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heart attacks

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Two Fails for Multivitamin Supplements

Multivitamin supplements show no benefit in preventing chronic disease.

Almost 6000 male physicians 65 and older received either a daily multivitamin supplement or placebo. Testing after 8.5 years of follow-up showed no significant difference in verbal memory or global cognition. In yet another study, 1700 adults aged 50 or older were given a multivitamin or placebo beginning 6+ weeks following a heart attack. After 4.5 years the outcomes were no different for either group. Both studies were randomized and double-blind.

PositiveTip: Supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults has no clear benefits. Enough is enough!

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Shift Work Raises Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Vigilance for cardiovascular risk factors essential for shift workers.

Shift work (defined as any work schedule outside of approximately 9:00-17:00 hours) has been found in a meta-analysis of 34 observational studies to significantly increase the risk of heart attacks and ishemic stroke. Smoking and socioeconomic factors did not alter the results. The increase in risk ranged from 5% for stroke to almost 25% for heart attacks and other coronary events.

PositiveTip: Shift workers should be vigilant about modifying their known risk factors for vascular disease.

Soda Clogs Arteries Even in Skinny Women

Sugary drinks create heart risks for women even if they are normal weight. This is the finding of a study presented at the American Heart Association meetings in Florida by Dr. Christina Shay.

In this study, 4000 women from 45-84 years of age were followed for 5 years. Women who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day were compared to women who drank one or less daily. 

Women drinking two or more sugary drinks per day were four times as likely to develop high triglycerides. This was true for skinny women as well as those who were overweight. Elevated triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease. So, sodas in the daily diet can clog your arteries, leading to heart attacks and death. 

Diet Controls Genes for Heart Attacks

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. Major causes of heart attacks include cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. You can also inherit defective genes from your father or mother that will increase your risk of having a heart attack. 

You can control what you eat but your genetic make up is beyond your control. This turns out NOT to be true. 

A large study screened a population of 8000 Europeans, Chinese, South Asians, Arabs, and Latin Americans for genetic defects on chromosome 9 in the p21 region. They looked for four specific defects in a single DNA building block (single nucleotide polymorphisms).

Supplements Fail Again

The British Medical Journal just published results from a study on how B-Vitamins and fish oil affect several cardiovascular diseases. The outcomes were disappointing.

Researchers studied 2501 individuals who were sick to begin with. All had experienced a stroke, heart attack or unstable chest pains. The study involved over 400 research physicians throughout France. 

People were randomly assigned to one of four groups, with various daily treatments:

Cardiac Risks from Calcium Supplements

Millions of women take calcium supplements. The U.S Government recommends 1200 mg intake of calcium per day for men and women over the age of 50.

Recent research, just published in the British Medical Journal, show that calcium supplements actually have no beneficial effect on bone density and are actually harmful because they increase the risk of heart attacks.

Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed 11 calcium supplement studies (without Vitamin D), with more than 12,000 participants. The risk of heart attacks among those taking supplements was 31% higher than those not taking them.