Flavonoid Intake for Maximum Longevity

Flavonoid Intake for Maximum Longevity

Flavonoid Intake for Maximum Longevity

Participants consuming about 500mg of total flavonoids each day had the lowest risk of a cancer or heart disease-related death.

‘Flavonoid intake is associated with lower mortality in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Cohort,’ Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11622-x

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11622-x

Unhealthy lifestyles will see British children die before their parents

Research from British Heart Foundation warns of health problems affecting a generation, from lack of exercise to dietary issues

Adam Withnall

Monday, 12 August 2013

The unhealthy lifestyles of today’s children could see them die younger than their parents because of heart disease, diabetes and other medical conditions, a new study has shown.

In a “wake-up call” to parents, schools and the Government, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has worked with the University of Oxford to publish its first ever supplement dedicated solely to coronary heart disease statistics and causes among children and young people.

The study has found that with around 30 per cent of that group being overweight or obese, less than one in five children in the UK eating their five a day, and a minority doing recommended levels of daily exercise, the 50-year trend of reducing cardiovascular disease is set to be reversed.

BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “These figures are a warning that many of our children are in grave danger of developing coronary heart disease in the future if they continue to live the same lifestyle.”

And medical director Professor Peter Weissberg wrote in a foreword to the study: “Over the past fifty years there has been a substantial and unprecedented reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease in the UK. This trend could reverse if we fail to tackle the rising tide of obesity in our young people today.

The research identified a variety of bad habits which, picked up in childhood, represented a real danger going on into adult life. These including skipping breakfast, with half of 13-year-old boys and a third of girls avoiding the meal on a regular basis.

Figures also showed that half of all children have chocolates, sweets, and soft drinks every day.

“It’s pretty bleak and totally unacceptable,” Mr Gillespie told The Times.

He said: “We’ve got a generation growing up which will buck that trend and potentially they will be the generation that lives less long than the generation above them. It really is as stark as that. If that isn’t a wake-up call, then what is?”

And Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, told the newspaper: “This isn’t wishy-washy open-toed sandals stuff. If we really want to compete with India and China we need fit, healthy adults.

“We’ve got used to the idea that our children aren’t going to be as well off as us, but we haven’t got used to the idea that they won’t be as healthy,” he said.

The BHF said it was expanding its “Hearty Lives” scheme to combat the problem, committing £1.2 million in order to set up seven new community projects.

Mr Gillespie said: “The projects, run in partnership with local authorities, the NHS and non-profit organisations, will use a range of interventions to help.

”These include employing a dietitian to work with children struggling with obesity in Manchester and running weight management programmes for teenagers in Scotland.

“Through our new Hearty Lives projects we are committed to working with local communities to give young people most at risk of heart disease a healthier start in life.”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/unhealthy-lifestyles-will-see-british-children-die-before-their-parents-8757812.html#

First signs of heart disease seen in newborns of overweight/obese mums

Contact: Stephanie Burns sburns@bmjgroup.com 44-020-738-36920 BMJ-British Medical Journal

Artery wall thickening already present at birth

The walls of the body’s major artery – the aorta – are already thickened in babies born to mums who are overweight or obese, finds a small study published online in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease of Childhood.

Importantly, this arterial thickening, which is a sign of heart disease, is independent of the child’s weight at birth – a known risk factor for later heart disease and stroke.

And it may explain how overweight/obese mums could boost their children’s subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease, suggest the authors, who point out that more than half of women of childbearing age in developed countries are overweight or obese.

Twenty three women, whose average age was 35, were included in the study when they were 16 weeks pregnant.

A body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 kg/m2 was defined as overweight or obese, and this ranged from 17 to 42 kg/m2 among the women.

Ten of the babies born were boys, and birthweights ranged from 1850g to 4310g.

The abdominal aorta, which is the section of the artery extending down to the belly, was scanned in each newborn within seven days of birth to find out the thickness of the two innermost walls – the intima and media.

Intima-media thickness ranged from 0.65mm to 0.97mm, and was associated with the mother’s weight. The higher a mum’s weight, the greater was the baby’s intima-media thickness, irrespective of how much the baby weighed at birth.

The difference in intima-media thickness between babies of overweight and normal weight mums was 0.06mm.

“The earliest physical signs of atherosclerosis are present in the abdominal aorta, and aortic intima-media thickness is considered the best non-invasive measure of structural health of the vasculature in children,” write the authors.

And this may explain how a mum being overweight might affect her child’s subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, they conclude.

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[Maternal adiposity and newborn vascular health Online First doi 10.1136/archdischild-2012-303566]

Lipid researcher, 98, reports on the dietary causes of heart disease ” dietary cholesterol is good for your heart “

Contact: Diana Yates diya@illinois.edu 217-333-5802 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

             IMAGE:   Fred Kummerow, a 98-year-old emeritus professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, explains the primary causes of heart disease. His research contradicts commonly held notions about the role…

Click here for more information.     

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A 98-year-old researcher argues that, contrary to decades of clinical assumptions and advice to patients, dietary cholesterol is good for your heart – unless that cholesterol is unnaturally oxidized (by frying foods in reused oil, eating lots of polyunsaturated fats, or smoking).

The researcher, Fred Kummerow, an emeritus professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, has spent more than six decades studying the dietary factors that contribute to heart disease. In a new paper in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, he reviews the research on lipid metabolism and heart disease with a focus on the consumption of oxidized cholesterol – in his view a primary contributor to heart disease.

“Oxidized lipids contribute to heart disease both by increasing deposition of calcium on the arterial wall, a major hallmark of atherosclerosis, and by interrupting blood flow, a major contributor to heart attack and sudden death,” Kummerow wrote in the review.

Over his 60-plus-year career, Kummerow has painstakingly collected and analyzed the findings that together reveal the underlying mechanisms linking oxidized cholesterol (and trans fats) to heart disease.

Many of Kummerow’s insights come from his relentless focus on the physical and biochemical changes that occur in the arteries of people with heart disease. For example, he has worked with surgeons to retrieve and examine the arteries of people suffering from heart disease, and has compared his findings with those obtained in animal experiments.

He and his colleagues first reported in 2001  that the arteries of people who had had bypass operations contained elevated levels of sphingomyelin (SFING-oh-my-uh-lin), one of several phospholipids (phosphate-containing lipids) that make up the membranes of all cells. The bypass patients also had significantly more oxidized cholesterols (oxysterols) in their plasma and tissues than people who had not been diagnosed with heart disease.

Human cells incubated with the blood plasma of the cardiac patients also picked up significantly more calcium from the culture medium than cells incubated in the plasma of healthy patients. When the researchers added oxysterols to the healthy plasma, the proportion of sphingomyelin in the cells increased, as did the uptake of calcium.

Earlier research, including studies conducted by medical pioneer Michael DeBakey, noted that the most problematic plaques in patients with heart disease occurred at the branch-points of the arteries of the heart. Kummerow followed up on these reports by looking at the phospholipid content of the arterial walls in pigs and humans. He found (and reported in 1994) that the branch points of the arteries in humans and in swine also had significantly more sphingomyelin than other regions of the same arteries.

For Kummerow, the increase in sphingomyelin was a prime suspect in the blocked and calcified arteries of the cardiac patients. He had already found  that the arteries of the newborn human placenta contained only about 10 percent sphingomyelin and 50 percent phosphatidylcholine (FOSS-fuh-tih-dul-COH-lean), another important phospholipid component of cell membranes.

“But when we looked at the arteries of people who had had bypass operations, we found up to 40 percent sphingomyelin and about 27 percent phosphatidylcholine,” Kummerow said. “It took us many more years to discover that when you added large amounts of oxysterols to the cells, then the phosphatidylcholine changed to sphingomyelin.”

Further evidence supported sphingomyelin’s starring role in atherosclerosis. When Kummerow and his colleagues compared the blocked and unblocked arteries of patients needing second bypass operations, they found that the arteries with blockages contained twice as much sphingomyelin as the unblocked arteries. The calcium content of the blocked arteries (6,345 parts per million) was also much higher than that of the unblocked arteries (182 ppm).

Other studies had demonstrated a link between increases in sphingomyelin and the deposit of calcium in the coronary arteries. The mechanism by which this occurred was unclear, however. Kummerow’s team searched the literature and found a 1967 study  that showed that in the presence of certain salts (in the blood, for example), lipids like sphingomyelin develop a negative charge. This explains the attraction of the positively charged calcium to the arterial wall when high amounts of sphingomyelin are present, Kummerow said.

“So there was a negative charge on the wall of this artery, and it attracted calcium from the blood until it calcified the whole artery,” he said.

Oxidized fats contribute to heart disease (and sudden death from heart attacks) in an additional way, Kummerow said. He and his collaborators found that when the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol”) is oxidized, it increases the synthesis of a blood-clotting agent, called thromboxane, in the platelets.

