Currently viewing the category: "Cardiovascular"

I am highly thankful to Dr Mubeen Malik, Consultant Cardiologist from Kharian Can’t and my class fellow at King Edward Medical College (now University), who has contributed the following article from Agosto M et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2011; 57:220-21
American Heart Association.

Scientists have identified a protein fragment called caspase-3 p17 peptide which, when elevated in the bloodstream, could be a warning that a heart attack is imminent. This finding is the work of cardiologists at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

A heart attack predictor could prompt immediate treatment

Under the direction of Dr. Bruce Liang, director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, researchers “discovered a new biomarker for heart attack, and showed that apoptosis, or a particular kind of cell death, is a cause of heart muscle damage,” according to Liang.

In the study, the scientists measured the levels of a cleaved p17 fragment of caspase-3 in 27 patients who had acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the more serious of the two types of heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

In patients with STEMI, the coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot, which means virtually all the heart muscle that receives nourishment from the artery starts to die (cell death, or apoptosis). Caspase-3 is the end effector caspase for apoptosis in patients who have STEMI.

The peak serum p17 level during AMI was nearly four times higher than in a group of 50 healthy subjects used for comparison. When the p17 levels were measured again at an average of 88 days after the initial heart attack, the p17 levels were still higher than in the control group, which is “consistent with persistent apoptosis after AMI.”

Another factor found in the blood that can assess heart attack as well as stroke risk is C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is an indicator of inflammation, which is an important factor in atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Research has shown that the higher the C-reactive protein levels, the greater the risk of having a heart attack.

The discovery of a new heart attack predictor and “the ability to see a heart attack coming with a simple blood test,” according to Liang, could lead to the development of new ways to stop apoptosis and enable clinicians “to get a head start on treatment and preserve crucial heart muscle and cardiac function.”

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Heart is the most vital organ of the human body. The foremost job of the heart is to pump the blood in the entire human body and it directs it to every part so it can distribute the energy to every cell. If this organ suffers through any trouble the whole body experiences panic during that period. It is reported in the recent research reports of WHO that 48% death are occurred due to cardiovascular diseases. But Allah Almighty has not created any disease without its treatment. Humans have been bestowed with the wisdom to find the solutions for the problems they face. So we have to do some efforts and struggle in order to cope with them efficiently. World Heart Day is a part of such efforts and it’s celebrated on 29th September all around the globe. Initially it was celebrated on every last Sunday of the month September since 1999 to 2010.

The World Heart Federation is the non-governmental organization that organizes it. It is doing great efforts with its partners and other member to create an awareness that can be recognized at international level regarding heart health. As a minimum 80% of premature deaths can be controlled that take place as a result of cardiac diseases and stroke if we restrict those factors that are the actual threatening element in this context. In order to do so proper understanding is necessary to create desirable responsiveness from the society and for this purpose different activities are arranged such as lectures, scientific discussions, health and fitness gatherings,  organized walks, shows, festivals and sporting events.

The World Heart Federation has chosen “take the road to a healthy heart” as the main idea in Year 2013. The movement focuses on a life-course approach to the avoidance and to manage heart disease with a focus on women and children, for the reason that healthy children lead to fit adults and fit adults bring about hale and hearty families and populations. The focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among women and kids will be emphasized in the current year, reinforcing the reality that from childhood through adulthood we have the chance to put a stop to the trouble of cardiac disease and stroke and arrive at the objective of a 25 per cent decline in CVD deaths by 2025.

As stated earlier, we can stay away from early deaths due to cardiac diseases if we strive to overcome and control the risky aspects that are the root cause of such consequences. These factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, raised cholesterol, overweight, smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and increased glucose level. All of these causes are controllable if one really tries with enthusiasm and the results will be outstanding if they are monitored under the guidance of a health care expert.


The cause of diabetes mellitus is metabolic in origin. However, its major clinical manifestations, which result in most of the morbidity and mortality, are a result of its vascular pathology.

The American Heart Association has recently stated that, “from the point of view of cardiovascular medicine, it may be appropriate to say, diabetes is a cardiovascular disease” .

