Archive for the ‘Cardiovascular Disease’ Category

Is Salt Good of Bad?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Doctors and dietitians, along with the USDA dietary guidelines, and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating a diet low in sodium to prevent hypertension, risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke; most allopathic doctors place their patients on low-salt diets, they have since the 1970′s.

Not all salts are created equal. Many in the “Raw Food” movement (which has some great ideas to offer) shun salt away and even call it a poison. They fail to differentiate the different types of salts, table salt might be thought of as poison (or unhealthy) while other salts that are healthier do exist. Some salts actually increase mortality as I will show below.

Salt is an essential nutrient, unlike sugar, people ate salt for eons. Historically, humans recognized it’s importance enough to use it as currency. Its reputation is found in phrases like “Worth his/her salt,” or “Not worth his/her salt”  since people were often paid in salt. In fact, the word salt is derived from the Latin salarium, or salary. In fact, you could die without salt. Like I said, you need salt, “the right kind of salt”.

Mainstream, table, restaurant, shaker and processed food salts are often mixed with anti-caking agents, many avoid salt all together in order to avoid these added chemicals. Salt takes a large portion of the mainstream American awareness. People think it is an unnecessary additive, and guided by their allopathic doctors and government dietary guidelines they seek products that are salt-free. The situation with salt is very similar to that with fat, most Americans seek fat-free products failing to recognize that not all fat is bad.

Like fat, salt is an essential nutrient to life. The food industry might have transformed most of the salt into an unhealthy form of salt, but this is not to say that salt is bad. This is the case with fat, protein, rice, etc.. Many foods that are very healthy and essential become denatured and poisoned when commercially processed and packaged.

 

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IGF-1 is Linked to Cancers, Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Insulin-like growth hormone (IGF-1) is believed to be linked to Cancers, Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis. It could be used to predict the risk of these disease. OR does it?

The link does exist:

decreases serum IGF-1 concentration by ~40%, protects against cancer and slows aging in rodents.

Source: Aging Cell. 2008 Oct;7(5):681-7. – Long-term effects of calorie or protein restriction on serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentration in humans.

Plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) have been associated with risk of several cancers.

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Sep;11(9):852-61 – Dietary correlates of plasma insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 concentrations.

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Variation in the circulating concentrations of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system has been implicated in the etiology of chronic diseases including cancer (prostate, breast, colon, and lung), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis

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The results of this study lend additional support to the hypothesis that circulating IGF-I concentrations increase the risk of prostate, bladder, colorectal, and breast cancer

Source: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Aug;12(8):739-46. Determinants of circulating insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 concentrations in a cohort of Singapore men and women. (more…)

Dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease in men: cohort follow up study in the United States

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
BMJ 1996; 313 : 84 (Published 13 July 1996)
  • Paper

Dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease in men: cohort follow up study in the United States

  1. Alberto Ascherio, assistant professor of epidemiology and nutritiona,
  2. Eric B Rimm, assistant professor of epidemiology and nutritiona,
  3. Edward L Giovannucci, assistant professor of medicineb,
  4. Donna Spiegelman, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatisticsa,
  5. Stampfer Meir, professor of epidemiology and nutritiona,
  6. Walter C Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutritiona

+ Author Affiliations


  1. a Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

  2. b Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Ascherio

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Insulin Resistance Disorders and Androgenetic Alopecia

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

 

There is a link between hair loss (balding) and high insulin levels in blood.  Multiple studies have shown that men who experience early balding (i.e under the age of 35) tend to have high blood insulin levels. There is a strong prevalence of insulin resistance with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), and more troublesome, there’s an association of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) with insulin-resistance-related disorders such as ischemic heart disease and serious cardiovascular events.

The above is not only true in men. An association between AGA and anthropometric abnormalities (linked with insulin resistance and heredity) was found in women aged 63 years. Female AGA has usually been linked with hyper-androgenism and hirsutism and, most recently, also with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Polycystic ovarian syndrome is quite common among Caucasian women, and its association with insulin resistance is well documented.

Further, epidemiological studies have associated androgenetic alopecia (AGA) with severe young-age coronary artery disease and hypertension, and linked it to insulin resistance

The following studies show that AGA and high blood insulin levels are connected. The first dated Sept 2000, then June 2003, June 2006, and Oct 2009.

Lancet. 2000 Sep 30;356(9236):1165-6 “Early androgenetic alopecia as a marker of insulin resistance” Found that men under the age of 35 with an early onset of alopecia aged showed a “strikingly increased risk of hyperinsulinaemia and insulin-resistance-associated disorders” (i.e obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia). That early androgenetic alopecia could be a clinical marker of insulin resistance.

J Cardiovasc Risk. 2003 Jun;10(3):227-31. “Hair loss, insulin resistance, and heredity in middle-aged women…” Found that female with some markers of insulin resistance have significantly increased risk for female AGA. Paternal history of alopecia seemed to be more common in female AGA compared to women with normal or minimal loss of hair.

