Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jon's Health Tips - Part II

Among the healthy choices I have abandoned for the most part during my health crisis, I forgot to mention fish and fish oil.

Any way, I am still behind on my health research reports, so here are some more:

I have managed to continue to take my statin (I wish it were I higher dose):

Statin use associated with statistically significant reduction in colorectal cancer

"Observational studies have suggested that long‐term use of statins is associated with reduced risk of several cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, pancreas and liver. Our findings suggest that randomized controlled trials designed to test the hypothesis that statins reduce the risk of colorectal cancer are warranted," added Dr. Samadder

Cholesterol-lowering statins boost bacteria-killing cells

Widely prescribed for their cholesterol-lowering properties, recent clinical research indicates that statins can produce a second, significant health benefit: lowering the risk of severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia and sepsis.

More Intensive Statin Treatment Reduces Heart Risk Further

More intensive treatment using statin drugs to lower levels of bad cholesterol leads to even greater reductions in the risk of a heart attack or stroke than with regular statin doses.

The reduction in risk is proportional to the reduction achieved in bad cholesterol levels, even in patients with already low levels. This suggests that a wide range of people at risk of heart disease may benefit from using statins to reduce their bad cholesterol levels further, whatever their starting point.

The researchers found that using more intensive statin treatment produced a highly significant 15% further reduction in major vascular events over standard statin doses.

Statin RX may be overprescribed in healthy people without evidence of diseased arteries

"Our results tell us that only those with calcium buildup in their arteries have a clear benefit from statin therapy, and those who are otherwise healthy and have no significant calcification should with their physician focus on aggressive lifestyle improvements instead of early initiation of statin medications," says study lead investigator Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H.

"While statin therapy can benefit healthy men and women with normal or even low cholesterol levels," adds Blaha, a cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute, "it certainly is not the case that all adults should be taking it to prevent heart attack and stroke, because half are at negligible risk of a sudden coronary event in the next five to 10 years."

Long-Term Statin Use Is Unlikely to Decrease Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Before I began statin therapy I was taking red yeast rice as a satin substitute:

Active Ingredient Levels Vary Among Red Yeast Rice Supplements

Different formulations of red yeast rice, a supplement marketed as a way to improve cholesterol levels, appear widely inconsistent in the amounts of active ingredients they contain, according to a report in the Oct. 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, one in three of 12 products studied had detectable levels of a potentially toxic compound.

I certainly hope to return to a healthy, Mediterranean style diet and overall lifestyle:

Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Colorectal Cancer Risk

Almost a quarter of colorectal (bowel) cancer cases could be prevented if people followed healthy lifestyle advice in five areas. These included being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, having no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men, being non-smoker, having a waist circumference below 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men and consuming a healthy diet.

Healthy Lifestyle Has Bigger Impact on Cardiovascular Health Than Genetics, Studies Show

Two large studies from Northwestern Medicine confirm a healthy lifestyle has the biggest impact on cardiovascular health. One study shows the majority of people who adopted healthy lifestyle behaviors in young adulthood maintained a low cardiovascular risk profile in middle age. The five most important healthy behaviors are not smoking, low or no alcohol intake, weight control, physical activity and a healthy diet. The other study shows cardiovascular health is due primarily to lifestyle factors and healthy behavior, not heredity.

High alpha-carotene levels (from fruits and vegetables) associated with longer life

High blood levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene appear to be associated with a reduced risk of dying over a 14-year period.

Eating Mostly Whole Grains = Lower Body Fat

I have been taking more afternoon naps:

Taking an Afternoon Nap Can Lead to More Active Lives

I'm not inclined to use B vitamins to my regimen yet, but I certainly hope I don't forget to in later years:

B-Complex Vitamins May Help Slow Progression of Dementia

Large doses of B-complex vitamins could reduce the rate of brain shrinkage by half in elderly people with memory problems and slow the progression of dementia.

A two-year clinical trial in England has shown that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.

Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

A new study shows that vitamin B12 may protect against Alzheimer's disease, adding more evidence to the scientific debate about whether the vitamin is effective in reducing the risk of memory loss.

I'm not allergic to wine, but my wife may be:

Low-allergenic wines could stifle sniffles and sneezes in millions of wine drinkers

Scientists have identified a mysterious culprit that threatens headaches, stuffy noses, skin rash and other allergy symptoms when more than 500 million people worldwide drink wine. The discovery could help winemakers in developing the first low allergenic vintages — reds and whites with less potential to trigger allergy symptoms, they say.

I've also stopped taking glucosamine for my knees, although I don't think I was ever taking too much.

Too Much Glucosamine Can Cause the Death of Pancreatic Cells, Increase Diabetes Risk

I have been drinking much too much Coke to ease stomach pains:

Sodas, Other Sugary Beverages Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

The findings showed that drinking one to two sugary drinks per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26% and the risk of metabolic syndrome by 20% compared with those who consumed less than one sugary drink per month. Drinking one 12-ounce serving per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 15%.

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