Twenty years ago, Dr. Stephen Sinatra was like most American cardiologists: firmly convinced that elevated cholesterol was the key driver of heart disease, and that thanks to statin drugs, he and his colleagues would soon be cutting the nation’s number one killer down to size.
Despite our nation’s best effort to treat all forms of cardiovascular disease aggressively, we seem to be losing the struggle.
The Daniel Plan, a holistic health initiative co-developed by a mega-church pastor and some of the pioneers in functional medicine is proving highly effective in motivating people to make meaningful and lasting lifestyle changes.
There are strong correlations between celiac disease and other causes of intestinal permeability and common disorders of the bones and joints. Autoimmune reactions, facilitated by increased intestinal permeability, is sometimes an underlying cause of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Drug therapies to reduce cardiovascular risk and prevent the onset of diabetes may be effective in the short term, but as people age, the efficacy of drugs like statins and metformin tends to diminish, while the risk of adverse effects increases. The benefit of nutritional and lifestyle interventions, on the other hand, remains robust even as people enter their final decades.
A new and interesting angle on the vitamin D story is emerging from research on weight gain in older women. The vitamin, it seems, is an important metabolic signal that indirectly regulates the propensity to store fat.
Elevated cholesterol and high blood glucose are the obvious features of diabetes and heart disease but they're hardly the whole picture. Other, less obvious factors including environmental toxins like BPA and lead, gastrointestinal disorders, and frequent use of artificial sweeteners are also important drivers of disease. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of the popular book, The Blood Sugar Solution, these oft-overlooked factors warrant closer attention.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is one of the most important enzymes in human physiology, having influence on at least as many biochemical processes as it has syllables in its name. Deficiencies in this enzyme increase the risk of CVD, several types of cancer, congenital defects, and inflammatory bowel disease. Fortunately, deficiencies are correctable with targeted supplementation.