New Drug to Control High Cholesterol for Statin intolerant patients: NEJM Study


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/new-drug-to-control-high-cholesterol-for-statin-intolerant-patients-nejm-study/

Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs but suffers from NONE of the side effects


Image: Food GOLD: Turmeric is just as effective as 14 pharma drugs but suffers from NONE of the side effects

What if you could replace all the pills in your medicine cabinet with just one herb? Depending on what you take and why, that may be possible with turmeric. Its main component, curcumin, boasts enough health-enhancing properties to keep pharmaceutical execs up at night.

In fact, this herb is so powerful that it has been at the heart of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed biomedical studies. Researchers have found more than 800 different therapeutic and preventive uses for curcumin. Here is a look at just a few of the drugs to which it compares favorably, as outlined by Green Med Info.

Metformin (for diabetes)

Diabetes numbers continue to climb as Americans grapple with obesity, and that means more and more people are taking Metformin – and taking on its scary risks as well. However, a study in the journal Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community found that curcumin has value in treating diabetes; it is between 500 and 100,000 times more powerful than Metformin when it comes to activating AMPK, which raises glucose uptake. Studies have also shown that it has a 100 percent efficacy rate in preventing those with pre-diabetes from developing full-fledged diabetes.

Lipitor (for cholesterol)

A 2008 study revealed that curcumin compares favorably to atorvastatin, which you may know as Lipitor, when it comes to dealing with the endothelial dysfunction behind atherosclerosis while reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Other studies have shown that it can impact triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. While most of the studies so far have been done in animals, it is believed that it could have the same effect in humans, although the right levels have yet to be established.

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Prozac (for depression)

A study in 2011 found that curcumin compares favorably to the antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and imipramine when it comes decreasing depressive behavior. Best of all, it doesn’t carry the serious side effects that Prozac does, which include sleep problems, tremors, headaches, nausea, a lower sex drive, and suicidal ideation. In addition, it’s well-tolerated by patients.

Researchers believe it works on depression by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that has been linked to depression when it’s present in high amounts in the brain. It also raises levels of calmness-inducing serotonin and dopamine.

Oxaliplatin (for chemotherapy)

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer looked at curcumin’s effects in stopping colorectal cell lines from proliferating. The researchers discovered the herb compared favorably to the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin. Other studies are underway exploring the impact curcumin has on various types of cancer after animal studies showed it could help prevent illnesses like skin, stomach and colon cancer in rats.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Curcumin is also great for inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic illnesses today such as cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative diseases, and heart disease. A study published in Oncogene identified it as an effective alternative to drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen given its strong anti-inflammatory effects, fighting inflammation at the molecular level. Meanwhile, in a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin worked even better than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Curcumin is so effective at addressing such a vast array of conditions that it’s hard to discuss it without sounding like you’re exaggerating. However, turmeric is truly “food gold” and it’s something well worth making a conscious effort to consume more of. You might not be ready to clean out your entire medicine cabinet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start adding this spice to your food. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, soups, salads, stews, and smoothies; consuming turmeric with fats is ideal, and make sure you add a pinch of pepper to boost its bioavailability.

Sources for this article include:

GreenMedInfo.com

NaturalNews.com

VeryWellHealth.com

The Truth About Cholesterol


Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. One of the risk factors that increases your risk of heart disease is high cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol. But, although cholesterol tends to take the blame as the cause of heart disease, it is actually just one of many factors that can put you at risk.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance found in your body and bloodstream. It is either made by the liver or comes from the food you eat. There are two main types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries increasing risk of heart attack or stroke. HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol because it is responsible for clearing any build-up from the arteries.1

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can start to be deposited along the artery walls. When this happens the arteries become thick and hardened, making it difficult for the blood to pass through. The narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. If one of these arteries becomes blocked, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists publish guidelines every 5 years to help doctors manage cholesterol in hopes of lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. The latest 2018 guidelines did have a focus on cholesterol management. The guidelines recommend that total cholesterol be maintained at 150 mg/dL and LDL at less than 100 mg/dL, unless there were other risk factors for heart disease.2

