Friday, 15 March 2019

Bilberry, Protects the Heart and Blood Vessels Against Cardiovascular Diseases

By Kyle J. Norton

Scientists may have found a whole fruit for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, according to studies.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a group of conditions associated with blood vessels and the heart.

According to the statistics provided by the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally. Approximately, 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths.

Most common risk factors associated with CVD are an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and excessive alcohol drinking.

Patients with CVD mostly were found to have some intermediate conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose and being overweight and obese.

Most common symptoms of CVD include persistent chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomforts, and conditions associated with lower blood circulation due to narrowing blood vessels such as shortness of breath, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms.

Some people before having a CVD may also experience symptoms of pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back.

If you experience some of the symptoms aforementioned, please check with your doctor to rule out the possibility.

Some researchers suggested that people inherited the mutated gene from the parent are also at a higher risk of CVD.

Dr. Sunil K. Nadar the lead scientist in the investigation of the genetics of CVD wrote, "The term ‘cardiovascular disease’ (CVD) encompasses a wide spectrum of diseases—including ischaemic heart disease (IHD), congenital structural heart disease and various inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies—each of which has its own etiology and pathogenesis".

And, "Our present understanding seems to suggest that it is not one gene on its own that leads to CVD, but rather an interaction between the effects of various genes".

Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe.

The plant has been used as herbs in traditional medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease, and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.

In the differentiation of natural compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), researchers in a joint study led by the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra examined the effects of regular consumption of bilberries on CVD risk reduction.

Women (n=25) and men (n=11) included in the study were asked to consume 150 g of frozen stored bilberries 3 times a week for 6 weeks.

At the end of the study, the consumption of bilberries showed a significant decrease of risk factors associated with the onset of CVD, including total cholesterol (P=.017), LDL-C (P=.0347), TG (P=.001), glucose (P=.005), albumin (P=.001), γ-glutamyltransferase (P=.046), and a positive increase in HDL-C (P=.044).

In men, larger favorable changes were found in total cholesterol, glucose, albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and HDL-C (P=.009) compared to women.

Interestingly, injection of bilberry over the period was not induced the favorable change but increase of LDL-C.

Dr, Habanova M, the lead scientist after taking into co and confounders, said, "the regular intake of bilberries can be important to reduce CVD risk, by decreasing LDL-C/TG and increasing HDL-C".

Furthermore, in order to find more information about the bilberry anti CVD effects, researchers investigated the effect of bilberry juice on serum and plasma biomarkers of inflammation and antioxidant status in subjects with elevated levels of at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The randomized controlled trial included participants consumed either bilberry juice (n = 31) or water (n = 31) for 4 weeks.

Injection of bilberry juice resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-15, and monokine induced by INF-gamma (MIG).

However, an increase in the plasma concentration of tumor nuclear factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) involved in the acute phase of systematic inflammation was also observed in the bilberry group.

Bilberry juice exerted a significant effect in modulating the protein associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines, through activation of a transcription factor, a crucial protein (nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-kappaB)) associated with chronic inflammatory diseases.

Interestingly, injection of bilberry juice did not induce the change of other clinical parameters, including oxidative stress or antioxidant status.

The findings suggested that bilberry reduced risk CVD by modulating the inflammation processes.

Taken altogether, bilberry may be considered a functional remedy for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease with no side effects, pending to the validation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Intake of bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease by inducing favorable changes in lipoprotein profiles by Habanova M1, Saraiva JA2, Haban M3, Schwarzova M4, Chlebo P5, Predna L6, Gažo J7, Wyka J. (PubMed)
(2) Bilberry juice modulates plasma concentration of NF-kappaB related inflammatory markers in subjects at increased risk of CVD by Karlsen A1, Paur I, Bøhn SK, Sakhi AK, Borge GI, Serafini M, Erlund I, Laake P, Tonstad S, Blomhoff R. (PubMed)
(3) Genes and Cardiovascular Disease. Where do we go from here? by Sunil K. Nadar1,* and Kully Sandhu. (PMC)

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