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sugar raises heart-disease risk — a lot

Filed under: heart disease,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Orna @ 11:09 am

We all know that refined sugar is best as a rare treat rather than a dietary staple. The staggering prevalence of obesity in the US — as high as one third the population in many areas — offers a regular reminder.

 

Refined sugar significantly raises heart-disease risk.

Refined sugar raises heart-disease risk.

What’s less known is how sugar consumption affects heart disease — the leading cause of death in the U.S. —  and a new report shows it doesn’t take much to double your risk. (more…)

statin risks and benefits

I swear I don’t mean to pick on statins. There’s just so much about them in the news right now. A colleague of mine pointed me to an excellent website that puts findings on prescription drugs into perspective, and I think it’s important information to share.

 

Most studies showing benefits of drugs (or other substances), tout the results showing that taking the drug (or other substance) changes something more than would be expected from chance alone. For example, a positive study would be one showing that taking statins lowers cholesterol more than taking a placebo pill would do. In this case, the idea is that lowering cholesterol reduces heart-disease risk, and that statins therefore help prevent heart disease.

 

What the drug studies often don’t advertise, however, is how many people need to take the drug to see any positive or negative effect on the larger diseases the treatment is intended to address. This is called the “numbers needed to treat,” and can be very telling. The website my colleague recommended looks at numbers needed to treat for different classes of drugs.

 

Do statins help prevent heart disease? The numbers are not encouraging: (more…)

statins raise heart-disease risks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Orna @ 6:58 am

How’s this for a catch 22: Statin drugs are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the body in an effort to reduce risks from heart disease, but end up raising risks for the very condition they’re intended to prevent. New research finds the drugs speed up calcification of the coronary and aortic arteries — basically like building bone around blood vessels that need to flex as your heart beats. That increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The effect is more pronounced in people with Type II diabetes — and statins increase the risk of developing diabetes. What to do? If you have high cholesterol, talk with a professional about supplements and dietary changes that can help you get back into balance naturally. Some of the solutions may surprise you! (Via GreenMedInfo.com.)

 

 

 

brushing staves off heart disease

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 8:28 am

English researchers have turned up a new tool for fighting heart disease: the humble toothbrush. Medical professionals have long known that inflammation in the body is a major contributor to heart disease, and that included inflammation in the mouth and gums. The new study looked at information on 11,000 people who participated in the Scottish Health Survey. After balancing other contributors to heart disease, such as obesity and smoking, the researchers looked at markers of inflammation and how often the study participants brushed their teeth. The findings were unambiguous: people who brushed less than twice a day had a 70 percent greater risk of heart disease, along with higher blood levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. (Via ScienceDaily.)

Cholesterol: It’s not just about fat anymore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 10:00 am

Want to lower your cholesterol? It’s not just about the fat. Turns out sugar — added to processed foods and sweetened drinks — is a big culprit. New research in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association studied 6,100 people to see how sugar intake affected cholesterol levels. They found people consuming the most sugar generally had higher triglyceride (blood-fat) levels, along with lower levels of protective HDL cholesterol. They also found sugar intake has risen nearly 50 percent over common consumption in 1977-78. Sugars already are linked to obesity, hypertension and other conditions known to increase heart and stroke risks. These new finding add one more reason to cut down. (Via USA Today.)

 

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