Most people think of melatonin as a sleep aid and jet lag remedy, owing to its ability to regulate circadian rhythms. But this compound has many other benefits, including regulation of blood pressure and slowing the growth of several types of cancer.
An Australian study shows that vitamin E can actually raise blood pressure in hypertensive patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Though it is not clear whether this occurs in people without hypertension, the data suggest that diabetics need to be very careful with this antioxidant vitamin.
A recent metanalysis is challenging the notion that soy protein and soy isoflavones can improve women's cholesterol profiles. But the study did not account for the fact that some women convert soy isoflavones into equol, a powerful phytoestrogen, while others do not. In a separate study, German researchers found that policosanol, a sugar cane derived substance, had no meaningful effect on lipid profiles or cardiovascular risk.
Blood viscosity, the actual thickness of a person's blood, is emerging as an important risk factor for heart disease: thicker blood means higher risk. New technology will soon enable doctors to measure viscosity routinely. Best of all, an enzyme derived from the Japanese soy food called natto, can effectively lower blood viscosity with minimal risk of side effects.
One of the hottest debates in cardiology for the past few years centers on the question of whether C-reactive protein is a meaningful risk indicator for heart disease. It clearly correlates with a tendency toward inflammation, but is it truly causative? Dr. Traub contends that even if there's no direct causal relationship, an elevated CRP is telling you that something's wrong---something that warrants attention.
The cholesterol model of heart disease, which labels LDL as “bad” and HDL as “good,” has certainly helped drug companies sell a lot of statin medications. But has it really reduced the impact of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in this country? “Not really,” says Dr. Cleaves Bennett, one of the nation’s leading experts on hypertension, kidney disease and preventive medicine.
Two new studies provide fresh data showing that deficiencies in vitamin D and vitamin C are strongly associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. The big-and still unanswered question---is whether supplementing with these vitamins will reduce that risk.
Central Aortic Systolic Pressure (CASP) is one of the most powerful early predictors of cardiovascular risk. New digital pulse wave analysis technology is putting this valuable test in the hands of preventive primary care doctors.
Sleep apnea is common, debilitating and sometimes deadly. In the past, diagnosis involved costly sleep labs. New home monitoring devices provide greater patient comfort, save money, and generate revenue for primary care. Dr. Lee Surkin shares his clinical experience.
Gaseous Surface of Jupiter: Many cardiologists are hailing the massive JUPITER trial as a breakthrough, claiming that statin therapy could reduce cardiovascular risk even in patients with normal LDL.