If someone eats a diet rich in oxysterols and trans fats and also smokes, he or she is endangering the heart in three distinct ways, Kummerow said. The oxysterols enhance calcification of the arteries and promote the synthesis of a clotting agent. And the trans fats and cigarette smoke interfere with the production of a compound, prostacyclin, which normally keeps the blood fluid.

“And that causes 600,000 deaths in this country each year,” Kummerow said.

Kummerow is the author of “Cholesterol Won’t Kill You, But Trans Fats Could.”

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END EMBARGO FOR RELEASE UNTIL 1 P.M. CST WEDNESDAY (FEB. 27)

Editor’s notes: To reach Fred Kummerow, call 217-344-6380.

The paper, “Interaction Between Sphingomyelin and Oxysterols Contributes to Atherosclerosis and Sudden Death,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.

One in ten of us has done no exercise in a decade and abandons trying altogether aged 56

  • Twenty-one per cent say the last time they  were physically active was at school, college and university
  • The typical Brit has given up doing any form  of exercise by the age of 56
  • Report carried out by charity British Heart  Foundation

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:38 EST, 17  February 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:16 EST, 17 February 2013

Past it: Twenty-one per cent say the last time they were physically active was at school, college or university
Past it: Twenty-one per cent say the last time they were  physically active was at school, college or university

If you feel you don’t get to the gym as much  as you should, you’re far from alone.

One in ten of us has not exercised in more  than ten years.

And the typical Briton abandons exercise  altogether by the age of 56.

Lifestyle changes, such as moving away from  home, getting married and working longer hours increasingly prevent us  exercising.

And we have become far less active as a  nation, according to a survey of 2,000 adults by the British Heart  Foundation.

Some 21 per cent of people say the last time  they were physically active was at school, college or university.

Two thirds of us have run no further than 100  yards in the past year – and 40 per cent have not run at all.

Working longer hours was cited as the biggest  factor affecting fitness levels – with 41 per cent saying it led to them doing  less exercise and eating less healthily – while 22 per cent blamed getting  married.

Ellen Mason, of the BHF, said: ‘Adults should  try to be active every day and build up to at least 150 minutes of moderate  intensity physical activity each week.’

A staggering 40 per cent of people have not  broken into a run of any sort and 14 per cent say they have jogged no further  than 10metres to catch a bus.

Even half of those aged under 24 have ran no  further than 100metres in the past 12 months.

The research, carried out to mark the opening  of registration for the London to Brighton Bike Ride, shows how we have  become far less active as a  nation.

Today’s parents say that as a child they  walked and cycled 16 miles in a typical week – but, worryingly, their  own children do just six  miles.

Get fit: The British Heart Foundation is calling for entrants to its iconic 54-mile charity cycle ride in JuneGet fit: The British Heart Foundation is calling for  entrants to its iconic 54-mile charity cycle ride in June

More than a quarter of men admitting  that  once in a long term relationship they gave up as their ‘looks no  longer seemed  important’.

The research found that getting married  typically causes people to put on 7lbs.

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One in six admit gaining at least one stone  after finding the perfect partner.

Moving out of their parents’ home and a  sudden loss of income – leading to lapsed gym memberships – were also key lifestyle changes.

With 10 per cent of Brits not having  exercised in over ten years, the British Heart Foundation is calling for  entrants to its iconic 54-mile charity  cycle ride in June.

Nancy Prior, head of Events at the charity,  said: ‘We are leading increasingly busy lives and it can be difficult to  prioritise physical activity as family  and work commitments get in the way.

‘But over a third of Brits rate good health  as the number one attribute to have.

‘So we would encourage everyone to make time  for regular physical activity to help keep your heart healthy.

‘Our London to Brighton Bike Ride, one of the  most iconic charity cycling events in Europe, will be opening for registration on Saturday March 2.

‘The ride is for anyone of any fitness and  ability and to raise funds that will help the BHF continue its lifesaving  fight against heart disease.’

Registration for BHF’s London to Brighton  Bike Ride 2013 opens on Saturday March 2.

The ride is on Sunday June 16.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280050/One-exercise-decade-abandons-trying-altogether-aged-56.html#ixzz2LDgoORxy Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Commonly prescribed medications for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Can cause Heart Damage

Contact: Quinn Phillips quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca 780-399-7505 University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

New UAlberta research shows commonly prescribed medications could have adverse effects

A research team with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta reported findings that significantly improve understanding of how widely used drugs in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) affect the heart health of treated patients.

The research shows that medications often prescribed for PAH could block the function of an important hormone in the heart, decreasing the strength of contraction of the right heart chambers, a potentially important and yet unrecognized adverse effect.

PAH is a disease that affects the blood vessels of the lungs, causing a progressive narrowing and restriction of the blood flow through the lungs. This narrowing puts a significant strain in the right chamber (right ventricle) of the heart that pushes the blood through the lungs. Eventually the right ventricle fails, causing heart failure and death.

One of the causes of the narrowing of the lung blood vessels is the increased levels of endothelin in the lungs, a hormone that constricts blood vessels throughout the body. Commonly used and very expensive drugs that block the actions of endothelin, which are called endothelin receptor antagonists, or ERAs, are now used throughout the world to treat PAH patients. However, the effects of these drugs in the right ventricle had not previously been studied, until now.

Led by cardiologist Evangelos Michelakis and cardiac surgeon Jayan Nagendran’s in a laboratory setting, a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, pathologists and scientists at the U of A studied human hearts from 50 PAH patients and laboratory models. The team showed that, while in the normal hearts, ERAs do not have significant effects because the endothelin levels are quite low, this is not the case in the diseased hearts of PAH patients. In the thickened right ventricles from PAH patients, the levels of endothelin are significantly increased.

This new finding suggests that this increase may be beneficial for hearts impacted by PAH, since endothelin is known to increase the strength of contraction of the heart muscle. In other words, as the right ventricle has to work harder pushing blood through the narrowed blood vessels, endothelin may help it function better, but this may be blocked by ERAs. The research team also showed that, as expected, ERAs decrease the strength of contraction of the diseased right ventricles.

“These new findings—that ERAs have direct effects on the right chambers of the heart—have important implications for treated patients” said Nagendran. “For example, PAH patients treated with ERAs can develop fluid retention (swelling), which is currently treated with diuretics. As fluid retention can be a result of decreased right ventricle function, the new findings suggest that this could be a previously unrecognized important adverse effect of these drugs.”

In other words, while ERAs may have a beneficial effect on the lung blood vessels, they may also have unwanted effects on the heart.

“While this does not mean that PAH patients should stop using these drugs, this new research sheds more light on the overall mechanism of action of these drugs in PAH patients,” said Michelakis. “It may also help physicians to better approach the treatment of PAH patients and design clinical studies to validate these new findings in large populations.”

PAH tends to mostly affect younger women, although both sexes of all ages can be affected. The survival of PAH patients is similar to that of patients with metastatic breast cancer, but the yearly cost of treatment can be more than double compared to that of metastatic breast cancer, and can exceed $200,000 per patient.

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The study is published in the Jan. 18 issue of Circulation Research, a journal of the American Heart Association, and was funded by a grant from the University Hospital Foundation – Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, by the Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and by the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Michelakis and Nagendran are available for interviews Friday, January 18 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. MST

For more information, please contact:

Quinn Phillips, communications associate 780-248-2048, cell: 780-399-7505, quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca

Ten More Deaths Blamed on Plavix: ” Plavix plus aspirin (dual therapy) poses a 20 percent increased risk to the patient of suffering bleeding injuries, heart attacks, stroke and death”

 

 

 

 

By JACK BOUBOUSHIAN

 

CHICAGO (CN) – Ten people died from the blockbuster blood-thinner Plavix, which is no better than aspirin against stroke but costs 100 times more, dozens of family members claim in two complaints.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis reaped annual U.S. sales of $3.8 billion from Plavix, pushing the drug in TV, magazine and Internet ads, while they “knew or should have known that when taking Plavix, the risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding, blood disorder, or death far outweigh any potential benefit,” lead plaintiff Geraldine Jackson says.

At least 561 lawsuits have been filed over Plavix, according to the Courthouse News database. Rose Creighton is the lead plaintiff in the other most recently filed case. Both were filed in Cook County Court.

Quotations in this article are from Jackson’s lawsuit, though the dozens of plaintiffs make similar claims in both cases – that Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis deceived the public by misrepresenting the risks of Plavix, which they knew about from their own studies.

“Plavix was heavily marketed directly to consumers through television, magazine and Internet advertising,” the complaint states. “It was touted as a ‘super-aspirin,’ that would give a person even greater cardiovascular benefits than a much less expensive, daily aspirin while being safer and easier on a person’s stomach than aspirin. Those assertions have proven to be false.

