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Long term pomegranate consumption associated with reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in dialysis patients

Long term pomegranate consumption associated with reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in dialysis patients

Friday, November 11, 2011. A presentation at the American Society of Nephrology's Annual Kidney Week, held November 8-13, 2011 in Philadelphia, revealed the finding of Lilach Shema, PhD and colleagues at Western Galilee Hospital in Israel of a benefit for pomegranate juice in the prevention of increased heart disease risk factors in patients undergoing hemodialysis for kidney failure.

In a U.S. government-funded study, 101 dialysis patients were randomized to receive approximately 3.5 ounces pomegranate juice or a placebo three times per week for one year. Blood pressure, antihypertensive drug use, serum lipids, and carotid artery intima media thickness (which measures atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries) were assessed before and after the treatment period.

At the study's conclusion, 22 percent of those who received pomegranate juice reported using fewer antihypertensive medications, compared with 7.7 percent of the placebo group. Similarly, 12.2 percent of those who consumed pomegranate juice reported using more antihypertensive drugs compared to 34.6 percent of those who received a placebo. Blood pressure, triglycerides and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels improved over time among those who received pomegranate juice, but not in those who received a placebo.

While atherosclerosis increased in half of subjects who received a placebo, just 5 percent of those who received pomegranate experienced an increase and 25 percent had a decrease. No placebo patients experienced improvements.

"Pomegranate juice consumption attenuates traditional cardiovascular risk factors," the authors write. They conclude that pomegranate may help reduce the high incidence of morbidity and mortality observed in hemodialysis patients.

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Soy protein slows the progression of atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women

Soy protein slows the progression of atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women

Researchers from the University of Southern California report the outcome of a double-blinded trial of postmenopausal women which found a protective effect for soy protein supplementation against the progression of atherosclerosis if initiated within five years of menopause. The findings appeared online on September 8, 2011 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Howard N. Hodis, MD of USC's Keck School of Medicine and his associates randomized 350 postmenopausal women aged 45 to 92 who did not have cardiovascular disease or diabetes to receive 25 grams isolated soy protein per day or a placebo for 2.7 years, during which carotid artery intima-media thickness was monitored. Although carotid artery intima-media thickness progression averaged 16 percent less in women who received soy protein compared to those who received a placebo, the effect was not considered significant. However, when the participants were analyzed by age group, a significant protective effect was observed among those who were within five years of menopause, with those who received soy protein having an average rate of progression that was 68 percent lower than those who received a placebo.

This trial is the largest and longest randomized controlled human study so far to evaluate isolated soy protein's effect on atherosclerosis progression. In addition to retarding atherosclerosis, the researchers also observed a significant increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol among women who received soy protein, which is associated with a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.

"These results are consistent with what we have learned through research conducted over the past decade," Dr Hodis stated. "The literature demonstrates that there is a 'window of opportunity' of a potential beneficial effect on coronary heart disease for products that bind to the estrogen receptor including hormone-replacement therapy, soybean isoflavones or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) when initiated in women within 5-6 years of menopause."

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The directory of Innovative Doctors and Health Practitioners is a worldwide listing of anti-aging doctors and other medical professionals who practice or have expressed interest in all aspects of preventive medicine (such as heart attack and stroke prevention), hormone replacement therapy, nutrition and dietary supplements, and other areas of alternative and complementary medicine. Invariably, they welcome individuals who choose to be involved in their own health care.

Provided to you by the Life Extension Foundation®, The directory of Innovative Doctors and Health Practitioners facilitates the location of anti-aging doctors and health practitioners who are open to alternatives to allopathic medicine. Conveniently organized geographically, the listing can be used to find a doctor by area—a handy feature for those who are traveling or are simply seeking out anti-aging doctors or health practitioners at home. The directory of Innovative Doctors and Health Practitioners is especially useful for those on a life extension program that includes the use of dietary supplements and hormones, as the listed physicians and health practitioners would likely be more suited to evaluate such a program than more conventional doctors.

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