Thursday, June 10, 2010

Protecting the most important muscle of our body, the heart.

Jungle Miami's post today is an article published on Health Central.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this subject.

Dairy, Eggs May Help Protect the Heart: Study

By Alyssa Sparacino Jun 9th 2010.
AOL Health News.

A new Swedish study has found that milk, eggs and cheese may actually be good for the heart, contrary to popular opinion.

While dairy foods have previously been linked to heart disease for their high saturated fat content, the latest findings suggest that milk products might actually protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol in those who regularly consume them, according to Reuters Health.

Lead researcher Dr. Eva Warensjo of Uppsala University wrote that dairy foods contain a number of potentially beneficial substances such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. They have also been shown to increase people's levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.

Warensjo and her research team evaluated the dairy fat in the diets of 444 heart attack patients and 556 healthy people, and found that women who ingested the most had 26 percent less of a risk of suffering a heart attack than those who didn't eat as much dairy.

For men, their risk was decreased by 9 percent, according to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

By comparison, a 60-year-old man of normal weight and no risk factors for heart disease like smoking or diabetes has a 6 person chance of dying of a cardiac condition over the next 10 years, but eating a lot of dairy would further reduce his risk by another half a percent, according to the American Heart Association. For women, the benefits of milk products would be even greater.

"The exact mechanism behind these associations cannot be deduced from the present study," the researchers wrote. "But the range of bioactive components present in the food matrix of milk products as well as associated lifestyle factors may all have contributed."

The study was funded in part by the National Dairy Council/Dairy Management, a trade group for the U.S. Dairy industry. Warensjo has also been paid to speak on behalf of the Swedish Dairy Association and the International Dairy Federation.


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