Fruit­ful re­search into heart dis­ease

Coventry Telegraph - - CELEBRITY WELLBEING -

BA­NANAS and avo­ca­dos may bol­ster your ar­ter­ies and pro­tect against heart dis­ease, re­search sug­gests.

Both may pre­vent hard­en­ing and nar­row­ing of the ar­ter­ies, a con­di­tion known as ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, be­cause they are rich in potas­sium, sci­en­tists be­lieve.

A study in mice found for the first time that re­duc­ing di­etary potas­sium pro­moted ar­te­rial stiff­ness, which in hu­mans can lead to heart at­tacks and strokes.

Sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of Alabama, Birm­ing­ham, USA, tested dif­fer­ent lev­els of potas­sium on mice that were vul­ner­a­ble to heart dis­ease when fed a high-fat diet.

Those fed a low-potas­sium diet suf­fered a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in vas­cu­lar cal­ci­fi­ca­tion, or artery hard­en­ing. In con­trast, mice fed a high-potas­sium diet had much health­ier ar­ter­ies.

Cross sec­tions of ar­ter­ies ex­posed to dif­fer­ent lev­els of potas­sium re­vealed a di­rect link between low lev­els of the min­eral and cal­ci­fi­ca­tion.

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