Cardiovascular health – All roads lead to a healthy endothelium
If laid end-to-end, the network of arteries, veins and capillaries that make up the cardiovascular system would wrap around the earth almost four times. With such a complex system it’s easy to see why detrimental changes in blood vessels can have a profound effect on overall health. Diet, lifestyle and exercise are factors affecting cardiovascular health because of their ability to impact a part of the vascular system called the endothelium.
The endothelium is the innermost layer of blood vessels, lining the interior surface and forming an interface between the blood and the vessel wall. It plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the blood vessels. The hallmark of impaired functioning of the endothelium is the inability of blood vessels to expand (i.e. dilate) in response to various stimuli like physical activity. In fact, impaired functioning of the endothelium is considered an early indicator for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, assessing endothelial function can be a reliable prognostic tool for cardiovascular disease. A novel approach to evaluating endothelial function is called flow mediated dilation – or FMD.
When blood flow increases through a vessel, the vessel dilates. This process is tightly regulated by the endothelium. Flow mediated dilation (FMD) is a process that reflects the ability of blood vessels to dilate during increased blow flow and is a useful tool to assess endothelial function. Because it is a sensitive, non-invasive measure of endothelial function, FMD is a practical tool for evaluating the efficacy of natural ingredients to support cardiovascular health. Measured as a relative percentage increase in blood vessel diameter, in healthy people FMD values approximately 7% or more.
A new study shows that CurcuWIN—a curcumin extract by OmniActive Health Technologies—with enhanced absorption improves endothelial function in young, healthy individuals. Researchers enrolled 59 healthy and moderately trained subjects into a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study taking either 250 mg or 1,000 mg CurcuWIN or a placebo. The researchers measured FMD before supplementation as well as after 8 weeks.
Supplementing with 1000mg CurcuWIN showed a statistically significant improvement in FMD of 37% increase over placebo. The most impressive finding in this study is CurcuWIN’s clinical significance – its therapeutic benefit. Because every 1% increase in FMD correlates to a 9-17% decrease in CVD risk, supplementing with 1000 mg of CurcuWIN had a clinically meaningful impact on potentially reducing CVD risk by 26 – 50% in healthy individuals.
Supplementing with curcumin has a long list of benefits. Now, CurcuWIN provides a new one - supporting healthy endothelial function for cardiovascular health. CurcuWIN’s high bioavailability and long-lasting action play a vital role in its demonstrated benefits at a low dosage and provides greater compliance for those taking curcumin as part of their supplement regimen.
Monday’s Great American Eclipse has magnified the important—and often times overlooked—topic of sunlight exposure on vision health. The cardinal rule for eclipse watching is, of course, do not look directly at the eclipse with naked eyes. The reason for this directive is called solar retinopathy. This is a condition that occurs when the sun’s intense light floods the retina and causes irreparable damage. However, an eclipse is not the only time during which the sun can damage the eye. Although the sun is most commonly associated with UVA and UVB radiation, within the spectrum of visible light emitted from the sun hides harmful high-energy blue light.
Exposure to digital screens and artificial light sources may be disrupting sleep patterns and affecting health.