Archive


Category: cardiovascular disease

  • Randomized Controlled Trials of Beans

    Do legumes—beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils—work only to prevent disease, or can they help treat and reverse it as well? Legumes—all kinds of beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils—are “an excellent source of many essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds,” and not just an excellent source, but they are […]

  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Guacamole

    High-fat plant foods—avocados, peanuts, and walnuts—and olive oil are put to the test. In the preface of my book How Not to Die, after bemoaning the fact that although Big Pharma offered me countless steak dinners during my medical training, Big Broccoli never asked me out, I wrote that you’ll probably never see an ad […]

  • AZ bites back at rivals with new Farxiga data in heart failure

    AstraZeneca’s SGLT2 inhibitor Farxiga has hit the mark in a phase 3 heart failure trial that brings it back into contention with its main rival Jardiance from Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly. Top-line results from the DELIVER trial showed that Farxiga (dapagliflozin) was able to reduced the risk of cardiovascular deaths or worsening heart failure […]

  • Digital health firm Hello Heart raises $70m

    Hello Heart has raised $70 million in fourth-round financing to help grow its smartphone-based technology for people seeking to improve their heart health. Hello Heart blood pressure monitor Hello Heart’s digital platform is based on a blood pressure monitor and smartphone app. It deploys artificial intelligence to help users track their blood pressure, pulse rate, […]

  • An Apple a Day May Keep the Pharmacist Away

    Which would save more lives: eating an apple a day or taking statin drugs? Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? That’s a public health message that’s been around since 1866, but is it true? You don’t know, until you put it to the test. As I discuss in my video Flashback […]

  • BMS bags FDA okay for cardiomyopathy drug mavacamten

    Bristol-Myers Squibb’s has become the first company to bring a cardiac myosin inhibitor through to FDA approval, claiming a green light from the US regulator for mavacamten as a therapy for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Orally-active mavacamten – which was acquired by BMS when it bought MyoKardia for $13 billion in 2020 – will launch […]

  • Sources of Oxidized Cholesterol

    Chicken, fish, and egg powder in processed foods present greater risk from cholesterol oxidation byproducts, but there are things you can do to reduce exposure. “A significant body of evidence indicates that oxidized cholesterol, in the form of oxysterols, is one of the main triggers of AD [Alzheimer’s disease].” But, that’s not all. Cholesterol oxidation […]

  • Oxidized Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Oxidized cholesterol can be a hundred times more toxic than regular cholesterol, raising additional concerns about foods such as ghee, canned tuna, processed meat, and parmesan cheese. Too much cholesterol in the blood “has long been considered to act as a primary risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and, possibly, Parkinson’s disease.” Striking images on […]

  • Turmeric with Black Pepper: What It’s Good For and How to Take It

    Historians have gathered evidence showing that people—from long ago and from around the world—have used herbs, often in a sophisticated way. Quinine from Cinchona bark, for instance, was used to treat the symptoms of malaria long before the disease had even been identified, and the raw ingredients of a common aspirin tablet have been a […]

  • Merck turns to cardiovascular pipeline for its post-Keytruda future

    For some years industry observers have been asking what Merck & Co can do to reduce its reliance on blockbuster cancer immunotherapy Keytruda. Now, it seems a key part of that effort will come from its cardiovascular disease pipeline. During an R&D update yesterday Merck said it is hoping to claim eight new cardiovascular therapy […]

  • Cytokinetics’ heart drug omecamtiv strikes out in heart failure trial

    Cytokinetics’ hopes of resurrecting cardiac myosin inhibitor omecamtiv mecarbil have suffered another setback, after the drug failed to show a benefit in a phase 3 heart failure study. In the METEORIC-HF trial, omecamtiv was unable to show an improved performance in exercise capacity among patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) compared to […]

  • Do Any Benefits of Alcohol Outweigh the Risks?

    What would happen if you effectively randomized people at birth to drink more or less alcohol their whole lives? Would they get more or less heart disease? Once you remove the “systematic error” of misclassifying former drinkers as if they were lifelong abstainers from studies on alcohol and mortality, moderate alcohol consumption, like a glass […]

  • Is It Better to Drink a Little Alcohol Than None at All?

