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Fish Oil Pills May or May Not Help to Prevent Heart Attacks

Three recent large and well-controlled studies showed that omega-3 fish oil pills did not prevent heart attacks or surgical procedures for heart disease in people at high risk for heart attacks, while one study showed reduced heart disease.

Get Your Calcium from Foods

A study from the Cleveland Clinic found that people with mild to moderate calcification of their aortic valves who took calcium pills were at double risk for dying from heart disease and three times more likely to need surgery to replace their heart valve than the participants who did not take calcium pills.

High Dose Vitamins Associated with Increased Risk for Lung Cancer

Vitamins B6 and B12 have been promoted by the supplement industry for many years, touting benefits such as increased energy and higher metabolism. A new study suggests that these high-dose vitamin supplements are associated with increased risk for lung cancer in men, particularly in smokers.

Amphetamines Found in Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists tested 21 "all natural" supplements claiming to help weight loss, increase energy and stabilize mood, and found that nine of them contained manufactured amphetamines (Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, November 2013). Manufactured amphetamines are found nowhere in nature and therefore cannot be "natural". It is incredible...

Check Those Fish Oil Pills

Fish oil pills are among the most unstable supplements on the market because the oil oxidizes quickly when exposed to oxygen. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that are unusually susceptible to being oxidized to products that can be harmful.

Calcium and Vitamin D Pills Do Not Prevent Fractures

A review of 33 studies shows that calcium and vitamin D pills do not prevent fractures, regardless of dose. An editorial in the same issue of JAMA states that the evidence is so overwhelming that extra calcium does not prevent fractures that we have to ask ourselves why these products are still so widely used.

Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Higher Blood Sugar Levels

Obese people who have taken aspartame or saccharin in the last 24 hours had higher blood sugar rises after taking sugar than those who had not used artificial sweeteners. Lead author Dr. Jennifer Kuk says, "Our study shows that individuals with obesity who consume artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, may have worse glucose management than those who don't take sugar substitutes."

Alcohol Has No Health Benefits

A study from New Zealand showed that 30 per cent of alcohol–related deaths were from cancer, and 60 per cent of those deaths were from breast cancer. One third of these deaths were associated with an average of fewer than two drinks a day.

Acid or Alkaline?

Advertisements for products such as coral calcium or alkaline water claim that they will neutralize acid in your bloodstream, but eating calcium or drinking alkaline water does not affect blood acidity. You should not believe that it matters whether foods are acidic or alkaline, because no foods change the acidity of anything in your...

High Plant Diet Wins Again

Chicken is not more heart-healthful than red meat, according to a new study from Oakland Research Institute. The study showed that chicken and mammal meat caused the same high rises in blood cholesterol levels that predict increased risk for heart attacks, while equal amounts of protein and saturated fats from plant sources resulted in...

More Good News About Nuts and Peanuts

A recent analysis of 86 studies found that "there is no association between nuts and weight gain, and in fact some analyses showed higher nut intake associated with reductions in body weight and waist circumference. The researchers from University of Toronto noted that even though nuts are concentrated sources of fats, "The physical structure of nuts may also contribute to fat malabsorption due to the fat content in nuts being contained within walled cellular structures that are incompletely masticated or digested."

Calories from Foods Vary with Preparation Method and Your Gut Bacteria

Calorie counts listed on food packages or restaurant menus are deceptive because they tell how much energy a food produces when it is burned in a laboratory. The number of calories absorbed in your body is likely to be quite different, depending on how the food is prepared and what types of bacteria you...

Dangers of Storing Fat in Your Belly

In the last few months, several articles have shown that even if you are not overweight, having excess fat in your belly increases your risk for heart attacks, diabetes and inflammation.

Long Total Fasts May Be Harmful

A study from Brazil found that having rats fast for 24 hours on alternate days increased their belly fat and interfered with the ability of insulin to control blood sugar levels. One of the most effective ways to lose weight is "intermittent fasting", but this study suggests that doctors need to be careful about the type of "fasting" they recommend to their patients.

More Research on TMAO

A brilliant and very important breakthrough study shows that restricting mammal meat and eggs markedly lowers blood levels of TMAO. Mammal meat and eggs are rich sources of choline, carnitine and lecithin that are converted in your body to a chemical called TMAO that can damage arteries, which can cause plaques to form and later to break off to cause heart attacks and strokes.