But, even these guidelines encourage physicians to look at the whole picture, including lifestyle, genetics, and other medical conditions before starting a statin to lower cholesterol levels. The reason for this is that heart disease risk is more than just about cholesterol and some research indicates that cholesterol may not be the biggest risk factor.  A 2016 review of 19 studies found that elderly people over 60 years old with high LDL cholesterol lived as long or longer than those with low LDL cholesterol.3

Lowering Your Risk

As the understanding of the connection between cholesterol and heart disease continues to grow, recommendations will certainly change over time. But, in the meantime, if you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, there are several things you can do.

First, see your doctor regularly to monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and other risk factors. They can help you manage any conditions that can increase your risk.

Second, consider some lifestyle changes that can help improve the health of your heart. You might think you need to cut out all cholesterol from your diet to reduce your blood cholesterol, but new research has found that dietary cholesterol doesn’t impact blood cholesterol all that much. Instead, focus on eating more healthy fats and reducing your intake of saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels. A 2016 study found that just a few small changes, such as modifying the type of fat you eat, can significantly improve cholesterol.4

Other lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise, and your body weight can also impact your risk for heart disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight. If you are a smoker, work with a professional to help you quit.

Cholesterol and heart disease risk is a complex issue. As researchers begin to learn more about how high cholesterol impacts the development of this disease, guidelines will improve. But, for now you should focus on living a healthy lifestyle to protect your heart and body.

 

References

  1. Questions about cholesterol? Here are some answers. American Heart Association, November 10, 2018.
  2. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2018 Nov.
  3. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010401.
  4. BJN. 2016;116:1383-1393.

The Truth About Cholesterol


Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. One of the risk factors that increases your risk of heart disease is high cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol. But, although cholesterol tends to take the blame as the cause of heart disease, it is actually just one of many factors that can put you at risk.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance found in your body and bloodstream. It is either made by the liver or comes from the food you eat. There are two main types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries increasing risk of heart attack or stroke. HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol because it is responsible for clearing any build-up from the arteries.1

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can start to be deposited along the artery walls. When this happens the arteries become thick and hardened, making it difficult for the blood to pass through. The narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. If one of these arteries becomes blocked, this can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists publish guidelines every 5 years to help doctors manage cholesterol in hopes of lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. The latest 2018 guidelines did have a focus on cholesterol management. The guidelines recommend that total cholesterol be maintained at 150 mg/dL and LDL at less than 100 mg/dL, unless there were other risk factors for heart disease.2

But, even these guidelines encourage physicians to look at the whole picture, including lifestyle, genetics, and other medical conditions before starting a statin to lower cholesterol levels. The reason for this is that heart disease risk is more than just about cholesterol and some research indicates that cholesterol may not be the biggest risk factor.  A 2016 review of 19 studies found that elderly people over 60 years old with high LDL cholesterol lived as long or longer than those with low LDL cholesterol.3

Lowering Your Risk

As the understanding of the connection between cholesterol and heart disease continues to grow, recommendations will certainly change over time. But, in the meantime, if you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, there are several things you can do.

First, see your doctor regularly to monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and other risk factors. They can help you manage any conditions that can increase your risk.

Second, consider some lifestyle changes that can help improve the health of your heart. You might think you need to cut out all cholesterol from your diet to reduce your blood cholesterol, but new research has found that dietary cholesterol doesn’t impact blood cholesterol all that much. Instead, focus on eating more healthy fats and reducing your intake of saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels. A 2016 study found that just a few small changes, such as modifying the type of fat you eat, can significantly improve cholesterol.4

Other lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise, and your body weight can also impact your risk for heart disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight. If you are a smoker, work with a professional to help you quit.

Cholesterol and heart disease risk is a complex issue. As researchers begin to learn more about how high cholesterol impacts the development of this disease, guidelines will improve. But, for now you should focus on living a healthy lifestyle to protect your heart and body.