    Even if alcohol causes cancer and there is no “French paradox,” what about the famous J-shaped curve, where excessive drinking is bad, but light drinkers appear to actually have lower mortality than abstainers? “Why do we not see the corporate interests of the alcohol industry as clearly as we see those of the tobacco industry?” […]

  • The Best Source of Resveratrol

    Is there any benefit to resveratrol? If so, should we get it from wine, grapes, peanuts, or supplements? “Alcohol is a neurotoxin which can cause brain damage…[and] can cause cancer,” so perhaps the “consumption of alcohol…cannot be considered a healthy lifestyle choice” since it’s an addictive carcinogen. Cancer is only killer number two, though. Killer […]

  • Dining by Traffic Light: Green Is for Go, Red Is for Stop

    In this article, I explain my traffic light system for ranking the relative healthfulness of Green Light vs. Yellow Light vs. Red Light foods. Whenever I’m asked at a lecture whether a specific food is healthy or not, my reply is: “Compared to what?” For example, are eggs healthy? Compared to some breakfast sausage next […]

  • Millions of Years of Healthy Life Lost Due to Cannabis

    Every year, cannabis is estimated to result in two million years of healthy life lost due to disability. How much is that compared with alcohol and tobacco? “The popular notion seems to be that marijuana is a harmless pleasure,” but what are the potential adverse effects of marijuana use? That’s not an easy question to […]

  • Those Who Claim the Greatest Benefit From Mammograms May Ironically Suffer the Most Harm

    The mammogram paradox is that women who are harmed the most, are the ones who claim the greatest benefit. While false-positive results, pain during the procedure, and radiation exposure may be among the most frequent harms associated with mammogram screening, overdiagnosis “is now recognized as the most serious downside of population breast screening.” Overdiagnosis is […]

  • Bayer, One Drop launch AI tool for heart disease prevention

    Bayer’s two-year-old digital health collaboration with One Drop has borne its first fruit, an artificial intelligence-powered software module for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The German pharmaceutical company has been working with New York-based One Drop on digital health products that span multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and women’s health as well as CVD in the […]

  • How CVS Caremark plans to address health disparities

    CVS Caremark recently launched efforts to better prevent, detect and treat sickle cell disease, HIV and cardiovascular disease. CVS Caremark CMO Sree Chaguturu shared how the PBM launched this effort at the engagement track at HLTH, hosted by MedCity News

  • Novartis-backed project mobilises patient power against heart disease

    Novartis has joined forces with a group representing cardiovascular disease patients organisations to push for changes in how health systems handle the world’s number one killer. The Invisible Nation partnership with Global Heart Hub aims to reduce 15 million deaths that occur each year due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), according to the Swiss pharma […]

  • Why Doctors Should Not Encourage Breast Self-Exams

    Various health organizations offer clashing mammogram recommendations that range from annual mammograms starting at age 40 to eliminating routine mammograms altogether. Who can you trust? Clashing mammogram recommendations ranging from annual mammograms starting at age 40 to eliminating routine mammograms altogether are offered by various health organizations. It’s hard to know who to trust given […]

  • Merck confirms $11.5bn Acceleron takeover deal

    After days of speculation, Merck & Co confirmed today that it has agreed to acquire Acceleron Pharma $1.5 billion, setting up what could be one of the largest biopharma acquisitions of 2021 so far. The $180-per-share deal – if completed – will give Merck a pair of blockbuster drug candidates, one of which is already […]

  • Novartis Signs an Agreement with NHS to Commercialize Leqvio (inclisiran) for the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

    Shots: The agreement follows the NICE recommendation to deliver Leqvio via a population health management approach for high-risk cardiovascular patients across England The NICE recommendation was based on Novartis’s ORION clinical research program including P- III trials ORION-9/10/11 evaluating the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of inclisiran in 3,600 patients with CVD which showed that the […]

