Chickens cause heart attacks

There are many potential bad foods lurking in supermarkets. The innocent chicken may be one of them. Did you know chickens cause heart attacks? Chickens cause kidney disease? Probably not. Americans buy more chicken than any other food at the center of the plate. Total chicken consumption per capita has increased nearly every year since the mid 1960’s. One among 200,000 people may suffer a heart attack from eating chicken.

Eating chicken may lead to heart attacks. That also includes turkey. For some people, eating poultry may result in a heart condition. Yes, the meat considered a healthier alternative to beef and pork, chicken meat may be at the root of heart problems.

Hyperhomocysteine or “Homocystinuria is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder (≈1:200 000 births), an inherited disorder of the metabolism of the amino acid methionine. While chicken is considered a low fat and high protein source (and economical and tasty), those with this genetically transmitted condition may receive a heart attack (over time) by consuming chicken, turkey, or other poultry. Yes, chickens cause heart attacks.

Those with Hyperhomocysteinemia condition, involving homocysteine as “characterized by chemical reactivity supporting a wide range of molecular effects, and a tendency to promote oxidant stress-induced cellular toxicity” may be sensitive to a protein found in chicken meat. High blood levels of homocysteine have been associated with artery breakdown and heart attacks. For over a decade, most doctors do not routinely test for homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine levels, generally above 10 in blood test scores, may increase heart attack risks by up to nearly 20%.

Poultry, such as chicken or turkey, have a protein-based amino acid called L-methionine. This is normally not problematic. There are those people that may have problems with L-methionine metabolism. A single serving of chicken may elevate homocysteine blood levels, per American Heart Association study. Formation of high homocysteine levels are the result in that group of people who are sensitive to methionine that may metabolize into homocysteine. For these people chicken is toxic. “Homocystinuria is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder (≈1:200 000 births) that usually results from defective activity of cystathionine synthase, as a deficiency.

The risk of untested homocysteine may confound LDL cholesterol levels by marginal to significant levels. Can dietary chicken be one of the culprits?

While there is little inference of causality due to small studies, increased homocysteine levels seem to to be found in renal patients – diseases of the urine tract and the kidneys.

A relative of mine, as an example, had a homocysteine based heart attack over 20 years ago. He was treated by normal cardio-logical treatments, with no recurrence. He died 20 years later due to kidney problems and renal cancer. In cases such as this, high homocysteine levels may have factored in both the heart attack and renal diseases.

If L-Methiaonine is a known factor associated with renal variables, some health practitioners find benefit from L-Methiaonine for liver problems. Nutritionists suggest uses of L-Methionine:

A deficiency of methionine can lead to inflammation of the liver (steatohepatitis), anemia, and greying hair. However, a diet low in methionine may also extend lifespan and reduce risk of cancer. High methionine foods include nuts, beef, lamb, cheese, turkey, pork, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, dairy, and beans.

Then some nutritionists make these recommendations for reducing homocysteine blood levels:

Eat less fatty meat, more fish and vegetable protein Eat no more than four servings of lean meat a week; fish (not fried) at least three times a week; and if you’re not allergic or intolerant, a serving of a soya-based food, such as tofu, tempeh or soya sausages, plus beans, such as kidney beans, chickpea hummus, and chickpeas.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, elevated homocysteine levels associated with heart and dementia probabilities may be managed this way:

“To lower homocysteine levels, Dr. Weil recommends increasing your intake of B vitamins, particularly folate, and moderating stress. The richest food sources of folate (the form of folic acid found in food) are green vegetables, orange juice and beans. Dr. Weil also recommends taking a multivitamin that gives you 400 micrograms of folic acid in addition to what you might get from your diet. (Some people might absorb this vitamin better in supplement form, which Dr. Weil considers good insurance.) To reduce stress, Dr. Weil advises practicing breathing exercises, meditation and mind-body exercises such as yoga.”

Generally, homocysteine maintenance at normal levels are results of vitamin therapy. You will see homocysteine nutrients in most supplement sections. Homocysteine is normally changed into other amino acids for use by the body. If your homocysteine level is too high, you may not be getting enough B vitamins to help your body use the homocysteine.

Most people who have a high homocysteine level don’t get enough folate (also called folic acid), vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins often helps return the homocysteine level to normal. Other possible causes of a high homocysteine level include low levels of thyroid hormone, kidney disease, psoriasis, some medicines or when the condition runs in your family.

It was once a generally accepted notion that a diet rich poultry and eggs elevated homocysteine levels linked to heart, artery, dementia, and renal diseases. At least, in certain people. Rat studies show that chicken protein complexes may also reduce homocysteine levels.

In the last 20 years, homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein levels have taken steps back to overall cholesterol levels as possible disease predictors, per many insurances.

