Study finds that just one high-fat meal can affect your heart health
TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Eat a breakfast sandwich and your body
will be feeling the ill effects well before lunch - now that's fast food!
High-fat diets are associated with developing atherosclerosis (narrowing
of the arteries) over a lifetime. But how quickly can damage start?
Just one day of eating a fat-laden breakfast sandwich - processed cheese
and meat on a bun - and "your blood vessels become unhappy," says Heart
and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Todd Anderson, director of the
Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and head of cardiac science
at the University of Calgary.
Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to serious problems including heart
disease, stroke or even death.
Delegates at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress heard today about a
study at Dr. Anderson's lab, led by student researcher Vincent Lee. The
key ingredients: breakfast sandwiches and a group of healthy,
non-smoking university students.
Fats can build up in your arteries over decades. One important gauge of
how "happy" your arteries feel is how much blood flow can increase in
your arm in response to its brief interruption - measured as VTI
(velocity time integral). You can measure VTI with doppler ultrasound
at rest and then after a blood pressure cuff been inflated.
"VTI tells us how much blood flow you can you get in your arm," says Dr.
Anderson. The higher the better, which means the small vessels can
dilate to capacity, and the blood vessel hormones are working well.
So what would happen to the university students after starting their day
with a breakfast of fat champions?
The objective of this study was to assess the acute effects of just one
high-fat meal on microvascular function, an indicator of overall
vascular (blood vessel) health.
The students were studied twice, once on a day they had no breakfast,
and once on a day when they consumed two commercially available
breakfast sandwiches, total of 900 calories and 50 g of fat. Two hours
after eating the sandwiches, their VTI had decreased by 15-20 per cent,
reports Dr. Anderson.
From just one isolated meal, the results are temporary. But the study
shows that such a high-fat offering can do more harm, and do it more
quickly, than people might think.
"I won't say don't ever have a breakfast sandwich," says Dr. Anderson.
But enough of a diet like that, and you can see how you can build up
fat in the walls of your arteries.
Dr. Anderson is also co-chair of the group that updated the Canadian
Lipid Guidelines (on managing and treating high blood cholesterol),
presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.
"This study reminds us that our behaviours are the backbone of
preventing heart disease," says Heart and Stroke Foundation
spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson.
"Remember that whether you eat at home or go to a restaurant, you're
still in charge of what you eat. So consider all the choices, and try
to cut down on saturated and trans fats, calories and sodium. That's
one of the keys to decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke."
The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2012 is co-hosted by the Heart and
Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the
study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy
or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian
Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their
accuracy or reliability.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease
and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of
research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and
Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it
SOURCE: HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION
For further information:
For more information and/or interviews, contact the
CCC 2012 MEDIA OFFICE AT 416-585-3781 (Oct 28-31)
Diane Hargrave Public Relations
416-467-9954 ext. 104
Congress information and media registration is at www.cardiocongress.org
After October 31, 2012 contact:
Heart and Stroke Foundation
(613) 569-4361 ext 273