Fatty Acids Improve Heart Health in Diabetics

A new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, shows omega-3 fatty acids lower blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid known to raise the risk of heart disease. For the study, 81 diabetics were randomly assigned to groups receiving daily omega-3 supplements or a placebo. After two months, data revealed a 22% reduction of homocysteine in the omega groups, compared to only 1% for the placebo group; Nutra Ingredients explains.

Omega-3s are powerful stuff, found in foods like flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to slower progression of age-related vision loss, reduced inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease, and less likelihood of repeat stroke. Not too shabby!

In March, a study showed fatty acids help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Good thing Dr. Fuhrman sells a DHA supplement that provides essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Q & A: Doctors Choose Pills for Heart Disease

Unless you have a broken arm or an exploding appendix, a doctor likely is to jam a bunch of pills down your throat, especially if you have heart trouble, despite the evidence showing a healthy diet reverses heart disease. From Dr. Fuhrman’s member center, here's a quick discussion about doctors’ pill obsession:

Question: My doctors want me to start on cholesterol meds. When I told my primary doctor that I did not want to try the drugs and wanted to try something else, she said cholesterol meds do more than lower cholesterol and that you can reduce cholesterol with diet but not the inflammation in the arteries.

Will lowering my cholesterol with diet not take care of the inflammation? All my heart test, stress, Doppler, leg test came by normal. Do you have any advice? The heart doctor wants me to have a gastric by-pass and my primary doctor wants me to have the lap-band. I don’t want either one!

Dr. Fuhrman: Doctors see drugs and surgery as the only answer, but the truth is that nutritional excellence is more effective at reducing inflammation than drugs and it is more protective against heart disease than drugs, is more effective than gastric bypass and lap band—both have no long-term studies that show that those undergoing those procedures have normal lifespan.

Doctors grant all their interventions with beneficial qualities no matter how poorly studied, then hold to natural methods and nutritional interventions as not having enough proof. Dermatologists claim acne has nothing to do with food, studies show this is false. Cardiologists claim heart disease is predominantly genetic, also false—and so on and so on.

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Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Don't Say a Little Alcohol is Healthy...

You hear it all the time. “A glass of red wine a day is good for you.” But many experts insist no study has ever proved a relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death. Instead, the association may occur because healthy people—with healthy habits—just don’t drink a lot. Even supporters of booze for health are quick to point out that alcohol has been linked to breast cancer, liver disease and stroke when abused; The New York Times reports.

Hooch might be a great social lubricate, but it’s risky. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t condone alcohol for health, saying the negatives of alcohol outweigh the supposed positives. For example, a previous report found heavy drinking harms the heart, by stiffening arteries and raising blood pressure.

In related news, excessive drinking has been shown to shrink brain volume and a lot of boozing may be lead to erectile dysfunction. So, don’t drink. You’ll go limp and dumb!

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Plant-Based, Low-Calorie Diet Lowers Heart Risks

New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine claim plant-based diets promote weight-loss and reduce risk of heart disease. For the study, participants—overweight men and women with high LDL—were fed a diet rich in vegetables, nuts and fruits or a typical low-fat diet. Findings revealed both groups lost weight, but people on the vegetable-based diet had better cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the study:

It’s a pretty good effort. They are getting closer to the ideal diet—a nutritarian diet—by studying a vegetarian diet with reduction of flour and other high glycemic carbohydrates.

Of course, the results are pretty good, but it is evident these researchers lack the knowledge and clinical experience designing a diet-style for nutritional excellence.

We have a pilot study coming out shortly with results that dwarf this.

Via Newswise.

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Martha and Stanley Rediscovered Life

Everyone wants to be happy and healthy. Like Charlotte, she used to be sick with diabetes and heart disease, but she got healthy and feels great. Now take Martha and Stanley, they started off sick and struggling, but today they’re slim, trim, healthy and looking good:

Neither of us is on cholesterol lowering medication. I have stopped the blood pressure medication. Our blood work results are excellent. We feel great, more energy and enjoying what we are eating more so than our previous SAD diet. Oh, and our weight has dropped without effort. For years we have tried to reduce our weight. Martha was a faithful at the local health club.

