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More than 1 million reports of drug side effects were filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015, a fivefold increase since 2004, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today.
Numbers aren’t final for 2016, but are expected to match that all-time high.
Drugs used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, a type of cancer and diabetes are among those with the greatest number of reports. Many of the drugs are for conditions that occur in 1% or less of the population, but several have seen increasing use in recent years.
For years, the FDA’s adverse events system has been derided because of its largely voluntary nature — only drug companies, not doctors or patients, are required to report problems. As a result, the system likely only was capturing a small percentage of cases.
In recent years, the number of reports filed has been multiplying, prompting more independent researchers and drug companies to use the data as a way to detect safety problems, the Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today found.
But experts say the information still is largely untapped and — if used more — could become an important alarm that warns of dangerous drugs after they hit the market.
The surge in reports could indicate a growing number of harmed patients or more vigilant reporting of adverse events, a goal of the FDA. Experts say both likely play a role.
Twelve years ago, there were 206,000 reports of side effects from medications filed with the FDA — complaints as frivolous as flatulence, as serious as death.
By 2015, the most recent full year of data, the number had grown to 1.2 million.
The FDA has long discouraged use of the system for research purposes. When it distributes the database, it attaches warnings that say the reports aren’t evidence drugs caused the problems listed, that the data can’t be used to estimate risk and that it should not be used to compare drugs.
In 2005, the Government Accountability Office estimated the system only captured 1% to 10% of all adverse reactions. Despite the explosion in reports, that remains the most recent estimate of how many cases are caught by the system.
Strength in numbers
The increased volume of reports has researchers, insurance companies and even some pharmaceutical groups re-imagining how the data can be used.
“Sheer numbers have some scientific weight,” said Thomas Moore, senior scientist at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit watchdog group focused on drug safety. “If 500 people report a problem, it is unlikely that they are all wrong.”
For all its warnings about the limitations of the system, the FDA itself has relied on the reports to guide its actions. Case in point: a patch used to treat migraine headaches.
In September 2015, the Zecuity patch was allowed on the market after years of give-and-take with FDA officials. The patch, which looks like a large armband, released a drug through the skin to fight migraines. An early version failed to get approval after the FDA raised concerns that it could “cause severe burns and permanent skin lesions.”
The patch was redesigned and tested on 58 people, none of whom reported problems. The FDA could have required more clinical testing, but instead chose to approve the redesigned patch and rely on “postmarket surveillance.” In other words, the safety of the product would be linked to reports of side effects.
The FDA ordered Teva, the manufacturer, to report adverse events within 15 days of receiving any complaint.
The company said it worked with the FDA to pinpoint a problem but noted because the root cause was not identified, the product remains off the market.
However, others say the voluntary and cumbersome nature of the system makes the value of the information limited.
“As a physician, I have tried to use it and it is very, very clumsy,” said Joseph Ross, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine.
He said the system only provides a numerator — the number of adverse event reports for a drug — without establishing the denominator, the number of people using that drug.
In doing its own analysis, the Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today found that among the 10 drugs that accounted for the most reports, seven carry “black box” warnings, the FDA’s most stringent alert for serious or potentially life-threatening side effects.
The 10 drugs account for one out of every five reports filed since 2013. Yet, none is on the top-10 list of most prescribed drugs as determined by IMS Health, a drug market research firm.
“We are concerned,” said Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “It reflects that the FDA has allowed drugs to come to market without adequately ensuring safety.”
This sweet and spicy salsa goes brilliantly with tuna, but is also great with pork chops, too!
Ingredients: Serves Four 432g tin crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained, 1 tbsp juice reserved ½ green pepper, deseeded and finely diced 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced 2 tbsp fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped 1 lime, juiced 4 tuna steaks 1 tbsp olive oil 75g watercress, to serve
Method: 1. Chop the pineapple into small pieces. Put in a bowl with the pepper, chilli and coriander. Add the reserved pineapple juice and lime juice and stir well to combine. Set aside. 2. Heat a griddle pan to high. Brush the tuna with the oil and season well. Griddle for 1½ minutes on each side for medium or 3 minutes each side for well-done. You may need to do this in 2 batches. 3. Serve the seared tuna steak with the salsa and the watercress.
