Articles on Cardiovascular
Sunday, March 5th, 2017
Five year study reveals that combining selenium with CoQ10 has been found to dramatically slash the risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world, killing more than 17 million per year, which is more lives than cancer claims. This is due to arterial plaque caused by poor diets, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. A remarkable study to come out of Sweden shows that taking two supplements (CoQ10 and selenium) in combination may slash mortality risks by almost 50%. Researchers found that these nutrients may have many benefits including:
- overall improved heart function
- reduction of hospital stays due to surgeries
- protection lasts years after stopping supplements
Swedish researchers published the study in the International Journal of Cardiology that revealed the health benefits of CoQ10 and selenium. Current studies already show these nutrients have the ability to protect damaged tissue from oxidative stress. (more…)
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
A new analysis of prior studies strongly supports the use of omega 3 fatty acids for prevention of heart disease. (Mayo Clinic proceedings, January 2017, pp 15-29). Coronary events included fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, and angina pectoris (chest pain). Omega 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, derived from foods or supplements.
The greatest response was seen in individuals with elevated triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol. Those with the highest intake of omega 3 fatty acids benefitted the most. An intake of 3 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA daily lowers triglycerides by 20-50%. The average American diet provides less than one gram of EPA and DHA daily. Unless you eat fish every day, I recommend taking 3 grams of EPA/ DHA daily, especially if you have a prior history of heart disease, or high triglycerides or LDL cholesterol. (more…)
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
Blood clots cause heart attacks, strokes, phlebitis, blockage of lung arteries, often leading to severe illness or sudden death. Persons who spend hours in sitting positions, such as in plane flights or long distance driving, are especially susceptible to blood clots forming in their legs, then breaking off and going to the lungs. Symptoms include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, passing out, palpitations, and the possibility of cardiac arrest.
Hospital patients, especially post-operatively, are often immobile, therefore extremely susceptible to forming blood clots in their legs. In all of these instances, physicians routinely order blood-thinning agents, usually heparin, to avoid serious complications.
Atrial fibrillation, a heart irregularity causing blood clots that migrate from the heart to the brain, is a major cause of stroke, and eventually develops in 25% of adults.
Monday, July 30th, 2012
Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve by calcification, usually occurring in older people or those with congenital defects in aortic valve formation. When the valve gets too narrow, the heart has to pump extra hard to force blood into the aorta and into the rest of the body. Eventually heart failure, chest pain or passing out will occur, ultimately leading to death unless the valve is surgically replaced.
Until now, older people who were too ill to undergo open heart surgery to replace the valve would die. A new procedure has arrived, allowing for valve replacement without opening the chest and putting the patient on a heart-lung machine. A special catheter is threaded up the aorta from entry in the groin artery. An artificial valve at the end of the catheter is placed carefully and exactly within the orifice of the aortic valve, then expanded by inflation of a balloon. The calcified natural valve is pushed against the sides of the aorta, and the new valve is fixed in place, allowing for a larger passage. (more…)
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
An invasive cardiologist in Maryland recently had his license revoked by the state medical board for 2 years, for implanting unnecessary cardiac stents in his patients. He was the head of cardiology at his hospital. One day he had implanted 30 stents. Review of his cases revealed that he had overestimated the degree of blockage, and between 2007 and 2009 had inserted 585 unnecessary stents, at a cost of $3.8 million paid by Medicare.
Six hundred thousand angioplasties are performed in the US every year. Cardiac stents are of value in patients with new heart attacks, where they may reduce the extent of damage, and in patients with disabling angina, whose chest pain prevents them from performing daily activities or exercising. In patients with stable, non-limiting chest pain, heart catheterizations and stents offer no benefit, either in preventing heart attacks or prolonging life, over optimal medical therapy. (more…)
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
Berberine is a plant-derived product effective in lowering blood sugar in diabetics, and also in lowering cholesterol levels. The method of action is to increase expression of the insulin receptor. In one study, berberine hydrochloride given to 50 type 2 diabetics lowered HgbA1c by 18%, fasting blood glucose by 25%, and triglycerides by 17%. These effects were similar to those of metformin and of rosiglitazone, two drugs commonly used to treat diabetes.
