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The World Heart Federation pointed out on the heart of 25 by 25 for achieving the goal of reducing global and regional premature deaths from CVDs and published a modeling study in association with the American Heart Association [8]. The challenges of prevention of CVDs have also been addressed by a scientific statement of the International College of Cardiology who give greater emphasis on functional food security [9]. In South-West Asia, where undernutrition was common about 50 years ago, metabolic syndrome has become quite common, due to rapid economic development and food security [4].

In a recent cohort study of 2. A BMI in the 50th to 74th percentiles, which is within the accepted normal range during adolescence, was associated with increased CVD and all-cause mortality after 40 years of follow-up [14]. Overweight and obesity among parents and offspring may be also associated with increased cardiovascular mortality via epigenetic inheritance in adulthood [15]. This proposal requires that CVDs and its risk factors be aggressively addressed because it is the largest contributor to global mortality, accounting for nearly half of the 36 million annual deaths [7].

Roth et al, reported estimates to indicate how reduction of selected risk factors would affect CVD mortality for different regions in countries up to the year of [16]. Risk factors were projected to assuming that current trends continue. If United Nations risk factor targets are achieved in the year , counterfactual scenarios would be then constructed indicating CVD premature mortality, adjusting for joint effects of risk factors. It has been estimated that 7. Premature CVD deaths would be reduced to 5.

Focus on local foods

The largest risk reduction would be achieved if the prevalence of hypertension is declined, followed by a reduction in tobacco smoking for men and obesity for women. Gender and region were important factors for meeting all risk factor targets on CVD mortality. However, more aggressive risk factor targets may be required if all regions are to reach this goal. Many countries will see no change or even an increase in premature CVD mortality if there is no decrease in CVD risk factors.

These deaths may be decreased to 3. It is known that, United Nations targets for reducing systolic blood pressure and tobacco use have more substantial effects on future occurrence of CVDs, compared with maintaining current levels of body mass index and fasting plasma glucose.

Heart Disease Prevention: The Impact of Diet and Exercise on Heart Health; By David Maron, MD

It seems that reductions in multiple risk factors has the largest impact for almost all regions and these goals can be accomplished only if all the health professionals and governments in each country set priorities, implement cost-effective population wide strategies, and collaborate in public-private partnerships across multiple sectors; including Ministry of health, Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Sports and Housing.

The world population is currently growing at a rate of around 1. The United Nations estimated that the world's population will increase from 7. By , the world population will reach 9. There is marked reduction in death rates due to undernutrition and an emergence of morbidity and mortality due to CVDs and other chronic diseases [7]. Nutrition in transition from poverty to affluence indicate that there is increased availability of Western foods resulting in food security for most populations of the world [,7].

Figure 1. This observation is supported by intensive research because both undernutrition due to food scarcity and over-nutrition due to food security are associated with a significant increase in metabolic syndrome which is a risk factor of death due to CVDs, diabetes and cancer []. The world's population suffering from under-nourishment is around However, million people remain hungry, an estimated 2 billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies and an estimated 1. Therefore, food security has been the priority of most of the governments and health agencies, without much consideration for functional foods.

The FAO and WHO were short of hard evidence that providing western type foods can enhance life expectancy for hardly 60 years or more.

Functional Foods, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

It may be associated with unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol consumption, which may cause emergence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, carcinogenesis, degenerative diseases of brain and osteoporosis [1,]. The Western-type foods are: all refined, high-energy, salty, sugary and low-nutrient foods; red meat, preserved and processed meats, bread, biscuits, candies, cookies, white chocolate, high-sugar foods and syrups may have adverse effects on health, resulting in to hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

All rapidly absorbed foods, deep fried foods, red meat, preserved, salted meats and snacks, plastic-containing foods, Chinese rice, trans-fat and too much of -6 and saturated fat and trans-fat-rich foods are also known to predispose to CVDs and other chronic diseases Figure 2.

