Statin or Supplements?

So, which is most effective? Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic set out to answer this question by comparing statins to supplements in a clinical trial. They tracked the outcomes of 190 adults, ages 40 to 75. Some participants were given a 5 mg daily dose of rosuvastatin, a statin that is sold under the brand name Crestor for 28 days. Others were given supplements, including fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols or red yeast rice for the same period.

“What we found was that rosuvastatin lowered LDL cholesterol by almost 38% and that was vastly superior to placebo and any of the six supplements studied in the trial,” study author Luke Laffin, M.D. of the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute told NPR. He says this level of reduction is enough to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Statins vs. supplements: New study finds one is ‘vastly superior’ to cut cholesterol – https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/11/06/1134094540/statins-vs-supplements-new-study-finds-one-is-vastly-superior-to-cut-cholesterol

Sometimes diet and exercise alone are not enough to keep cholesterol in check. I currently take a low dose statin 10 mg daily. My test results from 09.27.22: cholesterol 197, HDL 71, LDL 102, triglycerides 69.

Oh, and continuing the theme of full disclosure the thing on my leg Image Challenge – November 2022 was MUD.

Brussels Chicory Stabilizes Unstable Atherosclerotic Plaques and Reshapes the Gut Microbiota (in Mice)

Brussels chicory might help stabilize atherosclerotic plaques in mice by reducing intestinal permeability and gut microbial LPS production. This study provides a promising approach to slow the progression of atherosclerosis.

The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 10, October 2022, Pages 2209–2217, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxac103

Does not look like mice food.

(Image borrowed from the internet. If you own the copyright on this photo let me know and I’ll delete immediately. If copyright infringement has occurred I assure you it was unintentional.)

Brussels chicory aka Belgian endive aka Witloof. We don’t eat much of this vegetable in the US. Maybe because virtually no one grows it.

Demand has grown such that California Endive Farms, who are the only commercial endive producer in the country, has had to expand their operations in order to keep up.

Belgian endive consumption in the US on the rise — https://www.infiniteherbs.com/belgian-endive-consumption-in-the-us-on-the-rise/

Variation in cardiovascular disease risk factors among older adults in the Hunter Community Study cohort: A comparison of diet quality versus polygenic risk score — Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Notes

The study of Reay and colleagues was an analysis of data from a subset (n=1703) of the Hunter Community Study cohort, comprising 3253 Australian men and women aged 55-85 at recruitment (between 2004 and 2007). Across the cohort there were 138 participants self-reporting that they suffered angina, 176 atrial fibrillation, 689 high cholesterol, 758 hypertension, 129 a heart attack and 164 an arterial bypass surgery. The CVD phenotypes data had a large number of missing data points (only 1678 subjects responding).

…the ARFS (Australian Recommended Food Score) data suggest that dietary quality was poor across the whole cohort. In the absence of a wide distribution of diet quality it is difficult to evaluate the relationship of diet with disease endpoints (i.e. without a lot of participants consuming a healthy diet it is impossible to detect the effects of a healthy diet on lipids and CVD outcomes)

Variation in cardiovascular disease risk factors among older adults in the Hunter Community Study cohort: A comparison of diet quality versus polygenic risk score — Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Notes

Study shortcomings noted. I am still planning on stir fried veggies with brown rice and Thai sauce for dinner tonight despite not knowing my exact CVD genetic risk.

Dinner. (There’s a fried egg hiding on the bottom of the bowl).

Acute and Chronic Alcohol Consumption and the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: What Did We Learn in 2021? — The Skeptical Cardiologist

As we approach the eve of the New Year, the skeptical cardiologist recognizes that many of you will be consuming vast quantities of alcohol tomorrow night. Whether this is done in celebration or in hopes of transiently forgetting pandemical stressors please be aware that as the fermented beverage of your choice begins to cloud your…

Acute and Chronic Alcohol Consumption and the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: What Did We Learn in 2021? — The Skeptical Cardiologist

Thank you Dr. Pearson.

Don’t Take an Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning — A Country Doctor Writes:

People are asking about the latest US Public Health Service Taskforce on Prevention (USPSTF) recommendation about the use of aspirin to prevent heart disease. It has been a long-standing recommendation for people who already have heart disease. When I turned 50, I started taking a “baby” aspirin. That was their recommendation then. I stopped taking […]

Don’t Take an Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning — A Country Doctor Writes:

Personal Note:

A few years back I was taking 81mg aspirin AND fish oil. I stopped taking the fish oil because every nick, scratch and cut would not stop bleeding and took a long time to clot. Personally I plan on continuing my aspirin therapy at least until my next wellness exam. My physician wanted me to continue aspirin until age 70. We’ll see.