Our Berberine formulation, called BerberMAX, also contains grapeseed extract. The dosage is 1000 mg, or three capsules daily, in divided doses. We prescribe it alone, mainly for patients with prediabetes, or HgbA1c 5.7-6.5%. It may also be used in combination with Diaxinol, another formulation containing chromium, vanadium and alpha lipoic acid. These supplements act together to further reduce blood sugar.
Berberine is compatible with medications used for treating diabetes. Side effects are minimal. After starting berberine, wait 6-8 weeks before measuring HgbA1C and cholesterol. It takes that long to assess full effects.
Allan Sosin MD
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Along with their many other benefits, omega three fatty acids, primarily found in fish, have now been found protective against the development of heart failure. (Annals of Internal Medicine, 2 August, 2011, pp. 160-170) In adults aged 65 years or older, the incidence of new onset heart failure was substantially lower in subjects with the highest blood concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids. Over an observation period of 10 years, people in the lowest quartile of fish oil concentrations had twice the risk of developing heart failure as those in the highest quartile.
Heart failure is the most common reason for hospitalizations in older adults, and one of the most common causes of death.
This beneficial effect of fish oil likely results from several factors:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased heart muscle elasticity leading to improved filling during the relaxation phase
- Dilatation of larger blood vessels, with lowering of vascular resistance
- Increased production of nitric oxide to dilate blood vessels
- Increase of HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering of triglycerides
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
An ultrasound study uses sound wave reflections in the body to visualize structure. Newer machines can detect minute variations in tissues. Ultrasound can measure increased thickness of arterial walls, which indicates damage and a loss of resiliency. Abnormalities in the carotids, arteries in the neck, can be detected. They correspond to changes in heart arteries, which are located too deep to be measured by ultrasound.
A current study reveals increased thickening of carotid arteries in men taking antidepressants.
The study was performed at Emory university in Atlanta, Georgia, and presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Antidepressant use of all types, including SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, including Prozac and Zoloft) , was associated with a 5% increase in carotid artery thickness, corresponding to a 7% increase in the risk of having a heart attack.
The finding held true for identical twins as well. The twins taking antidepressants had thicker carotid artery walls than their siblings who were not taking these drugs.
A possible cause could be release of nerve transmitters that constrict blood vessels. It was recommended that patients with prior history of cardiovascular events should be carefully evaluated for adverse effects from antidepressant drugs. I think back on the many patients I have seen who were released from the cardiac unit on antidepressant drugs, because they were “depressed” after having suffered heart attacks. Were they being set up for more heart attacks?
Allan Sosin MD
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Beverages formulated with whey proteins may offer a dietary approach to reducing blood pressure in people at risk of hypertension, suggests a new study.
Young adults in the early stages of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) experienced significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures following six weeks of drinking a whey-rich beverage every day, according to findings published in the International Dairy Journal.
Effects were observed whether the subjects consumed hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed whey beverages, leading the researchers to propose that the benefits were due to a factor other than the presence of antihypertensive peptides was produced during hydrolysis.
“The majority of the subjects enjoyed the taste and convenience of the functional whey protein beverages. Taste and convenience are both important to ensure compliance during a dietary intervention,” wrote researchers from Washington State University.
“Whey protein beverages may be a valuable dietary intervention in the treatment of hypertension,” they added.
High blood pressure (hypertension),defined as having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – a disease that causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169bn ($202bn) per year.
Read the rest of this article here.
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Use of fish oil was shown to significantly decrease blood pressure in overweight adolescent boys. High blood pressure, imbalances in blood lipids and other markers of metabolic and cardiovascular disease can follow adolescents into adult hood potentially leading to more serious disease processes.
IPM offers a high-quality fish oil supplement, Mega Omega Balance.
Source: Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation on Markers of the Metabolic Syndrome