Category: Inflammation

This Seed Reduces Blood Sugar, Triglyceride & Is An Anti-Oxidant

Foxtail millet (a seed not grain) reduces blood sugar, triglyceride level and is an antioxidant. It is largely grown in China and Southern states of India especially Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu.

We all know to prevent Hear Attack, one needs to keep Blood Glucose and Triglyceride Level in check. And one needs to consume anti-oxidant to counter the oxidation process. Foxtail millet fits all the above.

Japanese Foxtail Millet
Japanese Foxtail Millet

Foxtail Millet in Reducing Blood Sugar

Scientists from Sri Venketeswara  University (India) studied diabetic rats. They induced diabetes in rats and later fed them with Foxtail millet. Within 6 hours, they noticed 70% drop in Blood Glucose level. When they continued feeding diabetic rats for 30 day, their fasting Glucose Level decreased significantly. They also noticed improvement in glycemic control. Moreover, LDL level decreased with increased HDL levels. However, normal rats were unaffected.

Foxtail Millet in Reducing Triglyceride Level

Scientists from Seoul, South Korea, induced hyperlipidemia in 24 rats by feeding them high fat diet. Later they were divided into four groups. Each group contained 6 rats. To see the effect of different grains, a group was fed either white rice, sorghum, foxtail millet or proso millet for 5 weeks. The group which was fed with fox millet showed lower number of triglyceride level.

As you know amount of fat in blood (triglyceride level) is proportional to heart attack risk. Thereby reducing fat level in blood, reduces risk for heart attack.

Foxtail Millet – An Anti-Oxidant

A team of Biochemists from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada analyzed anti-oxidant activity in several variants of millet (kodo, finger, foxtail, proso, little and pearl millets). They found that kodo had the highest anti-oxidant level while proso the least. Although there is no mention as to the level of anti-oxidant level of Foxtail, it can be deduced they have decent amount as it is concluded that all millets have high anti-oxidant levels.

Therefore, don’t forget to include Foxtail Millet in your Diet. It is also a great substitute for rice.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20869855

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534332

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20465288

Stop Inflammation With This One Powerful Anti-Oxidant

In our previous post about inflammation causing heart attack we discussed a concept called oxidation. If you haven’t read that post click here to read now.

Only continue if you have read that post. 

We discussed that inflammation is caused by oxidation. And oxidation occurs when free radicals combine with other molecules making theme oxidized in nature. It is this oxidized molecule that causes inflammation.

The oxidation process can easily be reduced. How?

Through the consumption of anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants are opposites of oxidation process. When you consume anti-oxidants they combine with free radicals. This blocks free radicals from oxidizing any other molecule in our body.

There are many types of anti-oxidants.

However, the most popular and one with profound effect is Vitamin C.

That is why we wrote this post previously ‘How Vitamin C Prevents and Reverses Cardio Vascular Diseases‘.

Linus Pauling, two times unshared nobel prize winner, stated that when one consumes mega doses of high amount of vitamin C, heart disease is prevented and can be easily reversed.

Though he was met with mockery, today most doctors are considering his path.

According to Linus Pauling we need to supplement ourself with Vitamin C as our body cannot produce it though animals do.

So How Much Vitamin C Must One Consume?

In Linus Pauling’s book ‘How to Live Longer?’ he mentions that one must consume 6 gm (6,000 mg) of Vitamin C. The amount is huge for most as we consume much, much less. Generally, we consume in the range of 60 mg per day.

However, you can start the regime with 1 gm (1,000 mg) per day. And increase the amount over time.

However, if you are skeptic over Dr Linus Pauling’s recommendation then you can take Vitamin C present in Lemon, Oranges, Gooseberries, Blueberries etc.

However, we recommend Vitamin C supplements.

Inflammation – The Real Cause for Heart Attack

Cholesterol is not actual cause for heart disease, inflammation is. In a minute you will understand how. Before that we need to understand inflammation.

Definition of Inflammation is ‘a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection‘.

There are two types of inflammation:

  1. Acute and
  2. Chronic

When inflammation occurs and it hurts (visible and painful) it is acute. Examples include, rash on you skin, when you get your toe stubbed or a splinter in your finger.

Chronic inflammation goes unnoticed as it occurs within arteries. It is not only responsible for heart diseases but for Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, Obesity and loads of other diseases.

We are going to look into Chronic inflammation and how it causes heart attack.

But before that we need to deal with something else called oxidation.

What is Oxidation?

We know that electrons revolve around an atom in orbits. And electrons in the last orbits are known as valence electrons. These valence electrons can easily be lost. When an atom loses an electron it is called ‘Free Radical‘ and it needs an electron to fill the place of lost electron. Therefore, it tries to pair with another atom or molecule. And if it does pair, then the paired molecule has been oxidized.

note: rusting of metal is due to oxidation.

Okay, now we know what is inflammation and oxidation. Keep them aside. We need to discuss another concept to understand completely. And yes, this is the last concept.

Function of LDL and HDL:

Both, LDL and HDL are two types of Cholesterol. However, when you take cholesterol measurement, it is the measurement of LDL.

Function of LDL is to carry cholesterol from liver and supply to various organs and tissues.

Function of HDL is to take excess LDL back to liver.

Hence, it is necessary to have a higher ratio of HDL to LDL.

Okay, we are done with concepts. Now, we shall take a look into

How Heart Attack Occurs?

Free radical keep on looking for some molecule to pair with. And guess who it finds? LDL cholesterol, the one responsible for supplying cholesterol to various tissues and organs. LDL after pairing with Free Radical is no longer LDL but oxidized LDL.

Coronary arteries have a thin sheath between blood and the artery called as endothelium. Being very thin and delicate the oxidized LDL, while passing through coronary artery enters the endothelium starting inflammation.

When inflammation begins, immune system sends monocytes (biggest type of white blood cells). Monocytes release cytokines which are vital for immune system response. Consider Cytokines as a regulator for immune system.

Unfortunately, these cytokines are themselves inflammatory. They increase the inflammation process and cause the endothelium to secrete sticky molecules called ‘adhesion molecules’.

These adhesion molecules stick with monocytes and they together form Macrophages. Function of macrophages is to eat all the problem causing element. In this case it is the oxidized LDL.

However, there is one problem. There is no limit to how much a macrophage can eat. It will continue to eat until it bursts.

So, oxidized LDL keep on attacking endothelium, the macrophages will keep on eating oxidized LDL. When macrophages eat too much they burst and leave a yellow streak.

Body considers the yellow streak as foreign body and blood rushes to form a clot. This blood clot blocks the flow of blood. And there you have a Heart Attack.

In most cases, blood clot is minor and goes unnoticed. If inflammation process is stopped then inflamed area turns into a scar and heals itself. But if inflammation process continues, the cycle continues and layer of plaque (fatty streak forms into plaque over time) keeps on forming. Further decreasing area of blood flow.

And the reason cholesterol gets the bad rep is due to LDL’s ability to get oxidized and being at the spot of clot.

Here we come to our conclusion that cholesterol is not the main cause but inflammation.

Therefore, reducing inflammation must be our first step. And we shall learn how to decrease inflammation in our next post.