“The truth is, that BMS and Sanofi always knew, or if they had paid attention to the findings of their own studies, should have known, that Plavix was not more efficacious than aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes. More importantly though, defendants knew or should have known that when taking Plavix, the risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding, blood disorder, or death far outweigh any potential benefit.”

Plavix is the sixth best-selling drug in the United States, with annual sales of $3.8 billion, although it works no better than aspirin in many cases, according to the complaint. A dose of Plavix costs $4, 100 times more than aspirin, at 4 cents a dose.

“Defendants’ nearly eight-year run of lying to physicians and to the public about the safety and efficacy of Plavix for the sole purpose of increasing corporate profits has now been uncovered by scientific studies that reveal that not only is Plavix not worth its high price – it is dangerous,” the complaint states.

A recent study “uncovered another truth about Plavix,” the complaint adds. “It found that Plavix plus aspirin (dual therapy) is only minimally more effective than aspirin plus placebo at preventing atherothrombotic events. But more importantly, it found that in patients who do not have peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or acute coronary syndrome (ACS), Plavix plus aspirin (dual therapy) poses a 20 percent increased risk to the patient of suffering bleeding injuries, heart attacks, stroke and death. In other words, in those patients without ACS or PAD, dual therapy with aspirin and Plavix does more harm than good.

“Despite a growing body of scientific knowledge that the four-dollar ($4.00) Plavix pill was not much better than a four-cent-a-day aspirin, Defendants kept promoting it to the public and to physicians, using hyperbole and outright falsification in the process.”

Three people died because they took Plavix, according to Jackson’s lawsuit. Creighton’s lawsuit, filed the same day, claims that seven people died from the drug.

“Defendants failed to fully, truthfully and accurately communicate the safety and efficacy of Plavix drug products and intentionally and fraudulently misled the medical community, physicians, plaintiffs’ physicians and ingesting plaintiffs and decedents about the risks associated with Plavix,” Jackson’s complaint states.

The families seek punitive damages for products liability, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, negligence, loss of consortium and wrongful death.

All plaintiffs are represented by Steven Aroesty with Nafoli, Bern, Ripka, and Shkolnik, of Edwardsville, Ill.

Plavix has been prescribed to prevent stroke after operations, which may be caused by blood clots breaking loose and traveling toward the brain. It has been a drug of choice for conditions such as those being suffered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/01/02/53538.htm

 

Free statins with fast food could neutralize heart risk, scientists say

2010 report posted for filing

Contact: Sam Wong sam.wong@imperial.ac.uk 44-020-759-42198 Imperial College London

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralize the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study published this week

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study published this week.

Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy “LDL” cholesterol in the blood. A wealth of trial data has proven them to be highly effective at lowering a person’s heart attack risk.

In a paper published in the Sunday 15 August issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

Dr Francis, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who is the senior author of the study, said: “Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we’ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it.”

One statin, simvastatin, is already available in low doses (10mg) over the counter at pharmacies without a prescription. Other statins are so far only prescribed by doctors, and limited by cost to patients at particular risk of heart attack or stroke. However, the cost of the tablets has fallen sharply in recent years (from ~£40/month to ~£1.50/month), such that the cost to the NHS of seeing a doctor is much greater than the cost of the tablet.

“It’s ironic that people are free to take as many unhealthy condiments in fast food outlets as they like, but statins, which are beneficial to heart health, have to be prescribed,” Dr Francis said.

Statins have among the best safety profiles of any medication. A very small proportion of regular statin users experience significant side effects, with problems in the liver and kidneys reported in between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000 people.

“Everybody knows that fast food is bad for you, but people continue to eat it because it tastes good. We’re genetically programmed to prefer high-calorie foods, and sadly fast food chains will continue to sell unhealthy foods because it earns them a living.

“It makes sense to make risk-reducing supplements available just as easily as the unhealthy condiments that are provided free of charge. It would cost less than 5p per customer – not much different to a sachet of ketchup.

“When people engage in risky behaviours like driving or smoking, they’re encouraged to take measures that minimise their risk, like wearing a seatbelt or choosing cigarettes with filters. Taking a statin is a rational way of lowering some of the risks of eating a fatty meal.”

Studies have shown a clear link between total fat intake and blood cholesterol, which is strongly linked to heart disease. Recent evidence suggests that trans fats, which are found in high levels in fast food, are the component of the Western diet that is most dangerous in terms of heart disease risk.

Dr Francis and his colleagues used data from a previous large cohort study to quantify how a person’s heart attack risk increases with their daily intake of total fat and trans fat. He compared this with the decrease in risk from various statins, based on a meta-analysis of seven randomised controlled trials.

The results showed that most statin regimes are able to compensate for the relative risk increase from eating a cheeseburger and a small milkshake.

The researchers note that studies should be conducted to assess the potential risks of allowing people to take statins freely, without medical supervision. They suggest that a warning on the packet should emphasise that no tablet can substitute for a healthy diet, and advise people to consult their doctor for more advice.

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For more information, please contact:

Sam Wong Research Media Officer (Medicine) Imperial College London email: sam.wong@imperial.ac.uk Tel: +44(0)20 7594 2198 Out of hours duty press officer: +44(0)7803 886 248

Notes to editors:

1. E.A. Ferenczi et al. “Can a statin neutralise the cardiovascular risk of unhealthy dietary choices?” American Journal of Cardiology, Sunday 15 August 2010

Download the paper here: https://fileexchange.imperial.ac.uk/files/c7314c427/Statins%20AJC%20150810.PDF

2. For more information about statins, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cholesterol-lowering-medicines-statins/Pages/Introduction.aspx

3. About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment – underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial’s contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK’s first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

Website: www.imperial.ac.uk

New insights into link between anti-cholesterol statin drugs and depression

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Michael Bernstein m_bernstein@acs.org 202-872-6042 American Chemical Society

Scientists are reporting a possible explanation for the symptoms of anxiety and depression that occur in some patients taking the popular statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs, and reported by some individuals on low-cholesterol diets. These symptoms could result from long-term, low levels of cholesterol in the brain, the report suggests. It appears in ACS’ weekly journal Biochemistry.

Amitabha Chattopadhyay and colleagues note in the study that statins work by blocking a key enzyme involved in the body’s production of cholesterol. Some studies link the drugs to an increased risk of anxiety and depression, but the reasons are unclear. The scientists previously showed that maintaining normal cholesterol levels is important for the function of cell receptors for serotonin, a brain hormone that influences mood and behavior. But the long-term effect of cholesterol depletion on these receptors, which can occur in patients taking anti-cholesterol drugs, is unknown.

The scientists turned to the statin medication mevastatin to find out. In lab tests using human serotonin receptors expressed in animal cells, they showed that long-term use of the drug caused significant changes in the structure and function of serotonin cell receptors. Adding cholesterol to cells treated with mevastatin restored them to normal. The results represent the first report describing the effect of long-term cholesterol depletion on this type of cell receptor and suggest that chronic, low cholesterol levels in the brain might trigger anxiety and depression, the scientists say.

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ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “Chronic Cholesterol Depletion using Statin Impairs the Function and Dynamics of Human Serotonin1A Receptors”

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/bi100276b

CONTACT: Amitabha Chattopadhyay, Ph.D. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Hyderabad, India Phone: 91-40-2719-2578 Fax: 91-40-2716-0311 Email: amit@ccmb.res.in

Eating processed meats, but not unprocessed red meats, may raise risk of heart disease and diabetes

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-998-8819
Harvard School of Public Health

Boston, MA – In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found that eating processed meat, such as bacon, sausage or processed deli meats, was associated with a 42% higher risk of heart disease and a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, the researchers did not find any higher risk of heart disease or diabetes among individuals eating unprocessed red meat, such as from beef, pork, or lamb. This work is the first systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide evidence for how eating unprocessed red meat and processed meat relates to risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

“Although most dietary guidelines recommend reducing meat consumption, prior individual studies have shown mixed results for relationships between meat consumption and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes,” said Renata Micha, a research fellow in the department of epidemiology at HSPH and lead author of the study. “Most prior studies also did not separately consider the health effects of eating unprocessed red versus processed meats.”

The study appears online May 17, 2010, on the website of the journal Circulation.

The researchers, led by Renata Micha, a research fellow in the department of epidemiology, and HSPH colleagues Dariush Mozaffarian, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology and Sarah Wallace, junior research fellow in the department of epidemiology, systematically reviewed nearly 1,600 studies. Twenty relevant studies were identified, which included a total of 1,218,380 individuals from 10 countries on four continents (United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia).

