My 13th book, Best Future You, is out!
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book and blogging frequently about the main concept in the book – which is the idea of harnessing your body’s internal cellular biochemistry to achieve true balance in body, mind, and spirit – and in doing so, help you to become your “Best Future You” in terms of how you look, how you feel, and how you perform on every level.
Chapter 4 – Don’t Take Antioxidants— Make Antioxidants
CDR and… The Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the developed world. A critical component to the development – or prevention – of cardiovascular disease is proper balance of internal cellular defense systems, including antioxidant enzymes, detoxification proteins, and housekeeping proteins.
Several cardiovascular diseases are associated with suboptimal cellular defenses, (and thus with elevated cellular stress), including atherosclerosis (blockage of blood vessels), hypertension (elevated blood pressure), and heart failure (loss of contraction ability). Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by dysfunction of the blood vessel lining (endothelial tissue), leading to cholesterol blockages, narrowing of the blood vessels, and poor blood flow.
In a study from the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado at Denver (Free Radic Biol Med. 2009), researchers found a significant and synergistic increase in HO-1 (3-9 times) and glutathione (2-4 times) with CDR-activating herbs compared to any of the individual ingredients.
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University published a study in Circulation, the scientific journal of the American Heart Association (Circulation. 2009), showing how CDR-activating herbs protect heart muscle cells. The study looked at the damaging effects of high blood pressure, finding that CDR activation increased HO-1 levels to reduce heart muscle damage, protect blood vessels, and improve heart function (despite continued hypertension).
Biomedical engineers from The Ohio State University (Free Radic Biol Med. 2011) have shown that CDR activation via CDR-activating herbs is effective in elevating protective enzymes including SOD (3-fold), HO-1 (7-fold), and catalase (12-fold) – leading to improved blood vessel health. Phytonutrient activation of the CDR pathways was able to keep blood vessels open by reducing overgrowth of the interior linings of specific blood vessels used in coronary bypass grafts (human saphenous veins). Prior to this study, only daily aspirin and anti-cholesterol drugs (statins) have been shown to keep these types of grafts open and unclogged.
Exercise scientists at Colorado State University have shown in two different studies that CDR activation protects coronary arteries (Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012) and heart muscle cells (Free Radic Biol Med. 2013). In these studies, there was a significant increase in CDR pathway proteins as well as protective antioxidant enzymes, including HO-1 (+778%), SOD (125%), and GPx (120%) – leading to a significantly lower rate of heart cell damage and death.
CDR activation is important to maintaining the health and function of the endothelial tissue, and thus of the entire cardiovascular system. For example, CDR activation is know to directly protect blood vessel linings from cellular stress, but also to improve production of nitric oxide (which increases blood flow) and boost cellular energy levels (through mitochondrial support) – leading to an overall improvement if cardiovascular efficiency and function. In addition, CDR activation leads to increased production of specific anti-atherogenic (heart protecting) enzymes such as heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which can protect blood vessels from inflammation, reduce high blood pressure, and improve the efficiency of heart muscle contraction.
It is interesting to note that individuals with insufficient CDR activation are likely to be at higher risk for not just cardiovascular problems, but also problems related to cellular damage throughout the entire body, especially those tissues with the highest energy needs (heart, muscle, and brain).
Thanks for reading – tune in for the next installment about “CDR and…Brain and Nervous System”