Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tea and Coffee Lower Blood Pressure in Large French Registry

Michael O'Riordan
Jun 18, 2013

Blog Editors Note:  Simply put, this news release looks like a hack article meant to convince you that coffee and tea have healthy benefits.  They don't.   
Caffeine consticts the arteries.  Caffeine  doesn't do anything to heal the inflammation or clear the blockages.  Just the opposite, you will find that caffeine damages the endothelial layer of the arteries and inhibits the production of Nitric Oxide.  

Here is a real medical study for the details.  It points out that caffeine restricts the blood flow to the brain by 27% 

MILAN, Italy — A large French retrospective analysis provides good news for caffeine lovers: investigators showed that drinking tea or coffee was associated with a small but statistically significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition, drinking tea and coffee was also associated with a significant reduction in pulse pressure and heart rate, although the heart-rate reductions were greater with tea.
Presenting the results at the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) 2013 Scientific SessionsDr Bruno Pannier (Centre d'Investigations Préventives et Cliniques, Paris, France) said that other studies have suggested a relationship between coffee and tea consumption and blood pressure, but these analyses haven't been conclusive. Some have suggested a benefit, while others found no relationship between tea/coffee consumption and blood pressure.
Presenting the data on 176 437 subjects aged 16 to 95 years of age who had a checkup at their center between 2001 and 2011, Pannier explained that the analysis was simply based on a questionnaire asking participants how much coffee or tea they drank per day. Individuals were classified into three groups: those who drank no coffee/tea, those who drank one to four cups, and those who drank more than four cups.
Overall, coffee is consumed more frequently than tea, although there were differences between the sexes, said Pannier. Men were more likely to drink coffee, while women were more commonly tea drinkers. Coffee consumption was also significantly associated with tobacco consumption, higher cholesterol levels, and higher scores on stress and depression indexes. Tea consumption, on the other hand, was associated with lower cholesterol levels but similarly high scores on the stress and depression measurements.
After adjustments that included these and other potential confounding variables, both coffee and tea consumption was associated with a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as other variables.
Blood Pressure Among Coffee Drinkers
VariableNone1 to 4 cups>4 cupsp (for trend)
Systolic blood pressure (mm Hg)127.9126.7125.5<0.0001
Diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg)
Pulse pressure (mm Hg)51.950.749.8<0.0001
Heart rate (beats/min)63.262.963.20.001
Blood Pressure Among Tea Drinkers
VariableNone1 to 4 cups>4 cupsp (for trend)
Systolic blood pressure (mm Hg)127.3126.3125.3<0.0001
Diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg)76.275.675.0<0.0001
Pulse pressure (mmHg)51.150.750.3<0.0001
Heart rate (beats/min)63.562.762.0<0.0001
Speaking during the session, Pannier explained that the group did not differentiate between green, black, or herbal tea consumption, which is one of the limitations of the analysis. In addition, the questionnaire is not sophisticated enough to address estimates in the caffeine content of the coffee consumed in France.
That said, Pannier believes that tea is a major source of flavonoids in the diet, and these compounds can improve vasodilation. "The vasorelaxing compounds included in these beverages might be involved in these results, something that has been suggested by the experimental data," he said.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What they found out was that when 80,000 Japanese men and women increased their intake of saturated fats, the incidence of stroke and heart attacks went down. 

Full study here.

Dietary Intake of Saturated Fatty Acids and Incident Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese Communities

The JPHC Study

Kazumasa Yamagishi, Hiroyasu Iso, Yoshihiro Kokubo, Isao Saito, Hiroshi Yatsuya, Junko Ishihara, Manami Inoue, Shoichiro Tsugane
Eur Heart J. 2013;34(16):1225-1232. 