The researchers defined unprocessed red meat as any unprocessed meat from beef, lamb or pork, excluding poultry. Processed meat was defined as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives; examples include bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats. Vegetable or seafood protein sources were not evaluated in these studies.

The results showed that, on average, each 50 gram (1.8 oz) daily serving of processed meat (about 1-2 slices of deli meats or 1 hot dog) was associated with a 42% higher risk of developing heart disease and a 19% higher risk of developing diabetes. In contrast, eating unprocessed red meat was not associated with risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. Too few studies evaluated the relationship between eating meat and risk of stroke to enable the researchers to draw any conclusions.

“Although cause-and-effect cannot be proven by these types of long-term observational studies, all of these studies adjusted for other risk factors, which may have been different between people who were eating more versus less meats,” said Mozaffarian. “Also, the lifestyle factors associated with eating unprocessed red meats and processed meats were similar, but only processed meats were linked to higher risk.”

“When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed red and processed meats eaten in the United States, we found that they contained similar average amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol. In contrast, processed meats contained, on average, 4 times more sodium and 50% more nitrate preservatives,” said Micha. “This suggests that differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats.”

Dietary sodium (salt) is known to increase blood pressure, a strong risk factor for heart disease. In animal experiments, nitrate preservatives can promote atherosclerosis and reduce glucose tolerance, effects which could increase risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Given the differences in health risks seen with eating processed meats versus unprocessed red meats, these findings suggest that these types of meats should be studied separately in future research for health effects, including cancer, the authors said. For example, higher intake of total meat and processed meat has been associated with higher risk of colorectal cancer, but unprocessed red meat has not been separately evaluated. They also suggest that more research is needed into which factors (especially salt and other preservatives) in meats are most important for health effects.

Current efforts to update the United States government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are often a reference for other countries around the world, make these findings particularly timely, the researchers say. They recommend that dietary and policy efforts should especially focus on reducing intake of processed meat.

“To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating. Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” said Micha. “Based on our findings, eating one serving per week or less would be associated with relatively small risk.”

 

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“Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Incident Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Renata Micha, Sarah K. Wallace, Dariush Mozaffarian, Circulation, online May 17, 2010.

Harvard School of Public Health (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu) is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

High systolic BP in patients with chest pain linked with favorable prognosis

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Fredrik H. Nystrom
fredrik.nystrom@lio.se
JAMA and Archives Journals

New research finds that there is an inverse association between the level of supine (lying face up) systolic blood pressure measured on admission to an intensive care unit for acute chest pain and risk of death at one year, with those patients having high systolic blood pressure having a better prognosis after a year, according to a study in the March 24/31 issue of JAMA.

High blood pressure (BP) when measured after a resting period is among the best studied and established risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to background information in the article. “However, little is known about the relationship between BP under acute stress, such as in acute chest pain, and subsequent mortality,” the authors write.

Fredrik H. Nystrom, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden, examined the death rate in relation to supine systolic BP measured at admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) for chest pain from 1997 through 2007. The study included analysis of data from 119,151 patients in a registry that includes all Swedish hospitals. Results from this study were presented according to systolic BP quartiles: Q1, less than 128 mm Hg; Q2, from 128 to 144 mm Hg; Q3, from 145 to 162 mm Hg; and Q4, at or above 163 mm Hg. Average follow-up time was 2.5 years.

The researchers found that the one-year mortality rate, after adjustment for various factors, showed that participants in Q1 of systolic BP had highest risk for death; conversely, patients in Q4 had the best prognosis. “Corresponding adjusted absolute risks were a 21.7 percent lower absolute risk for death within 1 year for patients in Q4 compared with Q2. The mortality risk was 15.2 percent lower for patients in Q3 compared with Q2 while the risk for patients in Q1 was 40.3 percent higher for mortality compared with that in Q2,” the authors write.

“High supine systolic BP measured in patients with acute chest pain was associated with a favorable 1-year prognosis,” they write. “There is an inverse association between admission supine systolic BP and 1-year mortality rate in patients admitted to the medical ICU for chest pain. This finding also applies to those patients who are diagnosed with ischemic heart disease and those who eventually develop [heart attack].”

 

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(JAMA. 2010;303[12]:1167-1172. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Stain repellent chemical linked to thyroid disease in adults: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

Contact: Andrew Gould andrew.gould@pms.ac.uk 44-139-268-6107 The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry

A study by the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School for the first time links thyroid disease with human exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a persistent organic chemical used in industrial and consumer goods including nonstick cookware and stain- and water-resistant coatings for carpets and fabrics.

Published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, The study revealed that people with higher concentrations of PFOA in their blood have higher rates of thyroid disease. The researchers analysed samples from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Tamara Galloway, a professor Ecotoxicology at the University of Exeter and the study’s senior author, says: “Our results highlight a real need for further research into the human health effects of low-level exposures to environmental chemicals like PFOA that are ubiquitous in the environment and in people’s homes. We need to know what they are doing.”

“There have long been suspicions that PFOA concentrations might be linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels,” adds study author, David Melzer, a professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Peninsula Medical School. “Our analysis shows that in the ‘ordinary’ adult population there is a solid statistical link between higher concentrations of PFOA in blood and thyroid disease.”

PFOA is a very stable man-made chemical that excels at repelling heat, water, grease, and stains. It is used during the process of making common household and industrial items including nonstick pots and pans, flame-resistant and waterproof clothing, wire coatings, and chemical-resistant tubing. PFOA can also be formed by the break-down of certain other highly fluorinated chemicals used in oil and grease-resistant coatings on fast-food containers and wrappers and in stain-resistant carpets, fabrics, and paints.

The study included 3966 adults aged 20 and older whose blood serum was sampled between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA and other perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) compounds, including perfluoroctane sulphonate (PFOS). The researchers found that the individuals with the highest 25% of PFOA concentrations (above 5.7ng/ml) were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease than individuals with the lowest 50% of PFOA concentrations (below 4.0ng/ml). The most specific analysis included 163 women and 46 men who reported having current thyroid disease and who were taking thyroid medication at the time the blood samples were taken. The models used in the analysis were adjusted for potential confounding factors, such as age, gender, ethnicity, smoking, and body mass index.

Previous animal studies carried out by other scientists have shown that the compounds can affect the function of the mammalian thyroid hormone system. This is essential for maintaining heart rate, regulating body temperature and supporting many other body functions, including metabolism, reproduction, digestion and mental health.

The findings are important because research has shown that PFAAs are found in water, air and soil throughout the world, even in remote polar regions. PFOA and PFOS have also been detected in the blood of people from across the globe, as well as in wildlife including birds, fish, and polar bears.

The main source of human exposure to PFOA and PFOS remains uncertain but is believed to be through diet. However, people may also be exposed through the PFAAs used in consumer goods such as textiles, footwear, furniture, and carpets, which can contaminate indoor air and dust.

Although more research is needed to understand the mechanism by which PFOA and PFOS may affect human thyroid functioning, it is plausible that the compounds could disrupt binding of thyroid hormones in the blood or alter their metabolism in the liver. However, this new evidence does not rule out the possibility that having thyroid disease changes the way the body handles PFOA and/or PFOS. The presence of the compounds might also prove to be simply a marker for some other factor associated with thyroid disease.

Thyroid diseases, particularly hypothyroidism, are much more common in women than men. However, in terms of the link between PFOA and thyroid disease, the researchers found no evidence of a statistically different effect between the sexes. The researchers also found a link between thyroid disease and higher concentrations of PFOS in men, but not in women.

Although previous studies of people living in communities near where PFOA and PFOS are manufactured did not find an association between exposure to these chemicals and thyroid hormone functioning, the largest study of such exposed communities is currently underway. (The ‘C8’ study of communities near DuPont’s Washington Works plant, including Marietta, OH, and Parkersburg, WV, both in the US).

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In addition to Galloway and Melzer, the paper’s authors include Neil Rice of the Peninsula Medical School’s Epidemiology and Public Health Group; Michael H Depledge of the Peninsula Medical School’s European Centre for the Environment and Human Health; and William E Henley of the School of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of Plymouth . They used the U.S. NHANES dataset because it is the only large-scale data available on PFOA and PFOS in a ‘general’ population anywhere in the world.

New study finds that 75 percent of patients taking popular blood-thinners are getting wrong dose

Contact: Jess C. Gomez
jess.gomez@imail.org
801-718-8495
Intermountain Medical Center

Millions at risk for serious problems like uncontrolled bleeding or developing blood clots

SALT LAKE CITY – Cardiology researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute have found that approximately 75 percent of patients taking two common blood-thinning drugs may be receiving the wrong dosage levels, according to a new study.

This could put them at risk for serious problems like uncontrolled bleeding or developing blood clots.