But diabetic vascular disease is not limited to just the macrovasculature. Diabetes mellitus also affects the microcirculation with devastating results, including nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States, while diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new-onset blindness in working-age Americans.

The importance of this post on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is evident by the magnitude of the population affected by diabetes mellitus. The impact from a public health perspective is huge and increasing. As the population grows older, more sedentary, and obese, the risk of developing diabetes and its complications will increase.

Epidemiological studies have identified diabetes mellitus as a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Over 65% of patients with diabetes mellitus die from a cardiovascular cause. The prognosis of patients with diabetes mellitus who develop overt clinical cardiovascular disease is much worse than those cardiovascular patients free of diabetes mellitus.

It is emphasized that practicing physicians and the paramedical professionals as well as general public intellects must focus on either clinical or basic aspects of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in such a way that an awareness campaign can be started at a large scale from the preventive and therapeutic point of view. Awareness programs should encompass, depending upon the targeted audience, mechanisms and risk factors for diabetic cardiovascular disease, heart in diabetes mellitus, including coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, the peripheral vascular system including epidemiology, mechanisms, methods of assessment, and treatment of this macrovascular disease . Lastly, the awareness campaigns must also cover the different microvascular effects in individuals with diabetes mellitus, including retinopathy (eye complications in diabetes mellitus), nephropathy (kidney complications in diabetes mellitus) , neuropathy (nervous system complications in diabetes mellitus) , and microcirculation of the diabetic foot.

Among the clinicians, campaign should include cardiologists, general internists, vascular specialists, family physicians, and medical students, along with other interested practitioners and allied health personnel, clinical and basic research scientists. Emphasis should be given to both theoretical and practical aspects.


Green tea is acknowledged as the most holistic and superlative beverage now a days. Its appealing flavor, aroma and hue of spring is not only captivating but also gives enchanting bunch of beneficial phytonutrients  and least content of caffeine as compared with other teas. It is the extensively least processed tea and provides more antioxidants polyphenols. Owing to its intricate polyphenol properties it is widely used to treat countless diseases varying from simple viral infection to chronic disorders, like cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.

Green tea protects the heart due to its antioxidant properties from developing coronary artery disease. Catechins are appreciably used to put down the enzymes which are accountable to develop free radicals in endothelial lining of artery, a thick lining where plaques can be easily accumulated. It also capably lowers the incidence of atherosclerosis by decreasing the amount of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and fibrinogen and increases the ratio of HDL cholesterol. Moreover, another important component EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is extremely defensive against developing ischemia and brain injury after stroke.

Green tea is also very valuable in the prevention from almost all forms of cancers, and its anticancer effect is due to the existence of phytoneutrients particularly catechins, which increase the production of detoxifying enzymes, and develops the potential to detoxify carcinogens.

Grean tea is excellent in helping the treament of type-2 diabetes. It also protects kidneys to develop stones, by minimizing the production of free radicals that are highly toxic for kidneys. Moreover, it is especially supportive in the reinforcement of bones strength and teeth, by defending it from osteoblasts, and hinders the production of osteoclasts.

Moreover, green tea encompasses three major components catechins, caffeine, and theanine that provide aid in losing fat particularly from abdominal cavity, viscera and internal organs. These components reduce the synthesis of triglycerides and fatty acids. Consequently, fat could not deposit in the form of adipose in the body.  It is also very effective in controlling symptoms of cold and flu and useful in genital warts.

In addition, green tea is very favorable in the cognitive development and is very helpful in Parkinson’s disease. It reduces severity of headache and increases the memory.

A word of caution; in spite of its useful results it also has some shortcomings. It may cause some possible interaction with adenosine, benzodiazepines, blood thinning medicines and chemotherapy medicines. Moreover, taking excessive mounts of caffeine specifically from green tea for a long period may cause irritability, insomnia, palpitation and dizziness.

For the most part however, it performs in a brilliant way for boosting our health and fitness.


