Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 268
    Published on November 21, 2017

A potassium-rich diet such as avocados and bananas may help in preventing heart diseases

A study done by researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, United States shows protection from hardening or calcification of arteries and prevention of heart diseases with a potassium-rich diet such as bananas, milk, avocados, potato, spinach, artichoke and seedless raisins.

Researchers came to above conclusion after conducting experiments with apolipoprotein E-deficient mice models, which are highly vulnerable to cardiovascular disease by feeding food containing high-potassium, normal-potassium and low-potassium levels.

Study results show marked pathogenic vascular calcification and enhanced aortic stiffening (indicates harder arteries) in mice models fed with low-potassium foods compared with mice models fed with normal-potassium foods. Prevention of aortic stiffness and pathogenic vascular calcification (indicates flexible arteries) was found among mice models fed with high-potassium foods. Hardening of arteries or arterial stiffness is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Avocados bananas prevent aortic stiffness, hardening of arteries, cardiovascular, heart diseases.

Co-author of the study was Professor Paul Sanders, M.D., nephrology and lead author of the study was Professor Yabing Chen, Ph.D., Birmingham VA Medical Center. The study findings were published on October 5, 2017, in the JCI Insight. Title of the article was "Dietary potassium regulates vascular calcification and arterial stiffness."

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Potassium : Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte. This mineral helps in conducting electrical signals in our body and maintaining body functions such as water balance, blood pressure, nerve impulses, muscle function, digestion, maintaining the heartbeat and maintaining acidity/alkalinity (pH) balance. This mineral also offers health benefits such as preventing muscle mass loss, bowel problems, kidney stones, certain cancers, heart attacks and strokes.

Our body doesn't produce potassium naturally. So an individual should consume right balance of potassium-rich foods. Daily minimum potassium requirement is 100 milligrams to support body functions. Studies show health complications with both low and high levels of potassium. Our kidneys help us in removing excess potassium through urine. Potassium-rich foods are

  • Whole grains
  • Beans and nuts
  • Fat-free milk and yogurt
  • Fruits such as bananas, oranges, kiwi, pineapples and apricots
  • Vegetables such as leafy greens, tomato sauce, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots


Gestational diabetes linked to higher long-term risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke

A study found 43 percent higher long-term risk of cardiovascular diseases CVD (myocardial infarction or stroke) in women with a history of gestational diabetes (GD) compared with women without a history of gestational diabetes (GD). The study also found a reduction in risk of cardiovascular diseases by following healthy lifestyle over a period of time among those women who had gestational diabetes.

Nurses Health Study II is a study to find out major chronic diseases in women. Researchers examined records of nearly 90,000 women of childbearing years from the Nurses Health Study II. They found that nearly 5,300 participants (5.9 percent) had gestational diabetes during their pregnancy and 1,161 self-reported events such as myocardial infarction or heart attack and stroke.

Gestational diabetes in women was linked to cardiovascular myocardial infarction heart attack stroke.

The study findings were published on October 16, 2017, in the JAMA Internal Medicine. Title of the article was "Association of History of Gestational Diabetes With Long-term Cardiovascular Disease Risk in a Large Prospective Cohort of US Women."

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