Thursday, January 3, 2008

Going Green Protects The Heart And Lessens The Heart Attack

An article appearing online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that nitrite found in leafy green and other vegetables can help protect the heart from injury.

“This new appreciation of the health benefits of nitrite and nitrate is ironic,” stated senior author Dr David Lefer of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “They’ve traditionally been regarded as toxic because they tend to form chemicals called nitrosamines, some of which are carcinogenic. But recent research has found no convincing evidence that nitrite and nitrate pose a cancer risk.”

“Recent studies show that administering nitrite to animals, either intravenously or orally, can greatly limit the damage caused by a heart attack and the stress to tissue that follows due to reperfusion—the return of blood to oxygen-starved heart muscle,” Dr Lefer observed. “We wondered if feeding animals much lower levels of nitrite and nitrate—equivalent to what people can readily obtain from their diets—could also provide protection from heart-attack injury.”

Dr Lefer and his colleagues added nitrite to the drinking water of a group of mice for seven days while another group received a standard diet. To mimic a heart attack, blood flow to the heart was arrested for thirty minutes followed by reperfusion for 24 hours. When the animals' hearts were examined, those that received nitrite had 48 percent less damage than animals that did not receive the compound.

Nitrite and the related compound nitrate play a role in the production of nitric oxide, which helps relax the blood vessels. In an experiment involving nitrate, which converts in part to nitrite, a benefit similar to the first experiment involving was found.

“The study suggests that building up nitrite stores in heart muscle could spell the difference between a mild heart attack and one that causes lasting heart damage or death,”. Just another reason to go green in 2008.



blogger templates | Make Money Online