Category Heart Disease April 3, 2018 Heavy Metals and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Hypertension and family history are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. But did you know heavy metal exposure could also be contributing to CVD risk? Read on to learn about the associations between heavy metal exposure and cardiovascular disease, the benefits and risks of chelation therapy, and what other treatments might help. March 22, 2018 Is It Possible (Or Even Desirable) to Reverse a High Coronary Calcium Score? The coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is a noninvasive imaging technique that quantifies arterial calcification. Read on to learn the benefits of knowing a patient’s CAC score, why serial measurements are not advised, and how to treat arterial calcification. September 27, 2017 Does Iron Overload Cause Diabetes and Heart Disease? Iron plays an essential role in many physiological processes, including oxygen transport and mitochondrial energy production. However, more iron is not necessarily better! The overaccumulation of iron in the body, a condition referred to as iron overload, has been implicated in the development of several chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Read on to learn why iron overload promotes the development of diabetes and heart disease and how iron reduction strategies can be used to beneficially alter the course of these diseases. September 20, 2017 The Gut–Heart Connection As the prevalence of heart disease continues to rise, researchers are hard at work trying to discover the mechanisms at play. One factor to emerge in recent years is the gut and its associated microbes. Read on to learn how gut ecology can influence heart health and heart disease. June 7, 2017 Does Testosterone Therapy Increase The Risk of Heart Disease in Men? In recent years, advertising campaigns for testosterone replacement therapy have sparked a rapid rise in the use of testosterone gels, patches, pellets, and injections by men of all ages. Despite its popularity, testosterone therapy is not without risk. Research suggests that men who use testosterone may be at increased risk of heart disease. Read on to learn about the dangers of testosterone replacement therapy and why dietary and lifestyle changes are a much healthier approach for restoring optimal levels of this crucial hormone. May 30, 2017 Research Studies: Why the Media So Often Gets Them Wrong Red meat on the chopping block again? While epidemiological research is useful for identifying potential associations between dietary and lifestyle factors and various health outcomes, it also has some major limitations. Read on to learn about the perils of observational epidemiology in this case study about red meat and diverticulitis. May 17, 2017 A Functional Perspective on Diet and Cholesterol For nearly 50 years, cholesterol and saturated fat have been maligned by the medical community for their purported role in heart disease. However, a large body of scientific research indicates that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are not the driving forces behind heart disease. Despite this evidence, much of the medical community continues to promote outdated dietary guidelines for patients with high cholesterol and heart disease, including low-fat and low-cholesterol diets. As it turns out, this outdated advice may actually be harmful to the heart! Read on to learn why dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are not to blame for high cholesterol and heart disease and why a reduced-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense diet is the healthiest approach for treating high cholesterol and heart disease. April 19, 2017 Nutrients for Lowering Blood Pressure Seventy-five million American adults, almost one in three, have high blood pressure. Another one in three have prehypertension. (1) The majority of hypertensive patients are treated with blood pressure-lowering medications, but is a prescription the best course of action? Read on to discover which nutrients, as part of a healthy Paleo diet, can help lower blood pressure naturally and what options are available for patients who don’t respond well. November 30, 2016 The Diet-Heart Myth: Statins Don’t Save Lives in People Without Heart Disease Cardiovascular disease is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions in medicine. In the first article in this series, I explained it’s not the amount of cholesterol in the blood that drives heart disease risk, but the number of LDL particles. In the second article, I discussed the five primary causes of elevated LDL particle number. In this article, I will debunk the myth that statin drugs save lives in healthy people without heart disease, and discuss some of the little known side effects and risks associated with these drugs. November 28, 2016 What Causes Elevated LDL Particle Number? In the last article in this series, I explained that LDL particle number (LDL-P) is a much more accurate predictor of cardiovascular disease risk than either LDL or total cholesterol. In this article, I’m going to briefly outline the five primary causes of elevated LDL-P. November 23, 2016 RHR: Does your diet affect your cholesterol level? Today’s topic and today’s big question is, if dietary fat and cholesterol don’t raise cholesterol levels, why do total cholesterol levels drop after you stop eating those foods? That’s a really good question, and for all of the discussion about this topic, this is actually how I got started in blogging and writing. Way back in the Healthy Skeptic days, I started writing articles about the relationship between cholesterol and saturated fat and heart disease. It’s been a dominant theme of my work since then. There are lots of other people who are writing and speaking about this, and there’s still quite a bit of confusion out there, and it’s understandable because this can be a confusing subject. November 14, 2016 The Diet-Heart Myth: Why Everyone Should Know Their LDL Particle Number Cardiovascular disease is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions in medicine. In this article, I will debunk the myth that high cholesterol in the blood is the cause of heart disease.