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Diet and cardiovascular disease


In France, cardiovascular problems are responsible for a third of the deaths. It is the leading cause of death in women and the second cause for men. However these death rates are the lowest in the European Union for reasons still not known. The food is certainly not foreign. It indeed plays a key role in the appearance of these cardiovascular problems.

Among the causes of cardiovascular diseases, the most important is atherosclerosis, degenerative phenomenon that reached the arteries by reducing their elasticity and creating a decrease, or a decision of the arterial flow.

Many factors involved

This pathology that covers several diseases (ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular disease etc.) is the responsibility of multiple factors: genetic, nutritional, obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco, high blood pressure, diabetes. Among these causes, dietary factors have a very important place and their role in cardiovascular pathology is the subject of multiple research for 50 years to better prevent and control these diseases.

Station to the cholesterol!

The relationship between dietary fat and atherosclerosis has been highlighted since the 1960s. A too high levels of cholesterol in the blood – or cholesterol – is linked to arterial atherosclerosis, such as the coronary arteries. This rate depends in part on the balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids intake. It thus highlighted in some epidemiological studies a reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease after modification of dietary lipid intakes. At the same time, have used drugs to lower cholesterol, with the same results.

In the 1970s, it distinguished the amount of circulating cholesterol carried by high-density (HDL) lipoproteins which have a preventive action on the coronary heart disease to those worn by low density lipoprotein (LDL) that have increased the risk. HDL-cholesterol tends to increase with the contribution of fat in the diet, regardless of the nature of fatty acids.

Too much carbohydrate or alcohol…

The extent of the HDL and LDL from the blood therefore has a value of more precise meaning in terms of risk as the only measure of cholesterol. On the other hand other lipid components present in the blood, triglycerides increase, is a factor of additional risk of atherosclerosis. She is helped by a diet too high in carbohydrates and high doses of alcohol.

Moreover, the decrease in coronary risk, if it is well linked to the reduction of saturated fatty acids and the increase in unsaturated fatty acids, responds to complex and yet completely identified mechanisms for many genetic in nature. Talking about since long time “of familial hypercholesterolemia”, and there are topics, answering machines and other non-repondeurs to l ‘ elevation of LDL cholesterol after a diet enriched in cholesterol, due to the presence of a particular gene. This line of research is developing much.

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