Each serving provides: 13.7g carbohydrate 1.8g fibre 25.3g protein 3.9g Fat
Watercress ... with deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It has a pungent, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and is highly nutritious, containing significant amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and E. It's sold in either bunches or bags, and is good combined in a salad with milder leaves, or made into soup.
Availability: Watercress is available all year round but is at its best from April until September.
Choose the best: Go for crisp, dark green leaves, with no sign of yellowing or wilting.
Prepare it: Wash and shake dry just before you're about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible - just trim off any tough roots.
Store it: Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag - it can last a little longer that way.
Cook it: In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.
A variety of recipe ideas are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
How about this colourful low carb dish. It's a 'Sunshine Peppers and Pork Casserole' dish ... with it's bright colours it could well brighten up the cloudiest of days. This is what I used and how I made it ... I can also tell you it didn't hang around on the plate long either ... delicious was the word used when the meal was complete!
Ingredients Serves 2/3 450g diced leg (or shoulder) of pork 1/2 large red pepper 1/2 large orange pepper 1/2 large yellow pepper 1 carrot 1 onion (you can use white or red) sliced mushrooms, a handful 4 - 6 salt and black pepper for seasoning mixed herbs gravy / stock (of choice) about 3/4 pint (to cover meat etc)
Method Wipe / wash meat and all vegetables with water before using Put oven on to warm up. Gas 4, Electric 180 Dice up meat into approx 1 inch 'chunks' and place in oven proof casserole dish Remove skin from onion and slice, add to casserole dish De-seed, as appropriate all, peppers and cut into square pieces, add to casserole dish Peel and slice carrot and add to casserole dish Slice or quarter mushrooms and add to casserole dish season with salt and black pepper add herbs of your choice - I used dried mixed herbs Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for approx 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.
Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking Whilst casserole is cooking prepare any accompanying vegetables
Serve on warmed plates and enjoy
How about this tip for preparing onions:
First slice off the top of the onion (leave the root on for the moment), then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers. To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom. Put the cut side down and make a number of horizontal cuts towards, but not quite reaching, the root. Then make as many vertical cuts through the onion, again not quite reaching the root. Holding the onion very firmly and with the knife blade at right angles to the first set of cuts that you made, slice down vertically - the onion will fall away in small pieces as you go. Continue cutting until you reach the root, which you can now discard. To slice, trim the root off, then cut in slices moving from the root end towards the top. Leave as slices or separate each one out into rings.
All onions are best prepared just before you use them.
Are you confused about whether eating fat is good or bad for you? The demonisation of fat has been the cause of more ill health (physical, emotional and mental) than I have room to write about. That’s why I made this video – to cut through the myths and give you the straight up facts on fats. http://peppermintwellness.co.uk/blog/ Graham
Did you know that Basque chicken is called Poulet Basquaise in France, and this dish is similar to chicken fricassée, but with tomatoes, green peppers and Bayonne ham. It seems that the recipe was created in a Paris restaurant and has nothing to do with the Basque region!
Now a fricassee is halfway between a sauté and a stew. A true classic, and there are many variations, it relies on humble ingredients and just a single pot. It's the original French comfort food, simmered chicken with hearty vegetables in a rich sauce/stock.
This recipe suggestion for Basque Chicken Fricassee seems to be a merger of the two ideas, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. Have a look at the recipe below and see if you think you may give this a try ... indeed perhaps you already have this as a favourite dish!
Ingredients: Serves Four 50ml olive oil 4 chicken legs 50g ham, chopped 2 red peppers, chopped 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped 1 medium onion, finely sliced 50g whole green olives 50ml sherry 600ml chicken stock salt pepper
1. In a large heatproof casserole dish, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat and sear the chicken legs until golden all over. Remove and drain to one side on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Add the onion to the dish and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped pepper and ham and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, stirring the base and sides well to dissolve any residue. Add the chicken legs back to the dish along with the tomato and olives and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
3. Cover the dish and lower to a simmer, cooking the chicken gently for 25-35 minutes until cooked and tender. Cut into a thick chunk of chicken and check that it is cooked through, with no pink showing. Adjust the seasoning once the chicken is cooked, then spoon into serving bowls.