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Science 1998; 281(14): 898-907. “The (Political) Science of Salt”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
The (political) science of salt
Gary Taubes. Science. Washington: Aug 14, 1998. Vol. 281, Iss. 5379; pg. 898, 9 pgs

Abstract (Summary)

Taubes discusses the debate over the benefits of salt reduction, which shows how the demands of good science clash with the pressures of public health policy.

Quotes from the full article:

The last 5 years have also seen two studies published-the latest this past March in The Lancet-suggesting that low-salt diets can increase mortality. Both studies were done by Michael Alderman, a hypertension specialist at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and president of the American Society of Hypertension. Epidemiologists-and Alderman himself-caution against putting too much stock in the studies. “They are yet more association studies,” says Swales. “Any insult you make of Intersalt you can make of those as well.” But Alderman also notes that only a handful of such studies comparing salt intake to mortality have ever been done, and none have come out definitively negative. “People just rely upon statements that [salt reduction] can’t really do any harm,” says Swales. “It may or may not be true. Individual harmful effects can be as small as beneficial effects, and you can’t detect those in clinical trials either.”

After publication of his second study, Alderman recruited past and present presidents of hypertension societies and the American Heart Association and wrote to Lenfant at the NHLBI “urging prompt appointment of an independent panel of qualified medical and public health scientists to review existing recommendations [on salt consumption] in light of all available data.” In April Lenfant told Science that he had agreed to proceed with the review. If such a panel should convene, Hennekens has one observation worth keeping in mind: “The problem with this field is that people have chosen sides,” he says. “What we ought to do is let the science drive the system rather than the opinions.”

[Sidebar]
TOUCHSTONES OF THE SALT DEBATE
[Sidebar]

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Clin Sci (Lond). 2009 Jun 2;117(1):1-11. “Salt and high blood pressure”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Clin Sci (Lond). 2009 Jun 2;117(1):1-11.

Salt and high blood pressure.

Mohan S, Campbell NR.

Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

HBP (high blood pressure) is the leading risk of death in the world. Unfortunately around the world, blood pressure levels are predicted to become even higher, especially in developing countries. High dietary salt is an important contributor to increased blood pressure. The present review evaluates the association between excess dietary salt intake and the importance of a population-based strategy to lower dietary salt, and also highlights some salt-reduction strategies from selected countries. Evidence from diverse sources spanning animal, epidemiology and human intervention studies demonstrate the association between salt intake and HBP. Furthermore, animal studies indicate that short-term interventions in humans may underestimate the health risks associated with high dietary sodium. Recent intervention studies have found decreases in cardiovascular events following reductions in dietary sodium. Salt intake is high in most countries and, therefore, strategies to lower salt intake could be an effective means to reduce the increasing burden of HBP and the associated cardiovascular disease. Effective collaborative partnerships between governments, the food industry, scientific organizations and healthcare organizations are essential to achieve the WHO (World Health Organization)-recommended population-wide decrease in salt consumption to less than 5 g/day. In the milieu of increasing cardiovascular disease worldwide, particularly in resource-constrained low- and middle-income countries, salt reduction is one of the most cost-effective strategies to combat the epidemic of HBP, associated cardiovascular disease and improve population health.

PMID: 19476440 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Mar-Apr;52(5):363-82. “Reducing population salt intake worldwide”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Mar-Apr;52(5):363-82.

Reducing population salt intake worldwide: from evidence to implementation.

He FJ, MacGregor GA.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. f.he@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

Raised blood pressure is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, responsible for 62% of stroke and 49% of coronary heart disease. There is overwhelming evidence that dietary salt is the major cause of raised blood pressure and that a reduction in salt intake lowers blood pressure, thereby, reducing blood pressure-related diseases.

Several lines of evidence including ecological, population, and prospective cohort studies, as well as outcome trials, demonstrate that a reduction in salt intake is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence also suggests that a high salt intake may directly increase the risk of stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy, and renal disease; is associated with obesity through soft drink consumption; is related to renal stones and osteoporosis; is linked to the severity of asthma; and is probably a major cause of stomach cancer.

In most developed countries, a reduction in salt intake can be achieved by a gradual and sustained reduction in the amount of salt added to foods by the food industry. In other countries where most of the salt consumed comes from salt added during cooking or from sauces, a public health campaign is needed to encourage consumers to use less salt. Several countries have already reduced salt intake. The challenge now is to spread this out to all other countries. A modest reduction in population salt intake worldwide will result in a major improvement in public health. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 20226955 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Am J Med 06;119(3):275. “Sodium Intake and Mortality”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Volume 119, Issue 3, Pages 275.e7-275.e14 (March 2006)

Sodium Intake and Mortality in the NHANES II Follow-up Study

Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPHCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Susan M. Hailpern, MS, DrPH, Jing Fang, MD, Michael H. Alderman, MD

Abstract



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