Two Servings Of Fish A Week Add Two Years To Life!


The standard utilization of fish can put in at least two years in our lives, reducing the risk of death from heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, report scientists from Harvard University and the University of Washington.


A study conducted found that volunteers with higher levels omea-3 fatty acids in the blood were at a 25% lower risk of premature death from cardiovascular causes. The omega-3 fatty acids are a beneficial type of fat, which has been found to protect against heart disease.

The present study showed that these fats reduce by 33% the risk of coronary heart disease and a 27% risk of death from all cardiovascular causes. The best natural sources are “thick” (fatty) fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna, and fish oil. However, there are foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.

The study of American scientists concluded that people who eat more fish, live on average 2.2 years longer than those who eat what the least.”while fish consumption considered for decades an integral part of a healthy diet, few studies have examined the association of levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood with mortality in people aged over 65 years,” said lead researcher, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health Harvard. “Our findings substantiate the importance of cardiovascular health for adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood and suggest that these levels may actually prolong life.”

While omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development in children and cardiovascular health in children and adults, studies have shown that nine out of ten children and two out of three adults do not eat enough fish. As the researchers explain in the journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”, analyzed data from 16 years about 2,700 Americans aged 65 and older at baseline.

The volunteers were generally healthy when they declared their participation in the study and underwent various tests and completed questionnaires about their lifestyle and medical history. They also gave blood samples to measure the levels of three omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers recorded the rates and causes of death among them until the completion of the study and, having taken into account all the other factors that could affect cardiovascular health, concluded that omega-3 fatty acids are highly protective.

That was associated particularly strongly with reduced risk of death from coronary heart disease: the decrease by 40%. Additionally, reduce by 45% the risk of death from heart rhythm disturbances such as aerial fibrillation. 

Overall, subjects who ate two or more servings of fish per week (each serving is approximately 140 grams) were at 27% lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes.”


via Two Servings Of Fish A Week Add Two Years To Life.

A soda a day ups diabetes risk by 20%!

Think before you grab your can of soda today!

Drinking one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%, a new study from Europe suggests. The results corroborate research conducted in North American populations.

Mounting evidence that one can a day ups diabetes risk by a fifth.

The findings, from a study by Dr Dora Romaguera Imperial College London, UK and colleagues, are published online in Diabetologia April 24, 2013 .  They used the longitudinal European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition EPIC study to evaluate ties between intake of sweet beverages juices and nectars, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, and artificially sweetened soft drinks and type 2 diabetes. They established a case-cohort design comprising 12 403 incident type 2 diabetes cases and a random subcohort of 16 154 individuals.


One 12-oz daily increment in sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened soft-drink consumption was associated with the development of type 2 diabetes hazard ratios [HRs] 1.22 and 1.52, respectively.  Juice and nectar consumption was not associated with type 2 diabetes incidence.

A recent study from France found a link between drinking diet soda and regular soda and increased risk for type 2 diabetes in women.


Dr Rachel K Johnson University of Vermont, Burlington said the findings of this paper are “important because they come from a well-designed, prospective research trial conducted in a large sample of Europeans who were healthy at the beginning of the study. [This] enabled the researchers to determine the association between . . . different types of sweet beverages and the incidence of diabetes in a European population with a wide range of consumption.”This study is yet another nail in the coffin for sugar-sweetened beverages.


The American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than 450 calories 36 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages a week,”


via Newest study confirms a soda a day ups diabetes risk by 20% |

Fiber-rich diet may protect against stroke!

Eating more fiber may lower the risk of stroke, according to the first meta-analysis of relevant research on fiber intake and stroke.


We found that across the normal range intakes, with each additional 7 grams per day consumed, risk of stroke was reduced by about 7%,” Dr Victoria J Burley (University of Leeds, UK) said in an interview.

“This sounds like quite a small reduction in risk, but because stroke affects so many people, lowering risk by 7% could potentially impact many thousands of individuals,” Burley noted.

The results, published online March 28, 2013 in Stroke and partly supported by the cereal industry, buttress dietary recommendations to increase intake of total dietary fiber, the researchers say.

Previous studies have shown that dietary fiber may help reduce stroke risk factors, including high blood pressure and elevated LDL-cholesterol levels.


Burley and colleagues analyzed eight relevant cohort studies from the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan published between 1990 and 2012, comprising more than 200 000 individuals. Follow-up ranged from eight to 19 years, and case numbers ranged from 95 fatal strokes to 2781 incident events.

Total dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with risk for stroke (hemorrhagic plus ischemic).

“The relationship between dietary fiber and stroke risk seems to be linear, so this means that even small increases in intake may have an effect on long-term stroke risk,” Burley said.


