Misleading claims and the proven facts on Cholesterols and Statins (from the ESC)

Some of the misleading claims, and the proven facts:

CLAIM: Cholesterol is not bad for us. It is a fundamental fat needed to make our cells. We can’t live without it.

FACT: Cholesterol per se is indeed essential for life. But LDL cholesterol in the blood produces fatty deposits called atherosclerotic plaques. These plaques restrict blood flow which can damage organs or lead to a heart attack or stroke. Nearly 3 million deaths worldwide are linked each year to high levels of LDL cholesterol.

CLAIM: Eating foods high in cholesterol (e.g. eggs or butter) does not kill you. Therefore, cholesterol is not a problem but a myth of the pharmaceutical industry designed to sell us drugs.
FACT: Eating eggs or butter in reasonable amounts does not increase cholesterol in the blood. An estimated 85 percent of cholesterol circulating in the body is produced by the liver, independent of what we eat, and that is where the focus should be. As for claims that the pharmaceutical industry is getting rich from selling statins, the vast majority of these drugs are no longer covered by patents. They are generics sold for cents.

CLAIM: There is no link between a population’s LDL-cholesterol levels and the frequency of heart attacks.

FACT: Globally, about 33% of coronary heart disease cases can be attributed to high cholesterol. More than half of Europeans (54%) have high LDL cholesterol. For adults between the ages of 35 and 55, even if they are otherwise healthy, every decade that they live with high cholesterol increases their chances of developing heart disease by 39%. Germany has one of the highest cholesterol levels in the world and is ranked second amongst high income countries in the rate of deaths caused by ischemic heart disease.

CLAIM: High LDL cholesterol is less dangerous than many other factors, including inactivity, smoking and obesity. Changing those things in our lives is where we need to act first. FACT: “All those factors are contributors to the risk of heart disease,” said Professor Stephan Gielen, past president of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology. “It is indeed critical to stop smoking, be physically active and watch one’s diet. But lifestyle changes typically reduce cholesterol levels by only 5 to 10 percent. For people with high levels of LDL cholesterol, more is needed,” he said. “Combining exercise and statin therapy substantially reduces the mortality risk and is potentially the ideal combination.”

CLAIM: The side effects of statins are not worth the risk.

FACT: The most common side effect reported by statin users is muscle aches (myalgia), which occurs in less than 1 percent of patients and are often alleviated by switching to another brand of statin. Claims of more severe side effects, including Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer have been occasionally reported, but the evidence is weak or misinterpreted. Statins can indeed raise blood sugars slightly. But one would have to have significant pre-diabetes to develop Type 2 diabetes because of a statin. This occurs in only about 1 percent of patients with pre-diabetes taking the medication.

On Alzheimer’s disease, a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found no association between statin use and a decline in memory or thinking ability. Indeed, patients who take statins for heart disease and have a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease actually scored better on some memory tests. The lead author of the study, Doctor Katherine Samaras, a professor of medicine at the University of New South Wales, Australia said, “If you are experiencing memory problems while taking statins, don’t stop. Talk to your doctor. You may have other factors for that memory loss.”

CLAIM: Those taking statins should simply stop taking them.

FACT: Published studies have shown that patients who are taking statins and at risk for cardiovascular disease, increase that risk if they stop taking the medicine. One alarming study of 28,000 patients found that 3 in 10 stopped taking their statins because they presumed the aches and pains they were experiencing were due to the drug. The result: 8.5% suffered a heart attack or stroke within just four years, compared to 7.6% who continued taking the drugs. And there is good evidence that the benefits of statin use continue well into old age.

CONCLUSION:

There is absolutely no question that the benefits of statins far outweigh any risk,”  “You owe it to yourself to see for yourself – to review the many published, peer-reviewed studies, from reputable institutions. The stakes are simply too high to do otherwise.”

 

https://www.escardio.org/Education/Practice-Tools/Talking-to-patients/arming-your-patients-with-the-facts-on-statins?twitter&fbclid=IwAR1CYhMPZKs2uGlf20N7MzycSZr88G_cUrQap4l8zh6STeaC1gEtsD3ln5U

 

 

2019 Guideline on Heart Disease Prevention!

https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Guidelines/Primary-Prevention-Heart-Disease

EG2xOruWkAAXgQA

PreventHeartDisease

 

 

Slow Down! Life is not a race!

