A particularly harmful form of fat –known as visceral fat—has more to do with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease than total body fat, according to a research study published in this week’s “Hypertension Research.”
In this study a group of 600 men had their blood pressure and levels of visceral fat measured. The researchers found that the men with the highest levels of visceral fat had 5 times greater hypertension risk when compared to those with low levels of this special type of body fat. Visceral fat is fat stored deep inside the abdomen that’s thought to dramatically increase inflammation –a key driver of high blood pressure.
Today I was at a shopping center and overheard a couple arguing about the walk from the car to the door. Apparently for him it was too far. He angrily chided his wife for passing up all the “good spots” closer to the entrance.
She snapped back that if he wanted her to lose the weight, he had better just shut it up and walk a few extra yards with her.
It was awkward, and kind of amusing at the same time. He was whining and she was ticked off.
Cholesterol-lowering medications such as Lipitor are popular among doctors because they work quickly and have relatively few side effects. However, a pair of research studies published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” has raised serious questions about the safety of statins.
The researchers found that those that regularly took statin drugs had a significantly higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to a similar group that treated their cholesterol with lifestyle changes. They found that statins upped diabetes risk by approximately 8 percent. Importantly, the individuals taking the highest doses of cholesterol-lowering meds were also at the highest risk of diabetes –a finding that confirms the connection.
To Your Health,
Those looking to drop excess pounds should avoid certain foods like the plague while gorge on others, according to a groundbreaking research study out of Harvard University. The study sheds light on how food choices –not cutting calories alone—has a profound effect on body weight.
The foods blacklisted in the study should come as no surprise for health conscious folks. Butter, potatoes, deep fried foods and soda were considered foods that contributed to weight gain according to the study results. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy were strongly correlated with sustained weight loss.
Those with hypertension who like to curl up on a winter evening with a hot mug of cocoa may be doing their blood pressure a huge favor, according to a research review published in the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.” In the study, researchers weighed in on the growing research linking cocoa consumption and reduced blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
They note that cocoa is unusually high in a special class of antioxidants known as flavanols. The paper author’s note that the flavanols found in cocoa are effective for reducing blood pressure by 5 percent or more. Cocoa flavanols also improve the health of arteries –reducing the risk of dangerous plaque formation.
All the Best,
CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: chronic and persistent fatigue and weakness in the absence of any other physical condition. This basically means that they don’t really know what it is, so it becomes “CFS” by default.
Symptoms aside from the fatigue include (and worsen upon physical or mental stress or exertion):
Loss of memory
Enlarged lymph nodes
Wandering joint pain
One problem with this is that these symptoms are also included in the list of certain types of infection, most notably Lyme disease. They are also present in mood disorders like depression and also other psychological conditions.
Like heart and kidney disease, type 2 diabetics are at heightened risk of suffering from depression. Depression makes managing diabetes more difficult and studies show that depressed diabetics are at heightened risk of diabetic complications. Fortunately, a new study presented at this month’s American Psychiatric Association annual meeting found that consuming adequate amounts of the B-vitamin folic acid is enough to reduce rates of depression in type 2 diabetics.
The researchers investigated the connection between folic acid levels in the blood and rates of depression in a group of 58 type 2 diabetics. They found that low folate levels doubled depression risk. The researchers also note that folic acid may help prescription antidepressants work better. Sources of folic acid in the diet include whole grains, fresh vegetables and beans.
To Your Health,
Insomnia is a difficult to treat condition that afflicts more than 20 percent of all adults living in the United States. While side effect-riddled treatments like sleeping pills remain the frontline of remedies, they may have to make room for the cooling cap developed by two University of Pittsburgh sleep disorder scientists.
In their study, a group of 24 adults suffering from insomnia were given a cooling cap to wear on their head before going to bed. They found that the cooling cap dramatically boosted sleep quantity and quality –making their sleep similar to that or normal sleepers. More than 75 percent of the cap-wearers reported significantly better sleep –a figure that trumps most sleeping pills on the market today.
This isn’t uncommon, since there are a wide variety of symptoms that are present across a huge spectrum of diseases.
While there are a lot of clinical tests that can be run for different diseases, sometimes it can be difficult to know which tests to run if a person doesn’t exhibit enough symptoms for a particular disease.
She asked about alternatives specifically to a procedure whereby a stent is placed in a narrowing artery near the heart to keep it open.
What caught her attention was the specific phrase “stable angina.” This means that the narrowing will cause pain or tightness in the chest with exertion like exercise, although with no acute danger like you’d see in a heart attack.