Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S. If you or someone you know has CVD, or has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, or any of the other factors that could lead to CVD, you have probably been told to exercise, reduce stress levels and avoid certain foods like sugar, white flours and junk food. Or you may have been prescribed drugs like statins. However, there are certain foods – known as ‘functional foods’ – that, in addition to the nutrients they supply, also specifically promote health or prevent disease in a certain part of the body. In the case of CVD, you still want to exercise and eat well, but there are also functional foods that may help prevent it, and may even help you avoid drugs.

Let’s just take one of the CVD risk factors: hypertension, high blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80 or below. High blood pressure starts at 140/90. Between those you have a rating called prehypertension, which basically means that if you don’t do something to lower your blood pressure you could end up with full-blown hypertension – something you really want to avoid.
The risk level is much higher with hypertension than prehypertension, so getting your blood pressure under control now is a smart health move.

What functional foods help prehypertension? According to a recent study conducted at Florida State University, watermelon might be just what you need.
The study, though small, is very promising and is the first on human subjects. While the participants didn’t actually eat watermelon, they were given six grams daily of the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine from watermelon extract for six weeks. There were four men and five women, ages 51 to 57, and each were prehypertensive. All participants had positive results: improved arterial function and lowered blood pressure.

The real ‘active” ingredient, the one that’s making the difference, is the amino acid L-arginine. However, L-arginine taken on its own can be hard on the gastrointestinal system. The better option is another amino acid, L-citrulline, which converts to L-arginine once in the body.
Watermelon is loaded with L-citrulline, is well tolerated, has no side effects, and provides the added benefits of Vitamins A, B6 and C along with fiber, potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
If you’re looking for natural solutions to protect your heart, give watermelon extract a try. It is available at local health food stores and online!
Dr. Vanderloop
Houston Chiropractor

SOURCE: Science Daily:

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I was unaware until terribly recently of the correlation between dental health and diseases of the cardiovascular system. There are even studies that place poor dental health prior to smoking, high cholesterol levels, lack of exercise and obesity as a risk for cardiovascular disease. Clearly, proper dental hygiene has taken on a significance that goes far beyond an attractive smile and contemporary breath! What constitutes sensible dental care? It begins before you ever see a dentist. Follow these practices daily: ? Brush your teeth twice every day-in the morning and before bed-and floss once a day. This removes plaque. ? Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps scale back cavities. ? Avoid foods with high sugar content. Sugar grows plaque. ? Do not use tobacco products. They can cause gum disease or worse! ? Use a tongue cleaner. If you don’t have one, use a soft bristled brush and clean from front to back. In addition to those daily activities, see your dentist on a regular basis for exams and cleanings. I was interested in checking out which dental problems tied in with what cardiovascular disease, in different words, what the causes and effects were. A comprehensive study was sponsored in the late 1980’s, by the Finnish government, to work out health risks to the Finnish people. They measured many sorts of diseases and then did statistical correlations. Unexpectedly, the info showed a robust correlation between dental disease (specifically, periodontal disease) and stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Taking the study a step additional by weighting the information for age, gender, diet etc. it absolutely was apparent that periodontal disease was the best risk factor for stroke, heart attack and premature death. This study was later confirmed by studies undertaken within the United States, Canada, Nice Britain, Sweden and Germany. The results of periodontal disease are staggering. Studies showed that people with periodontal disease had a better risk of cardiovascular disease by a factor of two! Smokers, as compared, solely had a 60% increased risk. Animal studies have demonstrated quite conclusively that in periodontal disease, bacteria enter the bloodstream and invade heart and vascular endothelial cells and produce vascular calcification (hardening of the arteries). Endothelial cells are a specialised kind of epithelial cell that forms the inner layer of blood vessels. I’m completely surprised that these facts aren’t getting more media attention. Why hasn’t the Yank Dental Association made this correlation between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease better known to the general public? It’d be good for business, right? In this writer’s opinion, the American Medical Association and the Yank Dental Association ought to be touring the planet with these findings. My goodness, study the paranoia around the world relating to smoking! Smoking is much less a issue in cardiovascular disease than gum disease, nevertheless smoking is getting all the press. Well, on the and aspect, now you recognize! Tell your friends, members of the family and coworkers. This can be important. Get the word out! This is BIG!

Jeff Patterson has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in Dental Care, you can also check out his latest website about

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