Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — In 1998, the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded for discovering the importance of nitric oxide in cardiovascular health and wellness. As the body ages, it begins to lose its ability to make nitric oxide on its own. Plant-based diets, such as the TLC, DASH, Mediterranean, Pritikin, and Ornish Diets, enriched with leafy greens, such as arugula, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, and spinach, can replenish the body's ability to generate cardio-protective nitric oxide.
To assess whether an individual is capable of generating nitric oxide from a heart-healthy plant-based diet, Berkeley Test provides an inexpensive and easy-to-use disposable saliva test strip for monitoring dietary-derived, total body nitric oxide. In less than a minute, the results from the Berkeley Test strips can now be analyzed on the iPhone Cardio Diet Tracker & Nitric Oxide Food Recorder App. The iPhone App provides immediate and ongoing feedback on which foods elevate nitric oxide so those levels can be sustained to remain energized and fit.
The one-minute test is typically used 1-2 hours after consuming plant-based meals during which time the body transforms inorganic nitrate into cardio-protective, nitric oxide. It is well established through published clinical evaluations that elevated levels of nitric oxide decrease blood pressure in pre-hypertensive individuals.
High blood pressure — the most commonly diagnosed condition in the US — is becoming increasingly resistant to pharmaceutical drugs that lower it. It is estimated that within the next decade a billion-plus people will be hypertensive. One in three Americans already has hypertension, an underlying cause of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. An individual’s heart attack risk doubles with every 20-point increase in the systolic blood pressure. Because of its prevalence, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the greatest contributor to death worldwide.
With drug-resistant high blood pressure on the rise, there is a renewed interest in preventing hypertension through the beneficial effects of nitric oxide-potent vegetables and leafy greens — the staples of heart-healthy diets. This is particularly critical now that nearly one-third of all people using antihypertensive pharmaceutical drugs will still have high blood pressure and exhibit cardiovascular disease risk factors. In the United States, the percentage of resistance to antihypertensive drugs is lower than worldwide projections; however, elevated blood pressure among a growing number of baby boomers is placing an unnecessary burden on America’s healthcare system.
For many hypertensive individuals, compliance is a critical driver in the prevention of high blood pressure and a daily lifestyle consisting of cardio-protective natural whole food meals is emerging as the best solution. Hypertension can be delayed, if not prevented, by maintaining a daily diet of low sodium and a DASH diet-eating plan enriched with nitric oxide-potent vegetables and leafy greens.
The next step is taking full advantage of this knowledge to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and establish a daily routine of improved eating habits. For example, to follow the DASH diet, 4 to 6 daily servings of vegetables are recommended. For the vast majority of Americans, 2 cups of vegetables is often the upper limit of one’s daily intake and, unfortunately, less than 5 servings per week is typical for a large number of Americans. Sadly, society has moved away from multiple servings per day of vegetables and substituting it with processed box food or supplements to satisfy dietary needs, which are often inadequate in nutritional value and nitric oxide potency.
The inexpensive Berkeley Test strip bundled with the free iPhone app to record and track personal plant-based diets increases the frequency of consuming vegetables and leafy greens. The iPhone App analyzes your recordings demonstrating the healthy-heart benefits that these plant-based foods afford us.
Features of the Cardio Diet Tracker & Nitric Oxide Food Recorder app by Berkeley Test: records Nitric Oxide status throughout the day shows which natural whole plant-based foods increases Nitric Oxide provides feedback as to amount, frequency and mix of natural whole plant-based foods keeps users on heart-healthy plant-based diets, such as Ornish, Mediterranean, TLC, Pritikin & DASH diets tracks your Nitric Oxide status as it rises and falls throughout the day, week, and month, thereby allowing dietary adjustments, and, if interested, shares your cardio diet successes with your Facebook community
Results of focus group members using the Berkeley Test Strip and Cardio Diet tracker app found: more heart healthy vegetables and leafy greens were incorporated into their diet, new ways to add vegetables to their plate, lower systolic pressure when their saliva Nitric Oxide status was elevated, training and race performance enhanced, workouts improved when their Nitric Oxide status was at the level of ‘Target’ and an increase in the number of vegetable servings.
Functions of the cardio diet tracker and Nitric Oxide food recorder app: My NITRIC OXIDE (NO) STATUS – records colorimetric reading from saliva Nitric Oxide Test strip — depleted, low, threshold, target, and high level — at a specific time of the day, MY LOG – summaries NO status in context of the time, type and amount of NO foods eaten during a meal or snack, MY DAY – graphically illustrates your average NO levels for the day, week, and month in context of when tested and in relationship to consumption of a Nitric Oxide potent plant-based food, MY STAT – graphically shows the average NO potency of the food based on the type of foods in relationship to when the Nitric Oxide-rich foods were consumed. My LOG and My STAT includes 30 common vegetable packed with nutritious bioactives, which are ranked and weighted based on Nitric Oxide potency. This allows the app to calculate the relative potency in context of the food and the amount consumed. ALERT, NOTIFICATION, and SHARING – the user will be alerted 2-4 hours after recording their NO status and when a Target-level is achieved, the user will be prompted to share their dietary success with the Facebook friends interested in maintaining a healthy-heart diet.
A recent study (April 15, 2013) conducted by researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association Journal, provides further support of the blood pressure lowering effects of nitrate-rich vegetables. Subjects who drank beetroot juice containing a natural source of inorganic nitrate show an average 10-point decrease in their blood pressure. Sustaining such levels may be critical in maintaining a normal blood pressure. According to the study's lead author, Dr. Ahluwalia, who reported the following to Medical Xpress: "our hope is that increasing one's intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beet root, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health."
ABOUT BERKELEY TEST
Berkeley Test has been providing inexpensive Saliva Nitric Oxide Test Strips to athletes as part of their training programs so they can measure and monitor the positive effects of a whole food diet rich in nitric oxide-potent vegetables. Recognizing the importance of monitoring saliva nitric oxide status for improving vascular heath, wellness and fitness, Berkeley Test now makes its proprietary Nitric Oxide Test available commercially.
The Nitric Oxide Test Strips by Berkeley Test are available at Amazon in tubes of 50 strips thereby allowing multiple measurements throughout the day. Discounts for Corporate Welln