Functional food security means increased availability of foods that are rich in protective nutrients and low in energy and nutrients having beneficial effects []. These foods can enhance life expectancy, to 68 years and more. Functional foods and Functional Farming 4 F may be defined as foods which contain certain nutrients that can address some physiological mechanisms in our bodies, thereby providing benefits []. Functional farming FF produces functional foods either by appropriate soil, or by genetic engineering or plant breeding [20]. Functional foods security in conjunction with increased physical activity are effective measures, and weight loss is the main predictor of the success in the prevention of diabetes and CVDs including heart attacks [,].

Some of the common functional foods are given in Table 1 and 2. The concept of functional foods may be easy to understand if we know about Paleolithic diet and changes in the diet that have occurred in the last 40, years during transition from Homo sapiens to modern men Figure 3. Observational studies have also shown that diets rich in vegetables and low in red meat and whole-fat dairy products are associated with a decreased risk of diabetes and heart attacks, whereas dietary patterns rich in red meats, processed foods, refined grains, and sweets which are rich in bread, biscuits, pizza, candies and syrups, increase risk of diabetes and CVDs [,21,22].

In a cohort study, , adults, aged years, were recruited from China [22]. During 3. Those subjects who ate fresh fruit daily had lower systolic blood pressure by 4. The adjusted hazard ratios for daily consumption versus non-consumption were significant for CVD death, and for incident major coronary events, ischemic strokes, and intracerebral hemorrhages, respectively.

Overall, A higher level of fruit consumption was associated with lower blood pressure and blood glucose concentrations and, largely independent of these and other dietary and non-dietary factors, with a significantly lower risk of major CVDs [22]. The traditional Mediterranean-style diet, characterized by high consumption of functional foods vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and olive oil , moderate consumption of fish and wine, and low consumption of red and processed meat and whole-fat dairy products, is widely recognized as a healthy dietary pattern, rich in functional foods, which is similar to Paleolithic diet Figure 3 [1,17,].

Further cohort studies from Southern Europe also suggested a lower incidence of CVDs and diabetes with increasing adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet in previously healthy individuals [23] or myocardial infarction survivors [24]. In a case control study among women, aged years and controls, the risk of acute myocardial infarction AMI was directly associated with frequency of consumption of meat odds ratio 1.

Assessment of risk with functional food revealed significant inverse association for fish 0. The risk was below one for moderate alcohol consumption 0. It is possible that frequency of consumption of functional foods and western type foods may provide useful indicators of the risk of AMI.

It is likely that certain foods; fish, moderate alcohol, or vegetables and fruits may have an independent protective role against risk of AMI [25].

Functional foods and Non-communicable diseases — Vikaspedia

In another case study involving subjects patients with AMI and matched controls six food items were assessed that were considered protective; olive oil, fiber, fruits, vegetables, fish and alcohol [26]. The findings showed that the higher the score of food intakes, the lower the odds ratio of myocardial infarction.


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A significant linear trend was apparent after adjustment for the main cardiovascular risk factors. This estimate was 0. Our results support the exclusion of refined cereals with a high glycemic load as healthy elements of this pattern. In the further case study involving patients, below age 79 years, have non-fatal AMI, and patients have acute conditions unrelated to diet [27]. It is possible that increased intake of anthocyanidins reduced the risk of AMI even after allowance for alcohol, fruit and vegetables, supporting a real inverse association between this class of flavonoids and AMI risk.

In another case-control study involving patients with AMI, there was a significant p [30]. Neuropsychological mechanisms were observed as follows: emotional stress These triggering factors are known to enhance sympathetic activity and decrease vagal tone, resulting in an increased secretion of plasma cortisol, noradrenaline, aldosterone, angiotension-converting enzyme ACE , interleukin IL -1, -2, -6, , and tumor necrosis factor-alpha TNF-alpha , all of which are pro-inflammatory agents. There is also a deficiency in the serum levels of vitamin A, E, and C and magnesium, potassium, melatonin, and IL an anti-inflammatory agent.

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The Mediterranean Diet in the Prevention of Degenerative Chronic Diseases

Permissions Icon Permissions. ABSTRACT Background: It has been difficult to identify the appropriate bioactive substance for the development of new functional foods associated with coronary heart disease, because the results of many clinical studies are contradictory. Issue Section:. Download all figures.

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