What About Saturated Fats if You Already Have Heart Disease?

What About Saturated Fats if You Already Have Heart Disease?

We’re all aware of the aggressive campaign driven by public health authorities and medical professionals to decrease blood cholesterol. It all started more than fifty years ago when the Framingham Heart Study reported that high blood cholesterol was a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (1).   Central to the dogma was the belief that lowering blood cholesterol would lower […]

Metabolic Syndrome (Insulin Resistance Syndrome)

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The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors, most usually associated with increased body weight, fat accumulation around the abdominal organs often termed central, or visceral obesity (1), and increased resistance to the effects of insulin. Other names that have been used to describe the metabolic syndrome are syndrome X, the insulin resistance syndrome, the deadly quartet (2) and […]

Cholesterol and Heart Disease – A Quick Look Beyond

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The word cholesterol is inherent to heart disease. Just like Paris is the capital of France and the Moon orbits the Earth, so cholesterol is associated with heart disease. And common knowledge extends further. Most people know that cholesterol is measured in blood and that there’s is supposed to be both good and bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol may […]

Five Tips on How to Prevent Heart Attack

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Cardiology is renowned for its innovative procedures and cutting edge technology. However, one of my favourite scientific papers of 2014 did not address innovative techniques, DNA sequencing or new wonder drugs. It dealt with the fact that certain lifestyle habits and the absence of abdominal obesity may prevent most heart attacks. Toady, chronic noncommunicable diseases are one of the biggest […]

Obesity – The Uninvited Guest

The Uninvited Guest

The modern history of coronary heart disease is quite remarkable. Acute myocardial infarction (acute heart attack) appears to have been relatively uncommon until it emerged in the early 1920s. Then came the plague. In the 1950s coronary heart disease had become the most common cause of death in the industrialized world. The symptoms were often dramatic and […]

The Lipid Hypothesis – Closing in on the Truth

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Today was a big day at the annual conference of the American Heart Association in Chicago. The results of the long and eagerly awaited IMPROVE-IT trial were presented. You may think IMPROVE-IT is just another ordinary study of the efficacy of a particular cholesterol lowering drug. But it’s more than that because it tests the important and heavily debated lipid […]

Adiponectin

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It is well documented that obesity is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and higher overall mortality. Obesity also correlates with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer. It has been estimated that severe obesity may shorten lifespan by up to ten years (1). This is comparable to the effect of […]

Alcohol and Heart Disease

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Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with cardiovascular benefits and decreased mortality. However, although alcohol can be used safely, it is important to acknowledge that anything more than “moderate” can be detrimental to health. Excess alcohol intake is associated with increased mortality and many disease conditions.  Among these are diseases of the liver and some cancers. The adverse social consequences of […]

“We no longer suggest avoiding saturated fats per se …”

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The story of saturated fats and their proposed association with coronary heart disease is bewildering. Although it illustrates the great power of public health authorities and the food industry, it tragically exposes the frailty of governmental handling of health issues. When dietary and lifestyle recommendations don’t rely on solid scientific evidence, the outcome may be disastrous. Further damage may result from […]

Benefits of Fish Oil and Marine-Derived Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Benefits of Fish Oil and Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil is one of the most commonly used dietary supplement. It has been recommended by some major societies and public health authorities for cardiovascular risk modification, to treat high blood triglycerides and as a treatment following acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). However, many questions remain unanswered. How does fish oil improve health? Is the evidence […]

Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract)

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The term “functional food” covers food or food components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. For example, garlic contains sulfur compounds that may reduce the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a compound that may reduce the risk of stroke and prostate cancer. Most functional foods get their health-promoting properties from naturally […]

Evidence Based Practice – Should It Be Rescued?

Evidence Based Medicine. Should It Be Rescued?

I believe evidence based practice is the backbone of modern medicine. But like so many important and exquisite things, evidence based practice is fragile and easily damaged. What’s even more worrying is the fact that it can, and has been misapplied and used fraudulently. A lot has been written recently about the pros and cons of evidence based […]

Two Medical Journals – Two Different Stories

Two Medical Journals - Two Differenet Stories

A few months ago, a debate on the use of statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) in healthy individuals, and the risks of side effects associated with such therapy reached the headlines of many news media. One of the points raised was that doctors can inflict harm to their patients by exaggerating potential adverse effects of statin drugs. This might lead to […]

Why Lose Belly Fat? Central Obesity and Health

Why Lose Belly Fat. Central Obesity and Health

Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive accumulation of body fat and increased body weight. Scientific studies have revealed that obesity is associated with negative effects on health and reduced life expectancy. Obesity is most often defined as a body mass index (BMI) above 30. High BMI is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, lipid disorders, […]

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

Coronary Calcium Score

Calcium is a chemical element that is essential for living organisms. Most of the calcium within the human body is found in teeth and bone. Small amount, about one percent of total body calcium, is dissolved in the blood. Undissolved calcium is metallic and hard and is difficult to break or cut with a knife. When […]