Todays life is fast paced!

Everyone wants everything fast: Meals delivered at a click of a button! Things delivered within minutes. A rush to reach their destinations within seconds. No patience to wait in queues. Everything at a click of a button. Even meals are cooked fast. Even expect our kids to grow up fast and achieve more in a short time. Surfing channel to see whats being played in different channels at the same time. No time to stand in grocery queues.

However, nature does not want us to live our lives so fast paced..

Living fast paced can give rise to anxiety, high blood pressure and stress.

It wants us to slow down!

Enjoy the things around us!

Even in cities there is so much of nature around us.

We should be watching the sunrise through our windows.

Listen to the birds chirping and the wind blowing.

Listen to the dogs barking.

Listen to the rain drops falling on a tin roof.

Enjoying our morning cuppa of coffee at an leisurely pace.

Enjoying its aroma.

Strolling leisurely in a park.

Not be bound by time.

Read the hard copy of “A Book of Simple Living: Brief Notes from the Hills” by Ruskin Bond!

Cooking a slow meal and enjoying the process of cooking the meal.

Eating leisurely with kids and family.

Lazing on a sofa with your favourite novel.

Going for a slow jog without attention to timing or pace.

Practising mindfulness in our lives!

Keeping our electronic gadgets shut for a day!

What a life that would be.

It would add Chi to our daily lives.

So SLOW DOWN!

Make your day pleasant!

 

41lfzqwef1l-_sx300_

 

 

 

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, Which is the sweetest dessert of them all!

We all love desserts! They give us a feeling of satiety and satisfaction which few things in this world provide. However, too much of indulgence can be harmful. Its better to be informed and make a choice about the dessert depending on its sugar content.

 

Here is a chart from Shari’s Berries showing the sugar content of different desserts.

 

As Julissa from Shari’s Berries mentions “Although most say “There is ALWAYS room for dessert”, there is no reason to go overboard on your sugar taste buds especially if you are watching your weight or want something lighter.

That’s why Shari’s Berries has created a visual chart with the most popular desserts you find at restaurants and parties. The desserts range from lowest to highest in sugar content, hopefully making your choice a little bit easier. Sweets are definitely fun but moderation is key!”

 

sweetest-desserts

http://www.berries.com/blog/sweetest-desserts

 

Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 summary

 

Guidelines (Abbreviated)

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the life span.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
  • Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all.

 

Key Recommendations
Follow a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.       A healthy eating pattern includes

A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other

Fruits, especially whole fruits

Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages

A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products

Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

 

Key recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet of particular public health concern that should be limited.

Consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars.

Consume less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fats.

Consume less than 2300 mg/d of sodium.

If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

 

The Dietary Guidelines also include a key recommendation to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

 

 

 

 

This Viewpoint summarizes the updated recommendations of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Source: JAMA Network | JAMA | Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Meditate, Pray and do Yoga to remain healthy!

A recent study by a MGH affiliate shows that RELAXATION STRATEGIES like Praying, Meditation, Deep Breathing and Yoga can keep us healthy and could cut health care costs by 43%.

We all know that there a strong indisputable Mind-Body connect which exists and Stress over long periods can cause illnesses like anxiety, depression, blood pressure, obesity and coronary heart disease.

Individuals in this study participated in programs that train patients to elicit Relaxation response.

“The relaxation response is elicited by practices including meditation, deep breathing, and prayer”. 

4400 patients were enrolled and compared with 13150 controls over a 2 year period. The control group had an overall, but not statistically significant, increase in clinical service utilization in the second year. Patients who used Relaxation strategies had a reduction of around 25 percent across all clinical services. Clinical areas in which there was greatest reduction in service utilization were neurologic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal. The researchers estimate that this could cut down health care costs by 43%!

 

So, Pray, Meditate and Do Yoga!!!

 

Mind-Body Medicine: New Science and Best Practices to Meet Public Health Challenges”

Source: Relaxation response proves positive | Harvard Gazette