Millions of Americans with coronary artery disease take one of the two drugs — clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) — to prevent harmful blood clots that can cause a stroke or heart attack. Current guidelines recommend that all patients take the same standardized dose. But in this new study of 521 patients, researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that dose is not effective for all patients.

“There’s a sweet spot, an appropriate range for each patient. But we found that not many people are falling into that range,” said cardiologist Brent Muhlestein, MD, a cardiac researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Dr. Muhlestein is presenting the group’s findings on Nov. 6 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2012 in Los Angeles.

“We showed that by performing a simple blood test to see whether or not the blood is clotting properly, we can determine whether patients are getting an appropriate, individualized dose of the medications,” he says. “The test is easy to perform, but not widely used.”

The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute study could help lead to personalized treatment and improved results for millions of people taking the drugs. It may also help cut pharmacy bills for many patients. The annual cost for one of the medications is more than $1,800. Finding the lowest effective dose for those patients could conceivably cut their bill in half.

Major findings of the study show that:

  • Half of patients taking clopidogrel were getting too little of the drug to prevent clotting most effectively. A quarter were getting too much. Only a quarter were getting an accurate dose. 
  • Half of patients taking prasugrel are getting too much of the drug, which could lead to dangerous bleeding. A quarter were getting too little. Only a quarter are getting the appropriate dose.

The researchers also discovered that common indicators like age, gender, cholesterol levels, and history of heart problems were not good predictors for how a person would react to the drugs.

“That means there’s not an easy way to predict how a person will react to these drugs. But the blood test is very effective,” said Dr. Muhlestein. “In fact, a physician could have the test machine on his or her desk and perform the test right there in the office.”

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The Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute is one of the premier cardiac centers in the country. Intermountain Medical Center is the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system.

Other members of the research team included: Tami L. Bair; Benjamin D. Horne; Sterling T. Bennett; Brian K. Whisenant; Jeffrey L. Anderson and Donald L. Lappe.

Statins may worsen symptoms in some cardiac patients: those with diastolic heart failure (DHF) experienced the opposite effect, including increased dyspnea, fatigue, and decreased exercise tolerance.

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians

Although statins are widely used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular disorders, new research shows that the class of drugs may actually have negative effects on some cardiac patients. A new study presented at CHEST 2009, the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that statins have beneficial effects on patients with systolic heart failure (SHF), but those with diastolic heart failure (DHF) experienced the opposite effect, including increased dyspnea, fatigue, and decreased exercise tolerance.

“Systolic heart failure is most often due to coronary artery disease and appears to have more of an inflammatory component than diastolic heart failure,” said Lawrence P. Cahalin, PhD, PT, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. “It is possible that statins would help patients with systolic heart failure more than patients with diastolic heart failure due to the cholesterol-lowering and antiinflammatory effects of statins.”

Researchers from Northeastern University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, retrospectively reviewed the charts of 136 patients with heart failure in order to examine the effect of statins on pulmonary function (PF) and exercise tolerance (ET) in patients with DHF vs. SHF. A non-statin group (82 percent of patients had DHF) of 75 patients was compared with a statin group (72 percent of patients had DHF) of 61 patients. Atorvastatin was prescribed in 75 percent of the patients on statins.

Results of the analysis showed that overall PF and ET of patients in the statin group were significantly lower than patients in the non-statin group. Further subgroup analyses revealed that PF measures in the DHF statin group were 12 percent lower than PF measures in the DHF non-statin group. Furthermore, the amount of exercise performed by patients with DHF who were on a statin was almost 50 percent less than patients with DHF not on a statin.

“Some patients with diastolic heart failure may be more prone to the adverse effect of statins on muscle. It may be that patients with particular preexisting factors will experience unfavorable results from statin therapy, including exercise intolerance, dyspnea, and fatigue,” said Dr. Cahalin.

Although the PF and ET measures in the SHF statin group were not significantly greater than in the SHF non-statin group, the PF measures were 11 percent to 14 percent higher, and the peak ET measures were 2 percent to 7 percent higher than the PF and ET measures of the SHF non-statin group, suggesting that statins did benefit patients with SHF.

“Not all statins are alike and not all patients are alike. Some statins are stronger than others and are likely to act differently, given particular patient characteristics, and produce different degrees of wanted and unwanted effects,” said Dr. Cahalin. “In our continuing study, we hope to identify patient characteristics that are associated with favorable and less than favorable results from statin therapy.”

Although the new data suggest that statins may actually worsen symptoms in patients with DHF, researchers feel that the benefits of using statins in patients with SHF and DHF outweigh the risks.

“Due to beneficial effects on lipids and other cardiovascular factors, statins are becoming a standard treatment for many patients with or without systolic or diastolic heart failure. It is likely that the use of statins for these conditions will continue to increase,” said Dr. Cahalin. “However, if patients taking a statin are short of breath, fatigued, and unable to exercise or perform functional tasks, then exams of muscle strength and endurance, as well as pulmonary function and exercise tolerance, are warranted.”

“Statins provide significant benefits for patients with cardiovascular disease, said Kalpalatha Guntupalli, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. “However, as for any new medication prescribed, clinicians should closely monitor the effects that different types of statins have on individual patients.”

 

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CHEST 2009 is the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 31-November 5 in San Diego, CA. The ACCP represents 17,400 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The ACCP’s mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication. For more information about the ACCP, please visit the ACCP Web site at www.chestnet.org.

Study Shows Common Pain Cream Could Protect Heart During Attack: 85 percent reduction in cardiac cell death

2009 study posted for filing

Study Shows Common Pain Cream Could Protect Heart During Attack

 

 

CINCINNATI—New research from the University of Cincinnati shows that a common, over-the-counter pain salve rubbed on the skin during a heart attack could serve as a cardiac-protectant, preventing or reducing damage to the heart while interventions are administered.

 

These findings are published in the Sept. 14 edition of the journal Circulation.

 

Keith Jones, PhD, a researcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, and scientists in his lab have found that applying capsaicin to specific skin locations in mice caused sensory nerves in the skin to trigger signals in the nervous system. These signals activate cellular “pro-survival” pathways in the heart which protect the muscle.

 

Capsaicin is the main component of chili peppers and produces a hot sensation. It is also the active ingredient in several topical medications used for temporary pain relief.

 

Capsaicin is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 

Jones is working with Neal Weintraub, MD, a UC Health cardiologist and director of UC’s cardiovascular diseases division, and other clinicians to construct a translational plan to test capsaicin in a human population.

 

“Topical capsaicin has no known serious adverse effects and could be easily applied in an ambulance or emergency room setting well in advance of coronary tissue death,” Jones says. “If proven effective in humans, this therapy has the potential to reduce injury and/or death in the event of a coronary blockage, thereby reducing the extent and consequences of heart attack.”

 

Researchers observed an 85 percent reduction in cardiac cell death when capsaicin was used.

 

They also found that a small incision made on the abdomen triggered an 81 percent reduction.

 

“Both this and the capsaicin effect are shown to work through similar neurological mechanisms,” Jones says. “These are the most powerful cardioprotective effects recorded to date.

 

“This is a form of remote cardioprotection, using a skin stimulus that activates cardioprotection long before the blocked coronary artery is opened.”

 

 

Weintraub adds that this finding offers an important distinction between existing therapies.

 

“All of the current interventions require the vessel to be opened before doctors can act, and since it takes time to elicit protection, tissue dies,” he says. “This treatment will protect the heart before the vessel is opened while producing a strong protective effect that is already active when we open the vessel.”

 

Jones and Weintraub think that skin—the main sensor and largest human body organ—has evolved to protect animals, including humans, in a variety of ways.

 

“By activating these sensors in the nervous system, via skin, we think that a response to preserve and protect the heart is triggered,” Weintraub says.

 

“We think that this technique is fooling the body into sending out protective signals,” Jones adds. “This may be similar to the way certain acupuncture treatments work; there may be a neurological basis. In a broad sense, this work may provide a ‘Rosetta stone’ for translating alternative medicine techniques—like acupuncture—to Western medicine. Perhaps we can understand the biological mechanisms of how alternative treatments may be successful for patients.”

 

Now, researchers will further explore this concept by investigating which sensors are associated with certain aspects of organ protection—and how much of specific stimuli are needed to produce the desired responses.

 

“This could help create favorable outcomes for those who are experiencing stroke, shock or are in need of an organ transplant, and the best part is that it is done non-invasively and is relatively inexpensive,” Jones says.

 

But he warns against rubbing capsaicin on your belly if you feel like you are having a heart attack.

 

“We don’t know if it will work for all indications, for all patients, and we don’t know if it will work over an extended amount of time,” he says. “A major goal is testing this therapy in clinical trials, but we still need to study more about dosage and application—where we put it on the body for the best results. However, this has tremendous clinical potential and could eventually save lives.”

