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How good for your health is cutting salt from your diet?

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Scientists have calculated that cutting salt consumption by around a quarter could halve the number of deaths from sodium-induced heart disease, according to a study conducted in a part of China with a well-above-average number of deaths linked to high-salt diets, South China Morning Post wrote.

The study, the first to try to quantify what the impact of reducing salt consumption by a defined amount would be, was conducted in the eastern province of Shandong.

It found that nearly a fifth of deaths from heart disease in the province, one of China’s most populous, could be attributed to a high-sodium diet compared with a global average of 9.5 percent.

 

Shandong’s cuisine is characterized by high levels of sodium, which has long been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers estimated that cutting salt consumption from 12.5 grams per day to nine grams, it could have almost halved the number of adult deaths from heart disease linked to high-sodium diets over the study period based on its effect on blood pressure.

The study, led by scientists at China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, was published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers analyzed health data such as blood pressure values from about 13,000 adults aged 25 to 69 in Shandong in 2011.

They also measured sodium intake using 24-hour urine excretions from 1,769 adults in the province. After comparing such data with the death rates for the province, they found that nearly 20 percent of cardiovascular disease deaths, or 16,100, could be attributed to salty diets for the year of 2011.

Of the 16,100 deaths, about 5,600 were caused by ischemic heart disease – which causes oxygen shortages in cells – and 9,000 were strokes, two of the most common illnesses caused by elevated blood pressures.

“The burden of cardiovascular disease attributable to a high sodium diet is extreme but preventable,” said Shiwei Liu, co-author of the study and epidemiology professor at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing. “Reducing salt intake is urgently recommended.”

“Sodium intake is high in China, mainly from home cooking, eating out and pickled foods, especially in parts of northern China such as Shandong province,” Liu said.

According to official statistics, the coastal province had a population of 96 million in 2011, almost 45 percent more than that of the Britain in the same year.

Health authorities in the province and central government are working to tackle the problem and since 2011 have been campaigning to lower salt intakes among Shandong residents.

Under the program, called Shandong Ministry of Health Action on Sodium and Hypertension (Smash), the food industry has been urged to lower the amount of salt in its products and a public education campaign has tried to alert the public to the risks from a high-sodium diet.

The average salt consumption is about six percent more than the Chinese national average of 11.9 grams, according to officials.

The World Health Organization recommends adults to limit salt intake to under five grams per day, while the US Department of Health and Human Services said the daily salt intake should be no greater than 5.8 grams.

“Most people consume too much salt – on average nine to 12 grams per day, or about twice the recommended maximum level of intake,” the WHO said.


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Health

6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency

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The list containing all the roles and functions of protein can be a really long one. This nutrient is necessary for building and repairing muscles and other tissues in the body such as the blood, cartilages, bones and skin. It is also important for the production of hormones or chemicals that regulate an assortment of bodily processes. Without sufficient amounts of protein in the diet or even in supplement form, it can be hard for anyone to attain optimal health.

It doesn’t come as a surprise why a lot of vegans, weight-watchers and others who are on restrictive diets to suffer from the various symptoms of protein deficiency.

By consuming foods that contain little or no protein, the body has no choice but to utilize protein that’s already in it, causing wasting of the tissues where protein is stored, such as in the muscles.

 

These are some of the warning signs you will observe if you are suffering from protein deficiency:

Swollen cheeks

This is not caused by excess fat as you might suspect, but by the inflammation of the salivary glands. This condition usually takes place if there’s an ongoing protein-carbohydrate imbalance within you.

Puffy eyes

Edema is the reason for this, a condition wherein excessive fluid collect in the tissues. This happens because protein is one of the various components that factor in your body’s fluid balance.

Bloated hands

Again, this has something to do with the pooling of water in the tissues, known in the medical world as edema. There’s an assortment of health conditions that lead to edema, and one of them is protein deficiency.

Thinning hair

This condition may be brought about by a handful of things. One of them is not having enough protein in the diet. This doesn’t really come as a surprise as your hair is mostly made up of protein.

Excessive skin dryness

Not getting enough protein can cause the skin to end up really dry and flaky, and even develop rashes. Protein deficiency makes you more prone to getting sunburned too.

Lethargy or brain fog

Your energy and cognitive functioning are also affected when protein deficiency strikes. As mentioned earlier, protein is vital for the normal production of hormones. Some of these hormones have something to do with stress, energy production and mental alertness.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to get sufficient amounts of protein daily. There is a simple formula for calculating how much protein you need to consume everyday: your weight in pounds / 2 = daily protein requirement in grams.

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Health

Common protein form linked to cardiac, metabolic diseases: Study

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A form of protein, clusterin, has been associated with many different facets of cardiometabolic syndrome risk through its actions in the liver, suggests a new research study.

In addition, it is linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk and mortality, high blood pressure, harmful cholesterol levels and fatty liver disease.

Cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) is a cluster of conditions that increase a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

 

“Our goal was to discover new factors produced by the cells in fat tissue that have an impact on cardiometabolic disease.

In particular, we wanted to identify those important to maintaining the framework of fat tissue, called the extracellular matrix, which becomes dysfunctional in obesity,” said David Bradley, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University in the US.For the study, the team included a small group of 54 obese and 18 lean patients.

The findings, published in the journal, Diabetes Care, showed that clusterin, which is overproduced from the fat cells of obese patients, is strongly related to insulin resistance, said the study.

Insulin resistance is a major cause of Type-2 Diabetes, and patients with obesity commonly have both metabolic and cardiovascular complications. “Fat cells increase clusterin production as they enlarge in obesity.

Clusterin may be a biomarker of disease, as well as a therapeutic target to potentially prevent this disease,” said lead researcher Willa Hsueh, Professor at the varsity. “This collaborative research is shedding new light on the importance of clusterin on ‘cardiometabolic syndrome’, which may eventually lead to developing new treatments for this life-threatening combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity,” said K. Craig Kent, dean at the varsity.

CMS, which affects about 25 per cent of the world’s population, is now recognised as a disease entity by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Endocrinology. Further translational research involving mouse models is needed to learn more about how clusterin impacts each of the CMS components and whether administrating clusterin-inhibiting antibodies inhibits CMS, the study noted.

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Health

Drinking orange juice daily may keep strokes at bay

The Kashmir Monitor

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Drinking orange juice daily may cut your risk of deadly strokes by almost a quarter, suggests a study. The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that people who consumed the juice each day saw a reduction in the risk of a brain clot by 24 per cent, the Daily Mail reported.

Further, the rates of heart disease were also reduced in regular drinkers, who were 12 to 13 per cent less likely to suffer with damaged arteries.Fresh fruit juices have long been thought of as healthy.

But consumers in recent years have been put off by warnings over their high sugar content.Advertise With Us The researchers noted that the health benefits in terms of stroke prevention could outweigh the risks from sugar content. “We found a favourable association with pure fruit juice consumption,” said researchers from the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health.

 

It’s not just orange juice that has this benefit, other fruit juices also appear to cut the risk, they noted. Juice is thought to contain many of the naturally-occurring plant substances found in whole fruit that can protect blood vessels against disease. However, the team said despite the obvious benefits of juice, they would still recommend eating whole fruit as well, as there are more studies confirming its benefits. For the study, the team examined nearly 35,000 men and women aged between 20 and 70 years.

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