Each serving: Carbohydrate 9.4g Protein 27.9g Fibre 3.2g Fat 11.7g
Taking medication to tightly control and lower blood glucose levels is the advice frequently given by doctors to the 400,000 B.C. residents with Type 2 diabetes — but it’s a “misguided” approach, according to the University of B.C. Therapeutics Initiative. More than $1 billion is spent annually on diabetes drugs in this province, but in its latest bulletin to doctors, the TI says a growing body of research casts doubt on the effectiveness of Type 2 diabetes treatment. Doctors should focus instead on prescribing lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, exercise and healthier diets instead of medications to many patients, it says. Type 2 diabetes, characterized by resistance to insulin, is largely caused by obesity, lack of exercise, high-carbohydrate diets and aging. With the exception of a drug called metformin, many glucose-lowering medications like insulin can lead to weight gain or potentially cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can lead to falls, driving accidents or even loss of consciousness, the TI says. More than half of Type 2 diabetes patients take such medications. (Insulin is an essential medication for those with Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for less than 10 per cent of all diabetes cases in B.C.). The TI, an independent body that provides advice to doctors, said the optimal blood glucose level target is actually unknown in Type 2 diabetics, and there’s still no conclusive evidence that taking medications to lower blood glucose levels will decrease complications of the condition. Such complications include kidney disease, blindness, cardiovascular disease, strokes and amputations. Dr. Tom Perry, a Vancouver internist and clinical pharmacologist with the TI, said doctors tend to minimize harms when prescribing drugs to patients. At the same time, he says that he’s had few “star” diabetic patients willing to put in the hard work to shrink waistlines, exercise and change diet patterns. “It’s kind of frightening because we don’t really have the right evidence for treating the Type 2 epidemic. What we’ve been doing is not very scientific,” he said, adding that publicly funded (as opposed to pharmaceutical industry-sponsored) research trials are needed to study the best treatment approaches. Vancouver endocrinologist Dr. Tom Elliott said he’s in general agreement with the TI that some doctors may be over-treating Type 2 diabetics. “But there are lots of patients we may be under-treating too. The problem is we don’t know how low the glucose levels should go in order to reduce the risk of bad things happening to patients.” In an article he wrote last fall, Elliott discussed the growing controversy, saying it is true that in borderline patients, there is little high quality evidence regarding glucose lowering drugs for preventing long-term complications. “What’s clear is that a concerted effort needs to be made to help high-risk groups to achieve better blood sugar control,” Elliott wrote. Lawrence Leiter, a professor of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto and a specialist in the division of endocrinology at the city’s St. Michael’s Hospital, was critical of the TI bulletin. He said the TI group has been overly selective in choosing which studies to base its recommendations upon. “In the past two years, we have evidence from large, well-conducted, randomized controlled trials that three different medications for the management of diabetes — empagliflozin (Jardiance), liraglutide (Victoza) and semaglutide (not yet approved) — significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that empagliflozin also reduced the risk of kidney problems. “Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guidelines have for many years emphasized that we must not just lower blood glucose levels but also improve all risk factors, including blood pressure and cholesterol (and) the most recent update to our guidelines, published in November 2016, now recommend the use of empagliflozin and liraglutide to reduce the risk of complications in appropriate patients.” http://vancouversun.com/ Graham
Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and yellow peppers.
These are a non-hot member of a large family that varies enormously in size, shape, flavour and heat content and that includes all the chilli peppers.
Green peppers are the unripe state of red peppers and are the most aggressively flavoured, being vegetal, acidic and a little bitter, traits that soften with cooking. Once ripe and red, peppers are gentler and sweeter in flavour and far more use raw or cooked, although it's common to use red and green peppers together.
Yellow and orange peppers are individual varieties rather than stages between green and red peppers, and both of these were specially bred to be sweet and gentle.
Purple peppers have a slightly stronger flavour but will turn green when cooked. Availability: One sort or another is usually available fresh year round. Canned and bottled peppers are excellent if preserved in brine or oil but less useful if preserved in vinegar or other acid. Choose the best: Peppers have a very long life, particularly when refrigerated. Check for puckering around the stalk end or wrinkling of the skin as early signs of ageing.