 

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the University of Cincinnati. Jones and Weintraub have filed a patent for this funding but have received no honoraria from the makers of capsaicin.

Your arteries on Wonder Bread : reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: George Hunka ghunka@aftau.org 212-742-9070 American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Landmark study from Tel Aviv University shows how high carb foods cause heart attacks

Doctors have known for decades that foods like white bread and corn flakes aren’t good for cardiac health. In a landmark study, new research from Tel Aviv University now shows exactly how these high carb foods increase the risk for heart problems.

“Looking inside” the arteries of students eating a variety of foods, Dr. Michael Shechter of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center –– with collaboration of the Endocrinology Institute –– visualized exactly what happens inside the body when the wrong foods for a healthy heart are eaten. He found that foods with a high glycemic index distended brachial arteries for several hours.

Elasticity of arteries anywhere in the body can be a measure of heart health. But when aggravated over time, a sudden expansion of the artery wall can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.

Using a clinical and research technique pioneered by his laboratory in Israel, Dr. Shechter was able to visualize what happens inside our arteries before, during and after eating high carb foods. It is a first in medical history. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Time to skip the wedding cake?

“It’s very hard to predict heart disease,” says Dr. Shechter, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. “But doctors know that high glycemic foods rapidly increase blood sugar. Those who binge on these foods have a greater chance of sudden death from heart attack. Our research connects the dots, showing the link between diet and what’s happening in real time in the arteries.”

Like the uncomfortable medical warnings on packets of cigarettes, this new research could lead to a whole new way to show patients the effects of a poor diet on our body.

Using 56 healthy volunteers, the researchers looked at four groups. One group ate a cornflake mush mixed with milk, a second a pure sugar mixture, the third bran flakes, while the last group was given a placebo (water). Over four weeks, Dr. Shechter applied his method of “brachial reactive testing” to each group. The test uses a cuff on the arm, like those used to measure blood pressure, which can visualize arterial function in real time.

The results were dramatic. Before any of the patients ate, arterial function was essentially the same. After eating, except for the placebo group, all had reduced functioning.

All roads lead to the endothelium

Enormous peaks indicating arterial stress were found in the high glycemic index groups: the cornflakes and sugar group.  “We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how,” says Dr. Shechter. “Foods like cornflakes, white bread, french fries, and sweetened soda all put undue stress on our arteries. We’ve explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease.” During the consumption of foods high in sugar, there appears to be a temporary and sudden dysfunction in the endothelial walls of the arteries.

Endothelial health can be traced back to almost every disorder and disease in the body. It is “the riskiest of the risk factors,” says Dr. Shechter, who practices at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center ― Tel Hashomer Hospital. There he offers a treatment that can show patients ― in real time ― if they have a high risk for heart attacks. “Medical tourists” from America regularly visit to take the heart test.

The take-away message? Dr. Shechter says to stick to foods like oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, which have a low glycemic index. Exercising every day for at least 30 minutes, he adds, is an extra heart-smart action to take.

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American Friends of Tel Aviv University (www.aftau.org) supports Israel’s leading and most comprehensive center of higher learning.  In independent rankings, TAU’s innovations and discoveries are cited more often by the global scientific community than all but 20 other universities worldwide.

Internationally recognized for the scope and groundbreaking nature of its research programs, Tel Aviv University consistently produces work with profound implications for the future.

Silver nanoparticles show “immense potential” in prevention of blood clots

2009 study posted for filing

Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential new alternative to aspirin, ReoPro, and other anti-platelet agents used widely to prevent blood clots in coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Their study, scheduled for the June 23 issue of ACS Nano, a monthly journal, involves particles of silver — 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair — that are injected into the bloodstream.

Debabrata Dash and colleagues point out that patients urgently need new anti-thrombotic agents because traditionally prescribed medications too-often cause dangerous bleeding. At the same time, aging of the population, sedentary lifestyle and spiraling rates of certain diseases have increased the use of these drugs. Researchers are seeking treatments that more gently orchestrate activity of platelets, disk-shaped particles in the blood that form clots.

The scientists describe development and lab testing of silver nanoparticles that seem to keep platelets in an inactive state. Low levels of the nanosilver, injected into mice, reduced the ability of platelets to clump together by as much as 40 percent with no apparent harmful side effects. The nanoparticles “hold immense potential to be promoted as an antiplatelet agent,” the researchers note. “Nanosilver appears to possess dual significant properties critically helpful to the health of mankind — antibacterial and antiplatelet — which together can have unique utilities, for example in coronary stents.”

Obese kids’ artery plaque similar to middle-aged adults

Contact: AHA News Media Staff Office
bridgette.mcneill@heart.org
504-670-6524
American Heart Association

Abstract 6077; this abstract is also featured in a news conference

The neck arteries of obese children and teens look more like those of 45-year-olds, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2008.

“There’s a saying that ‘you’re as old as your arteries,’ meaning that the state of your arteries is more important than your actual age in the evolution of heart disease and stroke,” said Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and cardiologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. “We found that the state of the arteries in these children is more typical of a 45-year-old than of someone their own age.”

Researchers used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the inner walls of the neck (carotid) arteries that supply blood to the brain. Increasing carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) indicates the fatty buildup of plaque within arteries feeding the heart muscle and the brain, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Investigators calculated CIMT in 34 boys and 36 girls who were “at-risk,” (average age 13, 89 percent white) and found:

  • These children had abnormal levels of one or more types of cholesterol – elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as “bad cholesterol;” low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the “good cholesterol;” or high triglyceride levels.
  • Forty (57 percent) had a body mass index (BMI, a calculation of weight for height) above the 95th percentile.

 

Their average CIMT was 0.45 millimeters (mm), with a maximum of 0.75 mm.

The children’s “vascular age” — the age at which the level of thickening would be normal for their gender and race — was about 30 years older than their actual age, Raghuveer said.

The children were deemed at high risk for future heart disease because of obesity, abnormal cholesterol, and/or a family history of early heart disease.

On average, these children had:

  • total cholesterol levels of 223.4 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (less than 170 is considered acceptable by American Heart Association recommendations);
  • LDL cholesterol levels of 149.8 mg/dL (less than 110 is considered acceptable); and
  • triglycerides levels of 151.9 mg/dL (below 150 is considered acceptable).

 

Researchers found that having a higher BMI and higher systolic blood pressure had the most impact on CIMT.

Of the various risk factors, the children with triglycerides over 100 mg/dL were most likely to have an advanced vascular age. Thirty-eight children with high triglycerides had a CIMT above the 25th percentile for 45-year-olds, while only five in the group were below the 25th percentile. Children with lower triglycerides were evenly divided between those who scored below (13) or above (14) the 25th percentile on the charts for 45-year-olds.

“Vascular age was advanced the furthest in the children with obesity and high triglyceride levels, so the combination of obesity and high triglycerides should be a red flag to the doctor that a child is at high risk of heart disease,” Raghuveer said.

Further studies are needed to determine whether artery build-up will decrease if children lose weight, exercise, or are treated for abnormal lipids. Some studies have shown that CIMT can be reduced when children at extremely high risk are treated with cholesterol-lowering statin medications, and that exercise can improve blood vessel function in children with a high BMI.

“I’m optimistic that something can be done,” Raghuveer said. “In children, the buildup in the vessels is not hardened and calcified. We can improve the vessel walls and blood flow in adults through treatment, and I’m sure we can help children even more.”

Other risk factors for high CIMT in children are high blood pressure, exposure to secondhand smoke and insulin resistance – which is frequently seen in obese children.

 

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Co-authors are: Joseph Le, medical student; Menees Spencer, medical student; David McCrary, M.D.; Danna Zhang, M.S.; and Chen Jie, Ph.D. Individual author disclosures are available on the abstract.

The Sarah Morrison Medical Student Research Grant from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, funded the research.

Editor’s note: In May 2005, the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation formed the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The alliance is working to reduce the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. For more information visit: www.HealthierGeneration.org.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.

NR08-1135 (SS08/Raghuveer)

Optimal Dose of Vitamin E Maximizes Benefits, Minimizes Risk: 24% fewer deaths from heart disease

2008 Study Posted for filing

 

Corvallis, Oregon – October 29, 2008 — Vitamin E has been heralded for its ability to reduce the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and sudden death. Yet in some people, vitamin E causes bleeding. Scientists have known for more than 50 years that excess vitamin E promotes bleeding by interfering with vitamin K, which is essential in blood clotting. However, they haven’t been able to pinpoint how the two vitamins interact. Nutrition researcher Maret Traber of Oregon State University reviews studies of possible explanations of the interaction in an article published recently in Nutrition Reviews.

