Tag: high blood pressure



Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. CIRCULATION SOLUTIONS & TIPS FOR HEALTHY VESSELS, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 646 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our 

Helpful Tips for Health Blood Pressure, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 643

Helpful Tips for Health Blood Pressure, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 643

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. HELPFUL TIPS FOR HEALTHY BLOOD PRESSURE, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 643 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health 

A little Cocoa goes a long way, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 622

A little Cocoa goes a long way, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 622

Subscribe Today!
Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioSpotify

Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.


Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH.

*Intro Music*

InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started.†[00:00:34]

*Intro Music*

Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] One of the most popular sweet treats that most people overindulge in is chocolate. Now, not all chocolate is created the same as we know, but we also have to understand some of the medicinal benefits that go along with chocolate. And is it the milk chocolate bar that maybe you can find at your local grocery store that is so supportive to your cardiovascular system into your brain and beyond? Most likely not. So let’s dive in to the power of cocoa flavanols today. I am scientific director Dr. Amanda Williams. And when it comes to cocoa or chocolate, we know that there are major distinctions that we must assess. Cocoa beans themselves coming from the cocoa tree. So you have cocoa beans, they are very rich in the cocoa flavanols. But when we look at chocolate, chocolate itself has been highly processed and the majority of those cocoa flavanols have lost their power along that way of the processing. So we have to recognize this and realize that while having a chocolate treat can be very helpful in some regards, it can also be very hurtful to the body. So you have to know what you’re working with if you’re going to be consuming chocolate. We want to have a chocolate that has a high percent of that cocoa, the cocoa flavanols. That’s why a 70% or greater, if you’re going to be eating chocolate, is what you want to be seeking. Now, what we have done is we have taken the guesswork right out of that for you by having the Cocoa Hx. The Cocoa Hx is basically taking that cocoa bean, extrapolating out all of those powerful flavanols, those catechins, and putting them into our cocoa hx formulation without going through all of those stages of process that allow for the loss of true medicinal benefit that can come from the cocoa itself. So we know that there’s been much research done that has clearly indicated the difference between, you know, cocoa versus chocolate. Chocolate is what most people think about when you’re eating a dessert or having a candy bar. That’s much different, as I mentioned, than having the actual cocoa flavanols You know, the flavanols, they really allow for the body to fight off free radicals and to help produce nitric oxide, which is why it’s so cardioprotective, because it allows those blood vessels to open up so you get optimal blood flow going through them. So knowing that not all cocoa or chocolate is created the same, if we are looking at the science of cocoa, not chocolate, but cocoa, we have to look at the amount of those cocoa flavanols that you’re actually getting to yield you those positive benefits. And we can go across multiple different research trials that have indicated that cocoa flavanols really can do so much when it comes to improving on so many aspects of our overall health.† [00:03:57]

[00:03:58] So there was a study done out of the Journal of Nutrition where they assessed the intake of cocoa flavanols when it came to biomarkers for cardiometabolic health. Now, this was a study that was conducted through Brown University in conjunction with Emory University as well as Harvard, and they were able to see how it was that those cocoa flavanols not milk chocolate, but those cocoa flavanols could actually improve people’s blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity, had improvement on triglyceride levels, could see levels of C-reactive protein for systemic inflammation going down. And they concluded that the cocoa flavanols that you would find in Cocoa Hx, have this very favorable effect on all of these varieties of cardiometabolic markers. So the proof is in the pudding, right? And we, we can certainly see the vascular support that leads even into the brain. Very interesting stud, that was conducted over in the U.K. that showed how those cocoa flavanols could actually help with brain signaling and brain connectivity. They did this through doing a functional MRI. They took a group of healthy individuals, they scanned their brain for brain activity and then they gave them cocoa flavanols to drink, and then they scanned them again. And they were quite impressed by the amount of signal intensity that they were seeing on those functional MRI eyes, which is why we always go back to the fact that the cocoa flavanols is much different than having milk chocolate. If you were to have milk chocolate and you did that repeat functional MRI, you’re not going to see that intensity of positive signals going on in the brain after having a chocolate candy bar. So we know that the cocoa flavanols are doing all of these wonderful things in terms of fighting oxidative stress, targeting glycation in the body, really helping the body when it comes to better management of inflammation. And we can see this clearly through those different markers that are assessing for inflammation in the body, such as C-reactive protein. Being able to see those levels come down. And study after study continue to impress upon this, they’ve been able to show how the intake of cocoa flavanols such as in the Cocoa Hx can actually allow the body to better manage blood sugar and lead to a sense of prevention from type 2 diabetes.† [00:06:35]


