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Do statins make you forget?

Posted by on Jul 23 in Cholesterol | Comments Off on Do statins make you forget?

Do statins make you forget?

In a somewhat controversial discussion, some people are claiming that statins cause memory loss. But worse, they are also suggesting that this information is being distorted by mainstream news sources. When 1 in 6 (or more) people have elevated cholesterol levels, this is very concerning. This may affect you in the near future. What’s behind the claimed bias in the main news arena? The suggested reason? Money. If you rely on advertising dollars to make your profits, it’s tempting not to upset your advertisers. So what is the buzz about all this? What’s going on? JAMA Internal Medicine has published a paper to suggest taking statins leads to memory loss. But you’re unlikely to hear this on the news any time soon. With a sample size of roughly 50,000 subjects, there was a lot of data to analyze. The results showed that taking a cholesterol lowering drug was correlated with memory loss, as against not taking a drug. The memory loss is classified as acute, within the first 30 days. That’s a troubling statistic, if it’s correct. You can easily tell whether the mainstream news sources are reporting this kind of paper. Just do a search for statins and memory loss and see what appears on the major news sites. I just found an article on a very major news site that has this comment “The results….showed that more patients taking statins did indeed report short-term memory loss in the 30-day period after first taking the drug when compared to people not taking any cholesterol-lowering drugs.” (fair use excerpt, original here) But the article goes on to say that statin use does not cause memory loss. Well, other cholesterol lowering drugs in the analysis reported also caused memory loss. That’s both types of cholesterol drug, compared to people not taking the drug. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t seem a reasonable conclusion to draw. They say it themselves. Patients taking the drugs reported memory loss that people not taking the drugs did not report. Sounds pretty clear to me, but the spin they put on this is almost the opposite. When you look at information like this, you need to read every word carefully. Check whether it supports their final conclusion. In this case, it simply does not. How can it? The only logical conclusion based on what they say is that cholesterol lowering drugs seem to cause memory loss, not just statins. That is VERY different from saying statins do not cause memory loss.  A=B therefore B=C is not always true. You have to be really careful about taking the summary conclusion of any source. In many cases it just won’t fit what they said earlier – as in this case! If you’d like to learn some more about statins, watch these two videos here – they are eye-opening!...

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Food Fallacies

Posted by on Apr 21 in In the news | Comments Off on Food Fallacies

Food Fallacies

Are you scared to eat eggs? Do shrimp scare you? What about butter? In other words, are you scared of certain types of food because you think they’re really bad for your cholesterol? Most of us have heard advice to avoid “this” or cut back on “that”. And most of us follow that advice blindly. In some cases the experts admit (usually a long time later) that they might have been wrong. How can the average person really know what’s safe to eat and what is bad for them? One way is to keep up to date with the latest news. That can be confusing though. Another is to take a balanced view and do a little bit of thinking. Research on the web is fast and easy. There’s no reason not to consider multiple sources of information. Take shrimp, for example. Many people are scared to eat it because it’s said to be high in cholesterol. Same with eggs. Research recently has suggested that eggs may not be that bad for you, after all. Then you have the whole debate about whether dietary cholesterol is actually as dangerous as people are led to believe. So I regularly scour the web for new and updated information. Today I found an article that is thought provoking to say the least. You can read a shrimp recipe by clicking here – and also read why it may not be as bad for you as you imagined. Quite a thought provoking piece. The gist of it is that the benefits of shrimp might outweigh any possible bad effects. That’s something to keep in mind with all foods. Sometimes there is a trade-off between the good and “bad” effects. Food is essential to life, obviously. So if you’re going to have to eat anyway, why not choose meals that are delicious and seem to have a natural protective quality, overall? All it takes is a little time spent researching for new recipes, with detailed information. The recipe I’ve mentioned gives a lot of background information why it’s good for you. Take a few minutes to read it and you might be surprised at what you learn. The only thing I would say is that the photo is not very appetizing! I like to see my shrimp after they’ve been cooked. The pink color is much more pleasant to my eyes than the raw...

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Is Cholesterol the Health Culprit People Think?

Posted by on Feb 2 in Cholesterol | Comments Off on Is Cholesterol the Health Culprit People Think?

Is Cholesterol the Health Culprit People Think?