 

 

One of the most compelling studies of the benefits of vitamin E is the Women’s Health Study, in which 40,000 healthy women, 45 and older, took 600 IU vitamin E supplements or a placebo every other day for 10 years. Women taking the supplements had 24 percent fewer deaths from heart disease. Vitamin E’s protective effect appeared even stronger in women 65 and older. Those taking the vitamin experienced a 26 percent reduction in cardiovascular events and a 49 percent reduction in cardiovascular deaths.

 

 

“That’s a significant benefit,” Traber said. Yet, she added, “In some people high doses of vitamin E increase the tendency to bleed. Women enrolled in the study had an increase in nose bleeds.”

 

 

To lessen the bleeding risk, the U.S.-based Food and Nutrition Board in 2000 set the upper tolerable limit for daily vitamin E intake at 1500 I.U.

 

 

Research Traber reviewed suggests that a shared metabolic pathway in the liver causes vitamins E and K to interact. Vitamin K in the liver appears to diminish as vitamin E increases.

 

 

“Several different explanations could account for the interaction between the two vitamins,” Traber said. “We need more research to understand the delicate balance between vitamins E and K.”

42nd Health Research Report 28 OCT 2008 – Reconstruction

Editors top five:

1. Biotech experts urge industry to work with researchers or risk federal action

2. Splenda may damage gut bacteria, boost weight gain: study

3. What the election means to the nutrition industry?

4. OSTEOPOROSIS DRUGS INCREASE RISK FOR HEART PROBLEMS

5. How drug companies covertly promote off-label drug use

 

 

In this issue:

1. Biotech experts urge industry to work with researchers or risk federal action

2. Fructose Sets Table For Weight Gain Without Warning

3. LEDs may help reduce skin wrinkles, researchers report.

4. 10 Things the Food Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

5. Do cell phones increase brain cancer risk?

6. US suicide rate increasing

7. Splenda may damage gut bacteria, boost weight gain: study

8. How eating fruit and vegetables can improve cancer patients’ response to chemotherapy

9. Green tea may delay onset of type 1 diabetes

10. Rheumatoid arthritis rising among women

11. OSTEOPOROSIS DRUGS INCREASE RISK FOR HEART PROBLEMS

12. How drug companies covertly promote off-label drug use

13. How toxic environmental chemical DBT affects the immune system

14. ANTISEIZURE DRUG COULD BE FATAL

15. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID LEVELS MAY AFFECT SLEEP APNEA SEVERITY

16. Methylmercury warning

17. Grapes and grape extracts may lower cardiovascular disease risk, says review in Nutrition Research

18. What the election means to the nutrition industry?

 

Health Technology Research Synopsis

42nd Issue Date 28 OCT 2008

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

www.healthresearchreport.me www.vit.bz

www.youtube.com/vhfilm http://www.facebook.com/engineeringevil

www.engineeringevil.com

34th Health Research Report 08 JUL 2008 – Reconstruction

 

Editors Top Five:

 

1. Statins have unexpected effect on pool of powerful brain cells
2. Cholesterol drugs recommended for some 8-year-olds
3. Newborn vitamin A reduces infant mortality
4. Fish oil and red yeast rice studied for lowering blood cholesterol
5. New report: The truth about drug innovation

 

In this issue:

 

1. A blue curing light used to harden dental fillings also may stunt tumor growth, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.
2. New report: The truth about drug innovation
3. Salutary pizza spice
4. Morbid thoughts whet the appetite
5. Seniors with type 2 diabetes may experience memory declines immediately after eating unhealthy meal
6. Higher Coffee Consumption Associated with Lower Liver Cancer Risk
7. Prebiotic potential of almonds
8. The tummy’s taste for red wine with red meat
9. A good cup of coffee might be just the wake-up call scientists need to stop multiple sclerosis.
10. United States has highest level of illegal cocaine and cannabis use, and more
11. Watermelon May Have Viagra-Effect
12. Post-exercise caffeine helps muscles refuel
13. Designer diet for prostate cancer
14. Weight Watchers Versus Fitness Centers, MU Study Finds Both Work Best in Combination
15. Red wine ingredient wards off effects of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscle
16. Statins have unexpected effect on pool of powerful brain cells
17. Cholesterol drugs recommended for some 8-year-olds
18. The benefits of green tea in reducing an important risk factor for heart disease
19. Infant formula blocks HIV transmission via breastfeeding
20. Mother’s vitamin D status during pregnancy will affect her baby’s dental health
21. Herbal remedy reduces obesity and heart disease?
22. Newborn vitamin A reduces infant mortality
23. Some antidepressants associated with gastrointestinal bleeding
24. Argyrin: natural substance raises hope for new cancer therapies
25. Leading worldwide cause of cardiovascular disease may be modified by diet
26. Fish oil and red yeast rice studied for lowering blood cholesterol
 

Health Technology Research Synopsis

34th Issue Date 08 JUL 2008

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

www.healthresearchreport.me www.vit.bz

www.youtube.com/vhfilm http://www.facebook.com/vitaminandherbstore

www.engineeringevil.com

Give statins to all over-50s: Even the healthy should take heart drug, says British expert ( Misinformation/Propaganda ) With Data Rebuttal

Data  Rebuttal posted at the end of the arrticle ,to their conflicting hypothesis. Were not going to let them off the hook so easy for this.

  • Currently statins only given to around eight  million high-risk patients
  • But Professor Sir Rory Collins  says healthy people can also benefit
  • Hesaid evidence from 130,000 patients  taking statins shows they’re safe

By Jenny Hope

PUBLISHED:14:23 EST, 28  August 2012| UPDATED:16:32 EST, 28 August 2012

Statins should be given to all over-50s,  regardless of their health history, because they dramatically cut the risk of  heart attacks and strokes in later life, one of the UK’s leading experts has  said.

Currently statins are given only to high-risk  patients, around eight million people, who have high cholesterol or have a risk  of heart disease.

But there is ‘clear evidence’ that healthy  people can also benefit based on their age alone, says Professor Sir Rory  Collins.

Statins are taken each day by eight million adults in the UK but there is 'clear evidence' that healthy people can also benefit, it is claimedStatins are taken each day by eight million adults in  the UK but there is ‘clear evidence’ that healthy people can also benefit, it is  claimed (posed by model)

He led the world’s largest study to  investigate statins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease which proved  that cutting levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood saved  lives.

The risk of having a major vascular event  such as a heart attack is cut by one-fifth for each 1.0mmol/L (millimoles per  litre) fall in LDL, whether in high or low risk patients.

But current guidelines on their use – and  misguided safety fears about muscle pain and memory loss – are restricting the  range of people who can take them, he said.

‘At 50 you should be considering it and  whether you should be taking them at an earlier age is an open question’ he  said.

‘If you start treatment earlier and continue  for longer the benefits will be much greater, you’re not trying to unfur the  arteries, you’re preventing them from furring in the first place’ he  said.

Prof Collins, who was giving a keynote  lecture at the European Cardiology Congress in Munich, said evidence from  130,000 patients taking statins in trials show they are safe.

Professor Sir Rory Collins says statins should be given to all over-50s, regardless of their health historyProfessor Sir Rory Collins says statins should be given  to all over-50s, regardless of their health history

Yet drug safety watchdogs here and in the US  have insisted on flagging up relatively minor side effects which are putting  patients off the drugs, he said.

These include memory loss, depression, sexual  difficulties and depression, while recent research suggests cataracts and  diabetes may be more common in patients taking statins.

Trial data shows only one significant side  effect, myopathy or muscle pain, which affects one in 10,000 patients, said Prof  Collins.

He said: ‘We need to look properly at the  safety of statins. The reality is that these drugs are remarkably safe, but the  problem is that high risk patients are getting the message that these drugs have  side effects.’

Prof Collins, 57, went to his GP a fortnight  ago to ask about taking statins despite a relatively low cholesterol level, and  was dismayed to learn she could not get high risk patients to take them because  of fears about side effects.

Research earlier this year co-ordinated by  the Clinical Trial Service Unit Oxford University, where Prof Collins is  co-director, reviewed findings from 27 statin trials involving 175,000 people,  some of whom were at low risk of heart problems.

The drugs cut the risk of heart attacks,  strokes and operations to unblock arteries by one third or more.

The benefits were gained no matter what level  of cholesterol patients started out with. Healthier people who were given  statins also had lower overall death rates than those who were given a  placebo.

It concluded the positives greatly exceeded  any side-effects from taking the drugs.

More than eight million adults are already  taking statins, but it is estimated that routine use by the over 50s would lead  to 10,000 fewer heart attacks and strokes a year, including 2,000 fewer deaths  in the UK.

The small cost of the drugs – as low as £16 a  year – would be outweighed by NHS savings due to the reduced number of heart  attacks and strokes.

At present, statins are restricted to those  with at least a 20 per cent risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the  next five years.

