Monthly Archives: October 2016

Coffee Heart Friendly ?

I am mainly a green tea and hibiscus tea drinker these days but I have to admit I love the taste of coffee. Despite the fact that service in modern coffee bars has reduced to almost handing you a kettle and asking you to make your own I still like an occasional Americano. I am not tempted by the virtual desert menu of alternative coffee’s so that’s a good thing but is coffee heart friendly ?. Latest research says yes and no. It seems that coffee can increase your chance of a heart attack if you are a slow metabolizer of caffeine. If on the other hand you are a swift metabolizer then it is heart protective. Details of this discovery here

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16522833

The determining factor with regard to the am I fast or slow is the CYP1A2 gene. If the rs762551 variant of this gene happens to be AA then you are a fast metabolizer (coffee is ok for you). If you are AC or the even slower CC then you are a slow metabolizer and should avoid coffee. You can get a breakdown of this gene and a whole host of others at 23andme.

I appear to be AA which means drinking coffee should not increase my heart attack risk but could help with lowering Alzheimers risk which is good news because I have one APOE e3 and one APOE e4 gene which means a higher risk of Alzheimers. This does not mean I am about to start packing the coffee in but its good to know that the occasional cup is probably fine. By the way there is research that shows that coffee increases LDL whilst green tea lowers it. I have found this to be true so if you are not a cholesterol sceptic and want to lower your LDL then perhaps coffee should be avoided.

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Latest Tests

Whilst out in Portugal I had my blood tests done at the considerably cheaper rate than is available in the UK. The test came in at 180 euros which at today’s miserable post Brexit rate still comes in at around £165 and a £450 to £500 saving on what they would cost in the UK.
I included a couple of new tests and dropped the test for Vit D levels which in my case seem to be consistently good. In fact I have dropped my Vit D + K2 tablet down to 1,000mg rather than the original 5,000.
The test results were as follows.

Fibrigonen This came in at 290 mg/dl. Fibrigonen produced by the liver can increase Platelet aggregation and blood viscosity making it an increase risk for clotting. My reading was well under the levels shown in trials to increase risk and you really want it to be below 300mg/dl. Maybe my Fruitflow supplement is doing the trick here. There is a good account of Fibrigonen at
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/5/awsi/page-01

Apo A1 135 mg/dl
Apo B 89 mg/dl

The number to look at here is the Apo B to Apo A1 ratio. In other words ApoB divided by Apo A1. In my case its 0.66 which is way below the suggested 0.9 for men. In more than one trial this ratio has been shown to be a better predictor of Cardio disease than LDL counts, HDL counts or even Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio. Many people have pressed for this to be included within the standard lipid panel you get from your GP for this very reason. Of course it would muddy the waters and probably reduce the number of people needing Statins (does anyone need Statin ?), so don’t expect this to happen anytime soon. The Quebec Cardio Study makes a strong case for this ratio, read more about it at http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=s0066-782×2007000600014&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

Lp(a) I have covered this on previous blog entries. Considered by many to be a substitute for Vit C and only produced by those species who cannot manufacture their own Vit C like us humans. In my case my Vit C intake seems to be keeping it down at 18.3 mg/dl (ideal is below 30)

MPO (Myeloperoxidase) This newcomer to me is a test of an enzyme made by white blood cells within the artery wall and is a good indicator of inflamation levels and hence vulnerable plaque. That’s vulnerable in the sense that its likely to burst and spill its gunge into your blood stream which with the help of your systems natural defences, will turn into a thrombus. Mine came in way below the reference of less than 3.5 KUA/L at somewhere less than 0.2. Don’t you just wish all these various test currency units were in just one currency like Euro’s?. Thinking about it maybe not Euro’s, perhaps Bitcoins.
A link here for MPO readers
http://www.bostonheartdiagnostics.com/science_portfolio_testing.php
Also some evidence supporting veggies have lower levels of MPO
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27496081

Homocyteine This one came in slightly higher than the reference range of 0.5 to 1.88 mg/L at 1.93. This was a bit of a surprise as my previous two readings were 1.27 and 1.18. There are two possible explanations for this. First of all for the past 2 or 3 months I have leaning far more in the direction of Vegananism simply because I have cut down on fish a tad. I still eat fish but not as often. The second explanation is that I now take a Vit B12 lozenger instead of the multi vit B with Folate pill that I originally took. Homecysteine is lowered in the blood stream via 3 pathways.

1. Vitamin B6
2. Choline
3. Vitamin B12 and Folate

For Vegans B6 and Choline is not usually a problem but B12 in particular is as the main source is meat. Given that it works in conjunction with Folate it could be that I need at least to have a B12 and Folate supplement or to revert back to the multi Vit B tablet even if it does turn your piss green.

Footnote – 1 week back on the Jarrow B Right supp’s and my Homocystein dropped to 1.74 which suggests that with a few more weeks it will be back at the 1.27 range. I am however going to switch to a B12 and Folate supp’. As I stated earlier I want to avoid Niacin which is in the multi B supp as there is some evidence that Niacin can increase Lp-PLAC2. I will retest in January after a good spell on B12 plus Folate.

Update – It is now January and I can report that on the B12 and Folate from Life Extension my Homocysteine is back down to 1.42 mg/L that’s 10.5 um/ol. Not quite as low as when I was on the Jarrow tab’s originally but I am pretty happy with that.