Heart problems at forefront of natural symposium

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acids Nutrition Cardiovascular disease

Heart problems, weight control and diabetes are the three research
areas that will be headlining at this year's Natural Health
Research Institute's annual symposium.

The NHRI​ - which aims to reduce the 10 leading causes of death by cost effective natural means - will hold its second annual symposium in Salt Lake City on Tuesday 3 May.

One of the headline speakers will be Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, from Penn State College of Health & Human Services, who will discuss the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Kris-Etherton will present research confirming that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and explaining why national and international expert panels and health organizations are recommending increased EPA and DHA intakes. Consumption of between 450 and 1000 mg/day is recommended for persons without CHD and those with CHD, respectively.

Meanwhile, Dr Dariush Mozaffarian from Harvard School of Public Health, will look at the relationship between trans fatty acids and cardiovascular health.

In industrialized countries trans fats on average account for 4 to 7 per cent of total dietary fat, with major sources being fast foods, bakery products, packaged snacks and margarines.

Mozaffarian will look at the apparent dangers of trans fats for heart and health and suggest that a significant proportion of coronary heart disease deaths and possibly new cases of diabetes would be prevented by replacing partially hydrogenated fats in the food supply with unhydrogenated polyunsaturated fats.

Vitamin E and heart disease will form the basis of the presentation given by Dr Ronald Watson from the University of Arizona, while Nutrition 21 scientist Dr Vijaya Juturu will discuss the way in which various nutritional supplements may help modulate the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Last, but not least, Dr Bruce Holub, from the University of Guelph, will take a broader approach, investigating the use of nutraceuticals in the prevention and management of chronic disorders and how a more natural, preventative approach may help lower health care costs.

Holub believes that since chronic disorders are soaring in society at even younger ages than ever before (early-stage cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.), an aggressive 'preventive model' healthcare system is needed. This could, for example, include the early introduction of risk factor-modifying nutraceuticals and functional foods - such as selected natural fibres and plant sterols.

He will conclude such a model using nutraceuticals and functional foods for the prevention and complimentary management of chronic disorders could provide a minimum of 300 billion dollars annually in health-care cost savings in North America.

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