  • Novo Nordisk bulks up in rare diseases with $1.2bn Prothena deal

    Diabetes giant Novo Nordisk has opened a new front in its rare disease R&D, thanks to an acquisition agreement with Prothena focusing on drugs for ATTR amyloidosis. The Danish drugmaker is paying $100 million upfront for rights to antibody drug PRX004, which is heading for phase 2 trials in cardiomyopathy associated with ATTR amyloidosis, a […]

  • AZ drug for hard-to-treat heart failure has mixed results in trial

    AstraZeneca has reported the first phase 2 results with a drug for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), showing it worked as expected but wasn’t able to provide any clinical benefit to patients.  Daily doses of AZD4831 were able to reduce the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme linked to tissue and blood vessel […]

  • CRISPR Editing in Primates

    There’s some really interesting CRISPR news out today, and it’s likely to be a forerunner of much more news to come. A research team has demonstrated what looks like robust, long-lasting effects in a primate model after one injection of the CRISPR enzymatic machinery. There have been plenty of rodent reports on various forms of […]

  • Novo Nordisk moves chronic kidney disease drug ziltivekimab into phase 3

    Novo Nordisk has announced plans to move its ziltivekimab into phase 3 clinical development in atherosclerosis with chronic kidney disease after a mid-stage trial met its main goal. The Danish pharma said the phase 2 RESCUE trial showed a significant reduction of several inflammatory biomarkers associated with atherosclerosis in people with advanced chronic kidney disease […]

  • The Most Antioxidant-Packed Whole Food

    Are the apparently amazing benefits of amla—dried Indian gooseberries—too good to be true? In reference to amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, it’s been said that “medicinal plants are nature’s gift to human beings to promote a disease free healthy life.” The fruit has also been described as “the Ayurvedic wonder.” You hear a […]

  • Are Avocados Associated with Greater Risk or Reduced Risk of Cancer?

    Avocado consumption can improve artery function, but what effect might guacamole have on cancer risk? In my last video about avocados, The Effects of Avocados and Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation, I described their anti-inflammatory effects and cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects, but what about the Are Avocados Good for You? video I did years ago […]

  • Should You Get an Annual Physical Exam?

    What are the risks and benefits of getting a comprehensive annual physical exam and routine blood testing? The model of getting an annual physical exam dates back nearly a century in American medicine, but recently, many health authorities “have all agreed that routine annual checkups for healthy adults should be abandoned”—yet, the majority of the […]

  • Should You Get an Annual Health Check-Up?

    What are the risks and benefits of getting an annual check-up from your doctor? Physicians and patients have come to expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit,” so a “revolt is brewing against the tradition of periodic” check-ups. “Even the Society for General […]

  • Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox Is Wrong

    A book purported to expose “hidden dangers” in healthy foods doesn’t even pass the whiff test. I started getting emails about The Plant Paradox, a book purporting to expose “the hidden dangers in ‘healthy’ foods that cause disease and weight gain”—foods like beans, whole grains, and tomatoes. Hidden dangers? The author’s talking about lectins in […]

  • How to Reduce Your TMAO Levels

    Should we be concerned about high-choline plant foods such as broccoli producing the same toxic TMAO that results from eating high-choline animal foods such as eggs? Choline- and carnitine-rich foods—meat, eggs, and dairy—can be converted by our gut flora into trimethylamine, which in our livers is then turned into TMAO, a toxic compound that may […]

  • What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?

    Do the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil and the fiber in flaked coconut counteract the negative effects on cholesterol and artery function? Studies of populations who eat a lot of coconuts are “frequently cited” by those who sell coconut oil “as evidence that coconut oil does not have negative effects on cardiovascular health.” For example, […]

  • Coconut Oil and the Boost in HDL “Good” Cholesterol

    The effects of coconut oil were compared to butter and tallow. Even if virgin coconut oil and other saturated fats raise LDL “bad” cholesterol, isn’t that countered by the increase in HDL “good” cholesterol? According to “the experience and wisdom of 200 of the country’s leading experts in cardiovascular diseases,” in a report representing 29 […]

  • Do the Pros of Brown Rice Outweigh the Cons of Arsenic?