The jury appears to be out on that question. Medical Article But, I’ve just read a very interesting article (it’s quite long), about whether inflammation in the arteries is really a stroke or heart attack pre-cursor, more than cholesterol levels. Surprising Heart Attack Statistics Although most of us have heard all about how bad cholesterol is, the statistics seem to show that near 50% of heart attacks happen to people who have normal levels of cholesterol. The suggestion is that something else may be causing the problems and the article goes into some detail about what that might be. The Science There’s a fair amount of science and jargon in the article, but to summarize, it seems that inflammation in the arteries leads to more cholesterol building up within the arteries. There’s then a vicious cycle where that causes more inflammation to take place. Plaque You can see how that would lead to heart attack and strokes. A build up of the plague because of the inflammation and storage of cholesterol can lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack). At least one doctor has gone on record as saying that inflammation underlies many diseases that they have to deal with. That’s pretty shocking, if it’s correct. CRP A by-product of inflammation is something called CRP, or C-reactive protein. It looks like an accurate predictor of possible future heart attack risk. The article goes into great detail about the major study that was done in 2002, by Harvard researchers. It’s not necessarily universally agreed, so work is ongoing in this field. Having read the original article several times myself, I would recommend it for further research. You can read the original...

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What Is Cholesterol?

Posted by on Jan 27 in Cholesterol | Comments Off on What Is Cholesterol?

What Is Cholesterol?

We’re going to start with the simplest question of all: What, exactly, is cholesterol? If you saw it it would look like a fatty, waxy stuff. Not only is it in some of the food you eat, but your body produces it every day. In fact your own liver produces it. It’s necessary for good health and it’s a part of every cell in your body. There are several things that cholesterol helps our bodies to do: Keep the cell wall healthy Help the body produce enough vitamin D Aid in digestion, by producing stomach acids to digest fat Not always as bad as you might have heard. So far from being the universal evil that it’s always portrayed as, cholesterol does have some good in it. We need cholesterol and we produce it ourselves. You also get some from certain foods, basically from animals, like meat or dairy. Fruit and veg contain no cholesterol at all. When is it bad? When the body produces too much cholesterol it sits in the blood stream and eventually it can block up your blood vessels. That increases your risk of heart diseases and the ‘silent killer’, stroke. If you eat a lot of animal fats – also called saturated fats -your body can produce too much cholesterol. And a high cholesterol level should not be ignored. Now there are various types of cholesterol and they each have a different role to play in your health. “Bad” Cholesterol The ‘bad’ cholesterol is called LDL, which stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. This is the one that can increase your chances of getting heart disease by clogging up your arteries. When that happens blood flow through the artery is diminished. “Good” Cholesterol The ‘good’ cholesterol is called HDL. This is the opposite, so it’s High Density Lipoprotein. This actually ‘sweeps up’ the ‘bad’ cholesterol from your blood stream. Which means it’s important to know your cholesterol ratio to know whether you have a normal cholesterol level. Check your own readings If you cholesterol monitor regularly you will know when you have high cholesterol. And if you do have high cholesterol it makes sense to reduce your LDL cholesterol if you can. And if your levels are high you should do it as soon as possible, for your own sake. Considering that it’s been estimated that about 50% of Americans have high cholesterol levels, it’s wise for everyone to get their level tested and do something about it. Lowering cholesterol naturally is an attractive option for many. Remaining on medication for any length of time is something a lot of people want to avoid. So start by making wise choices in the foods you eat. There are foods naturally lower in the stuff. Fish is one. For example an average egg has about four times the cholesterol of a piece of fish, for example, so choosing the fish would help you have a lower level. It’s been estimated that if you reduce your cholesterol by one percent you can decrease your chances of heart disease by twice that – 2%. That’s an amazing difference for small changes in your levels. Testing time If you haven’t had your cholesterol tested in the last five years, then you should seriously think about having it done now. Even if...

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Do you take a statin?

Posted by on Jul 7 in Medication | Comments Off on Do you take a statin?

Statins: A good idea? I’m not a big fan of statins, for all kinds of reasons, including my own reading on the topic. But statins are big business these days. Lots of people question whether they’re as good for you as they seem. There’s a useful resource on the side-effects of one particular class of statins that you can check out at http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-simvastatin/article_em.htm There’s also a really good video that covers this point. It’s worth watching. In fact 32 seconds into this video the doctor says something quite astonishing. He explains why statins might be extremely bad for you, because your nerves and brain are largely made up of cholesterol….. At 90 seconds in he explains why clogged arteries are not what you think they are. They are not a disease state – they are merely the result of an underlying disease. So to paraphrase, using statins to deal with clogged arteries is like putting a band-aid on a broken leg. It does not fix the underlying issue. Listen to what he says 3 minutes and 40 seconds in. It’s pretty eye-opening. He says it as clearly as anyone could say it.   He continues his discussion on inflammation in this next video. When he explains how the body takes care of itself, he uses some interesting (and quite funny) analogies. But funny as they are, they make a lot of sense. And at about 3:30 he tells you which part of the country has the lowest life expectancy, and why. It’s kind of shocking, to be honest.  The things he describes sound like they should be “healthy”, but he explains why they may not be. This information certainly shocked me. If you read those side-effects on the health site or listen to the video, it might just persuade you to consider natural alternatives. You should always discuss your medication with your own doctor, of course, before making any decisions about your health. But why not go prepared by doing a little research first? We have more information on statins...

