive tonic and helps soothe the abdominal region, relieving gas, nausea and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it is a carminative, or gas reliever. Also, catechins, compounds found in cinnamon, help relieve nausea.

Cinnamon is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and anti-fungal agent and calms the nerves. Taken as a tea, it can help people suffering rheumatism from exposure to cold weather.

A word of caution…

Cinnamon also has an anti-blood-clotting effect, so care should be taken if it is being used in combination with other blood-thinning medications. Large quantities should also be avoided during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the uterus.

References: Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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