By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
This Week’s Focus: The Heart
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in America. These fun facts highlight some of the latest data on heart health.
Blockers: Popular But May Need More Study
Beta Blockers may not be the answer to heart disease that was
Analyzing an international registry of
44,708 patients with heart disease or at risk of developing it, a team of
researchers compared patients who
took the drugs with those who did not and found no difference in their rates of
heart attack, stroke or death related to cardiovascular problems. “This
confirms my intrinsic suspicion,” said Dr. P.K. Shah, director of cardiology at
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, who was not involved in the study.
Source: Alan Zarembo. Beta blocker drugs are popular but probably
overused, study says. LA Times. 10/3/12. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-1003-beta-blockers-not-effective-20121003,0,6756804.story?track=rss
to Lower Triglycerides
Well, if drugs aren’t always the answer to heart disease, at least adding a little spice to
your diet will help!
The power punch of that Indian spice, Curcumin, once again shows
unmatched prowress. This study reports positive findings for this herb in those
with cardiovascular risk:
Dyslipidemia is a leading risk factor
for cardiovascular disease and is also a common feature of obesity. Curcumin is
a bioactive phytochemical with well-known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and
cardioprotective properties. The present study investigated the hypolipidemic
activity of curcumin in obese individuals. Participants (n = 30) were
treated with curcuminoids (1 g/day), or placebo in a randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol,
triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein
cholesterol, together with anthropometric parameters and high-sensitivity
C-reactive protein were measured before and after each treatment period.
Anthropometric parameters including weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip
circumference, arm circumference, and body fat remained statistically unchanged
by the end of trial (p > 0.05). As for the lipid profile parameters,
serum triglycerides were significantly reduced following curcumin
supplementation (p = 0.009). However, curcuminoids were not found to
affect serum levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol,
high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (p
> 0.05). In summary, the findings of the present study indicated that
curcuminoid supplementation (1 g/day for 30 days) leads to a significant
reduction in serum triglycerides concentrations but do not have a significant
influence on other lipid profile parameters as well as body mass index and body
fat. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Source: Mohammadi, A., Sahebkar, A., Iranshahi, M., Amini, M.,
Khojasteh, R., Ghayour-Mobarhan, M. and Ferns, G. A. (2012), Effects of
Supplementation with Curcuminoids on Dyslipidemia in Obese Patients: A
Randomized Crossover Trial (abstract). Phytother. Res.. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4715
A new study in Women’s Health made headlines regarding the benefit of hormone
replacement therapy and heart disease. It is one of the first studies
to actually compare, and find, the different outcomes between the use of synthetic
progesterone and bio-identical hormones. It’s a big difference!
They also looked at dosage ranges, finding smaller amounts to be better.
This is not so shocking to the integrative health care community, but may be to conventional medicine. This study provided some good news for hot flash
sufferers across America:
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with
low-dose oral or transdermal estrogen and cyclic monthly progesterone started
soon after the start of menopause improves depression, anxiety, and cognitive
function in healthy women, researchers said here at the 23rd annual meeting of
the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
“One of the theories is that the
form of progesterone used in WHI, medroxyprogesterone is very different than
the form that KEEPS used, which is micronized progesterone, the more natural
form of progesterone. We certainly did not see any adverse effects with this
type of progesterone, and it was used in a cyclical fashion, not given every day
as was Provera in the WHI,” he said.
But, perhaps most importantly, HRT
does this without posing any cardiovascular disease risk, according to results
of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS).
Source: Lowry, F. HRT Benefits Newly Menopausized
Women, No CV Harm. Medscape. October 5, 2012. North American Menopause Society
(NAMS) 23rd Annual Meeting. Presented October 3, 2012. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/772061?src=mpnews