Friday, June 7, 2013

Preventing Glucose-Induced Cardiovascular Damage - Michaels

Preventing Glucose-Induced Cardiovascular Damage

Conditions Associated With Elevated Blood Glucose and Advanced Glycation End Products
Elevated cholesterol and atherosclerosis49,50
Symptoms of carotid artery atherosclerosis (major risk for stroke)51
Risk of developing high risk cardiac rhythm disturbances following heart attack52
Cataracts of the eye35
Overall risk of developing cancer53
Risk of developing fatal cancer54
Increased prostate size in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)55
Abnormal elevation in liver enzymes, markers of liver damage56
Incidence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea57
Blood vessels are lined by a thin layer of cells called the endothelium which constantly regulates blood pressure and flow. Damage to the endothelium, which occurs in response to elevated glucose levels, is an important first step in producing heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke.

Studies now show that benfotiamine can prevent endothelial dysfunction and substantially improve blood vessel and heart muscle function, even in the face of glucose-induced tissue damage.

The process of healthy endothelial cell replication is vital to maintaining healthy arteries. Excess levels of glucose can reduce endothelial cell replication. The addition of benfotiamine to endothelial cells grown in a high-glucose environment corrects the defective replication. Benfotiamine accomplishes this through normalization of advanced glycation end product production.

High glucose levels also trigger early death of endothelial cells through the process called apoptosis; benfotiamine supplementation reverses increased apoptosis in cultures of endothelial cells by several mechanisms.

The body produces toxic alcohol-like compounds called polyols during periods of high blood sugar. Polyols disrupt endothelial and cardiovascular cell function. Benfotiamine reduces production of polyols, accelerates the rate of glucose breakdown, and reduces free glucose levels within cells. All of these effects further contribute to protection of endothelial cell function.

After a heart attack, or as a result of persistently high blood pressure, heart muscle cells beat more weakly than they should, resulting in heart failure. High glucose levels and advanced glycation end products substantially contribute to this diminished heart muscle function. Studies show that benfotiamine abolishes many of the abnormalities in heart muscle cell contractility, which may "rescue" impaired heart muscle and improve its ability to pump blood effectively. Benfotiamine activates important cell survival signaling pathways in heart muscle cells failing under the effects of elevated glucose.

Preventing Glucose-Induced Cardiovascular Damage
Not all advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are produced internally in the body. Consuming a meal rich in AGEs (such as one abundant in browned meats or caramelized sugars) can increase blood levels of AGEs and impair endothelial function. Supplementation with benfotiamine, 1,050 mg/day for 3 days, completely prevented the changes in endothelial function and blood flow produced by such a meal in a group of human subjects.

In addition to its effective control of AGE-related endothelial dysfunction, benfotiamine exerts powerful direct antioxidant effects. In rats with experimentally induced vascular endothelial dysfunction, benfotiamine reduced oxidative stress and enhanced favorable generation of nitric oxide, a compound that contributes to blood vessel relaxation.33,34 The result was an improvement in endothelial integrity and function.

All of these endothelium-protecting effects make benfotiamine an essential nutrient in your fight against the devastating effects of elevated blood glucose on your cardiovascular system.
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