Eating Whole Grains Improve Cholesterol with Statins

One in four adults over 40 years old are taking a statin medication to improve their cholesterol levels. Tufts University researchers studied almost 4300 adults over 45 years old and found non-HDL levels significantly lower in statin users, but those who consumed more than 16 grams of whole grains per day were even lower. This…

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Change is Blowing in the Wind for Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (U.S.) is proposing to remove the limits on dietary cholesterol in the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This has been a mainstay since the 1960s. Evidence suggests that while serum cholesterol is still a risk factor, dietary cholesterol may not play as important a role as once thought.…

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Lifestyle Matters!

A 40 year community-based effort in a rural Maine (U.S.) county to help residents control elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, stop smoking, eat healthfully, and exercise more appears to have yielded significant benefits. Compared with other counties in the same state, Franklin's residents have lower mortality rates and fewer hospitalizations resulting in savings of $5.4 million…

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Statin Users May Exercise Less

Thousands of people use statin medications to control their blood cholesterol levels, but their behavior may reduce the benefits. A recent study of 6000 men aged 65 and older found that after 7 years, statin users engaged in 40 minutes less of moderate exercise per week than non-statin users. Researchers think statin's side effects (muscle…

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Statins and Grace

Statins are an important class of medications for lowering blood cholesterol levels. Statins can help unblock arteries and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The first line of treatment for high cholesterol is dietary. Eating fewer dairy products, eggs, and red meat will often dramatically lower cholesterol levels. Statins can be added if diet alone…

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New Guidelines for Old

Late in 2013 new guidelines were published for health care professionals to manage people at risk of cardiac or vascular (stroke) disease. The guidelines were written because the old guidelines did not 1) address the risk of stroke, 2) consider younger patients with risk factors but normal cholesterol numbers, and 3) make recommendations in the…

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Reversing Heart Disease – Is It Possible?

“Men will run to and fro and knowledge will increase.” Thirty years ago in medical school we were taught that one-half the knowledge we learned would turn out to be incorrect. No one knew which half. We would be required to continue learning and discover that for ourselves. Thirty years ago we were taught that…

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Diet that Lowers Cholesterol as Good as Medication

Diet is an important part of healthful living. There are foods that hurt your health and foods that improve your health. What you choose to eat is just as important as what you chose NOT to eat. This is particularly true for foods that help control your cholesterol levels. Saturated fats in the diet are harmful…

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Antioxidants in Walnuts Improve Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

Walnuts used to replace a third of the olive oil and avocado fat in a Mediterranean diet for four weeks was shown to improve blood cholesterol, LDL levels and vascular function in men and women with high cholesterol. Blood levels of one form of vitamin E doubled.  This study provides evidence that the antioxidants and…

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Walnuts Reduce Cholesterol, Salmon Raises It

Eating one and a half ounces of walnuts a day for a week lowered both total and LDL cholesterol by 5.4% and 9.3%, respectively. For every 1% drop in LDL cholesterol there is a 2% drop in coronary heart disease risk, so this translates to an 18.6% reduced risk of heart disease. In contrast, two 4-ounce servings…

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