Eating Leafy Green Vegetables (just a wee bit) Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Researchers examined data from over 50,000 people residing in Denmark taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study over a 23-year period. They found that people who consumed the most nitrate-rich vegetables had about a 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and between 12 to 26 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Bondonno from ECU’s Institute for Nutrition Research said identifying diets to prevent heart disease was a priority.

“Our results have shown that by simply eating one cup of raw (or half a cup of cooked) nitrate-rich vegetables each day, people may be able to significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr Bondonno said.

Edith Cowan University. “One cup of leafy green vegetables a day lowers risk of heart disease.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210504112604.htm (accessed May 9, 2021).

One cup raw or a half cup cooked daily. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t leafy greens on a daily basis. But now since my awareness level is higher I simply need to try harder.

I love spinach.

I don’t understand kale at all.

I have a package of organic baby bok choy leaves in the fridge which I actually bought before I read this article.

I wonder if parsley counts?

Alcohol (just a wee bit) Lowers CVD Mortality Risk

Moderate alcohol intake – defined as no more than one alcoholic drink for women and two for men per day – may be associated with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease when compared with individuals who abstain from drinking or partake in excessive drinking, according to a new study. Of the 53,064 participants, 7,905 (15%) experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event: 17% in the low alcohol intake group and 13% in the moderate alcohol intake group. People who reported moderate alcohol intake were found to have a 20% lower chance of having a major event compared to low alcohol intake (in adjusted analysis), and also had lower stress-related brain activity. Kenechukwu Mezue, MD, the study’s lead author, cautions that these findings should not encourage alcohol use, but that they could open doors to new therapeutics or prescribing stress-relieving activities like exercise or yoga to help minimize stress signals in the brain.

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology, news release, May 6, 2021 accessed 05.08.21 — https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2021/05/05/14/48/new-acc-21-research-explores-flu-vaccines-sleep-htn-secondhand-smoke-alcohol-and-stress-acc-2021

My liver understands but does not necessarily agree with the findings of this study.

CVD Remains Leading Cause of Death in Type 2 Diabetes – Medscape

Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death among the over 16,000 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) who were enrolled in the SAVOR-TIMI 53 trial.

Two-thirds (66.3%) of all 798 deaths after a median 2.1 years of follow-up were caused by one of five cardiovascular (CV) conditions, with sudden cardiac death accounting for the largest share (30.1%) of the total, Ilaria Cavallari, MD, PhD, and associates said in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

It was a pair of laboratory measurements, however, that had the largest subdistribution hazard ratios. “Interestingly, the magnitude of associations of abnormal N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide [sHR, 2.82] and high-sensitivity troponin T [sHR, 2.46] measured in a stable population were greater than clinical variables in the prediction of all causes of death,” Cavallari and associates said.

CVD Remains Leading Cause of Death in Type 2 Diabetes – Medscape – Apr 06, 2021 — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/948849?src=rss

Ultraprocessed Food Again Linked to Increased CVD, Death

High consumption of UPF in this Mediterranean cohort was associated with a 58% increased risk for CVD mortality and 52% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease (IHD) and cerebrovascular causes, independently of known risk factors for CVD, even among individuals who otherwise adhered to the Mediterranean diet.

The foods that contributed most to total UPF consumed were processed meat, which accounted for 19.8% of UPF intake; pizza (16.8%); and cakes and pies (13.4%).

The researchers found a direct linear dose-response relation between a 5% increase in the proportion of UPF in the diet and risk for all-cause and CVD mortality.

Cite this: Ultraprocessed Food Again Linked to Increased CVD, Death – Medscape – Dec 24, 2020. — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/943200?src=rss

After reading the full summary of the study I had some issues with the study findings on pizza. Apparently I’m not alone. From the comment section:

Pizzas were mentioned by the authors and Dr. Walter Willet (for whom I have always had great admiration and consider him among my 3 most valued nutrition resources) as a UPF. However, even as a consistent follower of Mediterranean diet for >40 years, I see nothing wrong with occasional enjoyment of two or three slices of Margherita pizza (which is not covered with any processed meats or extra cheeses).

Dr. Michael Mogadam

Like I’ve said many, many times pizza is a food group and should not be considered an ultraprocessed food. Without pizza life would not be possible. Pass on the chips, sugary drinks, restructured meat (see https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/restructured-meat) and other types of junk food.

Don’t pass on the pizza!