Prepare it: However you want to slice up a pepper, you always need to remove the core, pith and seeds. To skin peppers, lay them on a foil-lined grill pan and turn the grill to high. Turn them now and again until the skin is blackened all over, then put them in a bowl and cover with cling film, or seal in an airtight plastic bag. When they're cool, their skin can be peeled off easily with your fingers. Store it: Peppers are best kept chilled and out of the light. Cook it: To peel or not to peel. That is a major question. Peppers are unquestionably even nicer to eat when skinned, which can be done by charring over a flame or by pouring on boiling water. Both methods are fiddly and time-consuming, especially when skinned red peppers are so easily and cheaply available in bottles and tins; skinned Spanish piquillo peppers are a great store cupboard addition.
Whether using raw or to cook, peppers should be cut from top to bottom in large slabs and then the pale inner vertical membranes removed, as these are always bitter.
Because they're acceptable eating when raw, pieces of pepper that are only part cooked add colour, juiciness and crunch to stir-fries, when the short heating time will soften them without fully cooking.
Otherwise, whether stuffed and roasted, gently fried in olive oil (with garlic of course) or similarly simmered in (tinned) plum tomatoes as a side dish or added to casseroles, fully cooked peppers add reliable flavour, colour and satisfaction.
Rings of any colour of pepper are something that should remain in the recipes of past decades, because cutting them like this means the bitter inner membranes have not been removed. Words and picture from article here The low carb team love red pepper see here All the best Jan
"Not all food is made the same. While some foods are incredibly high in nutrients, others are just empty calories and even harmful to our health.
This article takes a look at some of the most nutritious foods available, and if you think that only means fruits and vegetables, then you’d be wrong.
Here are 12 of the most nutrient dense foods in the world.
Key Point: Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. It’s high in protein and also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.
2. Cacao Key Point: Real chocolate—without all the sugar—is one of the healthiest, most nutritious foods on the planet.
Key Point: Eggs are rich in minerals, high in vitamins, and full of beneficial compounds. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods money can buy.
4. Avocado Key Point: Avocados are the most nutrient dense fruit going, and they’re delicious. Compared to an apple, an avocado per day better keeps the doctor away.
5. Wild Alaskan Salmon
Key Point: Salmon is one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, but ideally opt for wild-caught if you can.
6. Oysters Key Point: Oysters are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. And there are so many creative recipes out there.
7. Steak Key Point: Despite fear mongering in the media, steak is actually one of the most nutrient dense foods we have. It’s delicious too.
8. Seaweed Key Point: Seaweed is another excellent example of a high nutrient-density food — and it can play a huge role in a health-protective diet.
9. Spinach Key Point: Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods; it’s extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and various studies show it plays a role in disease prevention.
Key Point: Sardines are one of the most nutrient dense foods from the sea, and they’re especially high in calcium, selenium, and vitamin D.
11. Mushrooms Key Point: Mushrooms are one of the tastiest and most nutrient dense foods. They also improve the taste of almost any dish that uses them.
12. Almonds Key Point: Rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, almonds are one of the most nutritious foods in the world.
The Most Nutrient Dense Foods Generally speaking, the most nutrient dense foods come from animals and the sea. Perhaps this is why so many people enjoy success with the ketogenic style of eating By the same token, some plant foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and sea vegetables can also be reasonably nutritious. Given this, we should ask why dietary guidelines emphasize grains and high-sugar fruits so much. If dietary guidance also focused on nutrient density, maybe we’d all be a little healthier."
Words above from, Nutrition Advance, a website dedicated to providing nutrition and health articles backed by the latest science.
Please read Michael's full article with all information / research links here All the best Jan
For One For the Sicilian-style salmon 100g/3½oz salmon fillet, skin removed 1 lime, juice only olive oil, for drizzling ½ tsp dried chilli flakes 1 tsp ground paprika salt and freshly ground black pepper For the mushrooms and broccoli 1 tbsp olive oil 100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced 100g/3½oz broccoli, chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, optional
Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
2. Put the salmon fillet on a lightly oiled baking tray. Drizzle over the lime juice and a little olive oil. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and stir-fry until cooked to your liking. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the parsley. Serve immediately with the salmon
"If you haven’t heard of it, type 3 diabetes is what many specialists are now calling Alzheimer’s disease.