Fasting is a very familiar practice for all of us generally. But sometimes it varies from the perspective of its main objective as some people fast due to religious purposes, some due to diet or attaining spiritual peace. It also differs from religion to religion like Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism. Its duration and phases fluctuates too. But the common point is that offers a lot of health benefits.

To begin with, it brings harmony, inner peace, and raises our awareness and these characteristics play a major function in stabilizing our mental health and fitness. It provides us with the opportunity to come up for air from our every day lifestyle and confers a possibility for our body to take a pause and gives break to its different organs. Fasting helps out for the accomplishment of abdominal fitness. As it purifies our body from the excessive and contaminated stuff, relaxes digestive tract, filters our intestines, and lightens the stomach by clearing fats. Additionally, it removes toxins from our body and consequently results as detoxification. During fasting as our body is not allowed for the intake of food so it utilizes the fats reserved in our body. These fats are initially the extra carbohydrates and glucose not consumed by human body and then transferred into fats. So for the period of fasting when we draw on these fats for obtaining get-up-and-go ability, chemicals are released from the fatty acids within the internal mechanism. Subsequently, those chemicals are wiped out through different organs and end result is purification of our entire body.

It also possesses anti-cancer perspective as recent research supports this fact that fasting makes the cancer treatment more bearable. The healing tendency is increased and victims put up with chemotherapies in a healthier way. Moreover in the absence of intake of food our body does not give any chance to tumor growth. Fasting also enhances immune system, because, during fast when one is not ingesting food then energy turns away on the way to immune system and metabolism instead of digestive system. It leads to improved protein development and growth hormones. It is also discovered that an anti-aging hormone production is also observed during the period of fasting. Fasting results in the immunoglobulin intensification that leads to the strengthening of immune system.

Fasting covers very promising ways in order to get rid of drugs like heroine, alcohol, nicotine etc. furthermore, it enhances sensory awareness, normalizes blood pressure, re-establishes cell oxygenation, develops insulin sensitivity, and stabilizes nervous system. So we can analyze that it offers huge benefits, this verity is very clearly stated in a Hadith “Fast and be healthy.” (Ibn As-Sunni and Abu Nu΄aym, and As-Suyuti graded it as Hasan.)

But one has to keep in mind that fast does not mean cutting our diet to an extreme. In the same way while breaking our fast, avoid from overeating and initially prefer fruit and vegetables. Certain limitations are there, when one is suffering from severe disease or his/her health conditions are not very compatible then he/she can skip it as clearly stated in the Holy Quran “(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.” (2:184). So fasting really helps us in bringing serenity to our lives and accomplishing peaceful health.


Claudication, derived from the latin verb claudicare, meaning “to limp”. It refers to the severe pain in legs, specifically experienced during exercise or walking. This pain is typically felt in the calf muscles, caused by the inadequate supply of blood in legs due to the hardening of arteries. Its occurrence can be ascribed due to the arterial spasm, atherosclerosis, or any blockage of artery.

Initially the pain is not very severe and a person is able to walk with it. But, as the disease becomes more severe this state will become brutal and intolerable, so the sufferer is not able to walk. Walking with flat shoes or bare foot makes it more noticeable and obvious. Because the symptoms are intermittent so they can be resolved easily by taking some rest. The signs of claudication can be imitated with other conditions like arthritis and neuropathy.

This malady can be alleviated by avoiding smoking completely if a person is chain smoker, because tobacco is harmful in various contexts. Firstly, the hardening of arteries becomes more rapid, and secondly it forms clumps in small collateral vessels which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles.
It can also be treated through cutting down cholesterol level in our diet, because it leads to put on weight more speedily. Added weight will cause difficulty for the leg muscles in carrying more blood for fulfilling the required demand. It can be controlled through taking low fat diet or cholesterol lowering drugs.

Exercise is also a good regimen in order to avoid intermittent claudication because regular exercise raises the walking intervals. When one feels that the pain has enhanced and becomes critical, then take a break until the pain ceases, and when feels relaxed then he/she can start walking again.