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Andy Griffith Dead

Posted by on Jul 7 in In the news | Comments Off on Andy Griffith Dead

I just read an article about that great actor, Andy Griffith, who sadly died of a heart attack the other day. He was 86. By most standards that’s a good age, but it seems he had a number of health issues over the last few years, such as hyperlipidemia, a form of high cholesterol or high triglycerides. What struck me most about this article is that Andy suffered from his health conditions for years. Although he made it to a reasonable old age, you have to question the quality of health he enjoyed in his latter years You can read more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2169480/Andy-Griffiths-death-aged-86-caused-heart-attack.html On a sidenote, I think I liked him best in “Matlock”, which was a great show. Listed Price: $49.97 Sale Price: $24.95 Amount Saved: $12.05 "Want To Lower Your Blood Sugar, Strengthen Your Immune System And Support Your Weight Loss NATURALLY?" BioGanix White Mulberry Leaf Extract is a Natural Antioxidant Rich Herbal Supplement With ... Read...

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Kardea

Posted by on May 2 in General health | Comments Off on Kardea

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Aerobic Exercise

Posted by on Feb 22 in Featured, General health | Comments Off on Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Activities and cholesterol levels. As we’ve discussed on this site, cholesterol is a fat like substance. It plays a pretty vital role in keeping the body fit and healthy.  However its levels need to be maintained at an ideal range. One of the ways you can do that is by diet, but the other way is through suitable exercise. Any significant fluctuation in the levels may harm the body and could affect its metabolism. High cholesterol may also be responsible for many diseases that affect the heart, liver and the brain. Some of these diseases are Cirrhosis, Alzheimer and several other strokes. It is responsible for hemorrhagic stroke on the brain. The cholesterol content in the body is responsible for all these diseases. However to be more specific, the main culprit is the Low Density lipoprotein (LDL). This bad cholesterol blocks the path way for the blood and explodes the blood vessels causing heavy damage to the body functioning. Hence the LDL must be controlled and should be maintained at lower levels. Apart from this, the High Density lipoprotein (HDL) should be at a higher percentage as this is the good cholesterol. This helps in maintaining the fluidity and permeability of several membranes in the human body. To have a control over the LDL and to increase the percentage of HDL content in the body, physical activities are the best solution. That includes aerobic exercises, which are pretty good at helping to improve your overall fitness. Some of the steps to reduce your cholesterol levels through physical activities are: Skipping the escalators and the elevators can be a good start. Using the stair forces you to move your legs and your entire body. This acts as a whole body exercise and helps you in burning excess fat. Working out by stretching your arms and legs is also a great physical exercise.  It’s pretty easy and it’s low-impact, too. Visiting the gym and exercising for at least half an hour could prove to be useful. This is because the cholesterol content is easily broken down and used up. Besides, some of the fat content in the body is burned up with vigorous activity. You might even tone your muscles a little! Cycling your way to nearby shops will also give the whole body, a good work out. Always try to walk as often as possible. Swimming and outdoor games are very useful. They can also provide you with a lot of Fun and happiness (it’s more important than it sounds!) All these exercises must be performed on a regular basis. Only a regular work out will provide you with results, but it doesn’t always have to be at a gym. Regular activity can help you reduce both the fat content and the cholesterol content in your body. If you are not so enthusiastic about exercising and do not want to commit yourself for a long duration, start with 5 minutes. Exercising 5 minutes a day throughout the week should get you into a good rhythm. From then on, you can increase the timing and plan your daily exercises accordingly. Healthy mind, healthy body To have a healthy mind, you already know that you must have a healthy body. To have a healthy body,  you already know that you need regular, sustainable exercise schedule....