The name covers the belief that Alzheimer’s results from insulin resistance of the brain.
Alzheimer’s is a cruel, degenerative condition that devastates millions of lives around the world.
And unfortunately, it’s only increasing in prevalence; as of 2016, 1 in 9 people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s.
Surprisingly, the number of individuals aged 65 and over with the condition is expected to triple by the year 2050.
This article takes a look at the metabolic theory of type 3 diabetes, and how we might be able to prevent (or potentially halt) the condition.
What is Type 3 Diabetes?
Type 3 diabetes—or Alzheimer’s disease—is a chronic condition in which brain neurons slowly degenerate and die. As a result, we see progressive memory loss and rapid declines in cognitive ability.
I’ve personally seen the terrible effects of Alzheimer’s. As a young boy, I remember seeing my great grandfather hospitalized with late-stage Alzheimer’s. And then from the start of my late teenage years, I saw my granddad—a strong, well-built man—slowly succumb to the disease.
Sadly, the condition can hit anyone.
Someone being physically fit or having an intelligent mind is not relevant; the disease doesn’t discriminate, and it takes no prisoners.
A Cruel Condition Experiencing a slow deterioration, patients eventually lose the ability to interact with their environment, communicate, and even remember their family. Ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and patients usually die from a resulting complication such as pneumonia. Worse still, it’s not only the patient that suffers. Alzheimer’s caregivers often have to spend all their time and money to look after their family member, and it’s a very emotionally and physically demanding job.
Key Point: Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating condition that is rapidly increasing in prevalence. It slowly and progressively robs people of their ability to think, move, communicate, and live everyday life.
Why is Alzheimer’s ‘Type 3 Diabetes’?
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin.
When the body cannot produce enough insulin and becomes resistant to insulin’s effects, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis follows.
Type 3 diabetes is now being used to describe Alzheimer’s, due to the brain insulin resistance link. Generally speaking, diagnosis usually occurs in those over the age of 65, but the disease can develop over decades.
More and more researchers are saying that type 3 diabetes is one of the “diseases of civilization.”
This term refers to the fact that how we live our life can significantly impact our health. For instance, our diet, exercise plan, and sleep can either dramatically increase or reduce our risk of diseases such as: Alzheimer’s Cancer (some types) Cardiovascular Disease Diabetes Rheumatoid Arthritis These ‘diseases of civilization’ are part of the metabolic syndrome, and glucose and insulin dysregulation profoundly influence all of them.
The Harms of the Modern Western Diet
For the most part, these problems stemming from glucose and insulin issues relate to the food we eat. And unfortunately, the modern Western—perhaps global—diet revolves around industrially processed food. In fact, a study analyzing consumer purchases shows that 77% of all grocery purchases are either moderately (16%) or highly (61%) processed. These foodstuffs contain significant amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates, leading to large spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Over time, this can lead to worsening insulin resistance and eventually, metabolic disease.
Key Point: What causes Alzheimer’s disease? While there may not be a single answer, the modern Western diet likely plays a huge role.
The Alarming Link Between Type 3 Diabetes and Diet there is a strong connection between type 3 diabetes and the food we eat. But what, precisely, does the science say?
Can We Reverse Type 3 Diabetes With Diet?"
Please go and read more, find out more, all with relevant links here
Lamb can be expensive, but the taste is (usually) delicious...
Now, let me tell you a little story! Talking with a friend recently she was telling me how she is doing her best to reduce the amount of sugar her 17yr old son often consumes. By no means is he overweight, but she feels (and I agree) that having too much sugar in your diet/menu plans is not the most healthiest of choices. She has encouraged him to go shopping with her and lets him choose at least five vegetables or fruits which she then incorporates in the dishes she prepares. Apparently this is working well, he enjoys the challenge of the choice and she appreciates the help in carrying shopping bags home ...