Cutting Calories Can Lower Heart Attack Risk in Healthy-Weight People

Recently I reported a study showing that post-menopausal women who store fat primarily in their bellies are at increased risk for having heart attacks, even if they are not overweight (Eur Heart, June 30, 2019). Now another study shows that adults under age 50 who were not overweight and reduced their intake of food...

Do You Need Vitamin D Pills?

Forty-two percent of North Americans have vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL, which makes them deficient by most standards. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk for developing many diseases

Eating Lots of Sugar May Damage Your Colon

A study from the University of Texas found that mice fed diets high in sugar developed severe colitis by increasing harmful colon bacteria and decreasing healthful colon bacteria.

Egg Yolks, Cholesterol and TMAO

Researchers followed 27,078 Finnish men for 31 years and found that the more dietary cholesterol and eggs a person ate, the greater the premature total death rate and death from heart attacks. They reviewed 41 other prospective studies and found the same association between dietary egg and cholesterol intake and increased total and heart attack death rates. These results are similar to those of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study followed 521,120 U.S. adults, average age 62.2 years, for an average of 16 years and found that eating half an egg per day was associated with increased risk for death from heart attacks, cancer, and all causes

Do You Need Vitamin Pills?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend the routine use of vitamin or mineral pills to prevent chronic diseases (USPSTF Bulletin, May 4, 2021). Heart disease is the leading causes of death in the U.S. today, but taking vitamin pills has not been shown to prevent heart disease, and neither the American Heart Association nor the American College of Cardiology recommend them.

Blood-Type Diets Debunked

Many years ago I criticized a very popular but ridiculous book that said people should follow different diets depending on their blood types. Now, finally, a study of 1,455 mostly young and healthy adults shows that there is no relation whatever between blood type and diet-linked heart attack risk indicators such as...

Why Whole Grains are Healthful

A popular book, Grain Brain, claims that carbohydrates are "destroying your brain". He says that "even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more". A similar book, Wheat Belly, makes many of the same claims. Most of these authors' arguments against eating carbohydrates are based on data about refined carbohydrates and excess calories.

Coconut Oil is Not a Special Health Food

Coconut oil does not help a person lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, or dampen down harmful inflammation (Circulation, Jan 13, 2020). The authors reviewed 17 studies and found that coconut oil increased blood levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol much more than the increase from soybean, olive, safflower, canola or palm oils.

Why Nuts Won’t Make You Fat

Nuts are a rich source of fat, but many studies have shown that the fat in nuts is absorbed very poorly. This month a study explains why nuts are not fattening.

Eat More of the Healthful Foods

An unhealthful diet causes more deaths world-wide than any other risk factor, according to the Global Burden of Disease study reported this month. Of the 11 million deaths attributed to dietary factors each year, more deaths were associated with inadequate intakes of healthful foods than with eating too much of harmful foods.

Saturated Fats May Not Be the Culprit in Meats or Milk

Studies on meat from mammals and processed meats continue to show increased risk for heart attacks and certain cancers. The largest review ever of the prospective studies, including thirteen cohort studies involving over 1.4 million people and followed for up to 30 years, found that: *Each 50 g/day higher intake of processed meat (e.g. bacon, ham, and sausages) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 18 percent

How to Live Longer and Better

No drugs, supplements or potions have been shown to extend your life, in spite of the fact that the internet is full of an incredible number of fraudulent life-extension products that provide no benefits while they steal your money. However, we do have overwhelming evidence that several healthful lifestyle habits can extend how long you live and improve your quality of life in your later years.

Artificial Sweeteners Are Not Benign

Researchers followed 104,760 participants and found that people who drink large amounts of either sugared drinks or artificially sweetened beverages are at increased risk for developing new heart disease such as stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), heart attacks or acute coronary syndrome

Why a High Protein Diet May Increase Risk for Heart Attacks

A recent study in mice showed that increasing dietary protein from 15 percent to 46 percent of calories caused the mice to develop 30 percent more arterial plaques than mice on their normal-protein diet, even though they did not gain more weight.

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are substances found in plants that have been identified by researchers as beneficial to humans. We have identified only a few of the thousands of phytochemicals, and we do not fully understand how they work. Here are a few that have been linked to prevention of specific diseases. Phytochemicals That Help to Prevent Cancer: peppers contain...