Jogging – Does It Prolong Life?

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Since the 1970’s jogging has become an increasingly popular form of exercise. Jogging means running at a gentle pace. Going at a pace of less than 6 miles per hour (10 km per hour) is usually defined as jogging, while running is defined as anything faster than 6 miles per hour. There are many reasons why […]

Statins and Diabetes – Time to Let the Cat out of the Bag

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Recently, concerns have been raised about the increased risk of diabetes associated with statin therapy. However, it has been pointed out that the risk of diabetes is low in absolute terms and when compared with the reduction in cardiovascular events achieved by treatment. In other words, the potential benefits to health are believed to outweigh potential […]

Health Benefits of Coffee – The Scientific Evidence

Health Benefits of Coffee - The Scientific Evidence

It’s been almost forty years since Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris sang about the guy who left his gypsy girl for a journey “to the valley below”. His final cup of coffee became a classic. One more cup of coffee for the road One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go To the valley below – Bob Dylan 1976 Coffee, second […]

The Year of the Fat

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During the first two months of this year, we’ve seen at least three strong signs suggesting that health authorities have misled the public for several decades about dietary fats. This finding is of particular interest because later this year the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be published. Ever since the beginning of the 1960s, “eat less fat, in […]

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 […]