Boy, it’s like having a Big Brother following us around and dinging our endothelial function (how well the most intimate lining of our blood and lymph vessels work) whenever we ‘sin’. If we eat junk food, lie around and snub exercise, or cram high saturated fat into our mouths, within several hours the critical function of the lining of our blood and lymph vessels (the critical fluid highways of our body) can be eroded by 50%!
This is yet more research showing that a good diet does matter. And that the effect of how we live and eat, good or bad, occurs shockingly fast.
Researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver were doing research with the National Football League. Their studies showed that within 2 hours of eating a Big Mac, endothelial function deteriorated by 50%. This gives new meaning to the burger joint that had been in Phoenix called the Heart Attack Grill.
Researchers studied endothelial function after foods and habits we do all day long. They discovered that whatever we do, hour-by-hour, what we eat, how we exercise, if we watch TV, all this affects endothelial function, and rather quickly. They used a non-invasive ultrasound to test what is called brachial reactivity (this is the same test my team used in our dialysis study), which measures how the artery in your arm reacts to whatever you are doing in your life.
The researchers think it’s the saturated fat that’s the big no-no because even olive oil ‘dinged’ the endothelial lining a bit, as it contains 17% saturated fat. However, in the ‘wild’ (in real life, not just testing of specific facts) we may get varying results. For example, The PREDIMED study from Barcelona was a unique dietary study looking at human end points of stroke, heart attack and death. This study was done on 7500 people from Spain and showed a 30% reduction in these cardiovascular events with diets high in either in olive oil or nuts.
And we know the famous Stanford University School of Medicine study that completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and found that the lowest-carbohydrate but highest fat Atkins diet came out on top with the most benefits in terms of cholesterol, blood pressure and heart health.
So testing olive oil on endothelium may not be as realistic as testing whole foods on large populations and looking at true life heart disease and health ‘end points’.
But, we do know, that what you do moment-to-moment, your thoughts, movements, food and sense of safety, or not, all are reflected like, ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the healthiest of them all’, suggests. There is, in essence, no private life from your body. You can’t get away with stuff if others aren’t looking. Everything you do stays with you, for good or bad.
This doesn’t mean we need to try to live perfectly all the time. That’s stressful, too. But it does mean that our actions add up. Just like toxins can bioaccumulate in the environment, our actions bioaccumulate in the lining of our arteries and in the beating of our hearts.
So, what do you do when no one’s looking? Your endothelium will know.