Abstract and Introduction


Aims Although dietary saturated fatty acids (SFA) are considered atherogenic, associations between SFAs intake and stroke and coronary heart disease are still debated. We sought to test the hypothesis that SFA intake is associated inversely with risk of stroke and its subtypes and positively with coronary heart disease among Japanese, whose average SFA intake is lower than that of Westerners.
Methods and results The Japan Public Health Center-based prospective Study involves two subcohorts: Cohort I, aged 45–64 in 1995 and followed-up through 2009, and Cohort II, aged 45–74 in 1998 and followed-up through 2007. A total of 38 084 men and 43 847 women were included in this report. Hazards ratios for incident total stroke, ischaemic stroke, intraparhenchymal haemorrhage, subarachnoid haemorrhage, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death across quintiles of dietary SFAs were examined. We found inverse associations between SFA intake and total stroke [multivariable hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for the highest vs. lowest quintiles = 0.77 (0.65–0.93), trend P = 0.002], intraparenchymal haemorrhage [0.61 (0.43–0.86), P for trend = 0.005], and ischaemic stroke [0.84 (0.67–1.06), trend P = 0.08], primarily for deep intraparenchymal haemorrhage [0.67 (0.45–0.99), P for trend = 0.04] and lacunar infarction [0.75 (0.53, 1.07), trend P = 0.02]. We also observed a positive association between SFAs intake and myocardial infarction [1.39 (0.93–2.08), trend P = 0.046] primarily among men. No associations were observed between SFAs intake and incidence of subarachnoid haemorrhage or sudden cardiac death.
Conclusions In this Japanese population, SFAs intake was inversely associated with deep intraparenchymal haemorrhage and lacunar infarction and positively associated with myocardial infarction.


Saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has been considered to be atherogenic, and it is suggested that reducing SFA intake prevents atherosclerotic diseases.[1] Yet, recent meta-analyses have indicated that greater dietary intake of SFA per se may not be associated with increased risk of coronary disease,[2,3] though another meta-analysis showed that replacing SFA intake with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake was inversely associated with coronary events.[4] Several cohort studies, but not all, have reported an inverse association between dietary SFA and risk of ischaemic stroke and/or intraparenchymal haemorrhage.[3] Thus, the role of SFA intake in the development of both coronary diseases and stroke remains under debate.
Compared with Westerners, Asian people traditionally consume less SFA-containing foods, as shown in the Seven Countries Study[5] and also in later studies.[6,7] The low SFA intake among Asians has been believed to be one reason why they have lower mortality from coronary disease than Westerners. However, no prospective studies have been conducted to examine the association between dietary SFA intake and incident stroke and coronary disease in Asians, except for intraparenchymal haemorrhage.[6]

The Japan Public Health Center-based prospective (JPHC) Study is one of the largest prospective studies in Japan, with a systematic incidence registry of cardiovascular disease. An advantage of this study included enough number of population to study subtypes of stroke (i.e. subarachnoid, deep or lobar intraparenchymal haemorrhage and lacunar, large-artery occlusive or embolic infarction), which is often hard to study in Western cohorts. The population is also unique in that they have very low SFA intake and high stroke and low coronary disease incidence. Our hypotheses were that low SFA intake is associated with elevated risk of deep intraparenchymal haemorrhage and lacunar infarction, and high SFA intake with elevated risk of coronary heart disease.