By the way she is allowing him a once a week treat of a donut EEK !!!
I have suggested she try some of these low carb ones here ...
But to get back to the subject of lamb! If you enjoy the taste of lamb do try this recipe, the accompanying salad is so colourful and tasty, and don't you just love the sound of sizzling steaks!
By the way my friends son loves choosing oranges ... so it's a winner in their house too! LOL!
Serves Four 2tsp ground cumin 2tsp hot chilli sauce 4 lamb steaks
1. Sprinkle the cumin and chilli sauce on both sides of the steaks, marinate for 15 minutes (if you have time).
2. Preheat the grill then cook the lamb steaks for 8-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until the meat is tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the salad. Using a peeler, cut the carrots and cucumber into long thin strips. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off each orange, cut away all the peel and pith, then cut out each segment of orange (hold the fruit over a bowl as you do this to catch the juice; use it in the dressing).
4. Mix the carrots, cucumber, oranges and roasted pepper and olives in a salad bowl and drizzle with the orange juice and balsamic vinegar.
5. Allow the meat to rest for 3-4 minutes, then slice and arrange on top of the salad. Serve immediately.
Each serving, as per recipe above: Carbohydrate 17.9g Protein 32.6g Fibre 5.3g Fat 12.5g If you are not too keen on cucumber or olives you could perhaps substitute them for fresh mint leaves and juicy pomegranate seeds!
We can say that the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have concluded that virtually every older person should be on a statin, regardless of risk factors. You could be a vegetarian and a marathon runner and it wouldn’t matter. The guidelines encourage all men over 63 to take a statin and all women over 70 to be on such drugs.
The Cholesterol Hypothesis Under Fire: Over the last couple of decades we have seen a number of health professionals resist the tidal wave of enthusiasm for a statin in every medicine cabinet. Most of these physicians have been general practitioners or internists. But there is now a cardiologist and lipid specialist who has joined their ranks.
Robert Dubroff, MD, was an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He is a lipidologist, which means he understands cholesterol and its impact on blood vessels better than most health professionals. Dr. Dubroff recently retired and has written some intriguing articles. His most recent is titled “Cholesterol Paradox: A Correlate Does Not a Surrogate Make” (Evidence Based Medicine, March, 2017). A Cardiologist Challenges His Colleagues Dr. Dubroff introduces his article this way:
“The global campaign to lower cholesterol by diet and drugs has failed to thwart the developing pandemic of coronary heart disease around the world. Some experts believe this failure is due to the explosive rise in obesity and diabetes, but it is equally plausible that the cholesterol hypothesis, which posits that lowering cholesterol prevents cardiovascular disease, is incorrect. The recently presented ACCELERATE trial dumbfounded many experts by failing to demonstrate any cardiovascular benefit of evacetrapib despite dramatically lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in high-risk patients with coronary disease.”
Dr. Dubroff refers to a randomized clinical trial called ACCELERATE. It undermined the very foundation of the cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease. That’s because the new drug evacetrapib was just about the perfect medicine. It lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol 37% and also raised “good” HDL cholesterol by 130%. No single drug has ever accomplished such impressive changes in the directions most cardiologists strive for.
The trouble was that despite such stellar numbers there was no benefit in terms of things patients care about. The drug did not reduce cardiovascular events or reduce deaths in high-risk patients. More Bad News for the Cholesterol Theory: Dr. Dubroff also points out that:
“Many experts cite numerous RCTs [randomized controlled trials] of statins in support of the cholesterol hypothesis, but we should not ignore the dozens of cholesterol-lowering trials that do not…Even when researchers demonstrate a statin mortality benefit, the findings are underwhelming. A recent analysis concluded that statins would only postpone death by a median of 3.1 and 4.2 days for primary and secondary prevention, respectively.”
That was after years of statin use. For example, the famous 4S study produced survival gains of 27 days after 5.8 years of simvastatin therapy (BMJ Open, Sept. 24, 2015). That extra month of life was in very high-risk patients who either had already experienced a heart attack or were suffering severe symptoms of heart disease. In trials where people were at lower risk of a heart attack, the life-extending potential of statins was substantially less than a month. That was even after years of treatment.
