Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions Meeting Reports

WEDNESDAY NEWS TIPS - Embargoed until times noted below on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN (ET). ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 4 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. For more information, contact Darcy Spitz at (212) 878-5040 or darcy.spitz@heart.org. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721).

4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Abstract 127 – Heart-healthy diet helps men lower bad cholesterol, regardless of weight loss
A heart-healthy diet helped men at high risk for heart disease reduce their bad cholesterol, regardless of whether they lost weight, in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions.

The 19 24- to 62-year-old men in the study had metabolic syndrome, which refers to three or more significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The risk factors included in this study were high waist circumference, high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides and fasting glucose and low levels of high density lipoprotein or HDL “good” cholesterol.

For five weeks, the men followed a standard North American diet which is high in fats, carbohydrates, refined sugar and red meat. For a second five weeks, they ate a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in red meat. It also includes olive oil and moderate wine drinking.

The men then went on a 20-week weight-loss regime, then another five weeks of Mediterranean eating.

Regardless of whether patients lost weight, following the Mediterranean-style diet resulted in a 9 percent decrease in levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) known as “bad” cholesterol. Similarly, blood concentrations of the protein part of the lipoprotein, called apolipoproteinB, dropped 9 percent after eating Mediterranean-style. Apolipoprotein plays an important role in lipid transport and metabolism.

“The Mediterranean-style diet, or MedDiet, may be recommended for effective management of the metabolic syndrome and its related risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Caroline Richard, M.Sc., study lead author and a registered dietician and Ph.D. candidate in nutrition under the mentorship of Benoît Lamarche, Ph.D. at Laval University in Québec, Canada.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 1, 2013.


4 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Abstract 137 – Diet, ‘anti-aging’ supplements may help reverse blood vessel abnormality
A diet low in grains, beans and certain vegetables — combined with “anti-aging” supplements — improved blood vessel function, in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions.

The blood vessel abnormality, or endothelial dysfunction, occurs when cells lining the interior wall of blood vessels malfunction. It’s a serious condition that’s often one of the first signs of heart disease.

Of the 200 51- to 86-year-old people in the study, 40 percent were women. All had risk factors for blood vessel disease and nearly three-quarters had endothelial dysfunction.

The diet restricted foods high in the sugar-binding protein lectin, generally regarded as a healthy nutrient. The restricted foods included grains, beans, fruit, poultry and plants belonging to the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes. At the same time, patients consumed plenty of leafy greens, shellfish and fish, olive oil and grass-fed animal protein, while taking supplements containing the antioxidant polyphenol from fish oil, grape seed extract and vitamins. Antioxidants are thought to slow cell aging.

“These findings represent a fundamental paradigm shift in how the diseases of the ‘Western Diet’ should be treated,” said Steven R. Gundry, M.D., lead author and medical director of the International Heart & Lung Institute at The Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs, Calif. “Simple removal of ‘healthy’ lectin-containing foods, and taking a few inexpensive supplements, may restore endothelial function to normal, which in turn can reverse high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.”

Despite the study’s findings, consumers shouldn’t eliminate tomatoes or other healthy foods from their diets, said the American Heart Association, which recommends consuming a diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish.

Note: Actual presentation is 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

Follow news from the American Heart Association’s ATVB Conference 2013 via Twitter @HeartNews; #ATVB13.

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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