Dietary Saturated Fat Has Undeserved Bad Reputation

Dietary Saturated Fat Has Undeserved Bad Reputation, Says Review

Steve Stiles
May 17, 2013
"The influence of dietary fats on serum cholesterol has been overstated," concludes a review in an American Society for Nutrition publication that, in its words, "calls for a rational reevaluation of existing dietary recommendations that focus on minimizing dietary SFAs [saturated fatty acids], for which mechanisms for adverse health effects are lacking" [1].
Indeed, argues the author, Dr Glen D Lawrence (Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY), it is likely other factors, such as oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or preservatives in processed meats, that are also present in high-SFA foods that lead to adverse health effects typically associated with high SFA intake.
"The meager effect that saturated fats have on serum cholesterol levels when modest but adequate amounts of polyunsaturated oils are included in the diet, and the lack of any clear evidence that saturated fats are promoting any of the conditions that can be attributed to PUFA, makes one wonder how saturated fats got such a bad reputation in the health literature," Lawrence writes in the review published May 1, 2013 in the journal Advances in Nutrition.
The article's case is built on interpretations of research from the biochemistry, epidemiologic, and clinical literature but which, nonetheless, does not reference a tremendous body of research supporting alternative views. Still, Lawrence describes:
  • The role of lipid peroxidation in promoting atherogenesis, arguing that its effects are more pronounced on PUFA than on SFAs or monosaturated fatty acids.
  • An arguably protective effect of omega-3 PUFAs against proinflammatory effects of omega-6 and other PUFAs.
  • Evidence that potentially carcinogenic preservatives in processed meats as well as high-heat cooking methods have influenced perceptions that red meat per se has adverse health effects.
  • How "the preparation and cooking methods used for foods that are traditionally classified as saturated fat foods may be producing substances from PUFAs and carbohydrates in those foods that are promoting disease."
  • Studies suggesting positive health effects from dairy fat and tropical oils, both high in SFAs and therefore discredited as unhealthy.
  • The hazards of diets with increased carbohydrates as a result of being lower in fat, in low-fat diets followed to improve health, especially cardiovascular health.
"The adverse health effects that have been associated with saturated fats in the past are most likely due to factors other than SFAs," the article concludes. "Consequently, the dietary recommendations to restrict saturated fats in the diet should be revised to reflect differences in handling before consumption . . . It is time to reevaluate the dietary recommendations that focus on lowering serum cholesterol and to use a more holistic approach to dietary policy."
Lawrence had no disclosures.


  1. Lawrence GD. Dietary fats and health: Dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. Adv Nutr 2013; 4:294-302. 23674795

Switching from saturated fats to polyunsaturated fats demonstrates no benefits in the prevention of heart disease and death.

Switching from saturated fats to polyunsaturated fats demonstrates no benefits in the prevention of heart disease and death.  

In fact the 221 subjects who switch had a higher rate of death. 

Use of Dietary Linoleic Acid for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease and Death

Evaluation of Recovered Data From the Sydney Diet Heart Study and Updated Meta-Analysis

Christopher E Ramsden, Daisy Zamora, Boonseng Leelarthaepin, Sharon F Majchrzak-Hong, Keturah R Faurot, Chirayath M Suchindran, Amit Ringel, John M Davis, Joseph R Hibbeln

Abstract and Introduction


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of replacing dietary saturated fat with omega 6 linoleic acid, for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death.
Design. Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study, a single blinded, parallel group, randomized controlled trial conducted in 1966-73; and an updated meta-analysis including these previously missing data.
Setting. Ambulatory, coronary care clinic in Sydney, Australia.
Participants. 458 men aged 30-59 years with a recent coronary event.
Interventions. Replacement of dietary saturated fats (from animal fats, common margarines, and shortenings) with omega 6 linoleic acid (from safflower oil and safflower oil polyunsaturated margarine). Controls received no specific dietary instruction or study foods. All non-dietary aspects were designed to be equivalent in both groups.
Outcome measures. All cause mortality (primary outcome), cardiovascular mortality, and mortality from coronary heart disease (secondary outcomes). We used an intention to treat, survival analysis approach to compare mortality outcomes by group.
Results. The intervention group (n=221) had higher rates of death than controls (n=237) (all cause 17.6% v 11.8%, hazard ratio 1.62 (95% confidence interval 1.00 to 2.64), P=0.05; cardiovascular disease 17.2% v 11.0%, 1.70 (1.03 to 2.80), P=0.04; coronary heart disease 16.3% v 10.1%, 1.74 (1.04 to 2.92), P=0.04). Inclusion of these recovered data in an updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed non-significant trends toward increased risks of death from coronary heart disease (hazard ratio 1.33 (0.99 to 1.79); P=0.06) and cardiovascular disease (1.27 (0.98 to 1.65); P=0.07).

Conclusions. Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats is a key component of worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, clinical benefits of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega 6 linoleic acid, have not been established. In this cohort, substituting dietary linoleic acid in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. These findings could have important implications for worldwide dietary advice to substitute omega 6 linoleic acid, or polyunsaturated fats in general, for saturated fats.