High blood pressure can also lead to this disorder because it deteriorates the arteries more swiftly. It can be lessened through taking low sodium diet. Wearing flat shoes can also become a source of this trouble because all the pressure exerts on it. Slightly raised heel can take some pressure off from the calf muscles and can assuage the person.


Black pepper with excellent health merits and appealing taste, holds wonderful healing ability as an anti cancer, anti flatulent, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory agent on account of its anti oxidative potential. Belongs to the Piperaceae family and contains Pepperine, which is responsible for its spiciness. In Ayurveds, it is considered as the best tonic. It also gives relief in asthma, whooping cough, cough, and common cold. It also helps constipation, muscular strains, diarrhea and liver problems.

It is rich in K, Mn, Mg, Fe, vit C, vit A, B1(thiamine), vit B2(riboflavin), vit B3(niacin) and B6(pyridoxine), flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as lycopene and cryptoxanthin as well as dietary fibers and very low in sodium, sugar and some types of saturated fats. It regulates pulse rate and blood pressure. Black pepper seems to be very curative in case of toothy decay, toothache, eye diseases, ear-aches, joints pain; and is favorable for hernia, insect bites and hoarseness.

Despite its various benefits there are also some side effects as it causes sneezing. Patients who have been through abdominal surgery should avoid it on account of its irritating effect on intestines. It can cause impotency having negative effects on sperms. Moreover, it is harmful for ulcers and diverticutitis conditions. therefore, it should be consumed in moderate amounts instead of high concentrations.

Black pepper is one of the greatest benedictions of god and considered to be the best table spice. It has many impressive health benefits and is responsible for stimulating taste buds. It was used in ancient times for its beneficial properties and was traded over the entire world as the best spice.Black pepper is thought to be very effective table spice because of its excellent therapeutical properties. Black pepper is obtained from the black pepper plant. It belongs to the Piperaceae family. Pepperine, the chemical agent present in it is responsible for its spiciness and is well known for its healthy properties. I t makes the food more functional and health enhancing and known to be available in all seasons.


Exploring the benefits of ginger has been motivated by my previous articles comprising the role of natural blessings in cancer treatment. Ginger is an excellent blessing of nature for the mankind in curing many diseases. It can help in the treatment of many ailments from colds to cancer. Among its many effects it has beneficial effects on almost all the organs of the body. It is also used as a spice to add flavor and aroma to many Asian cuisines. Herbalists have admired it a lot since ancient era for its healing properties. It is also an excellent antioxidant due to one of its ingredient chemicals known as gingerol, which is an intense inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis. It also helps in digestion by neutralizing the effects of gastric acids which may be responsible for nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Interestingly, pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting can be alleviated by taking 1 gm of ginger for short period of time (not more than 4 days). It possesses numerous nutrients like carbohydrate, dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, and folate. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese.

Among many other important and beneficial effects, it also significantly reduces the amount of cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and prevents the blood clotting by inhibiting the atherosclerosis . Anti-cancerous features can be attributed to the polyphenols, which also retard the growth of helico-bectar pylori, a causative agent in developing gastric, colon and ovarian cancer.

It is a superb anti-inflammatory herb, ginger suppresses the formation of prostaglandins which are known to cause the inflammation in blood vessels of brain leading to migraine. Moreover, it is also used to treat arthritis and osteoarthritis by hindering the chemokin (an inflammatory protein).

Ginger is especially valuable in curing menstrual cramps and reducing the diabetic nephropathy. It is also used for the prevention of cataracts, stroke, angina, colds, flu, cough, fever and kidney stones.


