All Posts tagged cholesterol

The many benefits of healthy eating and exercise

The many benefits of healthy eating and exercise

exerciseHealthy eating and exercise have more benefits that just managing your weight. 

They are two paramount factors in preventing, or reducing the impact of certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes. 

 A healthy balanced diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%.  This disease, once developed can often be maintained or controlled when the person follows a healthy eating plan and exercises. 

Exercise and a proper diet have also been shown to slow the aging process.  Physical activity is the most effective tool to improve quality of life and functional abilities in age related problems. 

Exercise and healthy eating have been shown to prevent normal memory loss as well as Alzheimer’s.  A lower caloric intake is seen to decrease a genic cause for Alzheimer’s and reduce plaques in those who have the disease. 

Obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease,  can all be controlled with healthy eating habits and physical activity. 

Generally stated, a healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats such as skinless poultry and fish, and whole grain carbohydrates. Try to avoid sugar, saturated fats, and always monitor the serving size. 
 

 

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Another benefit of statins

Another benefit of statins

Lipitor

NEJM JW Neurol May 22 2012
  
For years, patients have thought of STATIN medications (Lipitor, Crestor, etc.) as just being good for lowering cholesterol. However, we have known about other anti-inflammatory effects of statins for years.
In a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, these medications also have immunomodulatory effects that are independent of their effect on cholesterol. A reduction in brain atrophy has been shown in patients who take statins and have multiple sclerosis.
The importance of this study is not really just about multiple sclerosis, but rather the anti-inflammatory effects of statin drugs (which are more important than you think in decreasing heart disease) that are not found in ANY OTHER CHOLESTEROL LOWERING PRODUCT-EITHER PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER!
By Harvey Mishner, M.D.
MAXhealth Lakewood Ranch
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5 more reasons to eat eggs

5 more reasons to eat eggs

EggsEggs have never been proven to cause elevation of cholesterol or heart disease. What follows is taken from an article from youbeauty.com and published in the Huffington Post. Please be aware that the healthiest eggs are hard boiled which keeps the yolk from getting oxidized.

1.       Because eggs are high in choline, essential for brain development for babies, it is an ideal food to eat for pregnant women
2.       Because eggs are high in protein, they make you feel full and may help you to cut back on snacking
3.       An amino acid called TYROSINE may help with reflexes and quick decision making
4.       Eggs are high in antioxidants which may decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. My regular readers already know that artificial antioxidants found in vitamins are worthless.
5.       Eggs may lower blood pressure by the same mechanism as ACE inhibitors (Lisinopril, Ramipril, etc.)
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Are there side effects to statins?

Are there side effects to statins?
SeniorsThe latest guidelines for cholesterol treatment recommends more seniors need to be on statin medications to lower their risk of heart disease. This is an interesting article because there is a misconception that statins are dangerous drugs. When they were first introduced in the 1980’s, the FDA initially required every patient to see an eye doctor yearly because of a possible risk of cataracts. This was quickly reversed as the target patient group was itself at a high risk of developing cataracts. For years, we had to monitor liver functions and patients were worried about liver damage. This is so rare (even though statins can harmlessly elevate liver enzymes a little bit) that a few years ago the FDA withdrew the requirements of regular monitoring of liver functions.
This is a direct quote from the article:
“Many side effects such as myopathy, fatigue, muscle aches, and rhabdomyolysis, and memory loss have been commonly attributed to statins, but the researchers found that these were no more common among patients taking statins than among those taking a placebo. The withdrawal rate from trials was also similar for statins and placebo, at around 12-15%.” There was a slight risk of developing diabetes: 3% of statin patients vs 2.4% incidence in the placebo group.
 
Please be reassured that taking statins are safe and, to date, there is NO evidence that any OTHER cholesterol lowering medication (herbal or prescription) have ever been shown scientifically to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Should cholesterol medications be sold over-the-counter?

Should cholesterol medications be sold over-the-counter?

OVER THE COUNTER CHOLESTEROL MEDICATIONS?

Pfizer (LIPITOR) wants to sell their blockbuster drug to patients without requiring a prescription. They say that this will allow more people at risk to lower their chances of getting heart disease. As expected, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association are against this because the newest guidelines don’t recommend treating to certain LDL cholesterol levels but rather to 10 year cardiovascular risk.

One can say that low dose Zocor has been OTC in England for the past 10 years but no one reports on any benefits to patients when self-treating their lipids. On the other hand, skeptics may think that physicians want to control all drugs and would lose money if patients would decide on what medicine to get. My concern is that the only reason Pfizer wants Lipitor to go OTC is that generic atorvastatin is cutting into their profits and they stand to make millions if they could sell direct to consumer. (Look at Claritin or Advil, for example.) Of course, it’s ultimately the consumer that gets screwed because once it goes OTC, the insurance company will no longer pay for it.

So, forget health benefits: as always this is about “big pharma” and their $$$$$.

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New guidelines for cholesterol therapy

New guidelines for cholesterol therapy

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has changed their guidelines for medication treatment for patients with high cholesterol.

1.       Patients with known ASCVD (Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease) should be treated.

2.       All patients with LDL (BAD) Cholesterol levels greater than 190. At one time patients with levels greater than 160 would require treatment and levels between 130-160 would be considered for treatment.

3.       ALL Diabetics with LDL levels greater than 70

4.       ALL patients with a 10-year cardiac risk of 7.5%. This is very controversial: Virtually everyone older than 60 would then require a statin, and many doctors think that only those patients with a 10-year risk of heart disease greater than 20% should be treated.

With few exceptions, use of lipid-modifying drugs other than statins is discouraged.

This guideline represents a paradigm shift for most clinicians and patients. Some patients currently on statins may NOT need to be on them.

For more information, call your MaxHEALTH physician for further advice

 

 

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