We were and still are frequent walkers. Her weight going back to 2001 ran between 150 and 165 regardless of the amount of exercise or diet. Now her weight is about 132. My weight, which is shown on the attached spreadsheet, historically ran from the high 170’s to the mid 180’s. November 1, 2006, a few days from now, I estimate that my weight will be 141, down 40 pounds from a year earlier…continue reading.

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Childhood Fat Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

My mom called me “husky” when I was a kid. I wasn’t chubby, just stout. I still am. Good thing I wasn’t overweight, because a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting suggests obese children, as young as 7 years old, are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Experts screened more than 300 kids, ages 7 to 18, including 115 obese children and found obese kids had a 10-fold higher level of C-reactive protein, a known risk factor of heart disease; via ScienceDaily.

Last June, researchers observed metabolic syndrome in obese children. Metabolic syndrome is the group of conditions contributing to heart disease, including diabetes and obesity. In this study, scientists said an 8 year old child with metabolic syndrome could have heart disease by the time they reach 18 years old.

In related news, eating two servings of red meat per day was found to raise risk of metabolic disease by 26% and salt-sensitive people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have high blood pressure.
 

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Exercise Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting researchers say women older than 30 who exercise more than 1 hour a week may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Scientists asked over 4,000 women to recall their physical activity levels when they were 10 to 15 years old, ages 30 to 50 and ages 50 and up. Women exercising in the over 30 group significantly reduced their chances of getting breast cancer; Reuters reports.

Exercise is great, but in January a report showed women under 70 are less active than men. Not good ladies, especially since regular physical activity helps strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis and exercise like Tai Chi fights arthritis and diabetes.

In related news, America’s unhealthy habit of driving everywhere, even to the corner store, means we’re walking less, contributing to obesity and illness, like heart disease.

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Ignoring Cholesterol Leads to Heart Attacks

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reiterates people with high cholesterol—specifically those who ignore high lipoprotein levels—are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack. For the study, experts analyzed blood samples of 45,000 men and women, finding people with the highest levels of cholesterol had the most heart attacks; Reuters explains.

Keeping cholesterol in check is very important. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and ups risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Luckily, healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, have the opposite effect. A diet rich in plant foods slashes heart risks.

Now, if you think heart surgery, like angioplasty and stent placement, will save you. You’re wrong. Dr. Fuhrman says they’re scams and do not address the cause of heart disease.

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Tummy Fat Linked to Liver Cancer

New findings in the journal Gut reveal too much fat surrounding internal organs increases risk of liver cancer recurrence after treatment. Scientists followed 62 people who received treatment for liver cancer. Of the participants, 27 had high amounts of belly fat and 35 had lower amounts. After one year, the high group had 15.9% risk of recurrence, while the low group only had 9.7% and three years later the figures were 75.1% and 43.1%, respectively; Reuters reports.

In April, a study claimed men with excess belly fat have a 15% higher risk of heart failure and women have a 30% higher risk. Too much abdominal fat seemingly affects everything. Other research has linked tummy fat to stroke, migraine headaches and even death risk.

In related news, the CDC reports Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama continue to lead the nation in obesity, but no worries. Australia is officially fatter than the United States.

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Smoking and Drinking Leads to Bowel Cancer

Conducted by The George Institute for International Health, a new study suggests alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking drastically increase risk of bowel cancer. Data revealed drinking more than seven drinks a week is associated with a 60% higher risk of cancer, compared to non-drinkers, and smoking—along with obesity, diabetes and consumption of red and processed meat—was linked to a 20% greater risk of bowel cancer; via ScienceDaily.

Alcohol is tricky. Most of us equate it with a good time—I still do—but it’s not healthy. Reports have shown booze raises risk of breast cancer and hardens arteries. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding alcohol, saying even moderate drinking is dangerous. Smoking is a bad too.

In 2008, California’s initiatives to stop smoking saved the state $86 billion in healthcare costs. In Pueblo, Colorado heart attacks have dropped 40% since smoking was banned in public places.