    Are there unique benefits to brown rice that would justify keeping it in our diet despite the arsenic content? For years, warnings had been given about the arsenic levels in U.S. rice potentially increasing cancer risk, but it had never been put to the test until a study out of Harvard. The finding? “Long-term consumption […]

  • Cancer Risk from Arsenic in Rice and Seaweed

    A daily half-cup of cooked rice may carry a hundred times the acceptable cancer risk of arsenic. What about seaweed from the coast of Maine? “At one point during the reign of King Cotton, farmers in the south central United States controlled boll weevils with arsenic-based pesticides, and residual arsenic still contaminates the soil.” Different […]

  • The Effects of Too Much Arsenic in the Diet

    Even at low-level exposure, arsenic is not just a class I carcinogen, but may also impair our immune function and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. When people hear about arsenic, they think of it as an acute poison, and, indeed, a tiny amount—a hundred milligrams, about one-tenth the weight of a paperclip—could […]

  • Açaí vs. Wild Blueberries for Artery Function

    “Plant-based diets…have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease” and some of our other leading causes of death and disability. “Studies have shown that the longest living and least dementia-prone populations subsist on plant-based diets.” So why focus on açaí berries, just one plant, for brain health and performance? Well, “foods rich in […]

  • Towards a new understanding of cardiovascular risk in diabetes

    A new post-hoc analysis from Novo Nordisk of their SUSTAIN 6 and PIONEER 6 studies into semaglutide is looking to help ‘individualise’ treatment for diabetes patients by better predicting their cardiovascular lifetime risk. We spoke to lead study investigator, Utrecht University’s Dr Jan Westerink, to find out how he sees the results being used in […]

  • Kidney Toxins Created by Meat Consumption

    As I discuss in my video How to Treat Heart Failure and Kidney Failure with Diet, one way a diet rich in animal-sourced foods like meat, eggs, and cheese may contribute to heart disease, stroke, and death is through the production of an atherosclerosis-inducing substance called TMAO. With the help of certain gut bacteria, the […]

  • What White Blood Cell Count Should We Shoot for?

    At the start of my video What Does a Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?, you can see what it looks like when you take a drop of blood, smear it between two pieces of glass, and view at it under a microscope: a whole bunch of little, round, red blood cells and a few […]

  • What About the Trans Fat in Animal Fat?

    The years of healthy life lost due to our consumption of trans fats are comparable to the impact of conditions like meningitis, cervical cancer, and multiple sclerosis. But, if “food zealots” get their wish in banning added trans fats, what’s next? I explore this in my video Banning Trans Fat in Processed Foods but Not […]

  • Novartis’ big bet on inclisiran nears fruition, as CHMP backs drug

    Novartis’ near-$10 billion takeover of The Medicines Company last year was focused mainly on one asset – cholesterol-lowering drug inclisiran – and the Swiss pharma is now a step closer to getting a return on its investment. Inclisiran – now give the trade name Leqvio – has been recommended for approval by the CHMP as […]

  • Boehringer, Yale trial digital tech in heart failure

    Patients with heart failure often have a dismal prognosis as the condition usually worsens over time, but a new study aims to see if digital health technologies can improve their prospects. The trial – run by Boehringer Ingelheim and Yale University – will test a smart bathroom scale device that has cardiac monitoring built in, […]

  • The Food Industry’s “model of systemic dishonesty”

    In 1993, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that a high intake of trans fat may increase the risk of heart disease by 50 percent. That’s where the trans fat story started in Denmark, ending a decade later with a ban on added trans fats in 2003. It took another ten years before the United […]

  • How to Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) with Diet

    Given the role that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in aging and disease, one reason fruits and vegetables may be so good for us is that they contain antioxidant compounds. As you can see at 0:20 in my video Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), different vegetables and herbs have different […]

  • BMS bulks up in cardio with $13.1bn takeover deal for MyoKardia

    Bristol-Myers Squibb has said it will buy biotech MyoKardia in a $13.1 billion takeover that marks a step up in its development of cardiovascular drugs. The all-cash deal is mainly about MyoKardia’s mavacamten drug that BMS thinks could be a first-in-class treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – a form of heart disease – based on […]