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Types of Cholesterol

Posted by on Feb 9 in Featured, General health | Comments Off on Types of Cholesterol

Types of Cholesterol

The Main Types of Cholesterol in the Body. There is actually only one type of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is a kind of fat created by the liver or obtained by eating animal products. It’s essential for a body to function and thus needs to travel from the liver through the bloodstream for cells to use. Proteins However, since cholesterol is a fat it is not soluble in the bloodstream. This means that cholesterol separates itself from the bloodstream much like oil separates itself from water. In order for cholesterol to travel through the body it must be packaged with proteins. Proteins form a shell around the fatty cholesterol creating a “cholesterol complex”. When people refer to “types” of cholesterol they are actually referring to the proteins used to create these complexes. Lipoproteins The structures used to transport cholesterol throughout the body are called lipoproteins and they create two main types of cholesterol complexes. These are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). These two complexes have different structures and drastically different functions. In common parlance HDL is often known as the ‘good’ cholesterol while LDL is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. Bad cholesterol A lipoprotein is actually made up of proteins and lipids. A low-density lipoprotein, as the name suggests, has fewer proteins in its structure than does a high-density lipoprotein. This enables it to carry more cholesterol throughout the body than a HDL. This transportation is important as the body does need some quantities of cholesterol. LDL is a major transporter of cholesterol and carries almost three-quarters of the body’s cholesterol throughout the bloodstream. Artherosclerosis. However, when there is too much LDL in the blood, it can slowly build up on the inner walls of the arteries. It can then form plaque which is a hard deposit that narrows the arteries and makes them less flexible – this condition is called artherosclerosis. As the arteries get more narrow a blood clot can form causing a heart attack or stroke. Doctors often measure LDL to gauge a patient’s risk of having heart disease. This is why it has come to be known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Good cholesterol On the other hand, HDL is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol because high HDL levels in the body seem to protect against heart attacks. HDL appears in the body at lower levels than LDL naturally and only one-fourth to one-third of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. However, HDL is important because it can collect “excess” cholesterol carried by LDL and return it to the liver where it can be flushed out of the body. Some medical experts believe that HDL can also remove cholesterol from arterial plaque thus slowing buildup. Low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins are the main types of cholesterol complexes in the body. VLDL and IDL However there also exist very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL), and chylomicrons all of which contribute to the total amount of cholesterol in the body. Although important to body function, they do not appear in nearly the same quantities as LDL and HDL or have the same pronounced effect on a person’s overall...

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Too Much Cholesterol

Posted by on Feb 8 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Too Much Cholesterol

The Effects of Too Much Cholesterol. Experts suggest that people over 20 have their cholesterol levels tested every five years because high cholesterol levels can have drastic effects on a person’s health over time. A test report will show a person’s cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and break down a person’s levels by total cholesterol, HDL levels, and LDL levels. A healthy person will have a total cholesterol level below 200mg/dL with less than 100mg/dL of LDL. A total cholesterol rate above 240mg/dL with LDL levels above 160mg/dL will put a person at a very high risk for the following diseases. High cholesterol alone has no symptoms so it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle before any of these diseases strike. Artherosclerosis Most of the diseases stemming from high cholesterol levels start with artherosclerosis. This ailment occurs when cholesterol builds up in the walls of the body’s arteries into plaque. The arteries are vital for healthy functioning as they carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. As plaque builds up the arteries harden, becoming less flexible and the space for blood to flow becomes narrower. Plaques can also become fragile and break off traveling throughout the body and eventually forming blood clots. If a blood clot forms it will block other blood cells from traveling through the artery. Oxygen and important nutrients will no longer be able to access certain parts of the body. This can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Heart Disease Coronary heart disease (CHD) is also known as coronary artery disease as it is caused by the narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Some people can have CHD without any symptoms while others can have very noticeable symptoms. Discomfort in the chest area is called angina. The pain is caused by the heart not getting enough blood or oxygen. Chest pain can either feel like a sharp jab that comes and goes around the left side of the chest, back, abdomen, or arm. It can also feel like a heavy weight as if someone was squeezing you under the breastbone. This latter pain is usually triggered by intense activities or emotions. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, and heart attack. In some cases the first sign of CHD is a heart attack. Stroke A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked or bursts. Since blood and oxygen are no longer arriving, that part of the brain starts to die and the part of the body controlled by that part of the brain stops functioning properly. Brain damage can occur within minutes of a stroke so it is important to know the symptoms and get help fast. Symptoms include numbness or paralysis in the face, arm, or leg; trouble seeing with one or both eyes, confusion or trouble understanding, slurred speech, trouble walking, and a severe headache are also important symptoms to remember. Although the effects of high cholesterol are severe these conditions are not inevitable. Leading a healthy lifestyle by eating the right foods and exercising regularly can help bypass these conditions entirely. Strategies for Reducing Cholesterol High cholesterol levels can lead to artheriosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. So it helps to know how to...

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