 

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Low Vitamin D Makes it Hard to Think!

I need more vitamin D. I can’t think my way out of a paper bag. And now, new research in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry reveals insufficient levels of vitamin D are associated with cognitive impairments in older men. Experts studied over 3,000 European men, ages 40 to 79, and discovered participants with low vitamin D scored worse on thinking tests, compared to people with normal levels. The average vitamin D level was 63 nanomoles per liter, researchers say 90 to 140 is considered optimal; Reuters explains.

We neglect vitamin D. It’s important! Our bodies get vitamin D from sunshine. It acts like a hormone and tells our intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Recently, lack of vitamin D has been linked to sudden cardiac death and even stunted growth. That’s why Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo-Sun is designed to provide an optimal dose of vitamin D.

Whoa! Not getting enough vitamin D can be scary. Last week, a report showed insufficient vitamin D can make people demented and increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Eek!

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Teenagers Up Late and Wired on Caffeine

A new study in the journal Pediatrics found many teenagers are wigged out on caffeine and up late surfing the web, texting their friends and watching television. Experts surveyed 100 kids, ages 12 to 18 years old, finding only one in five participants got 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, one third of kids reported falling asleep in school and teens multitasking with all their gadgets were more likely to risk poor academic performance. Average caffeine consumption among participants was 215 mg a day, roughly two espressos; Reuters reports.

Caffeine is a toxin and like a drug it can cause uncomfortable detoxification symptoms, leading to poor diet and food addiction. It also heightens risk of cardiovascular disease by hardening arties and raising blood pressure and last year, caffeine was linked to miscarriage risk.

In related news, Germany banned Red Bull after finding trace amounts of cocaine in test samples and officials in the United States have already called for warning labels on energy drinks.

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Soy Lowers Breast Cancer Risk...

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals high intake of soy foods during teenage years may reduce the risk of breast cancer prior to menopause. For the study, scientists used a survey to determine consumption of soy foods during teenage years and adulthood, linked to breast cancer. Experts documented 592 cases of cancer, finding soy was associated with a 43% to 59% lower risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer; Nutra Ingredient explains.

And last year, a report in the International Journal of Cancer found soy foods reduce the risk of breast cancer tumors. Soy is also a bone builder. A compound of in soy called genistein, an isoflavone phytoestrogen, may help improve bone mineral density in women.

In related news, previous studies have found women regularly eating soybeans have less risk of heart disease and soybeans help improve artery health in stroke patients.

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Q & A: Coumadin and Atrial Fibulation

In March, a study came out saying people with type-2 diabetes have a 68% higher risk of heart failure due to atrial fibrillation, i.e. irregular heart beat. So, what’s the deal with atrial fibulation? Here’s a brief discussion about it from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: Last January, I was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with atrial fibulation caused by hyperthyroid and needed to take Metoprolol, aspirin and Coumadin. My doctor said I had to take radioactive iodine to bring my thyroid back to normal and maybe would correct my irregular heart beat, which I did. It did nothing for my atrial fibulation.

Now he wants me to increase the Coumadin and have electrical cardioversion. This scares me. If I follow Eat For Health closely, I will be able to have a regular heart beat without medication in the future. Am I at a high risk for stroke with not taking Coumadin?

Dr. Fuhrman: Taking better care of your nutritional needs will in the long run help you  feel better without risks. I am not sure if by eating so much healthier it will put you back in normal heart rhythm eventually. Most likely if you have not gone back, you will need a cardioversion to bring you back.

I do not agree with that statement, "Am I at high risk of stroke with not taking Coumadin?" Instead that should say a person who eats a conventional diet is at a higher risk of stroke if they have atrial fibrillation and do not take Coumadin. I do not normally recommend Coumadin for atrial fibrillation for a person eating properly, who has attended to their cardiac risk factors.

Nevertheless, I do agree you need to take Coumadin before and for a short while after electro-conversion to put you back to establish a normal heart rhythm. So, essentially I agree that you should stay on the Coumadin for now, have the cardioversion and then soon after come off it, when you are back in normal rhythm again.

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