heart risk

  1. Cut heart risk with fruit

    Berry good news on heart health

    High cholesterol? Forget statins!

    Just take two blueberries, and call me in the morning -- because new research has revealed the secret to cutting heart risk, especially in folks with high cholesterol. And it's not one of those muscle-melting cholesterol meds
    -- it's a powerful nutrient locked inside berries, as well as other dark-colored fruits and vegetables.

    They're called anthocyanins, or antioxidants that have been repeatedly linked to better heart health.

    According to the new study, taking 320 mg of purified anthocyanins per day for six months can slash the levels of platelet chemokines, or blood chemicals linked to heart and artery risk.

    These nutrients cut the levels of five different types of chemokines. And in some cases, the anthocyanin supplements can be 10 TIMES more effective than a placebo!

    These blood chemicals are linked to the immune response and inflammation, especially the type of inflammation that causes arteries to harden, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

    More specifically, the study finds anthocyanins cut levels of both C-reactive protein and interleukin 1 beta, inflammation markers linked to heart problems, dementia, cancer, and more.

    And that's not all.

    Anthocyanins can also increase your levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, according to the study.

    The study focused on folks with high levels of LDL cholesterol, or people who would likely be given statins.

    This is in many ways a much better approach, because LDL alone isn't the heart risk factor it's been made out to be -- and blindly lowering those levels can in some cases do more harm than good.

    You need a certain amount of LDL to transport fat-soluble nutrients. It can also help your immune system fight infection, and low LDL has even been linked to cancer.

    Starting off with a natural therapy is far more effective, and other studies back this approach. Research published just last year even found that boosting your anthocyanins intake can cut your risk of a heart attack by 14 percent.

    The 320 mg per day used in the new study isn't much. It's what you'd find in about 3.5 ounces of blueberries.

    Because anthocyanins are deep red and purple pigments, they're easy to spot in other foods. You'll find them in berries, cherries, pomegranates, red and purple grapes and plums as well as eggplant, red cabbage, and red onions.

    If you want to get more for your money, go organic. You'll get safer food free of pesticides and herbicides. More importantly, organics also contain 51 percent more anthocyanins as well as higher levels of other key nutrients.

  2. Heart risk linked to shoulder pain

    When your body tells you something... listen!

    You've got access to a pretty good doctor -- one that's available to you DAY and NIGHT.

    That doc is your own body. You might not have a medical degree, but you don't need one to know when something's wrong.

    Your body will tell you.

    The real question is: Will you listen?

    New research shows how your body could be trying to tell you RIGHT NOW that you're at risk for serious heart problems, including heart disease.

    But the way it lets you know is something that's all too easy to ignore.

    And if you've ever blown off a little shoulder pain... if you've ever popped a couple of painkillers and waited for it to pass... you could be ignoring your own internal doctor.

    The new study finds pain in the shoulder or rotator cuff isn't always a sign of strain or injury.

    It could be a key sign of heart risk.

    The researchers studied more than 1200 skilled laborers, examining them for risk factors of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

    They also asked these folks about their pain levels, especially in the shoulder joint and rotator cuff

    It turns out the more heart risk factors you have, the higher your risk of shoulder and rotator cuff pain.

    In the study, folks with the most heart risk factors were 4.6 times more likely to have that pain, and folks with mid-level risk factors were up to three times more likely to battle those aches.

    Now, you'd think that shoulder pain would be pretty common in a group of skilled laborers anyway, regardless of heart risk.

    These are folks who do real work for a living, and a little pain is part of the territory.

    But it turns out extra strain on the job and even strain from other activities didn't really increase the risk of shoulder pain.

    In other words, HEART problems might take more of a toll on your shoulder than HARD LABOR!

    Of course, we all get sore every now and again, especially if we've been out shoveling snow or doing something similarly strenuous.

    Those types of short-term aches and injuries aren't the issue here.

    But if you've got constant or chronic pain, pain that seems to come and go for no reason or a "minor" injury that mysteriously never seems to get much better, it's time to get some help.

    Maybe that's all it is: a minor injury that needs a little attention and your doc can help set it straight.

    If it's not... if it's an early sign of heart risk... count yourself lucky, because this is the best chance you have to get it under control before it has a chance to take control of you.

  3. Seniors with a fast heartbeat die sooner

    New study finds that seniors with a faster heartbeat in the "healthy zone" die an average four to five years earlier.
  4. New link between dementia and risk factors for heart disease

    People with risk factors for heart problems also face serious dementia risk. Take care of one, and you'll ease the other.
  5. New blood thinner boosts heart risk

    Blood thinners are supposed to reduce the risk of the blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke -- but a new drug that's intended to slash the risk of stroke can actually increase the odds of a heart attack.
  6. One more reason to drink beer

    In fact, you can get just about all the benefits of wine and then some from plain old beer -- and the latest research confirms that a cold brew is every bit as good for your heart as a glass of red.
  7. New push to drug people with normal BP levels

    "Prehypertension" is a name that sounds like it was invented to scare patients -- and it's definitely succeeded. No one wants to be "pre" any disease -- so while the guidelines don't call for treating prehypertension with meds, many docs do so anyway... and their scared patients play right along.
  8. How depression breaks your heart

    The proverbial broken heart can actually do the job for real: Depressed people have double the risk of heart attack and a much higher risk of heart problems overall than non-depressed people.
  9. BP guidelines could be deadly

    Docs get so hung up on matching the numbers on patients' charts to mainstream guidelines that they often forget these things are written on paper -- not set in stone. But in addition to being meaningless, many of those targets are actually dangerous -- and quite possibly deadly.
  10. Rejected diet drug returns from the grave

    A "no" from the FDA never quite means "no" -- not when it comes to the agency's drug-industry pals, anyway. Case in point: The feds said "no" to the diet drug Contrave earlier this year over its potential for heart risk -- even after an FDA panel signed off on it.
  11. Some bad meds just won't go away

    Tricyclic antidepressants are so awful they're not even used for depression anymore--but millions of people still take them anyway, because they're commonly used off-label to treat chronic pain.
  12. Short people have higher heart risk

    Some risk factors you can control, some you can't... and a new study finds heart risk in one area that's well beyond your control: height.

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