"Hi! I’m Melissa but you can call me Lissy. I am a food (sugar) addict who currently weighs 197 pounds (at this writing) down 52.4 pounds! -The reality is I really didn’t want to reveal my weight. WHO DOES!!! But if you are reading this, and you are on the same page as me or worse, please keep reading! I’m writing this for YOU!- My weight high was 249 pounds on August 7, 2015. I’m on a journey to reach my goal weight through lifestyle change. I can’t tell you how many times I have given up on diets. I have tried all the fads. Listened to nutritional advice that included low fat, lots of fruit, lots of veggies and that sugar is ok in moderation, keep counting calories…. Guess what? I was a complete failure.
But what I realize was I was not the failure. I counted calories until I became a fat person. The rules to the game of weight loss didn’t work for me. Actually those supposed rules made me fat!!!! On July 11, 2016 after nearly a year of incessantly counting calories I decided to try something my brain didn’t like the thought of. You see for a year I counted calories in the My Fitness Pal app… And I lost a whole 11 pounds. But when you still weigh 238 pounds and can’t seem to budge the scale for months you are frustrated and DONE! Ready to just eat and not care anymore. But something clicked in my brain and I decided to just give myself 30 days to try a detox. No sugar or refined carbs for a month. It’s the type of thing that causes people to shudder when you tell them you don’t eat bread, or pasta, or cookies. So, I did this for 30 days…. And guess what? I became 8 pounds lighter, I had brain clarity, I was no longer hungry all the time. I was able to smell bread baking and not think about eating it.
So when 30 days came to an end I decided to go another 30 days. And another 30 days. And here I am! A half a year later, no sugar or refined carbs. I’ve researched and tested by blood and tweaked my nutrients. I eat no sugar. I eat lots of delicious food. Real food. And I’ve lost 52 pounds!!!!! I absolutely do not count calories. In fact when I do input my food into the my fitness pal app, it yells at me and says I’m eating too much fat. And the weight keeps dropping. My cholesterol, blood pressure, vitamin levels and blood sugar are perfect! We just passed the holidays and I survived thanksgiving and Christmas without sparing food intake and I continued to lose weight! I want you to know as you read this, if you are someone who has suffered and struggled with weight loss, wanted to fit into your clothes and be a happier healthier human."
Kale and Spinach are very nutritious, and this recipe suggestion is from Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site. It is for Vegan Style Kale and Spinach Soup ... she says "Is it possible to combine a vegan and keto life style? In the long run that isn't something we (Diet Doctor) recommend due to the difficulty of getting enough nutrients, like protein and B12. For single meals it works great though, as in this lovely green soup." I know some of our readers are vegan, some vegetarian, some follow the LCHF lifestyle - some don't - food choices are for the individual. The low carb team do live the LCHF lifestyle. A variety of recipe ideas are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
However, I hope you may enjoy this soup soon ... it's especially good if you may still be experiencing cooler and stormy weather, as some parts of the world are currently having.
Here are the ingredients :
(13 carbs per serving) 3¼ oz./ 90 g coconut oil ½ lb / 225 g kale ½ lb / 225 g fresh spinach 2 avocados 3 1⁄3 cups / 800 ml coconut milk or coconut cream 1 cup / 240 ml water fresh mint or dried mint (optional) 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 lime, the juice
Fried kale 3¼ oz. / 90 g kale 2 chopped garlic cloves 1 oz. / 30 g coconut oil ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (green) salt and pepper
If you don’t like coconut milk you can of course make this soup with heavy (double) cream or full-fat sour cream, and butter instead of coconut oil. The soup will then be vegetarian, not vegan!
For cooking instructions please use this link here Kale and Spinach, both full of good nutrients, read more about Kale here and more about Spinach here
If you’re going low carb, The Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Vegetables will guide you in choosing which vegetables are best to incorporate in your diet. Each value is the net carbs per 100g using chronometer.com Net carbs is the total carb value, minus the fibre.
Vegetables are definitely the healthier (and better choice) when preparing meals. However, it must be noted that the different types of vegetables have different nutritional values.
Please read lots more, with relevant links, at Ditch The Carbs Site here