The Lipid Hypothesis – Closing in on the Truth

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Toady 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 […]

HDL Cholesterol

What is HDL-Cholesterol?

  If you’ve had a blood sample drawn for assessment of lipid panel you probably already know if your cholesterol level is acceptable or not. You might also recall something about good and bad cholesterol and the ratio between these two. Of course there is only one type of cholesterol. The “good” and “bad” has to do with the […]

Will Heart Disease Be Eliminated if the World Goes Vegan?

Will Heart Disease Be Eliminated if the World Goes Vegan?

I became a bit puzzled the other day when I read a blog article written by Kim A Williams MD, a cardiologist at Rush University in Chicago and the next president of the American College of Cardiology. Doctor Williams describes how one of his patient’s history inspired him to change his dietary habits and adopt a cholesterol […]

From Fats to Carbs to Metabolic Syndrome

From Fats to barbs to Metabolic Syndrome

Time makes us fat. It’s not a myth, it’s a biologic fact. When we get old we get fat. In December 1863, William Banting, an English undertaker who went to great lengths to treat his own obesity, wrote in his now famous Letter on Corpulence: … For I have been generally informed that corpulence is one of the natural results of […]

The Triglyceride/HDL Cholesterol Ratio

What Is Non-HDL Cholesterol?

For years, measurements of blood cholesterol have been used to assess the risk of heart disease. We have been intensively educated about the role of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), commonly nicknamed the bad cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), often called the good cholesterol. For many different reasons, lowering LDL-C has become a primary goal in cardiovascular prevention. There is strong […]

Are General Health Checks Useless?

Are General Health Checks Useless?

Many people believe that visiting the doctor regularly will prevent problems. Diseases may be diagnosed and cured early, before they cause harm. We have our cars checked on a regular basis. Why shouldn’t the same apply to our bodies? But are general health checks really helpful? Putting it differently; could health checks possibly be harmful? Will they lead to unnecessary diagnostic and […]