Welcome to our blog!
Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.
Welcome to our blog!
You probably know that the US spends the most on healthcare in the world as a % of GDP. In fact, between 1996-2013, spending increased 933.5 billion dollars. That’s almost a trillion dollars. Here is the scary part. Did you know that during this same time, utilization of healthcare (inpatient) went down? That’s right….utilization went down significantly but health cost continued to rise during that same time. Thus, unlike most free markets, when demand went down, prices went up. This is the exact opposite of what usually (does) happen. The biggest slice of the pie, relative to price increases, was the costs of pharmaceuticals. Fifty percent of the health care cost increases were due to higher med prices, with diabetic meds leading the way. Seems like the health care deck is stacked against us. More on this next time.
In a follow-up to my last blog, several years ago I talked about a very large study on statins (cholesterol meds) that showed being on them gave you about a 1-2% less chance of dying from a “cardiovascular incident” than those people not taking them. I would never tell a patient or friend to not take their meds but I would ask them to take a close look at the scientific evidence in light of the current trend of physicians to load patients up with meds that barely work and have significant side effects. The current thinking on cardiovascular disease is that cholesterol is not a significant driver of cardiovascular disease but bad carbohydrates and inflammation are. This is evidenced by the newest statins that were discontinued from study because even though they lowered cholesterol, those taking them died more often, or as often, as the control group from a cardiovascular incident. Take a good close look at your diet and eating habits and be proactive and look for foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the bad carbs. It may save your life without the side effects!
The Thanksgiving holiday is over and the cholesterol feast has ended. Speaking of cholesterol, did you know that the latest and greatest cholesterol drugs have been incredible failures? In fact, even though these drugs have actually lowered bad cholesterol and increased the good cholesterol, they have had literally NO effect on heart health. The drugs in question are called statins. The most recent super, duper drug is called evacetrapib, however those study participants taking it had more heart attacks than the placebo group. Strokes and heart attacks killed almost as many on the drug as those in the placebo group. Many doctors now think the cholesterol debate is being blown out of proportion. It seems cholesterol meds are drugs looking for a problem instead of a problem in need of a drug. The trend now is looking at inflammation and carbohydrates as the main culprit in heart disease. More on this next time!!
Every few days I read a study or article that indicates bad news to a previously published study, especially when it comes to health. A new study published in Diabeteolgia found that men who took statins (cholesterol meds) were 46% more likely to develop diabetes after 6 years compared to those who didn’t take them. Even worse, the meds also make people less resistant to insulins effects and secrete less insulin. That my friends, is an incredible and noteworthy number, and serious health issue. If you or someone you know takes statins to control cholesterol, tell them about this study and let them know they need to talk to their prescribing doctor immediately. A huge study called JUPITOR, a few years ago, found only a 1-2% chance difference of preventing a cardiovascular event while on meds verses not on meds, if you have never had an event. Is it worth the side effects?
New LDL guidelines now consider age, race and lifestyle relative to the new broader approach to controlling cholesterol. LDL is still considered the “bad” cholesterol, but ironically the guidelines for the 40-75 age group who have no cardiovascular disease or diabetes is sketchy at best. The guidelines still recommend statins for those without much risk. In fact, after reading the guidelines, it seems that almost all adults over 40 should be on them, even though there is virtually no evidence to support LDL target levels for that subgroup. If you take statins, stay with them but watch for side effects. If you consider taking them, the bottom line is to educate yourself and try changing your dietary and supplemental habits to improve cholesterol naturally if possible. Talk to your chiropractor for more information!
If you follow the health news, it is no surprise to find out that recently, the guidelines for using cholesterol drugs (statins) have changed with respect to LDL (bad cholesterol). Depending on who you talk to, statin use can be good or bad for you. It appears that scientist studying the research from the last 20 years recently found little scientific evidence to support current LDL target levels. In other words, lowering your “bad” LDL to current levels, blindly with statins doesn’t seem to be the answer for certain patient subgroups. Now the guidelines to lowering cholesterol has changed to a more “holistic approach” but unfortunately this may lead to even more people on statins. More about this Wednesday!