If you have suspicions of elevated homocysteine blood levels, speak to your doctor and ask for testing. For most, balance may be found through nutritional supplementation or vitamins. Dr. Patrick Frattelone believes that nutritional balance is best for normal people. For those with higher levels of homocysteine, reducing chicken and eggs, he believes, offer benefit.

Should you bother to avoid eating chickens? Not really. Only unless you have high homocysteine levels in a medical blood test. Most likely, you won’t be aware of it. Most doctors, including cardiologists, test for homocysteine. That seems very irresponsible doesn’t it?

Not necessarily so! Homocystinuria occurs in approximately 1 out of 200,000. That is very far from average. The bells toll more frequently for more heart attacks from overall LDL cholesterol and excess body fat. Even holistic approaches to medical care might easily overlook homocysteine and its association with a primary food group.

Why do doctors fail to add homocysteine tests for routine blood analysis? Doctors and insurances tend to overlook deviations from average. It may have something to do with routines according to specialization. Homocysteine may relate to heart, arteries, renal, Alzheimer, and a host of other conditions. Finding an integrative approach usually does not fall into average medical care. You can consult with your physician to add the test. But why the suspicion?

If you are monitoring less than ideal cholesterol levels, homocysteine levels have been recognized to help predict hear disease probabilities. If life and living is important to you, be assertive to get the fuller picture. Answers might be easy or difficult. That’s life – states of confusion reaching for happiness. Homocysteine readings are similar. Who should be tested for homocysteine?

Next time you walk through the poultry section at the supermarket, choose a chicken. Roast it. Enjoy it. Just be aware. Among the other customers, who might have homocystinuria, may be the victim of a heart attack. It may even be you. Evil lurks without evidence. Chickens may be inadvertent murderers. Chickens cause heart attacks and one might be yours. Or not.

Cholesterol managed PCSK9 drugs viewed by FDA

A popular commercial says that when diet and exercise isn’t enough to lower bad cholesterol levels, use “my brand”. It works for many people but there may be chronic side effects. New genetic research discusses possible genetic mutations along family and regional lines may be a factor for those who have difficulties maintaining ideal cholesterol levels, even with available cholesterol drugs. These mutations appear to alter the body’s natural way of creating and maintaining ideal cholesterol levels. Can cholesterol be managed by reducing a genetically high PCSK9 hormones? The European pharmaceutical markets seem to have found a possible solution. In the USA, these PCSK9 drugs are being viewed by FDA as a new route to controlling a prominent, serious problem.

It is estimated that about 75 million people in the USA have less than ideal cholesterol levels. Low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol levels aid in the possible clogging of key arteries leading to the heart or brain and are likely players for premature heart attacks and strokes. For many, diet and exercise can’t lower levels. Current drug classes are helpful but only somewhat effective and may have side-effects. Research shows that many people from particular regions have more cholesterol management problems and have isolated mutations in their genes. PCSK9 drugs is a class that targets those genes. After tests and marketing in Europe, the FDA is examining PCSK9 drugs from 3 companies. The genetic variant is from the D374Y gene, according to theory.

Stock analysts are carefully monitoring Amgen, Regeneron, and Sarnofi drug companies to determine which PCSK9 bad LDL cholesterol inhibitor will likely provide profitable gains. These drugs are a new class that are known as PCSK9 inhibitors that cardiologists find exciting in managing LDL in familial lines.

FDA reviewers endorsed Amgen’s drug evolocumab–to be sold as Repatha- as an effective therapy, tracking its ability to slash levels of bad cholesterol.

There are no long-term studies to demonstrate whether there are side-effects and PCSK9 inhibitors against a high-intensity statin studies have yet to be performed. Furthermore, the only major studies were sponsored from grants of the pharmaceutical manufacturers themselves.

Statin producers, such as Pfizer, Merck and Astra-Zeneca, have been performing tests in markets outside the USA, as high LDL levels are of worldwide significance. For these producers, these PCSK9 inhibitors can be supplements to current drug lines. The theory is that PCSK9 drugs target dangerously high cholesterol levels along family lines, regardless of diet, exercise, or even drug management.

The American Heart Association first brought up PCSK9 drugs as a viable weapon in 2010. Researchers at Harvard Medical School indicate PCSK9 drugs may be a formidable method to manage previously unmanageable LDL-class levels.

Your body makes cholesterol as an essential product each day. It is primarily produced by the liver. In those with ideal levels, there is no or little role of cholesterol plaque deposits that would cause athesclerosis, unless dietary cholesterol is abnormally high. PCSK9 has medical significance because it acts in cholesterol homeostasis, maintaining balance. The PCSK9 gene provides instructions for making a protein that helps regulate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals. Variants of PCSK9 can reduce or increase circulating cholesterol. PSCK9 drugs are designed to work at normalizing levels.