[00:06:36] Brigham Young University did a study where they were looking just at how incorporating in cocoa flavanols lead to better glucose regulation, better insulin sensitivity and overall better pancreatic function. Yes, folks, we are talking cocoa because we know that at the end of the day, when we are looking for a supplement that packs a lot of punch to protect ourselves and we also want something that kind of leans in to our underlying cravings for something sweet. Using the Cocoa Hx, is going to hit all of those marks, and there’s so many ways that you can incorporate the Cocoa Hx into a daily routine that you yield all these positive benefits when it comes to blood pressure, regulation and even helping with joint function. So since we know that the cocoa can help to lower inflammation in the body and study after study have indicated this, it would make sense that we would say, yeah, maybe I should be having that Cocoa Hx into a daily routine. Now what’s really nice about our formulation is that not only do you get the power of those cocoa flavanols, this is also including these wonderful fruit and vegetable extracts that really help to even power up this formulation more so and so you drive up that antioxidant capacity to a even higher degree, which is why we now recognize that when it comes to the Cocoa Hx, it’s very much a complete systemic formulation. It’s helping to enhance our immune defenses because it works really lovely within the gut microbiome. So it can help even when we think about our mood because we’re going to improve upon that gut brain connection. So all of the multiple benefits that we know Cocoa can give us is highly impressive. They have actually done quite extensive studies on Cocoa’s impacts on human health. So they went through and they did a study design where they were looking at the influence of cocoa flavanols on diabetics, on pre diabetics, on those with hypertension, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, dementia. And you could see across all of these different metrics the way that cocoa can kind of elevate the body’s natural antioxidant system. So by taking those cocoa flavanols, it helps to stabilize your natural antioxidants, things like superoxide dismutase and glutathione. And at the same time, we are yielding this really wonderful way to fight off any of those free radicals at the body is creating internally, but also that’s coming externally. So we look at these different disease states and we can recognize that high oxidative stress is kind of one of those waning or taxing loads that the cells within that system struggle with. So we can use the Cocoa Hx and the power of all of those antioxidants that are combined together. And it kind of enhances our diets ability to have more of that anti-inflammatory effect. Interesting study that was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine actually looked at that. They were looking at those who were adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet and they looked at their intake of those wonderful foods, those fruits and vegetables, but also with cocoa and the amount of cocoa flavanols that these individuals were taking in, in their diet on a regular basis. And they could see once again that direct correlation between lessening of inflammation.†[00:10:22]

[00:10:23] So when it comes to cognitive ability, we can see through functional MRI the power of that Cocoa Hx, when it comes to allowing better brain connectivity. But also when we look at the way that the cocoa flavanols help to kind of auto regulate our immune defenses and give us that cellular energy capacity to fight off all of those harmful free radicals and keep us healthy and well into the future. So definitely check out this formulation, Cocoa Hx. That is all that I have for you for today. I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the              InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting, invitehealth.com/podcast. Do make sure that you subscribe and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. [00:10:23]

*Exit Music*

Want to know about an Arrythmia? Invite Health Podcast, Episode 618

Want to know about an Arrythmia? Invite Health Podcast, Episode 618

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. WANT TO KNOW ABOUT AN ARRYTHMIA? INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 618 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH.   *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our 

Metabolic Syndrome: Take 2!

Metabolic Syndrome: Take 2!

Written by: Claire Arcidiacono, ND For further questions or concerns email me at carcidiacono@invitehealth.com† Last week I wrote about the individual parts of metabolic syndrome. But today we are going to take a step back and look at metabolic syndrome as a whole. As I previously 

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome


Written by Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND

For further questions or concerns email me at carcidiacono@invitehealth.com

So far in this series we have talked about quite a few different variations of high blood sugar. Metabolic syndrome is a huge risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. However it is a very complex concern that I felt it needed its very own blog. What exactly is metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome occurs when an individual has at least 3 of the following: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides and low HDL. In the United States 25% of adults have metabolic syndrome.† (1)
One of the most visible signs of metabolic syndrome is what is known as central obesity. Central obesity is what is colloquially referred to as being “apple shaped”. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) central obesity is defined in men where there is a waist: hip ratio >.90 and in women .85. The WHO also classifies a BMI >30 as central obesity. (2) If you are curious as to what that means in inches the American heart association (AHA) says a waist circumference of > or equal to 40 inches in men or 35 inches in a female is classified as central obesity.† (3)


The risk factors for obesity include a dietary intake of calories that is greater than what is used. (4) In addition to this, there is evidence that a high intake of Trans fats and sugar can increase risk of central obesity. (5) Other risk factors include a high meat diet as well as a diet high in processed foods. (6) In men (but not women) Alcohol consumption is also a risk factor. (7) Stress is another known risk factor. (8) Central obesity is a complex issue with many risk factors. In this article I just covered the most common risk factors.†


