Levels of alcohol consumption currently considered safe by some countries are linked with development of heart failure, according to research presented at Heart Failure 2022, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
“This study adds to the body of evidence that a more cautious approach to alcohol consumption is needed,” said study author Dr. Bethany Wong of St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. “To minimize the risk of alcohol causing harm to the heart, if you don’t drink, don’t start. If you do drink, limit your weekly consumption to less than one bottle of wine or less than three-and-a-half 500 ml cans of 4.5% beer.”
A new set of recommendations aimed at helping doctors prevent and manage heart failure expand the focus on people at risk or showing early signs of the condition.
The latest guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology and Heart Failure Society of America emphasize the importance of optimizing blood pressure and adhering to a healthy lifestyle to prevent the disease, along with new treatment strategies for people already showing symptoms. The recommendations published in the journal Circulation.
“In recent years, there has been an increase in rigorous science assessing how best to treat symptomatic heart failure,” writing committee chair Dr. Paul A. Heidenreich said in a news release. He is a cardiologist and professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, as well as chief of medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California. The new guidelines hopefully will mean better treatment options for a broader number of people, he said.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental care are the most important ways to reduce risk of a heart infection called infective endocarditis caused by bacteria in the mouth.
There are four categories of heart patients considered to be at highest risk for adverse outcomes from infective endocarditis, and only these patients are recommended to receive preventive antibiotic treatment prior to invasive dental procedures.
American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines issued in 2007 suggested not to use antibiotics before certain dental procedures. These recommendations resulted in a decrease in antibiotic use.
Maintenance of good oral health is more important than use of antibiotics in dental procedures for some heart patients to prevent a heart infection caused by bacteria around the teeth, according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement published today in the association’s flagship journal, Circulation.
Infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis, is a heart infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart lining, a heart valve or a blood vessel. It is uncommon, but people with heart valve disease or previous valve surgery, congenital heart disease or recurrent infective endocarditis have a greater risk of complications if they develop IE. Intravenous drug use also increases risk for IE. Viridans group streptococcal infective endocarditis (VGS IE) is caused by bacteria that collect in plaque on the tooth surface and cause inflammation and swelling of the gums. There’s been concern that certain dental procedures may increase the risk of developing VGS IE in vulnerable patients.
In the gift that keeps on giving department, a study of nearly half a million people has found for the first time that those with heart or blood vessel problems benefit more from having a physically active lifestyle than do healthy people without cardiovascular disease (CVD). Exercise is good and if you have heart or blood vessel problems, it is even better.
Increased physical activity reduced the risk of dying during a six-year follow-up period for people with and without CVD, but the researchers found the greatest reduction in risk was in people with CVD and this continued to reduce the more exercise they did.
The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal  today (Sunday), is also presented at the same time at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology in Paris, France .
There is plenty of evidence to show that physical activity reduces the risk of dying from CVD in healthy people; there is less evidence of its effect in people with pre-existing CVD although guidelines recommend it, and, until now, no study has compared the beneficial effect of physical activity between people with and without CVD. Continue reading →
I have written so many posts on sugar consumption that to list them here would bog down this post immeasurably. If you want to learn more about sugar, simply type S U G A R into the search box at the right and you can see them all.
Before I get into this morning’s topic, I want to reiterate the best tool for dealing with sugar consumption – information. One teaspoon of sugar weighs 4.2 grams, so when you read that a beverage has 40 grams of sugar, you will know instantly that it has about 10 teaspoons full and maybe you will decide not to drink it. Secondly, the American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 for men per day.
“If we consume more sugar than we burn through activity our liver converts the excess glucose into fat. Some of this fat stays in the liver but the rest is stored in fatty tissues around the body.
This is why repeatedly eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and even obesity, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
“Here are some other health problems that can be caused by eating too much sugar:
• Diabetes: Consuming too much sugar in your diet can lead to obesity, which increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Those with this condition don’t produce enough insulin and aren’t sensitive enough to what’s produced. Blood sugar levels aren’t regulated properly leading to thirst and tiredness in the short-term and damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs if left untreated.
• Heart disease: Obesity also raises blood pressure and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels while lowering levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. These all contribute to raising the risk of heart disease.
• Fatty liver disease: Excess sugar can be stored as fat in the liver. The condition has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and even liver cancer.
• Tooth decay: When we eat sugary foods, bacteria in our mouths break down the carbohydrates and produce acids that dissolve minerals in our tooth enamel. The longer the sugar is in contact with teeth, the more damage bacteria can cause. Left untreated this can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
• Bad mood: Sugary foods like chocolate, cake and biscuits have been labelled ‘bad mood food’ by the NHS. They can give you a quick burst of energy by causing a sharp increase in blood sugar, but when levels fall this can make your mood dip. This cycle can make you feel irritable, anxious, and tired.”