Mutations in the PCSK9 gene lead to an increase in the number of low-density lipoprotein receptors on the surface of liver cells. These mutations seem to be inherited along family tree links, theorists believe.

PCKK9 drugs are now administered by injections. They aren’t those easy pills you swallow with water. Another drawback is very high pricing. Express Scripts, a leading prescription insurance, plans to offer discounts to their subscribers.

PCSK9 drugs are one of the promising new theories aiming at bringing bad LDL back to ideal LDL levels in those with high levels. It has begun marketing in Europe, where the Amgen product has been a leader.

Statins, released in 1980, have been the most promising cholesterol management drug class. In prolonged use, some patients complained of peripheral circulation and muscular problems. A portion of those cite weakness as a side-effect. Muscular Dystrophy patients are strongly urged to avoid statin drugs. Statins are also found in nutritional substances, such as Red Yeast Rice – a popular cholesterol management supplement.

Certain plant sterols have been purported to have LDL cholesterol reduction abilities but may be similar to statins.

Financial investors are hoping PCSK9 drugs will elevate financial growth as the first major cholesterol management class in 35 years. People struggling with familial hypercholesterolemia are also hopeful.

Cholesterol is one of the many sterols produced by the body. The lethal consequences of imbalances in lipid and sterol metabolism in human diseases emphasize that any form of control may offer benefits with soft shadows of consequences. LDL cholesterol managed with PCSK9 drugs offer promising benefits and the marketers, investors, and medical community aren’t always responsible in expressing possible consequences. While the FDA is likely to approve release of PCSK9 drugs immediately, options must be considered.

Among the body’s structural benefits of cholesterol is particularly relevant in the central nervous system, where it represents one of the major components of myelin sheaths, and an important constituent of the synaptic vesicle membranes. Cholesterol helps maintain cell membranes health. Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol at a proper homeostasis is valid when weighed against heart and brain problems. PCSK9 drugs present lots of possible benefits but, if there are imbalances, the long-term treatment may not be beneficial.

In any avenue of cholesterol management, responsible dieting and exercise are beneficial. There are no notions of sedentary lifestyles or body shapes with high serum LDL cholesterol levels. There have been observations along familial and regional lines, as well as income, according to the World Health Organization. Hereditary traits are often random and high LDL (in many) may be more nurture than nature. That they are natural and may lead to disease, use of PCSK9 drugs might be helpful to those who resist other forms of medicines and lifestyle choices.

In the United States, genetic testing is often rare and costly as compared to countries with nationally managed care. Whether a familial gene is at the core of your elevated cholesterol levels may be more of guesses than facts. While the producers of these costly PCSK9 drugs fund most tests for market popularity, those PCSK9 drugs might not be a wise choice for your doctor to recommend. Enthusiasm from Heart and Medical professional organizations may ultimately push PCSK9 drugs into the marketplace. Are they really for you?

The FDA claims PCSK9 drugs are still recommended as a treatment and not a cure. You might expect long-term, lifetime use. There are still more unbiased studies waiting to be performed, as well as real-life use to determine if PCSK9 drugs are what doctors and patients hope they will be. It often takes a decade to see if any drug, particularly genetic PCSK9 drugs, are really as good as they claim. For now, are you willing to be a test subject? Or should you just invest in a drug company’s stock or ETF?

New 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines

Where there is certainty, there are equal measures of uncertainty. Any true statement may prove to be false.

Diet is a four-letter word to many but perceived as one of the more significant dirty words. Diet or maintaining a diet is a hard thing to do and there’s no certainty of achieving goals. Yet, USA has been publishing diet guidelines since 1980 and a rumor has begun that the 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines may allow broader choices. Is that good or is that bad?

The media is abuzz that reports that the federal government is poised to drop its decades-long warning about eating foods high in cholesterol as ways to manage cholesterol and heart disease. Every five years, the United States government updates a set of Dietary Guidelines intended to help its citizens make healthier food choices. This year is the year it’ll happen. The report has yet to be released. It is due around Fall 2015. HHS and USDA jointly publish and release the 8thedition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The linear truths that dietary cholesterol increases cardiovascular plaque has become myth as more see high cholesterol levels as part of corrupted genetic lines. Cholesterol is naturally manufactured by your body. Some generate more, many less. The forms of good or bad cholesterol lie in the mix. We’ve been told for decades to limit cholesterol-rich foods, but now, that advice may be changing. A panel of top experts appointed by the federal government is expected to update cholesterol diet guidelines on what we should be eating. Eggs may be the vogue food again for cholesterol management.

For the past 45 years, the rule was to limit cholesterol dietary intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day. That’s just about 2 eggs. The USA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee or DGAC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) meet every five years to determine what Americans should eat to maintain healthy lives.

