May 15, 2013

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    Should You Drink Alcohol for Your Heart?

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    Should You Drink Alcohol for Your Heart?

    2017 Wellness Reports: Controlling Your Cholesterol

    The latest statistics on cholesterol and heart disease in Americans have come out.


    And they are frightening -- to say the least:


    • More than 100 million Americans have high cholesterol or are being treated for it -- and under current guidelines, millions more could be eligible for treatment with a statin drug.
    • About half of Americans have at least one of three major risk factors for heart disease -- high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or the smoking habit.
    • More than 15 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease -- the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S.
    • Some 660,000 Americans suffer a first heart attack each year.
    • It’s true that more men than women have heart attacks, and they have them at a younger age. But after menopause, rates of heart disease in women increase two to three times -- and their risk of a heart attack rises dramatically.

    That’s the bad news.


    But there’s also good news ...


    More progress is being made in controlling cholesterol -- and reducing the incidence of coronary artery disease -- than at any time in U.S. history! In fact, there has been so much research in this area that major guidelines for managing cholesterol released only a few years ago have already been updated with new advice about certain cholesterol-lowering medications.


    Even better: All the important advances in cholesterol research that you need to know about are collected -- and condensed -- in a just-published 64-page report from the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter ...



    The 2017 Wellness Report on Controlling Your Cholesterol


    With more than $2 billion a year spent in the U.S. on heart disease research, information on preventing and treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and related conditions is accumulating at a breakneck pace. And this creates a problem.


    A health-minded individual looking for cholesterol advice online will rapidly suffer from "information overload" -- a recent search on Google found 78 million Web pages referencing cholesterol.


    Obviously, no one person can keep up with all the new developments in cholesterol research.


    And unless you’re an M.D. yourself, do you really have the background to separate the good science from the hype?


    That’s where the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Reports can help save you time and money while improving your health.


    Our editorial advisors, all M.D.s or Ph.D.s with impressive credentials in their specialties, conduct an exhaustive search of the medical literature on a particular topic -- in this case, cholesterol.


    They then carefully review the research to ensure that it’s based on scientifically sound methods . . . and to confirm the accuracy -- and reliability -- of the findings.


    Editorial advisor Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., FAHA, a member of the editorial board of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, is Director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and is involved in ongoing research into the effects of diet, genetics, and drugs on blood cholesterol and coronary disease risk. He has been a member of the Adult Treatment Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program and is actively involved with the American Heart Association, having served as Chairman of the Nutrition Committee.


    Next, our editors painstakingly convert medical jargon, formulas, and statistics into clear, plain English.


    You’ll find it fascinating reading -- and useful. Our experts tell you exactly what you need to know about your cholesterol . . . plus, how to apply key research findings to improving and maintaining your own health.


    Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll discover in our 2017 UC Berkeley Wellness Report: Controlling Your Cholesterol --

    • Can cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduce the risk of a heart attack for people who don’t have cardiovascular disease? Compelling evidence from a new large-scale study. Page 4.
    • Is reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol really the key to managing cholesterol levels? Page 17.
    • If you spend more than 8 hours a day sitting, your risk of dying increases—but you can significantly counteract that increased risk with moderate-intensity exercise each day. Page 27.
    • A new class of cholesterol drugs—PCSK9 inhibitors—differs from statins in significant ways. Page 58.
    • How to use the new risk calculator to assess your risk for heart attack and stroke. Page 20.
    • Should you fast before you have a cholesterol test? Not necessarily. Page 19.
    • What if your coronary risk is borderline? Ask your doctor about this one test that research shows is the best tool to help you and your doctor make a decision about starting statin therapy. Page 22.
    • What role should niacin and other non-statin drugs play in lowering cholesterol? New recommendations. Page 57.
    • For people who are overweight, modest weight loss—as little as 10 pounds—can result in big improvements for heart risk factors, according to a new study. Page 41.
    • Even though saturated fats raise levels of LDL cholesterol, simply cutting your intake of foods high in saturated fats doesn’t reduce your risk of a heart attack—you have to replace them with the right foods. Page 33.
    • For decades, experts recommended limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. But the latest dietary guidelines offer new advice. Page 34.
    • Why are so many women dying from heart disease? A new report presents the latest data about how and why heart attacks—symptoms, causes, and outcomes—differ in women compared with men. Page 8.
    • This non-statin drug can lower LDL cholesterol by 15 to 25%—and new findings show that adding it to a statin can reduce your risk of a heart attack. Page 56.
    • Prescription diet drugs can aid in weight loss treatment for some people—but are they worth the trade-offs? Page 42.
    • Sugar and heart health: a new study involving children and teenagers underscores the risk sugar poses in obesity-related health problems. Page 37.
    • Drinking beer isn’t the only path to a “beer belly.” A new study suggests that people who drink one or more sodas (or other sugary beverage) each day are more likely to pack on excess abdominal fat than those who don’t—and abdominal obesity is a significant health risk. Page 35.
    • How important is it to avoid second-hand smoke? New evidence. Page 24.
    • Take advantage of the heart-healthy DASH diet with new strategies that allow adding fat and protein (including pork). Page 40.
    • Are your triglyceride levels in line with the latest recommendations from the American Heart Association? If not, what you can do to lower your triglycerides. Page 19.
    • Your doctor tells you your blood pressure is 125/88. Are you safe—or should you try to reduce it? Page 25.
    • What’s the optimal blood pressure level for people with high blood pressure (hypertension)? A recent study suggests a new lower target--but is it right for you? Page 7.
    • You are 75 or older. Can statins have any benefit for preventing a first heart attack? Page 53.
    • Should you consider low-dose aspirin for heart attack prevention? See these new recommendations. Page 30.
    • How protective is a high level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol? Page 46.
    • Eating less than 2 ounces of this "cholesterol buster" each day can lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL, and aid in weight loss. Page 43.
    • These 4 nutritional supplements are regularly promoted as reducing cholesterol. Most of them are ineffective or unproven... and one of them can actually harm you. Page 48.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fatty fish, can help reduce blood clots and have other cardiovascular benefits. But what is the recommended intake? Page 45.
    • Being overweight or obese is a proven risk factor for heart attack and other cardiac disease. Thousands of overweight men and women who followed these 5 simple steps lost 30 pounds or more—and kept the weight off for 5 or more years. Page 41.
    • Are you taking Coenzyme Q-10 because you heard that it can reduce muscle pain associated with statins? Here’s why you shouldn't bother. Page 56.
    • The statin drug rosuvastatin (Crestor) is now available as a generic. How does it stack up against atorvastatin, the most widely-prescribed statin? Page 51.
    • Do women benefit as much as men from taking a statin? Page 52.
    • Exercise can help you lose weight and improve your cardiac health. But if you haven't exercised recently, here's why you should visit your doctor before you go to the gym. Page 37.
    • Statins can lower elevated triglycerides—but so can these three other types of medication, used alone or in combination with a statin. Page 58.