But, said Prof Collins, trial data shows very  low risk groups can benefit where individuals have just a five to 10 per cent  chance of heart disease, and even lower.

He said there did not appear to be a  threshold at which the drugs didn’t work and the longer they were taken, the  greater the benefit.

‘We need to review the guidelines and the  current thresholds should go,’ said Prof Collins, who claimed medical tests such  as liver function were also unnecessary.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director  of the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘The issue is where do you set the  threshold between low, normal and high risk.

‘The current arbitrary threshold was decided  by cost but now statins are off patent (and much cheaper) it may be appropriate  to see if there are benefits for more people – the threshold is a bit too high,’  he added

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2194892/All-50s-statins-regardless-health-history-says-Oxford-professor.html#ixzz24yfGXdJ1

* No footnoted study is listed to review. We assume they utilized a meta analysis, based upon an unknown statistical model:

Links in Conflict with the Clinical Trial Service Unit Oxford University: ( There are far more, but the intent is to disprove their hypothesis )

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/22/cholesterol-lowerings-drugs-may-create-manifestations-of-severe-irritability-included-homicidal-impulses-threats-to-others-road-rage-generation-of-fear-in-family-members-and-damage-to-property/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/20/cholesterol-lowering-drug-linked-to-sleep-disruptions-possibly-promoting-weight-gain-and-insulin-resistance/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/20/relationship-between-statins-and-cognitive-decline-more-complex-than-thought/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/11/cure-all-statins-have-had-no-effect-on-britains-heart-disease-rate-study-claims/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/07/23/statins-may-increase-risk-of-interstitial-lung-abnormalities-in-smokers/

136 Health Research Report 24 AUG 2012

* This is Just a Report I do every 2 weeks…Only a few of these articles do I post on this Conduit. Link is at the Bottom:

Editors Top Five:

1.   Chemical widely used in antibacterial hand soaps may impair muscle function
2.   Butter flavoring in microwave popcorn, thought safe for food industry workers, is respiratory hazard
3.   Turmeric Spices Up Virus Study
4.   Scientists find protein that promotes cancers, heart disease; create substance to block its effects
5.   Green tea compound shows promise for tackling cancer

In This issue:

1.    Yale team discovers how stress and depression can shrink the brain
2.    Common antibiotics pose a rare risk of severe liver injury in older patients
3.    Chemical widely used in antibacterial hand soaps may impair muscle function
4.    Consuming flavanol-rich cocoa may enhance brain function
5.    Diabetes drugs taken by over 15 million Americans raises risk of bladder cancer
6.    Butter flavoring in microwave popcorn, thought safe for food industry workers, is respiratory hazard
7.    Why are people overconfident so often?
8.    UC Davis researchers identify cellular basis for how anti-aging cosmetics work
9.    Blood type may influence heart disease risk
10. Cocoa compounds may reduce blood pressure
11. Potent human toxins prevalent in Canada’s freshwaters
12. Study finds that yo-yo dieting does not thwart weight loss efforts or alter metabolism long term
13. A pack of walnuts a day keeps the fertility specialist away?
14. BPA link to narrowing of the arteries
15. Spiteful behavior is ‘extreme’, according to study
16. Breastfeeding may protect infants from HIV transmission
17. Yoga: a cost-effective treatment for back pain sufferers?
18. Turmeric Spices Up Virus Study
19. Why are elderly duped?
20. Common parasite may trigger suicide attempts
21. Pan-fried Meat Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer, New Study Finds
22. Photographic cholesterol test
23. Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer
24. Red wine compound could help seniors walk away from mobility problems
25. Coconut water is an excellent sports drink — for light exercise
26. Drink made from berry wine may provide tasty drug for diabetes
27. Vitamin D supplementation can decrease risk of respiratory infections in children
28. Scientists find protein that promotes cancers, heart disease; create substance to block its effects
29. In your future: More healthful foods to nourish the non-human you
30. New form of long-used food ingredient for ‘anti-hunger’ yogurts, smoothies
31. Antibiotic use in infants before 6 months associated with being overweight in childhood
32. Study shows long term effects of radiation in pediatric cancer patients
33. First identification of a strong oral carcinogen in smokeless tobacco
34. First evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost risk of cancer
35. With a little training, signs of schizophrenia are averted
36. Many medications for elderly are prescribed inappropriately
37. Potency of statins linked to muscle side effects
38. Menopause evolved to prevent competition between in-laws
39. Green tea compound shows promise for tackling cancer
40. Menopause evolved to prevent competition between in-laws
41. How does body temperature reset the biological clock?
 
http://healthresearchreport.me/

Cure-all? Statins have had no effect on Britain’s heart disease rate, study claims

Benefits of statins are exaggerated and not always the best way to prevent  heart disease, study claims

  • NHS spends £450million a year on  cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Most are prescribed as a preventative  measure for heart disease, however experts admit they find it difficult to  predict who is at risk

PUBLISHED:06:50 EST, 9  August 2012| UPDATED:10:32 EST, 9 August 2012

Cure-all? Statins have had no effect on Britain’s heart  disease rate, study claims

Statins are not the best way to prevent heart  disease, according to new research.

The cholesterol-lowering drugs are taken by  seven million people in the UK, costing the NHS £450million a  year.

Conventional medical wisdom states they are a  good ‘cure-all’ treatment for heart disease, but making  dietary changes could be a more effective tactic, say scientists.

Professor Kausik Ray, of St George’s  Healthcare Trust in London, said statins are an effective treatment for many  people with heart problems, especially if they have already had a heart attack  or stroke.

However, this accounts for only a small  amount of patients who are actually prescribed statins. The majority are given  to people seen to be ‘at risk’ of the disease.

Professor Ray says it is very difficult to  predict who is at risk.

He told Mail Online that cost was the biggest  driver to prescribe statins to people at lower and lower risk from heart  disease.

He said: ‘Statins are cheap and fairly safe.  The costs of the drugs are as low as £1.30 a month compared to £24 a month a few  years ago.

‘However, the cost from heart  disease for hospital admissions, investigations, stents and bypasses is  huge.’

He added to The Sun: ‘For people with no  family history of heart problems and others deemed a low risk, other approaches  should be used, like eating a good diet full of fish, lean meat, vegetables and  low in saturated fat.’

He is one of the experts who has taken part  in a documentary due to be released in September, called ‘Statin Nation.’

The director Justin Smith claims the benefits  of statins are routinely exaggerated and that the pharmaceutical industry is  partly to blame.

He told Mail Online: ‘Creating a drug is a  costly and lengthy process so they are encouraging more patients to take  existing drugs.’

Mr Smith worked for four years as a personal  trainer and nutritional coach before writing the book ‘$29  Billion Reasons to Lie About Cholesterol’ in 2009.

He said he made the crowd-funded documentary  because he believes doctors are being provided with too much information that  favours the drugs industry.

However, Professor Peter Weissberg, from the  British Heart Foundation, contested this saying: ‘The most commonly used statins  are off patent, which means the drug cmopanies no longer have any financial  incentive in expanding the market.

‘It is the medical community who is pushing  for wider use of statins since they are convinced by the evidence this will  reduce heart attacks and strokes in the future.’

Mr Smith also pointed to a 2008 study by  Allender et al in Coronary Heart Disease Statistics, which found the heart  disease rate did not decline between 1994 and 2006 in men aged 65 to 94 yet high  cholesterol levels dropped by 40 per cent.

He added that average cholesterol levels in  the UK are low when compared with the rest of Europe,  yet the UK has one  of the highest rates of heart attacks

Mr Smith said: ‘I hope that the film will  prompt more people to ask their doctor questions like: if I take this  cholesterol medication, how much longer might I live?

‘This question is important because most  people will not receive life extension from statins.’

He added that negative side-effects of  statins were not given enough prominence.

However, Maureen Talbot, Senior  Cardiac  Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Statins are now a  very important  part of the lives of millions of people and play a vital  role in both lowering  cholesterol and helping prevent heart attacks.

‘Their importance shouldn’t be  underestimated and the potential risk of side effects are outweighed by  the  proven benefits. The use of statins is the main reason why fewer  people have  high cholesterol levels now compared to 20 years ago.

‘Your body will always make  cholesterol so  if you stop taking a statin it’s likely your cholesterol  levels will rise. So,  if you’re prescribed a statin make sure you take  it every day because they’re  most beneficial when you take them on a  long-term basis. If you develop side  effects see your GP as the medicine or dose can be changed. ‘

But she added: ‘It’s  worth remembering though that you may be able head off the  prospect of being  prescribed statins by eating a healthy balanced diet,  keeping physically active  and maintaining a healthy weight and body  shape.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2185962/Benefits-statins-exaggerated-best-way-prevent-heart-disease-study-claims.html#ixzz23E7IhqJ5