2010 was the last report and that will remain in effect until the 2015 report is released. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released on January 31, 2011, emphasize three major goals for Americans:
•Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
•Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood
•Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

The 2015 guidelines have not as yet been published and already media experts are speculating on clues that new dietary cholesterol diet guidelines may be the deal breaker or maker for cholesterol healthfulness.

Anyway, the central focus of these USA dietary guidelines targets what’s considered healthy for the average American. For those people struggling to keep cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and weight at normal levels, the advisement of physicians still takes precedent. They require management from diet to activity to medications. While genetics may play significant roles, these indicators are still considered potential risks for cardiovascular diseases. What’s good for the gander may not be good for this smaller group of geese.

Redefining dietary cholesterol is an attractive things and makes for great news stories and viewers. Clues from December 2014 until possible release of the 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines by the end of 2015 are mere speculation.

News of broader cholesterol diet guidelines is encouraging for promotion of dairy, meats, and eggs. It drives our economy. Does it drive overall health? Should the media think more thoroughly at conveying truths amidst consequences?

I honor freedom of the press but there are many uneducated consumers that view reports as gospel. Simply, the new 2015 cholesterol diet guidelines are (at this point) not released. Truths may be falsehoods and nothing is certain until those guidelines are published.

Before ordering those egg sandwiches, get your blood tested. See if you’re in the normal range. If you aren’t, pursue it further for your own personal benefits and wellness.

Artery Stents and Side Effects

Diet fads come and go. Indiscretions and choices of lifestyles may come to haunt you through normal aging, genetics, and effects from certain illnesses. Over time your arteries may become narrowed and blocked because of build-up of a fatty material called plaque, which is made up of cholesterol and other substances. Like the crusty plaque that forms around teeth, arterial and vascular plaque silently obstructs the passage of blood and nutrients throughout your body. Artery stents are light little inserts that are surgically implanted to help open obstructed arteries. Artery stents are minimally invasive life savers that may prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s good to check your vital statistics often. Irregularities may indicate arterial blockages.

Artery and vascular obstructions are known as atherosclerosis and the American Heart Association compiles statistics annually. In 2009, there were 644,240 hospital stays that included the implantation of a cardiac artery stent.
The rate of any cardiac stent procedure rose steadily from 1999 to 2006 by 61 percent and
then declined sharply between 2006 and 2009 by 27 percent. Sclerosis, a stiffening of a structure, has been associated with many diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis and ALS (which interfere with nervous system functions). Atherosclerosis is silent. Arteries have no pain sensors to alert of plaque build-up. It is the silent killer that leads to heart attacks and brain strokes.

The use of artery stents have greatly help reduce the incidence of heart disease and brain infarctions but implantation of artery stents isn’t a miraculous cure-all. Diet and exercise routines are fundamental. They are more minimally invasive approaches of more complex surgeries that are alerts that death was nearer than you thought.

Stents reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes but not necessarily lives, according to Duke University research. The artery stent was first introduced in 1994 and various technological innovations have improved their overall effectiveness. Prior to stents, the severity of atherosclerosis usually required more invasive procedures, such as arterial or coronary bypasses. President Clinton and TV host David Letterman are popular recipients of those surgeries. You will note that these are very conscious of lifestyle changes to maintain weight for health.

Surgically implanting artery stents leaves no superficial scars. A catheter enters your groin area or your wrist to physically explore your arteries. Where significant blockage is visible, a stent is implanted via the catheter. For most of the procedure, you are under mild sedation – relaxed but conscious. A stent is like a spring of mesh that is inserted to support the artery wall. With time, the mesh and the artery wall unify. Heart artery stents wer approved by the FDA in 1994. Newer stents add a drug to the metallic material. This helps reduce Restenosis, a condition where the stent may collapse. Using these drug induced stents and certain prescribed oral medications help stabilize stent implantation.

Commonly, artery stents are used in surgical procedures called percutaneous trans-luminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), also known as balloon angioplasty. These procedures are intended to reduce the risk of heart attacks or other complications stemming from coronary heart disease that involves the blockage of the arteries.

Virtually non-invasive radiological detection of atherosclerosis has emerged in the 21st century and CAT or MRI scans and Ultrasound may be used as part of routine searches for atherosclerosis in specific arteries. This may account for the rise of artery stent intervention from 1999 to 2006. Angioplasty will be necessary if plaque accumulation is noted and is a way that artery stents are implanted. If no stent is implanted, it is an ambulatory procedure with no hospital stay. An implant requires at least 24-hour stay.

An artery stent was implanted. For around 2 years following an implant procedure, you will be prescribed a blood thinner drug (i.e Plavix, Warfarin, Xarelto) and low dose aspirin as an anti-coagulant. You are advised to reduce exercise and increase proper diet for a few weeks after surgery.

Common side effects of blood thinners are:

◾Heavy menstrual flows
◾Bloody or discolored urine or feces.
◾Somewhat frequent nosebleeds.
◾Bleeding gums.
◾Prolonged bleeding from a cut and possible bruising.

