Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

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Recently, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and other Western countries. The prevalence of the disorder is estimated to be as high as 30% in the general population (1). With obesity being an important risk factor and due to the aging of the population, the […]

Diet and Heart Health – The Dawn of a New Era

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The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are due to be published later this year. The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released February 23 this year suggested that we may see important changes of direction in certain areas. Since the publication of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines important scientific data has emerged […]

Atrial Fibrillation

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  Arrhythmia is a term that is used to describe disorders of heart rhythm. It may be an irregular rhythm, or rapid or slow beating of the heart. Although most arrhythmias are completely innocent, some may need medical attention and a few are life threatening. The term palpitations describes an awareness of heart muscle contractions in the chest. […]

Does Sugar Cause Heart Disease?

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Growing up and living with the diet-heart hypothesis through my professional career has been a remarkable experience. I was lucky. My mentors were great. I went to all the big cardiology conferences. I read the best books and I learned from the great masters. Early on, I was taught the fairly well established relationship between blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease. […]

Statins for Women – Statistical Acrobatics

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When to prescribe statin therapy for people without established cardiovascular disease is a hotly debated issue among medical doctors. Recent clinical guidelines have recommended extending the use of these drugs to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. Recommendations on statin use are to a large extent based on meta-analyses on data from randomized controlled trials, either comparing statins to placebo […]

Alzheimer’s Disease and Obesity – The Black Swan

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  The science of Alzheimer’s disease has come a long way since 1906, when Alois Alzheimer first described the key features of the disease. Alzheimer, who was a German neurologist and psychiatrist, noticed abnormal deposits in the brain of a 51-year old woman who had dementia. It was later confirmed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease often have brain […]

Eggs, Heart Disease and Diabetes – Dreams of an Omelette

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  It was early Sunday morning. Mr. Mason watched his wife across the kitchen table. She appeared deeply engaged in the daily crossword puzzle. He swallowed his three diabetes pills with a large sip of orange juice. There was a momentary sparkle of light, a glint of sunshine through the clouds. He would give it another try. “I’m told that a […]

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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  “And on the box sat a fat and red-faced boy in a state of somnolence.” In his novel, The Pickwick Papers, published 1836,  English writer Charles Dickens writes about Joe, a fat red-faced boy who suffered from severe daytime sleepiness. “Sleep!” said the old gentleman, ‘he’s always asleep. Goes on errands fast asleep, and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 and the Role of Insulin Resistance

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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 […]