content='1;url='http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: Bitter Leaf, Pumpkin Leaf Provide Solutions To Heart Attack.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bitter Leaf, Pumpkin Leaf Provide Solutions To Heart Attack.

Bitter leaf, ugu: Vegetables that can ward off heart problem Heart attack can lead to heart failure, a term that refers to an obstruction to the blood supply to the heart. Aside the heart pumping blood to the body, it supplies itself with blood. When it does not supply itself with blood or the supply becomes obstructed, heart attack happens. The typical blood flows to it is because it is a living tissue apart from the blood flowing through it. However, it is this obstruction in the blood flow to the heart muscles itself that leads to heart attack and it starts gradually. The blood vessels starts to be choked up, causing what is called arthelocolsosis and over time the problem becomes complicated because the affected blood vessel, the artery, also becomes dead. This is what causes heart attack. But before heart attack comes, gradually from the age of 20, the inner layer of blood vessels starts developing fat deposit in them. The fats are deposited in them for several reasons including hypertension, high cholesterol in the blood, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, family history and wrong diets. Given that the heart is a pump it must function properly to meet the need of the body. If there is a problem within the heart or around it preventing it from pumping blood to other parts of the body, heart failure may occur. Meanwhile, many things can affect this “pump” and make it fail. Just as heart attack can lead to heart failure, a common cause of heart failure is hypertension. Hypertension is the commonest cause of heart failure in Nigeria and, to some extent an individual can guess his chances of developing heart disease because it is an interplay of cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that almost 20 per cent of all strokes and over 50 per cent of all heart attacks can be linked to high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance circulating in the blood. Some of this cholesterol comes from the foods consumed. But the bulk of it is actually made in the body, specifically in the liver, because the body needs it to make some hormones and support the function of body cells. But an excess of it in the bloodstream can lead to trouble. Cholesterol comes in several different forms, but doctors focus mostly on two: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL is also called “bad cholesterol” and it is termed bad because if its level is too high, the excess can accumulate on the walls of the arteries. This build-up of cholesterol and other substances called plaque, can narrow the artery like a clogged drain, leading to arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This makes the normally flexible tissue more brittle. Plaques can form anywhere. If they form in the carotid artery in the neck, what results is carotid artery disease. When they form in the coronary arteries — which supply the heart muscle with blood — it’s called coronary artery disease. Like any organ, the heart needs a good supply of blood to work. If it doesn’t get that blood, one could get angina, which causes a squeezing pain in the chest, among other symptoms. Notwithstanding, regular consumption of vegetables such as Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf )and Telfairia occidentalis (Ugu) can help to regulate the blood’s cholesterol level. Wondering why? In a study on comparative effects of the leaves of bitter leaf and Ugu incorporated diets on the lipid profile of rats, it was apparent that the two diet preparations lowered the blood (serum) cholesterol levels though the Ugu diet induced a higher effect at lower concentrations. The 2011 study published in the African Journal of Biochemistry Research involved C. E. Ugwu and J. E. Olajide from the Department of Biochemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, in collaboration with E. O. Alumana and L. U. S. Ezeanyika from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State. It was entitled: “Comparative effects of the leaves of Vernonia amygdalina and Telfairia occidentalis incorporated diets on the lipid profile of rats”. The treatment of hypertension has failed to show definitive effect on the incidence of coronary heart disease, which has aroused interest in lipid metabolism in hypertensive therapy. The results from the study showed that the treatment with bitter leaf and ugwu diets led to a significant increase in serum HDL-C, showing their protective role in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The comparison of their effects showed that ugwu diet preparation stimulated a considerable increase in serum HDL-C compared to bitter leaf. Vernonia amygdalina, also called bitter leaf because of its bitter taste, is a shrub that grows predominantly in Tropical Africa. The leaves have found relevance in traditional folk medicine as a dewormer, a laxative herb and an antimalarial as they are known as quinine substitute. They are also used in the treatment of cough and hypertension. Telfairia occidentalis (fluted pumpkin or Ugwu) leaves and young shoots are frequently eaten as a potherb. The herbal preparation of the plant has been employed in the treatment of sudden attack of convulsion, malaria and anaemia. The seed of fluted pumpkin is widely consumed in Nigeria, especially in the southeastern part of Nigeria where it is used as a condiment in soup. The fermented seeds of fluted pumpkin are used in the production of “Ogiri ugu”, a locally made custard. The seeds of fluted pumpkin could also be used in cookie formulations and marmalade manufacturing. The seed is also a good source of edible oil. They wrote: “the results from this study confirm that V. amygdalina and T. occidentalis have lipid lowering effects which may be beneficial to people at risk of CVD. V. amygdalina and T. occidentalis were found to be effective in lowering the levels of serum cholesterol, triacylglycerols and LDL-C, thereby, showing their hypocholesterolaemic(reducing cholesterol level) property. These leaves could be beneficial to people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.” In carrying out the study, the rats were fed for 28 days on diets specially formulated to contain 5, 15 and 30 per cent by weight respectively of the leaves of each plant while the control group was fed standard rat diet. The serum total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were determined on blood samples collected on the 28th day using standard methods. Certainly, different foods lower cholesterol in various ways but another easy step to ensure a safe cholesterol level is having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Beans, eggplant and okra are especially rich in soluble fibre that mops up cholesterol. Substituting your cooking oil with vegetable oils, such as canola and sunflower, helps to lower LDL. Fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fibre that lowers LDL. In addition, eating fishes two or three times a week can lower LDL by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the blood stream and also protect the heart by helping to prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms. Interestingly, researchers stated in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition that garden egg was the best when a comparison study was carried on on apple, oat and garden egg. They pointed out that “garden egg significantly reduced the total cholesterol and triglyceride as well as increased the HDL compared to oat and apple in both the mid- term and full-term studies.” Contact us through your comment for more on these products.