Less reported side effects may include:

•Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
•Leg weakness and Numbness
•Paralysis (partial area restricted)

While not all blood thinners are affected by the same substances, a number of foods, herbs, and medications can interact with blood-thinning medications. This can render the drug more or less effective than your dosage would suggest.

Many physicians, in an effort to reduce cholesterol levels as a possible cause of atherosclerosis, also add statins (Lipitor) may lead to increased toxicity such as myopathy (inflammation of the muscles). Clinical trials commonly define statin toxicity as myalgia or muscle weakness with creatine kinase (CK) levels greater than 10 times the normal upper limit. The most frequrntly reported statin side effects are:

Weakness and muscle pain

People who smoke have an additional concern over Nicotine. The nicotine in cigarettes directly affects the inflammatory response, causing the release of more cytokines.Cytokines serve as molecular messengers between cells and regulate various inflammatory responses. There are many types of cytokines in the bloodstream and some are researched as possible sources of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other pain or numbing diseases.

There is often a great emphasis in controlling plaque and vulnerable plaque in the arteries leading to the heart and brain. Less emphasis is focused on other narrower blood vessels that extend to the periphery of the body, such as hands and feet. The possible side effects of blood thinners, statins, and nicotine, plus vulnerable plaque, may be restricting blood flow and cytokines to various point s in legs and arms.

The effects of drugs, diet, lifestyle, and undetected vascular disintegrity may be associated with a less common side effect of artery stents. They are peripheral neuropathies, a numbness or tingling of hands and feet.

I had numbness in the feet. I have since found several cases that have complained about some form of peripheral neuropathy that require assisted walking devices. Nearly all reported having at least one implanted stent. A few had as many as four stents. Medications can manage neuropathy symptoms but none claim to cure it. I have found long-term acupuncture to be effective. Acupuncturists offer differing techniques. I found New York’s East Wind Healing Arts to be the best.

Stents are used to help support decayed arteries and collapsing organs. They are used after coronary episodes and to prevent first episodes. As a wise approach in exploring annual routine health care, a comprehensive center of cardiologists, who also specialize as internists, may be sensitive enough to help ward off any problems.

Diet and exercise help. Unfortunately, people of all shapes and sizes may be susceptible to atherosclerosis by virtue of genetics. Following responsible diets and physical activities are good avenues to support heat health within the generally healthy population.

It is likely that where atherosclerosis is present in arteries, there may be peripheral vascular disease found in the blood vessels feeding and protecting other areas of your body.

Your body likes balance and works hard towards maintaining a stable balance. It has complex mechanisms that control internal fight/flight stress at microcellular levels. Sometimes it’s imperceptible while other times pain and inflammation may occur. While implanting artery stents may breed a host of annoying side effects, maintain an active relationship with your physicians and work hard toward living happily ever after.

When necessary, artery stents are life savers but following more responsible lifestyles may add years of living well. As to dealing with side effects? Sometimes you have to weigh side effects or no life at all. Doctors and patients should be attentive and aware of those possible side effects and cooperate with healthcare and alternatives as successful treatments.

Beta-Glucans immune system booster in Cheerios

There’s a cute TV commercial where a little girl talks about beta-glucans and their content in each serving of Cheerios, a popular oat-based cereal. Beta-glucans are often associated with heart health, treating cancer, and as an immunity booster. Beta-glucans are a food product purported to possibly reduce bad LDL cholesterol.

It is thought that beta-glucans reduce cholesterol levels by increasing excretion of cholesterol from the digestive tract. This affects two forms of cholesterol: cholesterol from food, and, more importantly, cholesterol from the blood “recycled” by the liver through the intestines. In addition, beta-glucans in unprocessed foods may help limit the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal. Immune-related effects seen in studies of beta-glucans indicate observed alterations in the activity of certain white blood cells and changes in the levels or actions of substances, called cytokines, that modulate immune function.

A beta-glucan refers to a class of soluble fibers found in many plant sources. In a sense, you are what you eat. Beta-glucans are found in fiber of certain foods you (hopefully) eat. Beta-glucans are found in whole grains, particularly oats, wheat, and barley. Baker’s yeast, and certain mushrooms are also dietary sources. The FDA has allowed a Heart Healthy label claim for food products containing substantial amounts of beta-glucans. There are scientific claims that consumption of 3 grams per day of beta-glucans may result in a 5-10% reduction of LDL cholesterol in serum tests. According to Cheerios’ ad, a serving of Cheerios contains 3 grams of beta-glucans in its basic oat-based variety.

