This Ayurvedic herb displays powerful cardioprotective effects in diabetics
(Natural News) People with diabetes are at risk of other health complications, including cardiovascular disease. Researchers at the University of Madras in Chennai, India suggest using extracts from the marking nut tree (Semecarpus anacardium) to prevent cardiovascular complications caused by diabetes.
For the study, the Indian researchers looked at the potential of marking nut tree extract in protecting against cardiovascular problems, particularly its effects on altered cardiac metabolism caused by diabetes. The researchers induced Type 2 diabetes in rats by feeding them a high-fat diet for two weeks. They gave the animals two intraperitoneal injections of the drug streptozotocin afterwards at a dose of 35 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) body weight. After 12 weeks, the rats developed cardiovascular complications. The researchers studied the effects of marking nut extract on the sugar metabolizing enzymes and mitochondrial complex enzymes of the rats.
The results showed that treatment with marking nut tree extract ameliorated the alteration in cardiac energy metabolism in diabetic rats. The researchers noted that this cardioprotective effect may be attributed to the plant extract’s ability to improve glucose utilization and control oxidative stress under diabetic conditions.
With these findings, the researchers concluded that the marking nut tree extract may be used to prevent cardiovascular problems in people with diabetes. Their study was published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.
Keeping your heart healthy even with diabetes
Treating and preventing cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes is important because it is the most life-threatening complication of diabetes. In fact, 75 to 80 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. But that does not mean it can’t be prevented. Here are some things that you can do to keep your diabetes in check and protect your heart:
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- Check your blood sugar level regularly — It is important to keep your blood sugar level in check because the higher it is, the higher your risk of cardiovascular disease. High blood sugar can affect the kidneys, eyes, and feet. To monitor your blood sugar levels, take the A1C test, which measures your blood sugar over the past two to three months. Discuss your target A1C level with your healthcare provider.
- Lose weight, if needed — When it comes to reducing your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, losing 10 to 20 pounds can make a huge difference. In addition, as you shed some weight, you will feel better and capable of staying active.
- Be physically active — Being physically active can reduce your blood sugar level because your muscles use glucose as an energy source. Exercising regularly may be difficult for some, but the trick is to do activities that you enjoy and make them a habit. You can also join other people in clubs or groups to make exercise more fun and enjoyable.
- Make healthy food choices — Adhering to a healthy diet, such as a plant-based diet or the Mediterranean diet, can help you control diabetes. These diets can improve other risk factors for hear disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and obesity. An ideal diet for people with diabetes includes foods that are low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in fruits and vegetables. Diabetics should avoid foods rich in carbohydrates as these can increase their blood sugar.
- Kick bad habits — Drinking alcohol and smoking can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Alcohol is a source of sugar, so drinking too much alcohol is not advisable. On the other hand, diabetes and smoking can cause blood vessels to narrow, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems. (Related: Abstaining from smoking can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with Type 2 diabetes.)