Myths and Misconceptions About Heart Disease

 

Believing myths and misconceptions about heart disease may increase heart attack risk, from the Harvard Heart Letter

BOSTON—Knowledge about heart disease changes quickly, but our beliefs don’t always keep up. As a result, misconceptions abound. The June 2013 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter addresses ten commonly held but mistaken, ideas about heart disease.

For example, many people believe that everyone with heart disease should eat as little fat as possible. In reality, eating some fats actually lowers the risk of heart disease. These healthy fats include unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils and other foods, and omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty fishes. The ones to be avoided, because they boost heart attack risk, are saturated and trans fats.

Another myth is that people with heart disease should take it easy. Not so. Physical activity is beneficial for both the healthy heart and the diseased heart. It strengthens the heart muscle, increases blood flow to the heart and brain, and improves overall health.

Here’s another: it’s okay for blood pressure to rise with age. High blood pressure is a sign that artery walls are becoming stiff. That forces the heart to pump harder, which damages arteries over time. When blood pressure rises above 140/90 millimeters of mercury at any age, it needs attention.

Another common belief is that it’s okay to eat anything if you take a cholesterol-lowering drug. In reality, eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat make these drugs less effective or even ineffective.

Other myths and misconceptions cover diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the benefits of taking vitamins and minerals, “it’s too late to quit smoking,” small heart attacks, angioplasty and stenting or bypass surgery as “cures” for heart disease, and gender. (more…)

Is FDA About to Greenlight a Drug Banned in Other Countries?

If enough people raise their voices in protest, we can prevent it. Action Alert!

FDA Approved Drug Botlle CartoonRemember the controversial diabetes drug Avandia? In 2010 we told you about two FDA drug safety reviewers who warned the agency that Avandia posed serious risks of heart attack and heart failure when compared with other diabetes drugs. Since then, the drug has been removed from the market in most countries and has been under severe restrictions in the US.

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Heart Health Benefits From Nutritional Supplements

thumb_heart_a_womans_coverOf the many risk factors associated with heart health and cardiovascular disease (CVD), the primary targets of natural products are cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood flow, endothelial function, atherosclerotic plaque formation and heart rate/rhythm. The broader view considers the effects of natural ingredients on various cardiac events, in preventing and limiting damage, as well as aiding recovery.

Natural Products Insider featured an article that showcases over seventy studies using, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, CoQ10 and numerous other nutritional supplements to impact cholesterol and heart disease.

It’s a good start next time your doctor tells you there isn’t enough research on foods and nutritional supplements.

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