Europeans have known about how beta-glucans may play a role at reducing LDL cholesterol. They incorporate unprocessed oats and oat bran into cereals like Muesli and Granola. Oat bread is popular in some areas. For those that have mild risk levels of cholesterol, beta-glucans may play a significant normalizing role from dietary sources. Does that mean that eating more oats will reduce LDL levels in moderately high cholesterol levels?

Multiple servings of ready-to-eat oat cereals may not provide enhanced health effects. Other ingredients (added sugars, for example) and processing may actually present negative cofactors. Studies cite evidence that oatmeal provides greater satiety of appetite than ready-to-eat cereals like Cheerios. Also, many ready-to-eat cereals add unnecessary sugars and flavors to make them marketable to general market consumption. These can collide against any possible benefits beta-glucans provide. Monitoring glycemic-index at breakfast meals aids energy throughout the day and diet is a part of managing cholesterol. Food technologists are working to help enhance the benefits of beta-glucans in a wider range of foods.

For improving total and LDL cholesterol, studies have found benefit with beta-glucans at doses ranging from 3 to 15 grams daily. There appears to be no effect on HDL.

Yet, for all this possible benefit as a healthy dietary resource for heart healthier approaches to managing cholesterol and sugar levels, diets higher in beta-glucans may also pose danger and risks. Beta-glucan, as a substance widely present in foods, if taken in high doses through dietary supplements may do more harm than benefit. If beta-glucans can stimulate the immune system, harmful effects are at least theoretically possible in people that have overactive immune systems. These include multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and hundreds of other conditions. To what extent may be unclear. Beta-glucans may be contributing variables.

In addition, beta-glucans are somewhat related with beta-amyloids. Beta-amyloids, some suspect, may be precursors of cognitive disorders, such as the infamous Alzheimer Disease. From food, beta-glucans prove safe. Abused supplementation has not been studied but theoretically might be a bridge to neurocognitive disorders. Then again, the relationship between glucans and amyloids haven’t really been studied to draw any conclusions. It is very speculative.

In the USA, and other parts of the world, sowing oats is part of an important farming culture. It is connected to longevity and a well life. Beta-glucans, phytonutrients in the grain, may be why people who have balanced diets with oats as part of a daily routine may be healthier. There are many articles about longevity that stress lifestyle diets.

World peace may never be achievable. Vascular wellness may be possible without resorting to medicinal drugs. Eating foods with beta-glucans may help you reach a healthy age of 100, unless something else confounds the picture. Having beta-glucans in your diet might be good for you! Isn’t it time to eat your oats today?

Cholesterol particle size matters

As per 2013, more than 1 in 3 adults (81.1 million) live with 1 or more types of cardiovascular disease. According to a government agency, there were 126.0 coronary heart disease deaths per 100,000 population in 2007. In addition to being the first and third leading causes of death, heart disease and stroke result in serious illness and disability, decreased quality of life, and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic loss every year. The statistics are similar for both women and men. A form of cardiac disease may occur at any age, with higher percentages at age 40 than at age 70. It can be a silent killer. Making sure you have cholesterol panel blood tests may help you measure possible ways of reducing your risk. How reliable are the standard lipid panel blood tests? They may not be.

One of the problems associated with the development and study of heart disease and its risk potential in the United States is that there is no national system to collect data on how often cardiovascular events occur or recur, or how often they result in death. Based on smaller studies, many outside the United States, vascular, cardiovascular, and heart disease statistics are astounding. Is the risk of developing heart disease 33%? Are doctors proactive in employing better testing?

A while back, a gastrointestinal specialist told me I had GERD, acid reflux disease. I didn’t seem to be getting upset by the associated risk factors. On a second opinion with a chief physician, she asked me whether I knew the type of GERD. I didn’t know. Obviously there are many types. When it comes to cholesterol and possible heart disease risks, cholesterol has many different subtypes. Some of these go beyond mere lipoprotein levels. Many subtypes and particle sizes come into play when trying to determine risk factors. Many cardiologists proceed with treatments, based on traditional blood test panels, prior to using studies that analyze cholesterol at deeper levels. For some, cholesterol particle size matters and can make a vast difference in a prognosis.

With all the chatter about cholesterol levels, when you check cholesterol particle size, size matters. Some particles of this blood fat are large and buoyant and breeze easily through your circulatory system. But other particles are small and dense — and four times as likely to cause heart disease as they are more likely to gather on your artery walls. So even if you have a low total cholesterol value, you may be at greater risk than you or your doctor might think.

