Angioplasties Not the Answer

You never like to read news like this, but, this is the sad state of modern medicine. According to the Associated Press a new study has determined that a lot of angioplasties preformed every year are unneeded:
More than half a million people a year with chest pain are getting an unnecessary or premature procedure to unclog their arteries because drugs are just as effective, suggests a landmark study that challenges one of the most common practices in heart care.

The stunning results found that angioplasty did not save lives or prevent heart attacks in non-emergency heart patients.

An even bigger surprise: Angioplasty gave only slight and temporary relief from chest pain, the main reason it is done.

"By five years, there was really no significant difference" in symptoms, said Dr. William Boden of Buffalo General Hospital in New York. "Few would have expected such results."

He led the study and gave results Monday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology. They also were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine and will be in the April 12 issue.

Angioplasty remains the top treatment for people having a heart attack or hospitalized with worsening symptoms. But most angioplasties are done on a non-emergency basis, to relieve chest pain caused by clogged arteries crimping the heart's blood supply.

Those patients now should try drugs first, experts say. If that does not help, they can consider angioplasty or bypass surgery, which unlike angioplasty, does save lives, prevent heart attacks and give lasting chest pain relief.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman is not about to subscribe to the “try drugs first” adage, but, he’s no fan of the angioplasties either. In fact, he discusses their problems in Cholesterol Protection For Life:
Bypass surgery and angioplasty only attempt to treat a small segment of the diseased heart, usually with only temporary benefit. Since atherosclerotic plaque blankets all the vessels in the heart, bypassing or removing the most diseased portion, still does not address all the shallow and non-obstructive lipid deposits. The major burden of disease is left intact and therefore the potential for a deadly heart attack is largely unaffected. The vast majority of patients who undergo these interventions do not have fewer new heart attacks or longer survival. The procedures themselves expose the patients to more risk of new heart attacks, strokes, infection, encephalopathy, and death. In addition, the symptomatic benefits erode with time.


Since these mechanical interventions do not address the cause of the disease and only treat the symptoms it is not surprising that the patients undergoing bypass and angioplasty experience disease progression, graft shutdown, restenosis, and more procedures because their heart disease continues to advance. The vast majority of these treated patients needlessly die prematurely from heart disease because their disease remains essentially untreated.

Broken Heart, Drug

Oh no, bad news. It’s a sad day for big pharma. It seems Pfizer’s new heart drug isn’t all its cracked up to be. Marilynn Marchione of the Associated Press reports:
Heart specialists have been anxious to know whether the problems extend to all such drugs and doom this approach.


"A lot of people think it's the next big thing, and we'll need to understand what went wrong with torcetrapib to move forward," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic heart specialist who is president of the American College of Cardiology.

The new studies, reported at the group's conference, gave a mixed answer. The Pfizer drug seems uniquely risky, but other drugs have problems, too.

And even though they and the Pfizer drug raised HDL good cholesterol as intended, that made no difference in the odds of heart attacks or deaths, or key measures of cholesterol buildup in arteries.

Copper for Your Health

According to HealthDay News new research shows dietary to copper can be used to treat cardiovascular disease. Ed Edelson explains:
But adding copper to the animals' diets reversed the overgrowth of their hearts, the researchers reported. They attributed the beneficial effects to increased production of cardiac blood vessels and to improved function of vascular endothelial growth factor, a molecule involved in function of the delicate lining of those blood vessels…


… The first evidence that suggested copper might be important for the heart came about 75 years go with reports of animal illnesses such as "falling disease," in which Australian cows simply keeled over and died because of a copper deficiency, Dr. Leslie M. Klevay, an unabashed copper enthusiast said.
Now before you prepare yourself a steaming dish of pennies with a side of nickels, check out these veggie sources of copper:
Eating Seeds: Sesame Seeds
Are one of the most mineral-rich foods in the world and a potent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, vitamins, and fiber. They are also rich in anti-cancer lignans that are uniquely found in sesame seeds alone. Grind some unhulled sesame seeds into a powder to sprinkle on salads and vegetables. Toast lightly and mix with eggplant, chickpeas, scallions, and garlic for a healthy and delicious dip.


It's Lime Time
Nutritionally limes are a very good source of vitamin C, as mentioned before, and a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron and copper and they are low in sodium. They also contain the flavonoids called flavonol glycosides which have antibiotic properties and are said to stop cell division in many cancer cell lines. Due to the high vitamin C levels and antibiotic properties they are a natural way to prevent gum disease and to ease bacterial infections and colds. They are also a remedy for indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

Strange Veggies: Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked. The low-calorie plant is high in dietary fibers and contains the dietary minerals selenium, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and copper.

Asparagus: Real Health Food
Asparagus is one of the most healthful foods on the planet. It leads nearly all fruits and vegetables in the wide array of nutrients it supplies. Ten ounces (one box of frozen spears) have only 68 calories and 9 grams of protein, yet it is like a vitamin pill, giving you a variety of minerals such as selenium, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. Plus, it is very rich in folate.