 

References

  1. Questions about cholesterol? Here are some answers. American Heart Association, November 10, 2018.
  2. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2018 Nov.
  3. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010401.
  4. BJN. 2016;116:1383-1393.

Take it from a doctor: Heart surgeon says statins DO NOT work, can even increase risk of diabetes and obesity


Image: Take it from a doctor: Heart surgeon says statins DO NOT work, can even increase risk of diabetes and obesity

If you aren’t taking statins, there is a good chance you know several people who do. After all, a quarter of the American population over the age of 45 takes one daily. Given their widespread use, you would think they are incredibly effective and safe, but nothing could be further from the truth – and some doctors are speaking out about the dangers.

When a respected heart surgeon like Dr. Dwight Lundell, who is the retired Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Arizona’s Banner Heart Hospital, voices his concerns about statins, everyone should take notice. With 25 years of experience and more than 5,000 open heart surgeries under his belt, the doctor recently confessed that he, like many other physicians, has been getting it wrong when it comes to statins.

Dr. Lundell said that statins are no longer working, and the recommendations to take such medications and severely restrict fat intake are “no longer scientifically or morally defensible.”

As you might expect, his comments were not welcomed by the medical industry. Statins are huge money-makers in a population that is rife with obesity, poor eating habits and heart health concerns. Costing anywhere from $53 to $600 per month, drugs like Lipitor have racked up lifetime sales of $125 billion, while Crestor, 2013’s top-selling statin, generated $5.2 billion of revenue that year alone. With more people taking these drugs than ever, why are heart disease-related deaths still rising?

Lundell says that it’s time for a paradigm shift in how heart disease is treated now that we know its true cause is arterial wall inflammation. He said that foods full of sugars and simple carbohydrates, along with processed foods with omega-6 oils, “have slowly been poisoning everyone” and our bodies react to such “foreign invaders” with inflammation in the walls of arteries. If this inflammation is the cause of heart disease rather than high cholesterol, of course, there is no need for cholesterol-lowering statins. The inflammation, he says, causes the cholesterol to accumulate in blood vessel walls, so it’s the inflammation that we need to target.

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Those whose livelihoods depend on statin profits won’t be too thrilled with his advice: “By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.”

They’d much rather have people continuing to bark up the wrong tree, avoiding beneficial fats in favor of the very processed foods that create high cholesterol in the first place so they can convince you that you need their medications to bring it back down – medications that cause a slew of other health problems that will only drive you to need even more pills as the profits pile up.

For example, statins have been shown in studies to double your chances of developing diabetes and raise your risk of suffering serious diabetic complications, and they’ve also been linked to obesity.

https://www.brighteon.com/embed/5986093162001

Try a natural approach to heart health

So what should you do if you want to enhance your heart health? Increasing your physical activity, regardless of your current level, can make an impact, whether you’re completely sedentary and decide to start taking an evening stroll a few times a week or you already lift weights and choose to increase your reps.

Avoiding the foods Dr. Lundell identified as dangerous for heart health is another step that can make a big difference, so say goodbye to simple sugars and carbohydrates like refined sugar, white bread, and cookies, along with processed food.

While statins aren’t nearly as effective or safe as those who sell them would like you to believe, there are some very simple and affordable ways to keep your heart healthy without any negative side effects.

Overweight Individuals with T2DM | Keto Diet vs Plate Method Diet


Recently a study was conducted by Saslow LR and colleagues to study whether a very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet with lifestyle factors (intervention) or a “Create Your Plate” diet (control) recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) would improve glycemic control and other health outcomes among overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

This article was published in February 2017 in a very reputed journal ‘Journal of Medical Internet Research’. In 2017, the impact factor of this journal was 4.671. For those of you who don’t know what an impact factor is or have never heard of, it simply means the number of times recent articles published in that journal in a year was cited by others. If the impact factor is high, it is considered to be a highly ranked journal.