Most populations in high-income countries, such as the US, don’t eat enough fiber-rich foods, and clinicians should encourage patients to improve their intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds to achieve fiber goals. Meeting the guideline for dietary fiber intake is likely to have other health benefits, such as good digestive health, lowering blood cholesterol, and stabilizing blood glucose. In the long term, our data suggest that risk of stroke may be reduced as well,” she added.


Best type of fiber uncertain

Dr Gustavo Saposnik (St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, ON)  comments that the most important finding was the 7% reduction in the incident risk of stroke for every 7 g of daily fiber consumption.

“The authors explained this is achievable by eating a small portion of whole-meal pasta (70 g), a piece of fruit (apple/pear/orange), plus a serving of tomatoes each day,” he noted.

So, grab that bowl of cereal today!

via Fiber-rich diet may protect against stroke |

Carnitine in red meat may up CVD risk via altered gut flora

Research in mice and human volunteers has suggested a mechanism that may contribute to an association between eating red meat and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It involves microbes in the gut.


People who regularly eat red meat have an increased colonization of intestinal bacteria that break down the carnitine in red meat into a metabolite that promotes increased cholesterol deposition in the artery wall, the researchers report. Their study was published online April 7, 2013 in Nature Medicine.


Energy drinks are another major source of carnitine, senior author Dr Stanley L Hazen (Cleveland Clinic, OH) told heartwire. If someone regularly eats red meat or drinks energy drinks, “microbes that like carnitine become more abundant [in the gut], and now you are much more capable of making this metabolite . . . trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO),” he said. “This paper showed [that TMAO] . . . essentially leads to an enhanced capacity to deposit cholesterol on the cells of your artery wall.



Does this mean that physicians should advise all their patients to become vegetarians and avoid drinking energy drinks? Hazen says that people need to be aware that “a can of an energy drink can have more carnitine than a porterhouse steak.”


For now, “it makes sense to adhere to a lower-cholesterol, lower-saturated-fat diet [that will be] more heart healthy in terms of decreasing the nutrients that give rise to forming TMAO, [since] this may be one of the hidden contributors to heart disease.”


via Carnitine in red meat may up CVD risk via altered gut flora |

PURE: Few people with CVD worldwide follow healthy habits!


Only a fraction of people who have established heart disease or a past stroke are adhering to the most basic lifestyle recommendations known to reduce their risk of a future event. Those are the latest findings from the sweeping Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, a global snapshot of cardiovascular disease risk factors and health status encompassing both rich and poor nations and urban and rural communities.


Previous analyses from PURE have highlighted the underuse of proven medications for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease-CVD (particularly in underdeveloped countries), published in the Lancet in 2012.


PURE was conducted in 17 countries, across more than 600 communities, and enrolled 153 996 adults.


In their latest paper, published in the April 17, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Teo and colleagues, with senior author Dr Salim Yusuf (McMaster University),  zero in on the 7519 PURE study participants who had self-reported coronary heart disease or previous stroke.



As Teo and colleagues note, 18.5% continued to smoke following their index diagnosis, only 35% took up high levels of work- or leisure-related physical activity, and just 39% reported following a healthy diet.


In all, 14% reported not engaging in any of the three healthy lifestyle behaviors defined by the study, while just 4% tried to adopt all three.


“This study shows that a large gap exists between actual and ideal participation in the three key lifestyle behaviors of avoidance of (or quitting) smoking, undertaking regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet after a CHD or stroke event,” they write.

“Nearly one-fifth of individuals continued to smoke, only about one-third undertook high levels of physical activity, and only two-fifths were eating a healthy diet.”

It is time that the Consultant Physicians pull up their socks and started emphasizing on these aspects of treatment.


via PURE: Few people with CVD worldwide follow healthy habits |

Beet juice reduces BP in hypertensives!


A small study has demonstrated that the blood-pressure lowering effects of Beet-root juice by increasing the intake of dietary nitrates. 


Dr Amrita Ahluwalia (Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK) and colleagues have previously shown  that beet juice, after coming into contact with human saliva, increases levels of plasma nitrate and nitrite and leads to significant blood-pressure decreases in healthy volunteers.


In their latest study, published online April 15, 2013 in Hypertension, Ahluwalia and colleagues from the Queen Mary University of London, UK turned again to beetroot, which, along with green leafy vegetables, has high concentrations of inorganic nitrate.


The authors tested the beet-juice effects in 15 hypertensive, drug-naive patients, randomized to either 250 mL of inorganic nitrate-rich beetroot juice or an equal volume of water. The “dose” of juice elevates nitrite levels approximately 1.5 fold.


In patients who drank the juice, systolic blood pressure dropped by a mean of 11.2 mm Hg between three and six hours after consumption (vs 0.7 mm Hg in subjects who drank water). By 24 hours, clinic systolic BP remained significantly lower in the beet-juice group and roughly 7.2 mm Hg lower than baseline. Peak drop in diastolic BP also occurred within the first six hours, dropping by a mean of 9.6 mm Hg. Pulse-wave velocity also decreased in the beet-juice group, but not in the controls.


