What is the Optimal Diet for the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease? — The Skeptical Cardiologist

The skeptical cardiologist was asked to give a lecture in July on diet to the cardiology fellows in our training program at Saint Louis University. Needless to say, I didn’t hew to current recommendations from the American Heart Association or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For example, these recommendations are still promoting the narrative that…

What is the Optimal Diet for the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease? — The Skeptical Cardiologist

Great lecture. Thank you Dr. Pearson.

Brussels Chicory Stabilizes Unstable Atherosclerotic Plaques and Reshapes the Gut Microbiota (in Mice)

Brussels chicory might help stabilize atherosclerotic plaques in mice by reducing intestinal permeability and gut microbial LPS production. This study provides a promising approach to slow the progression of atherosclerosis.

The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 10, October 2022, Pages 2209–2217, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxac103

Does not look like mice food.

(Image borrowed from the internet. If you own the copyright on this photo let me know and I’ll delete immediately. If copyright infringement has occurred I assure you it was unintentional.)

Brussels chicory aka Belgian endive aka Witloof. We don’t eat much of this vegetable in the US. Maybe because virtually no one grows it.

Demand has grown such that California Endive Farms, who are the only commercial endive producer in the country, has had to expand their operations in order to keep up.

Belgian endive consumption in the US on the rise — https://www.infiniteherbs.com/belgian-endive-consumption-in-the-us-on-the-rise/

Incidence and Characteristics of Remission of Type 2 Diabetes in England: A Cohort Study Using the National Diabetes Audit

Remission of type 2 diabetes was generally infrequent in routine care settings but may be a reasonable goal for a subset of people who lose a significant amount of weight shortly after diagnosis.

Incidence and Characteristics of Remission of Type 2 Diabetes in England: A Cohort Study Using the National Diabetes Audit – Diabetes Care 2022;45(5):1151–1161

Just Another Hump Day…Sweet

Scientists have demonstrated that normal brain aging is accelerated by approximately 26% in people with progressive type 2 diabetes compared with individuals without the disease.

eLife. “Type 2 diabetes accelerates brain aging and cognitive decline.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220525080527.htm (accessed May 25, 2022)

Makes you wonder if improving your diet will help.

Many adults can achieve remission of type 2 diabetes with a primary intervention consisting of a diet that emphasizes whole, plant-based foods, according to a new publication from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM).

Experts Endorse Plant-Based Diet for Type 2 Diabetes Remission — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/974591?src=rss#vp_1

But we all know how hard lifestyle changes can be. Maybe best to just listen to some music.

Diet-induced Alteration of Intestinal Stem Cell Function (in mice)

“The first thing we noticed was that the small intestine increases greatly in size on the high-calorie diet,” says study leader Anika Böttcher. “Together with Fabian Theis’ team of computational biologists at Helmholtz Munich, we then profiled 27,000 intestinal cells from control diet and high fat/high sugar diet-fed mice. Using new machine learning techniques, we thus found that intestinal stem cells divide and differentiate significantly faster in the mice on an unhealthy diet.” The researchers hypothesize that this is due to an upregulation of the relevant signaling pathways, which is associated with an acceleration of tumor growth in many cancers. “This could be an important link: Diet influences metabolic signaling, which leads to excessive growth of intestinal stem cells and ultimately to an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer,” says Böttcher.

Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health. “New link between diet, intestinal stem cells and disease discovered.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211119155604.htm (accessed November 27, 2021).

I wonder what Dr. Lustig would say about this study?

Dr. Robert Lustig – The Sugar Pandemic – 2012 Presentation at Yale University and Dr. Robert Lustig on Sugar.

Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods (not good news)

The calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultraprocessed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018, according to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Published August 10, 2021, in JAMA, the study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

Tufts University. “Ultraprocessed foods now comprise 2/3 of calories in children and teen diets.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210810110955.htm (accessed August 10, 2021).

The largest spike in calories came from such ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes as takeout and frozen pizza and burgers: from 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second largest spike in calories came from packaged sweet snacks and desserts, the consumption of which grew from 10.6% to 12.9%.

Frozen pizza and burgers? Is this a problem?

Findings  In this serial cross-sectional study of nationally representative data from 33 795 US youths aged 2-19 years, the estimated percentage of total energy consumed from ultraprocessed foods increased from 61.4% to 67.0%, whereas the percentage of total energy consumed from unprocessed or minimally processed foods decreased from 28.8% to 23.5%.


We are doomed.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk and…Sardines?

Older people with prediabetes who followed a diet rich in sardines for 1 year show significant reductions in risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those placed on a similarly healthy diet but without the sardines, results from a new randomized trial show.

 “A 1-year, sardine-enriched type 2 diabetes-preventive diet in an elderly population with prediabetes exerts a greater protective effect against developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, by improving anthropometric parameters, blood chemistry profile, lipid composition in erythrocytes membranes, and metabolomics data,” report the authors in research published in Clinical Nutrition by Diana Díaz-Rizzolo, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.

Sardines Linked to Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/951528?src=rss#vp_1

Very small study with very interesting findings.

If I only liked sardines.

Diet Matters – You Studied What?

When the researchers looked at the functions of the genes in the three sample types, they found that the ancient and non-industrial groups contained a diverse array of genes linked with the breakdown of starches. This indicates that the diets of the ancient and non-industrialised populations were high in complex carbohydrates, like vegetables and grains.

What 2,000-year-old poo says about our gut bugs – https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-05-13/what-two-thousand-year-old-poo-says-about-our-gut-bugs/100131336

I’m not quite sure what this research tells us other than eat more complex carbohydrates, the Paleo Diet and low-carb people are wrong, and the vegans of the world just might be onto something.

AND I think I missed my calling in life. Studying and researching ancient shit sounds like cool work.

HT – https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/05/links-5-13-2021.html


Here’s the mortality aspect from a different research study.

Salosensaari, A., Laitinen, V., Havulinna, A.S. et al. Taxonomic signatures of cause-specific mortality risk in human gut microbiome. Nat Commun 12, 2671 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22962-y

Eating Leafy Green Vegetables (just a wee bit) Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Researchers examined data from over 50,000 people residing in Denmark taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study over a 23-year period. They found that people who consumed the most nitrate-rich vegetables had about a 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and between 12 to 26 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Bondonno from ECU’s Institute for Nutrition Research said identifying diets to prevent heart disease was a priority.

“Our results have shown that by simply eating one cup of raw (or half a cup of cooked) nitrate-rich vegetables each day, people may be able to significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr Bondonno said.

Edith Cowan University. “One cup of leafy green vegetables a day lowers risk of heart disease.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210504112604.htm (accessed May 9, 2021).

One cup raw or a half cup cooked daily. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t leafy greens on a daily basis. But now since my awareness level is higher I simply need to try harder.

I love spinach.

I don’t understand kale at all.

I have a package of organic baby bok choy leaves in the fridge which I actually bought before I read this article.

I wonder if parsley counts?