Now coming back to the study, it was a parallel-group, balanced randomization (1:1) trial. This trial was approved by the University of California, San Francisco, Institutional Review Board and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01967992).

In this study, glycemic control, operationalized as the change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was the primary outcome.

They also assessed body weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes-related distress, subjective experiences of the diet, and physical side effects.

During the study, the participants were asked to measure urinary acetoacetate (one type of ketone bodies that can be measured in urine) test kits (KetoStix). Basically, there are three types of ketone bodies. Other two types of ketone bodies are acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate.

The other group i.e. the control group were asked to follow “Create Your Plate” diet recommended by ADA. What does this ADA diet consist of? Well, ADA recommends a low-fat diet which includes green vegetables, lean protein sources, and limited starchy and sweet foods. Most of the doctors worldwide follow ADA guidelines and recommend this particular diet to their patients.

As mentioned earlier the investigators divided the eligible participants into two groups (intervention group and control group).

In fact, when I was diagnosed with T2DM my diabetologist also recommended a low-fat diet with a caloric restriction of 1800 calories. But he never advised me how to restrict my calories to 1800 or what should I eat.  I was totally confused.

Also, he prescribed a couple of oral antidiabetic drugs and a statin. I followed his instructions for a couple of weeks and the result was that within 2 weeks I developed side effects of the drugs. I immediately STOPPED all my medications and started following a keto diet. Finally, I was able to reverse my T2DM. Anyway, that’s a separate story.

Coming back to the study, all the parameters were measured at baseline before randomization in both the groups. Again, all the parameters were measured after 16 and 32 weeks of intervention.

So what conclusions were drawn from this study. Let me list the results of this study in bullet points for better understanding.

  • The investigators observed that there were significantly greater reductions in HbA1cthose who followed the ketogenic diet after 16 as well as 32 weeks
  • Similarly, those who were on keto diet lost more weight than those who followed conventional ADA diet (12.7 kg versus 3 kg)
  • Also, triglycerides level was much lower in the ketogenic group compared to ADA diet followers

This study showed that those who followed a ketogenic diet had several health benefits including lower HbA1c, body weight, and triglyceride levels.

There were few limitations in this study. The number of participants was very less (25 participants) and the follow-up duration of the study was not long.

Despite all limitations, the conclusion we can draw from this study is that low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and lifestyle changes are beneficial in individuals who are overweight with T2DM.

If you have any queries or any experience to share please type in the comment box. I will try to reply to all your queries.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, I would request you to share with your friends and colleagues who are diagnosed with T2DM. I am sure by reading this article, they will be motivated that it’s not the end of the world if they are diagnosed with T2DM.

With dietary and lifestyle modifications, it is possible to reverse your T2DM.

Groundbreaking study reveals that heart disease is an early indicator of vitamin C deficiency


Image: Groundbreaking study reveals that heart disease is an early indicator of vitamin C deficiency

Heart disease is usually linked to issues with cholesterol, but researchers are increasingly finding that vitamin C plays an outsized role in heart health. This antioxidant nutrient, which the body uses to make connective tissue, has already gotten some buzz for its utility in cancer treatment, but its effects on the heart may be even greater.

Researchers at the Dr. Rath Research Institute of California found that a vitamin C deficiency can cause coronary heart disease. In their study, they used transgenic mice that mimic the human metabolism in two key ways: They don’t produce vitamin C internally, and they generate lipoprotein to make up for this. After feeding the mice a diet that was lacking in vitamin C, their bodies acted as expected and created their own lipoprotein to fix the vascular walls. This caused them to develop heart issues and atherosclerosis.

Crucially, they discovered that the degree and level of heart disease the mice developed was directly linked to their vitamin C intake and blood levels. Those mice who had consumed the highest amounts of vitamin C naturally produced the least lipoprotein to repair their arteries, and by extension, had the strongest hearts and fewest atherosclerotic lesions.

Therefore, the researchers believe that proper vitamin C intake could be the secret to preventing heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. That doesn’t mean that cholesterol isn’t important; maintaining healthy HDL and LDL cholesterol levels is still a powerful component of overall health, but it may not play as big of a role as once believed.

