Evolving Health

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Hyperkalemia is a result of potassium excess. It can be result of aldosterone deficiency causing potassium retention (too little excretion in the kidneys) (1p435). Also possible trauma that damages cells could cause released potassium to overload kidneys (1p435). Reference List 1. Nowak TJ, Handford AG. Pathophysiology: Concepts and Applications for Health Professionals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Although we may fight for it, in the end we just can’t stop people from naming their horses “Charlie”. But maybe we can help them with an involuntary contraction or spasm causing a muscle cramp, sometimes called a “charley horse”. Usually they occur due to an overused or injured muscle, but can also be caused by lack of minerals such as potassium (1). So, before and after exercise, eat your bananas. Reference… Read More

The symptoms of respiratory and metabolic acidosis are pretty similar. In both you see generalized weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and CNS depression (1). How does a blood test distinguish from the two? Respiratory acidosis differs from metabolic acidosis because it is a result of impaired pulmonary function causing a build-up of CO2 that lowers pH instead of one that is mainly caused by increased acid metabolic products (1). A blood test can… Read More

Potassium, the main cation in the cells, is often lost through perspiration, feces and urine (1). A deficit of potassium is called hypokalemia (1). Hypokalemia may occur simply due to inadequate dietary potassium intake, although it is more likely due to a case where there is excessive loss of potassium (1). Various reasons can cause excessive loss of potassium such as vomiting, heavy sweating or chronic diarrhea (1). It can often result… Read More

Saturated fats including trans fat can lead to a increased risk of cardiovascular disease mainly by raising cholesterol and causing a poor LDL:HDL ratio (1). Trans fat is thought to be more atherogenic because it has also been found to lower HDL cholesterol in studies (1-3). But what about diabetes risk? In 2006 a review on the literature of trans fats versus saturated fats in insulin resistance noted that while high intake… Read More

The presence of ovomucin, a natural trypsin inhibitor in eggs, can help block some of egg cholesterol absorption and bile acid reabsorption through enterohepatic circulation (1). Despite ovomucin, however, there does appear to be enough dietary cholesterol in eggs absorbed that can potentially cause increased cholesterol levels (2;3). Reference List1. Nagaoka S, Masaoka M, Zhang Q, Hasegawa M, Watanabe K. Egg ovomucin attenuates hypercholesterolemia in rats and inhibits cholesterol absorption in Caco-2… Read More

Raw egg white contains avidin. As dietary protein is digested, the presence of avidin can bind to biotin tightly preventing its absorption into the body (1). Because biotin is used as a prosthetic group in acetyl CoA carboxylase, a biotin deficiency can then inhibit the carboxylation reaction catalyzed by acetyl CoA carboxylase that converts malonyl CoA from acetyl CoA and CO2 (2). The conversion to malonyl CoA is ultimately the reaction by… Read More

Along with the recommendation of exercise and a healthy diet (including a bit of red wine daily), both lovastatin and cholestyramine can be used in the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia (1;2). While lovastatin works as a HMG CoA reductase inhibitor to reduce cholesterol synthesis in the liver, cholestyramine acts as a bile acid-binding resin that increases fecal removal of cholesterol (1p152;3-4). Reference List 1. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition… Read More

Without acyl CoA dehydrogenase to initiate the first step of mitochondrial beta-oxidation, your ability to metabolize fats is inhibited (1). That is, the enzyme—one of four depending on fatty acid chain lengths—catalyzes the formation of the double bond between alpha- and beta-carbons, which then are degraded to two-carbon acetyl CoA units (1p159). Because the body relies on the production of acetyl CoA from its storage of fat for energy, the lack of… Read More

We know that antioxidants such as vitamin E may slow development of atherosclerosis by reducing oxidation of LDL (1). So I bring to your attention a just-released study of note on antioxidant procyanidins of grape seed extract (2). The study was proposes a “corrective role” of the procyanidins on foam cells because of results in vitro that suggest the antioxidant effects reduce cholesterol and lipid accumulation as well as modulate expression of… Read More