Grab your glass of beet juice today!


via Dietary nitrates in beet juice cut BP in hypertensives |

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack!


Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:


Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.


Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms).

Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room

via Warning Signs of a Heart Attack.

Awareness of prediabetes in the US is low!


According to the latest statistics, about one in three US adults 20 years and older have prediabetes, but only 11% are aware of their status.

The finding is reported in the March 22, 2013 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Awareness of prediabetes was low, “regardless of education level, income level, coverage by health insurance or other kind of healthcare plan, or healthcare use,”

During 2005-2006, only 7% of US adults were aware that they had prediabetes. In this report, Li and colleagues sought to determine whether this awareness had increased in 2009-2010.


The researchers identified 2603 participants with prediabetes, as defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) 100 to 125 mg/dL or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of 5.7% to 6.4%.

They compared the prevalence of prediabetes awareness across a variety of factors, including age, race or ethnicity, sex, education level, poverty-to-income ratio, access to healthcare, having health insurance or other healthcare coverage at the time of interview, number of doctor visits in the past year, and having a usual source of healthcare such as a doctor’s office or health clinic.


The analysis showed that the percentage of persons with prediabetes who were aware of their status was  slightly higher (11%) in 2009-2010 than it was in 2005-2006 (p=0.04), although the awareness remained low.


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing in the US and that the disease can be prevented or delayed among those at high risk “by modest weight loss, good nutritional practices, and increased physical activity.”

The note concludes by calling for improved identification and awareness of prediabetes. These are “critical first steps to encourage those with prediabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes or to enroll in evidence-based, lifestyle-change programs aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes.”

via Awareness of prediabetes in the US is low |

Depression negates heart-healthy behaviors

Untreated symptoms of depression can negate (the anti-inflammatory) benefits typically associated with physical activity and light to moderate alcohol consumption, new research suggests.


Based on measurements of the cardiometabolic risk marker C-reactive protein (CRP), the study “points to a new role for depression in addition to its direct impact on physical and mental health,” said lead author Dr Edward C Suarez (Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC).


The results suggest that depressive symptoms can “minimize the health effects of what many Americans are doing to reduce our risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes—exercise more and adopt a Mediterranean-type diet that includes light to moderate alcohol consumption,” Suarez said.

The study was published online March 26, 2013 in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.


Light to moderate alcohol intake and leisure-time physical activity are independently associated with lower levels of CRP, whereas depression has been associated with elevated CRP.


The researchers found that individuals who were physically active generally had lower levels of CRP, with the exception of those with depressive symptoms (4.5% of the cohort), who reaped no beneficial effect of physical activity on CRP levels.

They also found that light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower CRP, but only in men who were not depressed. Light to moderate alcohol consumption was not associated with lower CRP in those with increased depressive symptom severity, the researchers said.

This is the first study that has examined the impact of depressive symptomatology on the anti-inflammatory benefits of leisure time physical activity and light to moderate alcohol consumption.

“These findings argue for medical providers to combine management of depression alongside reduction of other forms of cardiovascular risk, instead of the more traditional approach of managing conditions separately,” the authors conclude.


So, keep smiling to kick away the blues!


via Depression negates heart-healthy behaviors |

Bypass surgery (CABG) beats Angioplasty (PCI) in diabetic patients


Patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary artery disease treated with Bypass surgery (CABG surgery) had significantly lower rates of death from any cause, nonfatal MI, or nonfatal stroke when compared with diabetic patients treated with PCI (Angioplasty and stenting), according to the long-awaited main results of the FREEDOM trial. The study was presented in the AHA meeting in 2012 and published subsequently in the NEJM. It studied 1900 diabetic patients, majority with triple vessel disease and found that surgery was a superior option compared to angioplasty.


The study concluded that in diabetic patients with complex disease, “CABG was of significant benefit as compared with PCI.”  CABG was also associated with a significant reduction in the risk of heart attacks and all-cause mortality, while PCI was associated with a lower risk of stroke. For the FREEDOM investigators, CABG surgery should be the preferred method of revascularization for patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary artery disease.

There have been trends showing similar results recently (in Feb 2013) too in a smaller study, called VA-CARDS following up 198 patients. The study was published in the JACC journal and again proved that Diabetic patients with multivessel disease would be better off with surgery. 

Considering the evidence the debate over PCI vs CABG in diabetic patients should end now, given the clear results from FREEDOM. These new data highlight the importance of collaboration and cooperation between the Cardiologists and Surgeons to provide the best patient care. The data also clearly show that for patients with diabetes and multivessel disease, “surgery is the best option for patients,” a finding that has important implications given the obesity epidemic and rising rates of diabetes in the developed world.

via CABG beats PCI in diabetic patients |