Lots of news the last two weeks, including big reports questioning the value of aspirin, antioxidants, statins and alcohol. At least alcohol was endorsed!
Here we go:
It’s a good thing I don’t relax too much:
Mild stress might by itself curb cancer growth.
"Living in an environment rich with physical, mental and social stimulation – a setting that causes mild stress – might by itself curb cancer growth."
I don’t take fish oil supplements on days I eat fish, but I am reconsidering that now:
Fish oil may reduce risk of breast cancer
“This research is the first to demonstrate a link between the use of fish oil supplements and a reduction in breast cancer. Studies of dietary intake of fish or omega-3 fatty acids have not been consistent. It may be that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements are higher than most people would typically get from their diet. Fish oil continues to excite many, as evidence emerges about its protective effect on cardiovascular disease and now cancer."
More good news about Vitamin D – I need to keep up my supplement intake even in summer:
Low vitamin D linked to the metabolic syndrome in elderly people
Vitamin D Receptor Emerges as a Key Player in ‘Gut Flora’
“Vitamin D deficiency is a known factor in the pathology of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer,” said microbiologist Jun Sun, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester Medical Center, “but there have been very few reports about how bacteria might play a role by targeting the vitamin D receptor. Our work suggests one possible mechanism, by working through the vitamin D receptor, a sensor and regulator for the majority of functions of vitamin D.” (Funny name for a Vitamin D researcher!)
I still believe strongly in the efficacy of aspirin, which I take regularly:
Benefits For Healthy People Of Aspirin Questioned
“While it is known that aspirin prevents heart attacks and strokes in people with established heart disease—benefits which clearly outweigh any risks associated with aspirin, such as bleeding—the role of aspirin in people without a history of cardiovascular disease is less certain.”
And I still believe that antioxidants, especially in food, are essential to good health and a long life:
Antioxidants don’t help?
“Don't put down the red wine and vitamins just yet, but if you're taking antioxidants because you hope to live longer, consider this: a new study casts doubt on the theory that oxidative stress to our tissues shortens lifespan.”
But I also take coenzyme Q10:
Antioxidants do help arteries stay healthy
“Long-term supplementation with dietary antioxidants has beneficial effects on sugar and fat metabolism, blood pressure and arterial flexibility in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers report these positive results in a randomized controlled trial of combined vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium capsules.”
I’m holding steady on eating dark chocolate every day (at last no one is questioning that yet):
Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
Cocoa flavanols improve vascular and blood pressure measures for coronary artery disease patients
“Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that are found naturally in apples, grapes, tea, cocoa and cherries, which account for the antioxidant effect provided by red wine and green tea. The study found a protective effect from a cocoa drink with 375 mg of flavanols, but according to researchers, a standard or recommended dosage has not yet been defined to achieve optimal health benefit.”
I wish I had the energy to do more cycling (but soccer 3 times a week and kayaking are too much out of me, not to mention my actual work):
Health Benefits of Urban Cycling Outweigh Risks
“Health benefits from cycling may also vary by the age. For example, older, sedentary adults tend to benefit most from increased exercise. However, benefits of exercise can be substantial for persons of all ages; some researchers estimate that inactive individuals who begin moderate exercise programs can lower their risk of death from all causes by 10% to 50%.”
I’m still taking Red Yeast Rice but will begin a real statin soon, just as the evidence seems to weigh in against it:
Do statins prevent death in high-risk individuals without heart disease?
“A meta-analysis of previously published studies finds no evidence that statins are associated with a reduced risk of death among individuals at risk for but with no history of cardiovascular disease, Statins are now one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease both among individuals with established disease and among high-risk healthy individuals who are at elevated risk of incident [new-onset] cardiovascular disease.
"There is little debate that, compared with placebo, statin therapy among individuals with established coronary heart disease not only prevents complications related to atherosclerosis but also reduces all-cause mortality [death]." However, there is little evidence that statins reduce the risk of dying from any cause in individuals without heart disease. This, along with harms caused by statins in some subgroups, have called into question the benefit of statins in primary prevention (prevention of the development of heart disease)."
And if that news weren’t depressing enough:
Link between statin drugs and depression
“Scientists are reporting a possible explanation for the symptoms of anxiety and depression that occur in some patients taking the popular statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs, and reported by some individuals on low-cholesterol diets. These symptoms could result from long-term, low levels of cholesterol in the brain.”
Statins associated with lower cancer recurrence following prostatectomy
I tried beetroot juice but I almost threw up:
Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
I need to eat more broccoli ( I hate Brussels sprouts):
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts fight cancer
I knew there was a good reason to drink lots of green tea before each of my soccer games:
Caffeine boosts performance
"A very high dosage of caffeine, most likely achieved via tablets, powder or a concentrated liquid, is feasible and might prove attractive to a number of athletes wishing to improve their athletic performance"
I would like to be able to drink two glasses of red wine a day, but usually manage only one, and sometimes substitute beer:
Examining cognitive risks and benefits of alcohol consumption
“Most studies suggest less decline in cognitive functioning over time, and lower risk of dementia, among moderate drinkers in comparison with non-drinkers. “
and of course I am a big believer in exercise, (although not while drinking):
Physical activity reduces risk of cognitive impairment in later life
Women who are physically active at any point over the life course (teenage, age 30, age 50, late life) have lower risk of cognitive impairment in late-life compared to those who are inactive, but teenage physical activity appears to be most important.
Maybe I should add olive oil to my daily oatmeal?
Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease
“Everyone knows olive oil and a Mediterranean diet are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, but a new research report offers a surprising reason why: These foods change how genes associated with atherosclerosis function.”
Virgin olive oil protects against breast cancer