~ October 2003 - Heart Health and Longevity

Table of Contents . . .

  • Large Lipoprotein Particles Linked with Exceptional Longevity - The October 15 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (http://jama.ama-assn.org/) published the results of a study of long-lived Ashkenazi Jews which found an increase in high and low density lipoprotein size in long lived members of this population as well as their offspring. Small high density lipoprotein (HDL) particle size has been observed in cardiovascular disease patients, and an increased in HDL particle size as well as HDL concentration may be responsible for the benefits of exercise on cardiovascular health.

  • Protocol: Cardiovascular Disease -- Syndrome X - For the past 20 years, eclectic physicians have judged Syndrome X to be a powerful indicator of an eventual heart attack. For clarity, let it be understood that a syndrome represents clusters of symptoms. In Syndrome X, the symptoms are an inability to fully metabolize carbohydrates; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL levels; smaller, denser LDL particles; increased blood pressure; visceral adiposity; disrupted coagulation factors; insulin resistance; hyperinsulinemia; and, often, increased levels of uric acid.

    Note: For years, high uric acid levels have been associated with cardiovascular disease, but the relationship was poorly understood. Dr. Gerald Reaven unraveled the link when he determined that elevations in uric acid are often prompted by Syndrome X, a forerunner to heart disease (Fang et al. 2000).

    Until hyperinsulinemia is diagnosed and a therapeutic course is charted, the arteries are under severe attack and the risk of a blood clot increases. Lesions, or wounds and injuries, damage the arteries; the attempts at vascular repair corrode the vasculature with atheromatous material, blockading and closing off vital circulatory routes. The population of sticky platelets increases along with the production of free radicals. Lipogenesis (the production and accumulation of fat in arterial tissue) encourages smooth muscles in the vasculature to proliferate. Along with excessive amounts of fibrinogen (a plasma protein that encourages the clotting of blood), PAI-1 is induced, further increasing the likelihood of a blood clot. HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme involved in hepatic cholesterol production, appears to be simulated in both diabetic and nondiabetic animal studies amidst high levels of insulin (Dietschy et al. 1974).

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (a.k.a. Thiotic Acid) -- beneficial in preventing and treating Syndrome X, has antioxidant and antidiabetic activity, protects LDL cholesterol against oxidation, lowers total cholesterol, is beneficial in congestive heart failure and strokes, inhibits protein glycation, and stabilizes arrhythmias. Some researchers credit alpha-lipoic acid with being the principal supplement for preventing and reversing Syndrome X. Lipoic acid earned this reputation by increasing the burning of glucose. The mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) are one of the benefactors of enhanced glucose utilization, via the Krebs's cycle, a process that utilizes glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids to yield high energy. Many of the B vitamins assist in maximizing production from the Krebs's cycle, but perhaps none is as efficient as lipoic acid (Challem et al. 2000).

  • Mineral Formula for Men Magnesium is crucial for maintaining arterial health, normal blood pressure, and normal heart rhythm. 80% of Americans do not receive even the RDA for magnesium in their diet, and hundreds of published studies have implicated magnesium deficiency as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Although Life Extension Mix contains a high amount of magnesium, many people may wish to take additional magnesium and other minerals as a "booster" to Life Extension Mix. Mineral Formula for Men has been formulated to help ensure optimal magnesium intake.

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