When you are at a risk for cardiovascular diseases, with high LDL, you shouldn’t rely on the results found from a traditional blood test. There are other blood tests that help you get closer to the heart of the problem. Don’t get stressed till you ask your doctor to address this further. The tests are:

One test focuses on cholesterol particle size as well as subclasses or subtypes of LDL (the bad type) and HDL (the good type) levels that aren’t seen in a traditional blood test. The Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) test will analyze your LDL cholesterol and determine if it is made up of predominantly the small, dangerous particles or larger, more benign particles. It will also tell you how much lipoprotein is circulating in your blood. In addition, the VAP test breaks out your HDL cholesterol subtypes, letting you know if you have more of the HDL2 subtype, which is most beneficial. Basically, when it comes to HDL protective qualities, there are black sheep among the different possible HDL. HDL Cholesterol (good guy) is comprised of
different subtypes. HDL2 is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease even in patients whose Total and LDL cholesterol are within the desirable limits established by
the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

A Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP) test also breaks down cholesterol into fractions smaller than LDL and HDL and analyzes the particles comprising each of them, just like the VAP test. It measures the lipoprotein particles directly giving a more precise evaluation of their size. High numbers of small, dense LDL particles can ultimately cause cardiovascular disease. The LPP test has an advantage over the VAP test, because its methodology allows for more precise measurements and because it can also measure remnant lipoprotein (RLP), which is a more threatening type of cholesterol that isn’t singled out by most other cholesterol tests. Elevated remnant cholesterol may cause more artery inflammation that can lead to a heart attack, using a non-fasting test. This leads to a more accurate view than the fasting traditional test. LPP measurements track particles as you live with them.

Another advanced test is the NMR Lipoprotein Test that uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to deliver a more precise profile of LDL levels in your bloodstream. Test results will outline risk factors. The test from Liposcience was recently approved by the FDA. It only tracks LDL cholesterol particles.

In calculating possible cardiovascular risks, guidelines may differ among those organization that set up risk criteria. Among the oldest is the Framingham Heart Study that was established by the National Heart Association in 1948. The American Heart Association has a heart risk assessment calculator based on the 2010 Framingham study.

A set of statistics indicate that about 50% of people who have suffered heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol numbers according to NHLBI The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institute of Health. In many cases the cholesterol particle size mattered upon further investigation. Using cholesterol particle size as part of routine measurement may reduce cholesterol level risk or increase it. According to the NHLBI calculator, my risk potential is 10% over the next 10 year period. The calculator factors age, gender, traditional total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, whether I smoke, and my systolic blood pressure reading. A 10% risk sounds pretty good, although I’d sit more comfortably with 5% or less as a probability.

Being statin treatment intolerant, that 10% number is kind of okay. I do take other cholesterol reducing drugs and supplements, follow a strict diet, and exercise regularly. Also having Myotonic dystrophy (a degenerative muscle disease) may mean more frequent cardiograms and cardiac muscle tests to keep my risk factor as low as possible.

According to a large 1999 life risk study of developing heart disease experiment in the United Kingdom, the findings were alarming. The 7733 patients were followed up for a total of 109,948 person-years. Overall, 1157 participants developed coronary heart disease. 1312 died from non-coronary heart disease causes. Lifetime risk of coronary heart disease at age 40 years was 48.6% (95% CI 45.8-51.3) for men and 31.7% (29.2-34.2) for women. At age 70 years, lifetime risk was 34.9% (31.2-38.7) for men and 24.2% (21.4-27.0) for women. After researchers excluded isolated angina pectoris as an initial event, the lifetime risk of coronary artery disease events at age 40 years was 42.4% for men and 24.9% for women.

Hypertension and high triglycerides factor greatly in the mortality rates of heart disease risks.

The lifetime risk of developing or dying From Cancer is 43% for males and 38% for females, all inclusive cancers according to the American Cancer Society. The National Safety Council releases a book on risk statistics in virtually every aspect of life.

Fortunately, we don’t live trying to assess our risks of dying inside or outside our home. Yet nearly everyone knows or has known someone living with the threat of heart disease or cancer. It’s very disconcerting. Cardiovascular risks, one or more, are like driving a car. You need to know more about the road ahead and around you. Use your mind and be proactive about risks. While there’s no guarantee against accidents, be diligent in aiming for safety.

Knowing your serum cholesterol levels, your cholesterol particle size and constituency of the subclasses help you assess and act toward reducing your risks of athesclerosis and heart disease. The media surrounds us with what steps to take. You should know them. Pursue your doctor for more thorough testing. Become proactive at being your personal wellness advocate. Live better, hearty, and prosper towards longer, healthier living.

New 2013 cholesterol guidelines

Sometimes it may be the binge eating you had before your medical exam. Other times it may be the dietary recommendations that eating chicken and fish are healthier than red meat. Any animal-source food has cholesterol. According to the Center of Disease Control, 71 million Americans or 1 in 3 have high LDL or bad cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is associated with lining arteries with plaque that may lead to organ damage, particularly leading to heart attacks and strokes. For some people, it is dietary, and is easily controlled. For others, these may be familial, chronic conditions. There’s no wonder why cholesterol management is a big topic and essential indicator examined on general blood tests. When the American Heart Association announces new guidelines for cholesterol management, doctors listen. The new report promotes high statin dosage to control high LDL levels.