So, there are five more good reasons to pay attention to the amount of sugar you are consuming. I hope that helps you to cut down.
Regular readers know what a big fan I am of Costco. So, at first glance my going there today and walking out without buying anything may seem bizarre. However, I didn’t go to shop. They had a wonderful promotion on – Free Healthy Heart Screening. It ran from 10:00 AM to 2:00PM. No appointment needed.
Their brochure said, “Cardiovascular diseases rank as America’s #1 killer, claiming the lives of 40.6 % of more than 2.3 million people.
“* 60.8 million Americans have some form of Cardiovascular disease.
“* On average, someone in the U.S. suffers from a stroke every 53 seconds. That means about 600,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke each year.
“* You can reduce your risk. ”
They also offered a consultation with the pharmacist after your screening.
Because I didn’t want to fast, I had the truncated screening – Total Cholesterol & HDL Cholesterol. If you fasted, you could get a full lipid panel, TC, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides TC/HDL ratio.
Here are my results: Blood Pressure: 119/58; Total Cholesterol: 173; HDL 78. My Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is 2.2 which, like the rest of my numbers is Low Risk. Continue reading →
Eating Southern-style foods may be linked to a higher risk of stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.
In the first large-scale study on the relationship between Southern foods and stroke, researchers characterized a Southern diet by a high intake of foods such as fried chicken, fried fish, fried potatoes, bacon, ham, liver and gizzards, and sugary drinks such as sweet tea. In addition to being high in fat, fried foods tend to be heavily salted.
“We’ve got three major factors working together in the Southern-style diet to raise risks of cardiovascular disease: fatty foods are high in cholesterol, sugary drinks are linked to diabetes and salty foods lead to high blood pressure,” said Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s biostatistics department.
Previous research has shown that Southerners are about 20 percent more…
After doing alcohol in the previous post it seems fitting to go into the soft drink world for the next.
In this poster soft drinks are credited with precipitating asthma, kidney issues, sugar overload, obesity, dissolving tooth enamel, heart disease, reproductive issues, osteoporosis and increasing the risk of diabetes.
I am the biggest fan of Dr. Oz. Ever since I read YOU on a Diet back in 2006. He wrote it with Dr. Michael Roizin. There is a revised edition from 2009 that you can pick up on Amazon here for $6.98. I recommend it. Dr. Oz writes for the man on the street who wants to eat healthy and not spend a fortune in the bargain.
This week’s cover story is wistfully entitled Give (Frozen) Peas a Chance And Carrots Too. Love the word play on give peace a chance.
This week’s issue of Time Magazine
He opens the piece talking about how unsightly a block of frozen spinach looks coming out of the package. Doesn’t look very appetizing. Doesn’t compare with buying fresh organic leaf spinach grown in soil an hour ago in your locale. But it’s worth it because it is so much healthier than “the green ice from the supermarket. Right?”
“Wrong.” Dr. Oz writes, “Wrong. Nutritionally speaking, there is little difference between the farmer’s-market bounty and the humble brick from the freezer case. It’s true for many other supermarket foods too. And in my view, dispelling these myths–that boutique foods are good, supermarket foods are suspect and you have to spend a lot to eat well–is critical to improving our nation’s health. Organic food is great, it’s just not very democratic. As a food lover, I enjoy truffle oil, European cheeses and heirloom tomatoes as much as the next person. But as a doctor, I know that patients don’t always have the time, energy or budget to shop for artisanal ingredients and whip them into a meal.”
I have run across any number of fascinating food items to add to my culinary vocabulary at Costco, seemingly an unlikely place for such discoveries. The discoveries include chia seeds, black rice, quinoa, and roasted seaweed to name a few. You can click the links to read about them.
On my latest trip I encountered yet another grain that can also qualify as a super food – Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds. Frankly, they were as new to me as were many of the above.
The bag boasted Source of Omega 3’s, 11 grams of protein per serving, all natural super food. “Hemp seeds are a terrific source of essential amino acids like our Quinoa, making them a complete source of protein.” Pretty impressive stuff.
Andrea Cespedes writing for the Livestrong Group said, “Hemp seeds are a source of Omega-3 fatty acids and high quality protein. Sprinkle the tiny, ivory seeds on salads or cereal, add them to yogurt, include them in baked goods or mix them into smoothies. They have a nutty taste, reminiscent of sesame seeds. Adding hemp seeds to your diet offers multiple nutritional benefits.
“A two tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains 160 calories. Hemp seeds are approximately 12 percent carbohydrates, meaning this serving size contains about five grams of carbohydrates. Two tablespoons of hemp seeds provides just one gram of fiber.
“Hemp seeds contain 10 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving, almost all of which is heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Hemp seeds provide significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This type of unsaturated fat helps with brain development and function and protects against heart disease. Continue reading →