    And so much more.


    Why high cholesterol kills

    The underlying cause of coronary artery disease is "atherosclerosis" -- a progressive buildup of fatty deposits called plaque within the walls of your arteries.


    High cholesterol levels contribute to this plaque buildup: when the bloodstream carries more LDL cholesterol than can be used by your body’s cells, the excess amounts become embedded within the artery walls.


    As the LDL accumulates, it combines with oxygen, triggering a reaction that causes plaque to form. Over time, the buildup of plaque stiffens and narrows the arteries, and eventually some plaques may limit the flow of blood.


    When this occurs in arteries feeding the heart, it results in coronary artery disease. A plaque can also become unstable and rupture, and a blood clot then forms that may completely block blood flow to the heart -- which can cause a heart attack.





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    Should You Drink Alcohol for Your Heart?

    • How Clear is the Evidence for Heart Protection? The research is very clear, but there are still some unknowns.
    • Is Wine a Better Choice Than Beer or Spirits? It’s almost certainly the alcohol that’s protective, so it doesn’t matter much which beverage you drink. Still, how you drink the beverage may be important.
    • What is "Moderation"? Though there’s a standard definition, in fact, moderation varies according to your age and sex.
    • Why It’s Different for Men and Women. Alcohol affects men and women differently.
    • Alcohol and Breast Cancer. Women have to weigh the potential heart benefits against this possible cancer risk. If the risk goes up 10%, does that mean you should not drink? Here’s how to evaluate the risk for yourself.

    Lower your cholesterol, save your life

    How important is it to get your cholesterol under control with the facts -- and recommendations -- in our 2017 UC Berkeley Wellness Report: Controlling Your Cholesterol?


    In the landmark Heart Protection Study in 2002, men and women reduced their LDL cholesterol by an average of about 40 mg/dl -- and slashed their risk of heart attacks by 38%.


    More recently, a review of 27 major clinical trials involving 174,000 patients confirmed that the more LDL cholesterol levels are lowered in a population--—through medications and diet—the more coronary risk is reduced.?


    Every 39-point decline in LDL cholesterol levels sustained over a 5-year period lowered the relative risk of heart attack by 21%--regardless of age, gender, or initial level of LDL cholesterol. Moreover, groups at different levels of coronary risk all benefited.


    Read through the studies. Examine the facts, figures, numbers, and test results. Start putting the diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations into practice.


    I’m betting our report will be one of your most valuable -- and important -- health resources.


    If not, simply return it within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price.


    But don’t delay. The longer you allow your high cholesterol to remain untreated, the greater your risk of developing atherosclerosis -- and of having a heart attack.


    The time to take action to lower your cholesterol is now, while you are still healthy.


    If you wait until you suffer a heart attack -- or stroke -- irreversible damage can result ... damage that might have been prevented by following the guidelines in our 2017 UC Berkeley Wellness Report on Controlling Your Cholesterol.


    Plus, the Wellness Report on Controlling Your Cholesterol costs just $19.95 for the digital report or $19.95 plus shipping when you order the print edition.


    Annual Update Service


    To keep you up to date and on the cutting edge of health and medical issues, we offer an annual update service to our readers.


    That way your Wellness Report: Controlling Your Cholesterol is always current, never out of date. The Controlling Your Cholesterol update will be offered to you by announcement. You need do nothing if you want the update to be sent automatically. If you do not want it, all you will need to do is return the announcement. The update is completely optional, and will never be sent without prior announcement. You may cancel at any time.

    So what are you waiting for? To request your copy of the UC Berkeley Wellness Report on Controlling Your Cholesterol just click below now.


    Even if you do nothing but follow the advice in "Should You Drink Alcohol for Your Heart?" -- your free digital gift -- you will be well on your way to protecting your health. Just click below to get your FREE GIFT when you order your Wellness Report Controlling Your Cholesterol.

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