Evolving Health

Monthly Archives: May 2010

One of the considerations with congestive heart failure is the need for fluid restriction and the patient will need to work her doctor to be able understand how much she should be getting daily. Sodium restriction is important for bringing down the blood pressure. In the case of this woman, I would employ a DASH diet to bring down her blood pressure with emphasis on plenty of fruits and vegetables as well… Read More

Gallstones develop in the gallbladder, a small organ that stores and releases the bile made by the liver. Bile is a dark green fluid containing bile salts and cholesterol. The gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine to assist in digesting fats more efficiently. However, if the bile is contains high concentrations of cholesterol, then stones too difficult for the bile salts to dissolve may develop (1). Losing weight too quickly or… Read More

Pernicious anemia, a megaloblastic anemia caused by B12 deficiency, is associated with hyperhomocysteinemia. Because B12 is needed for methionine synthase to methylate homocysteine to methionine, a deficiency causes an accumulation of both homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (1). When both are elevated, marking the pernicious anemia, it can lead to progressive demyelination and neurological deterioration. A folate deficiency may also result in megaloblastic anemia. If homocysteine is elevated but not methylmalonic acid, then… Read More

I thought this was an interesting article from Businessweek a couple of years ago and was blown away by the numbers showing that few people actually receive any benefit from statins. If you don’t read it, then here are a few tidbits from the article that I thought would give it to you in a nutshell: …for every 100 people in the trial, which lasted 3 1/3 years, three people on placebos and two… Read More

Currently, the existing biomarkers for a cardiac event include B-type natriuretic peptide, tro-ponins and C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is an acute-phase protein released in response to inflammation. Recently, the development of a high-sensitivity assay for CRP (hs-CRP) has been made available. The assay works because it can accurately reflect even low levels of CRP. There have been quite a few prospective studies that have shown that an assay of a baseline CRP… Read More

When a patient is on a statin, nutritionists should advise that they don’t have to suffer from the side effects of statin-associated muscle pain (myalgia). Studies are showing that supplementation with two key compounds are useful for decreasing the pain. The first is ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10, coQ10) and the other is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Statins such as Lipitor, Zocor and Mevacor reduce cholesterol synthesis by directly inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase and… Read More

Angioplasty is a procedure performed by inserting a catheter with a deflated balloon into an affected artery, then inflated to open the artery. Sometimes a stent, or mesh tube, is left to keep it open. The procedure does come with some risk, in fact, having the potential of inducing a heart attack. If a patient is uncomfortable with an angioplasty, there are now other alternatives that may be just as effective without… Read More

Atherosclerosis refers to accumulation of a thick sludge in patches that merge to form large plaques, called atheromas, in artery walls. The plaque is made up of cholesterol and other fats, macrophages, cell “junk”, calcium, and tissues. LDL cholesterol is associated with atherogenesis because as it becomes oxidized it can induce endothelial cells to attract blood-borne monycytes, transforming them into macrophages and trapping them in endothelial spaces (1). The macrophages then engorge… Read More

Sodium’s association with high blood pressure is well known. However, sodium also plays a large role in keeping you healthy. It’s important to know how to strike the right balance. Along with potassium, sodium is essential for fluid balance, facilitating the flow of water in and out of cells to bring nutrients in and take wastes away. Sodium also has a role in the regulation of blood pressure and helping muscles and… Read More

I use one particular olive oil for cooking and another extra-virgin olive oil to mix with some balsamic vinegar for my salads. Olive oil, as the staple source of fatty acids in the Mediterranean diet, has also been heavily researched for its health benefits especially in comparison to other sources of fat such as butter, corn or soy oil. On April 20, a study in BMC Genomics was published that found that olive… Read More