A group of researchers from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association put their weight on new cholesterol management guidelines. Their emphasis is to increase statin treatments to more people who might be at risk of having a heart attack. The origin of these reports were designed to effectively care for those who already had some level of a cardiovascular episode.

As with all cases, the panel took a traditional approach. As with all patients, they emphasized lifestyle guidelines (i.e., adhering to a heart healthy diet, regular exercise
habits, avoidance of tobacco products, and maintenance of a healthy weight). They cited that use of one of the 4 statin groups would help those who can’t manage to keep their LDL at a normal range. They did not discuss HDL/LDL ratios.

Establishing a target range under real circumstances still remains vague but they deemed that an LDL-C of 190 is considered threatening.

The new guideline recommends moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy for these four groups:

1) Patients who have cardiovascular disease;
2) Patients with an LDL, or “bad” cholesterol level of 190 mg/dL or higher;
3) Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are between 40 and 75 years of age
4)Patients with an estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 7.5 percent or higher who are between 40 and 75 years of age (the report provides formulas for calculating 10-year risk).

Chronic use of statins may have negative effects on neuromuscular systems, particularly peripheral myopathies. While Cleveland University research cites that 72.5% of statin-intolerant patients may be treated with statins. There are those that have diseases like muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis for which statin use may be almost fatal. Recommendations of high stain dosages may be more dangerous holistically than cardiology specialists realize.

For example, many people suffer from rheumatism and fibromyalgia. These involve muscle pains, affecting over 10 million people, that have no succinct etiology to infer causality and results. There is little data to support that high-dose statins may induce more extreme pain or inflammation. While cholesterol management is vital, average cardiologists may not take these other common diseases into consideration when prescribing statin drugs.

Specialists that read these guidelines may take easier approaches at high-dosing statins to force cholesterol management to those that may not need it. The November 2013 guidelines of the American College of Cardiologists and the American Heart Association seems to sanction this. Most cardiologists adhere to the average and this report definitely targets the average. Patients are then forced to seek out cardiologists that see patients as individuals instead of group numbers. Groupings are attractive at writing presentations. Patients as clients require more specific attention.

Yet statins are touted well beyond cholesterol management with research demonstrating efficacy in treating cancer and other diseases. It’s as if all the leading drug companies that produce cholesterol are behind all the experiments. In some respects, companies like Merck and Pfizer are using cardiologists as drug pushers, especially when two major heart organizations sanction high dosages of statin medications to help lower LDL cholesterol.

I have genetic cholesterol and management requires an almost vegan diet along with exercise. Because of a form of muscular dystrophy, all statins have been proven toxic. I use Source Natural Cholesterol Complex on a daily basis, along with non-statin prescription Zetia and Lopid. Policosanol is a key ingredient in my supplement mix and policosanol research shows that 20mg can help reduce LDL cholesterol by nearly 30%. For people that suffer from statin intolerance, statins are not the conclusive treatment.

Cholesterol is only one of many indicators that may lead to heart disease. Relying on statins to lower LDL cholesterol levels may be great for many people. For those that exhibit statin intolerance, there are other routes and physicians should understand and study these.

Sifting through this 80 page document from November, it’s a rather unimpressive work and further extends that the two leading organizations continue to fail at examining holistic approaches to cholesterol management. Cholesterol levels correlate differently with age and this report didn’t cover that well. As people rise over 70, 190 to 200 LDL is more tolerable than that of a 25 year old.

Prescribing high intensity statins as a rule instead of an exception, may actually harm some patients in those groups due to side-effects. The fervent faith in statins for cholesterol management that seems to be shared by traditional cardiologists may be taking cardiovascular care in wrong directions. There must be more exploration into alternative approaches that place responsibilities on both doctor and patient.

Finding a reasonable target that I can maintain without statins is my goal. In the overall wellness mix, I prefer to be in control. Control requires an active goal-oriented approach. That control persists between routine visits to my practitioner.

Patients, as drug consumers, will accept statins and will likely not report intolerances. While statins for lowering cholesterol may be beneficial, the overall goal is to help patients (as clients) pursue healthy lifestyles and feel well. On the patient’s side, you must be willing to take necessary drug-free steps to improve your heart and cardiovascular health. Ultimately your health is your responsibility!

As to the new stricter standards proposed by the ACC and AHA regarding cholesterol borderlines and statin medications, everything and anything is subject to change. Each year new studies and interventions lead to new perspectives of how to approach cardiovascular conditions. The ACC and AHA are traditionalists and are likely to follow Statins as a holy sword. Statins are not exclusive. Seek out other options and, if possible, find integrative health centers that offer more holistic and educational approaches to help resolve what may be a chronic condition. There are lifestyle choices that can help you manage your LDL cholesterol levels.