High blood pressure is basically where the pressure in the arteries is higher than normal. High blood pressure is considered to be present when there is a consistent blood pressure reading of 130/80 – 140/90. One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is where plaque builds up in the arteries causing both a blockage in the artery as well as the artery wall to become “hard” so that it can’t expand to allow a greater amount of blood to flow. One way to think of this is to think of blood pressure as being similar to water pressure in a hose. The water in the hose is under a certain amount of pressure so it can move through the hose. If you constrict the hose then more pressure is needed for the water to go through it, the water pressure is higher. The same is true for blood in our arteries. There are different causes for blood pressure to be elevated and narrowing of our arteries is just one. High blood pressure is classified as either primary or secondary hypertension. Approximately 90-95% of high blood pressure is primary hypertension. Primary hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that is due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors. These factors can include excess salt, smoking, alcohol intake and obesity. Secondary hypertension which makes up the remaining 5-10% of all cases of high blood pressure has an identifiable cause. These include kidney disease, having an endocrine disorder, or using birth control pills. While hypertension rarely has symptoms there can be headaches, feeling lightheaded, vertigo, tinnitus and even fainting spells! (9)High blood sugar has been covered in depth in the previous 2 blogs. For the high blood sugar risk factors as well as symptoms that is associated with metabolic syndrome I would refer to the prediabetes blogs as well as the type 2 diabetes blog.†


High triglycerides is exactly what it sounds like. On a blood test, triglycerides are high. Most people with high triglycerides have no signs or symptoms which is why routine blood work is so important. High triglycerides are diagnosed when triglycerides are over 150 mg/Dl. Risk factors for high triglycerides include obesity, high blood sugar excess alcohol intake, kidney failure, genetic predisposition, lipoprotein lipase deficiency, cholesterol storage disease. Even certain medications can increase triglycerides. Certain chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism, lupus, and glycogen store disease are also risk factors.† (10)
HDL is what is usually referred to as “good cholesterol”. The higher the HDL level the more cardio-protective it is considered to be. Conversely the lower the HDL the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease. Blood tests for HDL that are under 40 for men and under 50 for women are considered to be low. If the blood test is between 40-59 for both men and women it is considered to be at a medium level. If the blood test shows that HDL is above 59 it is considered an optimal level. Diet and lifestyle are risk factors for low HDL. If the diet has low unsaturated fats and high trans fats, as well low omega 3s, this is a risk factor for low HDL.†


Other lifestyle risk factors include obesity, high alcohol intake, smoking and a lack of activity. Stress is also a risk factor for low HDL.†(11)

As I said in the beginning metabolic syndrome is a complex topic. In this blog I have broken down the syndrome by each individual component. Next week we will be continuing on with metabolic syndrome, however I will be putting together all the pieces. What are the general risk factors for metabolic syndrome? What are the possible complications of metabolic syndrome? Lastly what can be done to help combat metabolic syndrome?†


For further questions or concerns, email me at carcidiacono@invitehealth.com†


Falkner B, Crossbow ND (July 2014). “Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and obesity-associated hypertension in the racial ethnic minorities of the United States”. Current Hypertension Reports. 16 (7): 449. Doi: 10.1007/s11906-014-0449-5. PMC 4083846. PMID 24819559.

Alberta KG, et al. (1999). “Definition, Diagnosis, and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus and its Complications” (PDF). World Health Organization. pp. 32–33. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2013.

Grundy SM, Brewer HB, Coleman JI, Smith SC, L’Enfant C (January 2004). “Definition of metabolic syndrome: Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Heart Association conference on scientific issues related to definition”. Circulation. 109 (3): 433–38. Doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000111245.75752.C6. PMC 1880831. PMID 14744958.

Stanhope KL, Havel PJ (March 2010). “Fructose consumption: recent results and their potential implications”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1190 (1): 15–24. Bibcode: 2010NYASA1190…15S. Doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05266.x. PMC 3075927. PMID 20388133.

Kho-Banerjee P, Chu NF, Spiegelman D, Rodner B, Cowlitz G, Willett W, Rim E (October 2003). “Prospective study of the association of changes in dietary intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking with 9-y gain in waist circumference among 16 587 US men”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 78 (4): 719–27. Doi: 10.1093/acne/78.4.719. PMID 14522729.

Monteiro, Carlos Augusto; Cannon, Geoffrey; Mubarak, Jean-Claude; Levy, Renata Bortuzzo; Loused, Maria Laura C.; Jaime, Patricia Constanta (January 2018). “The UN Decade of Nutrition, the NOVA food classification and the trouble with ultra-processing”. Public Health Nutrition. 21 (1): 5–17. Doi: 10.1017/S1368980017000234. ISSN 1368-9800. PMID 28322183.

Schroder H, Morales-Molina JA, Bermejo S, Barrel D, Mandolin ES, Gray M, et al. (October 2007). “Relationship of abdominal obesity with alcohol consumption at population scale” (PDF). European Journal of Nutrition. 46 (7): 369–76. Doi: 10.1007/s00394-007-0674-7. PMID 17885722. S2CID 7185367.

Carey D.G.P. (1998). Abdominal Obesity. Current Opinion in Lipid ology. (pp. 35-40). Vol. 9, No 1. Retrieved on April 9, 2012.
Pouter NR, Prabhakaran D, Caulfield M (August 2015). “Hypertension”. Lancet. 386 (9995): 801–812. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(14)61468-9. PMID 25832858. S2CID 208792897.

Pejic RN, Lee DT (May–Jun 2006). “Hypertriglyceridemia”. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 19 (3): 310–316. doi:10.3122/jabfm.19.3.310. PMID 16672684.