Honey, the magnificent golden sticky stuff is naturally produced by the honey bees. Interestingly, honey formation commences with the feast of bees from flowers nectar. Charisma of a special enzyme in their saliva makes it feasible to transfer that feast into honey through a chemical process. Honey is carried by bees in hives at the back and stored into the cells of hives walls. Continuous fluttering of the wings keeps the honey freshen, and decreases the moisture content which is then good enough for consumption. Moreover, honey is a popular ingredient of different recipes like juices, beverages, and different desserts.
Biochemically, its composition consists of different forms of sugars especially fructose which is considered as the most assimilated carbohydrate. It supplies plenty of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulphur, iron and phosphate. Besides all, honey also contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 which fluctuates in accordance with the quality of pollen and nectar. As an exceptional source of phytochemicals it offers different phtyoneutrients, and these substances include caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethyl caffate. Modern research confirms that all these substances possess anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Being a restrain to invert sugar it aids in boosting up the energy by maintaining the blood sugar level and insulin sensitivity. Further, it supplies sustainable liveliness during exercise and lessens exhaustion. Honey squeezes the capability of weight diminution when consumed with hot water, by burning the accumulated fats in our body. Honey has been used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial since ancient times too.
Honey fitness merits are incredible and resist against many ailments such as yeast infection, athlete’s foot and arthritis. Honey in its unprocessed form significantly shrinks rise in blood sugar comparatively with dextrose and sucrose that’s why it is a captivating food for type-2 diabetes. In addition, one of its astonishing features is to hinder the formation of cholesterol in arteries which protects the patient from the possibility of heart attack, and also results in the reinforcement of heart beats. Due to presence of high acid content it is digestible easily by individuals having sensitive stomach. Even chronic arthritis can be cured by taking 1cup of hot water with 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
It contains an anti-oxidant named “nutraceuticals” which facilitates in removing free radicals and triggers the body’s immunity. Honey is also awfully valuable against different gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, and irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers. Moreover, it proves an excellent cough suppressant in children lying between age group of 2-18 than any other cough medicines. So honey acts as a wonderful source of capturing potency!

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Walnut is enriched with incredible promising health supplements. It contains wide range of health benefits and an extraordinary nutritional value. It belongs to tree nut family, and it covers a lot of plus points from the view point of health and fitness. A greater part of current research about nutritional value suggests that it should be a part of our diet on daily basis.
While taking a look at its nutritional profile, one can view that it is just amazing. It provides plenty of phenolic acids, anti-inflammatory properties, flavonoids, tannins, antioxidant potential, omega 3 fatty acids, ellagic acid, amino acids, and highly developed quantity of omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts offer an exceptional amount of vitamin E; they are gifted with extraordinary amount of the type of vitamin-E that is gamma-tocopherol. Gamma-tocopherol plays a vital role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin E is also beneficial for coping with atherosclerosis. Moreover, it is rich in minerals, copper, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, B-complex collection of vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar.
It is greatly acknowledged for its heart curing competence on top. It minimizes the bad cholesterol level, improvises quality of blood, and adds to the level of omega 3 fatty acids in our red blood cells. It also shrinks the intensity of utmost platelet aggregation speed, platelet commencement, and CRP (C reactive protein). Its ingestion delivers exceptionally constructive consequences for vascular reactivity which results as most favorable performance of the cardiovascular mechanism. It is enriched with matchless antioxidant potential that facilitates in healing of heart problems. Due to the charisma of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, l-arginine unsaturated fats, plant sterols, and vitamin E walnut encompasses heart friendly potential. Walnut looks like brain structure in its outlook and it covers brain remedial attributes as well. It sharpens our mind, enhances its working, and preserves the consistency of cell membranes. The occurrence of omega 3 fatty acids in walnut helps out in the reduction of depression, and gives rise to improved mood. In addition, it has the potential to control Alzheimer’s.
It is also very valuable in pregnancy as it decreases morning sickness and nausea. Omega 3 fatty acids turns into great health benefits during it for both the mother and baby as well. Walnut possesses anti-cancer properties additionally, as mentioned previously that it offers copious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. Both characteristics lead towards the reduction of chronic oxidative stress and constant inflammation in addition. Furthermore, walnut supplies MLT (melatonin) and different researchers have assumed that it holds anti-cancer potential. Current studies illustrates that walnut is especially beneficial in order to avoid from prostate and breast cancer. It lessens the intensity of endothelin and recent research studies highlights this fact that victims of prostate cancer possessed an increased level of it. To finish, walnut is bestowed with distinctive health supplements and it is a real gift of nature.

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