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Higher vitamin C intake linked to lower heart disease risk

This is supported by a study that was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. That study looked at 108 men and divided them into three groups according to their intake of vitamin C.

They found that the men in the top tier of vitamin C intake had a 66 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who had the lowest intake. The researchers aren’t sure exactly how vitamin C brings about such significant benefits to heart health. They theorize that it could be related to its ability to prevent and ease the stiffening in artery walls that can block the flow of blood. In fact, they discovered that the vitamin is especially effective at doing this in people who smoke.

Further studies provide additional evidence of vitamin C’s heart benefits. For example, a study carried out by the University of Copenhagen that involved more than 100,000 people found that higher blood concentrations of vitamin C were associated with a lower risk of not only cardiovascular disease but also death. It is important to keep in mind, however, that they saw this benefit in those whose high vitamin C blood levels came from eating lots of vegetables and fruits.

Getting vitamin C from food is preferable

The researchers said that although vitamin C supplements can help raise your levels of this important nutrient, getting it from a healthy diet is far preferable. Doing so will also help you develop a long-term healthy lifestyle, which will bring many other health benefits over time.

With heart disease being the leading cause of death around the world, we are lucky to have such an affordable way to prevent it that has very few side effects. Some of the best food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, acerola cherries, kale, broccoli, kiwis, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. Best of all, eating these foods will not just enhance your heart health; your immunity will also get a nice boost!

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

NaturalNews.com

Combining drugs that lower BP and cholesterol reduces first-time strokes by 44 percent


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/combining-drugs-that-lower-bp-and-cholesterol-reduces-first-time-strokes-by-44-percent/

High-Cholesterol Diets Can Speed Up Tumour Growth 100-Fold, Scientists Say


Diets high in cholesterol can ramp up the speed of cancer tumour growth by up to 100 times, a new study has revealed – but as scary as that is, the findings could also lead to better treatments to stop this from happening.

The research began as a way of studying a correlation between high-cholesterol diets and an increased risk of colon cancer. That link has already been identified but scientists still don’t understand much about its cause.

According to the team of researchers, stem cells could be the key: these cells can be turned into almost any kind of cell in the body, and it appears the extra cholesterol is increasing the rate at which these stem cells multiply, and then the rate at which tumours grow.

“We were excited to find that cholesterol influences the growth of stem cells in the intestines, which in turn accelerates the rate of tumour formation by more than 100-fold,” says one of the team, Peter Tontonoz from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

“While the connection between dietary cholesterol and colon cancer is well established, no one has previously explained the mechanism behind it.”

In tests on mice, the researchers noticed increased tumour growth rates after putting more cholesterol in the animals’ diets. Growth rates also increased in another group of mice where a specific gene was changed to get the animals to produce more cholesterol on their own.

Once the cholesterol levels of the mice rose, the stem cells’ ability to multiply increased, which then caused their intestines and gut tissue lining to expand. As a result, the rate of tumour formation in their colons also went up.

Now the challenge is to see if the same cholesterol effect can be noticed for other types of cancers, as well as finding methods for stopping it. If the same results can be recorded in humans, we could have a new way of fighting colon and other cancers.

The research also helps in the ongoing debate over whether statins – drugs which can lower the the level of “bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood – can also reduce the risk of cancer.

Cholesterol is found in the outer membrane of all human cells and is produced by the liver as an essential building block for other substances in the body.

However too much of the fatty stuff in the bloodstream (particularly the LDL type) has been linked to a host of different health issues, including heart attacks and strokes.

Foods rich in saturated fats, trans fats, and certain carbohydrates can increase the levels of unwanted cholesterol in the body. As a result most experts warn against eating too much red meat and dairy food.

Let’s hope this discovery of how cancer tumours can be sent into overdrive eventually leads to better ways of reversing their growth.

How cholesterol contributes to age-related neuron impairment


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/how-cholesterol-contributes-to-age-related-neuron-impairment/