  • Updating Our Microbiome Software and Hardware

    Good bacteria, those living in symbiosis with us, are nourished by fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, whereas bad bacteria, those in dysbiosis with us and possibly contributing to disease, are fed by meat, junk food and fast food, seafood, dairy, and eggs, as you can see at 0:12 in my video Microbiome: We Are What […]

  • What Explains the Egg-Cancer Connection

    The reason egg consumption is associated with elevated cancer risk may be the TMAO, considered the “smoking gun” of microbiome-disease interactions. “We are walking communities comprised not only of a Homo sapiens host, but also of trillions of symbiotic commensal microorganisms within the gut and on every other surface of our bodies.” There are more […]

  • How to Lower Your Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio

    The potassium content in greens is one of two ways they can improve artery function within minutes of consumption. More than a thousand years ago, for the treatment of hypertension, an ancient Persian medical text advised lifestyle interventions, such as avoiding meat and pastries, and recommended eating spinach. A thousand years later, researchers discovered that […]

  • What Exercise Authorities Don’t Tell You About Optimal Duration

    Physical fitness authorities seem to have fallen into the same trap as the nutrition authorities, recommending what they think may be achievable, rather than simply informing us of what the science says and letting us make up our own minds. Researchers who accept grants from The Coca-Cola Company may call physical inactivity “the biggest public […]

  • Combating Air Pollution Effects with Food

    There is a food that offers the best of both worlds—significantly improving our ability to detox carcinogens like diesel fumes and decreasing inflammation in our airways—all while improving our respiratory defenses against infections. Outdoor air pollution may be the ninth leading cause of death and disability in the world, responsible for millions of deaths from […]

  • Chasing Brilinta payoff, AZ details THALES data in ischemic stroke

    AstraZeneca has lifted the veil on the large-scale THALES trial of its antiplatelet drug Brilinta in stroke, the company’s last big hope for recouping its substantial investment in the medicine. Earlier this year, AZ released top-line results from the study, saying that adding Brilinta (ticagrelor) to standard therapy with aspirin for patients with acute ischemic […]

  • Decreasing Inflammation and Oxidation After Meals

    Within hours of eating an unhealthy meal, we can get a spike in inflammation, crippling our artery function, thickening our blood, and causing a fight-or-flight nerve response. Thankfully, there are foods we can eat at every meal to counter this reaction. Standard American meals rich in processed junk and meat and dairy lead to exaggerated […]

  • High Blood Pressure May Lead to Low Brain Volume

    Having hypertension in midlife (ages 40 through 60) is associated with elevated risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia later in life, even more so than having the so-called Alzheimer’s gene. “It is clear that cerebral vascular disease”—that is, hardening of the arteries inside our brain—“and cognitive decline travel hand in hand,” something I’ve addressed […]

  • Are the BPA-Free Plastics Like Tritan Safe?

    Do BPA-free plastics such as Tritan, have human hormone-disrupting effects? And what about BPS and BPF? Recent human studies indicate that exposure to the plastics chemical BPA may be associated with infertility, miscarriage, premature delivery, reduced male sexual function, polycystic ovaries, altered thyroid and immune function, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Yet, “[a]s recently as […]

  • Pill-Free Ways to improve Your Sex Life

    “Sex is important to health,” according to the Harvard Health Letter. “Frequent sexual intercourse is associated with reduced heart attack risk.” But, as I discuss in my video Do Men Who Have More Sex Live Longer?, that seems to be the perfect case of reverse causation. They’re implying that more sex leads to healthier arteries, […]

  • What Meat and Eggs Do to Our Microbiome

    As I’ve explored before, whether young or old, male or female, smoker or non-smoker, with high blood pressure or low blood pressure, high cholesterol or low, having high levels of a toxic compound called TMAO—trimethylamine oxide—in the bloodstream is associated with a significantly higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or dying over a […]

  • Using Green Tea to Help Prevent Cancer and Treat Cancer

    Tea consumption is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death in general, with each additional cup of green tea a day associated with a 4-percent lower mortality risk. So, perhaps “drinking several cups of tea daily can keep the doctor away,” as well as the mortician—but what about cancer? As […]