Diabetes, Heart, Diets | August 29, 2019 | Author: Naturopath
Cardiovascular disease is related to obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high glucose and high levels of insulin. Increasing dietary fibre can have an impact on the reduction of these cardiovascular disease markers.
Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that provide oxygen and blood to the heart and can lead to heart attack, angina or stroke. The main condition affectig people with cardiovascular disease is known as coronary artery disease (CAD).
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is impairment of the flow of blood through the coronary arteries and is most commonly caused by atheroma.
Atherosclerosis is characterised by atheroma’s which intrude on walls of medium and large arteries. They are made up of lipids, inflammatory cells, muscle cells and connective tissue.
Atheroma is a degeneration of the artery wall caused by a build-up of fatty plaques and scar tissue.
As the plaque grows it causes a narrowing of the vessel wall (arterial lumen) which impedes the flow of blood and oxygen (ischemia). This can often cause pectordial discomfort such as pain or feeling of pressure (angina pectoris), especially on exertion or when stressed.
Ruptured or split coronary plaques can occur, exposing contents which activate platelet activity and a coagulation cascade (blood clot formation).
This can result in acute thrombus, which aim is to seal off the damage to the artery wall, but instead can cause blockage to the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart (myocardial ischemia).
One of the risk factors to the development of atherosclerosis is dyslipidaemia (one or more imbalances of fats in the blood). Other risks include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, family history, sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
If you are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease it is important to make diet and lifestyle change.
Studies have shown that an intake of dietary fibre is associated with a decrease in cardiovascular disease. Dietary fibre is carbohydrate from plant food which is indigestible by humans, due to a lack of the specific digestive enzymes, and thus are not absorbed by the body.
Dietary fibres are classified depending on the water solubility properties they contain and are either soluble or insoluble.
Dietary fibre may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease through a variety of mechanisms, these include:
Dietary fibres gather and absorb cholesterol during digestion. This decreases the absorption through the liver, increasing excretion through bile and bowel defecation.
Water-soluble fibre products include Beta-glucan, psyllium, pectin and guar gum, have been found to lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations, without affecting HDL cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentrations.
Increasing the production of Short-chain fatty acids in the large intestine from the fermentation of soluble fibre leads to alterations in the microbiota (the community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms) in the digestive system. The human microbiota is made up of trillions of cells including bacteria, fungi and viruses most of which are found in the gut (but also the genitals and skin).
Hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and elevated blood pressure is also a component of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for atherosclerotic disease and diabetes mellitus.
Dietary fibre intake from whole foods or supplements may lower blood pressure, improve serum lipid levels, reduce inflammatory mediators, lower serum glucose levels and support weight loss.
Studies have shown a high fibre diet reduced blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure, with beneficial result using beta-glucan (from oats).
Water soluble fibres such as psyllium, moderate high levels of glucose and insulin concentrations after eating in non-insulin dependent diabetics, if taken with meals, and also support weight reduction and blood pressure reduction.
Oxidative stress is associated with the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Diets high in added sugar leads to obesity, insulin resistance, increased gut permeability and low-grade inflammation.
Gut microbiota plays a significant role in the development of obesity, obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance. Modulating the digestive bacteria with the use of prebiotics (fibre) and probiotics promote a healthy digestive system.
Fibre has also been shown to reduce inflammation, possibly due to its ability to slow the absorption of glucose through digestion. This then down-regulates he inflammatory response mediated by gut microbiota.
Functional fibres are non-digestible carbohydrates which have been extracted and isolated through manufacturing. These include β-glucans, chitosan, psyllium, lignans, fructans, gums, pectin, polydextrose, resistant dextrins and starches.
The bottom line - consuming the high amounts of dietary fibre can significantly reduce their incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease.
Click Here for further reading
Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566984/
What are the gut microbiota and human microbiome? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307998.php
Dietary fiber, lipids and atherosclerosis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2823590