December 27, 2014 |
When Anne Bower's doctor suggested she take a statin drug to lower her cholesterol, she had other ideas. Call it a lifestyle redo. Beginning in July 2013, working with doctors and later a nutritionist, Bower began eating lots of beans, greens, and grains; a little fish; and almost no meat. She cut way down on sugar and saturated fat and began doing yoga. She hiked in the Wissahickon and took long walks with the dog. "But the biggest change I made was to increase the number of medicinal plants I use," said Bower, associate biology professor at Philadelphia University in East Falls, who shared her knowledge of those plants with students this semester.
February 24, 2014 |
Watching your weight? Hoping for better heart health? Trying to prevent type 2 diabetes? Nuts to all that! It turns out that nuts appear to bestow a wide variety of health benefits, from helping clear out bad cholesterol to cutting down on visceral fat to reducing the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer. The benefits of consuming nuts were emphasized late last year in a large study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Findings revealed that participants in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who ate a fistful of nuts daily were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than those who did not consume nuts.
March 14, 2013 |
For consumers, free is usually good. When the freebie might help you avoid a heart attack, that's usually better. Retail grocery store competition is fierce, and Wegmans is trying to get an edge by giving away - yes, free - a generic version of what was the world's best-selling drug, the cholesterol medicine Lipitor. Based in Rochester, N.Y., Wegmans has several stores in the Philadelphia area. Jo Natale, Wegmans' director of media relations, would not say how many new customers the program had generated, but the company decided to extend the offer at least through the end of 2013 after first planning to end it in April.
November 12, 2012 |
Physicians can prescribe a number of effective measures for warding off cardiovascular disease, among them a healthy diet, exercise, and the popular drugs called statins. Yet this family of disease remains the number-one killer in the United States, worse than all cancers combined. Now, two new studies by Philadelphia researchers have yielded intriguing clues toward possible better treatments. Separately, a new class of drugs already in clinical trials appears to rival statins in improving cholesterol levels, though the new drugs have not yet been shown to reduce heart disease.
November 4, 2012 |
University of Pennsylvania scientists have turned a castoff drug into a novel treatment for a rare, fatal genetic disorder in which ultra-high cholesterol causes heart disease in early childhood. The journal Lancet on Friday published a small but pivotal international study of 29 adult patients who took the drug, called lomitapide. After six months, 14 patients saw their LDL "bad" cholesterol drop by at least half, and 8 reached near-optimal levels that persisted through the end of the study a year later.
August 8, 2012 |
ATLANTA - Finally some good news about cholesterol and children: A big government study shows that in the last decade, the proportion of children who have high cholesterol has fallen. The results are surprising, given that the childhood obesity rate did not budge. How can that be? Some experts think that while most children might not be eating less or exercising more, they may be getting fewer trans fats. That's because the artery-clogging ingredient has been removed or reduced in many processed or fried foods.
March 6, 2012 |
Merck & Co. is trying to improve its place in the cholesterol drug market but its latest attempt faces another hurdle. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to Merck, said the company needed to provide more data before the agency could further consider an application for a new drug that combines Merck's cholesterol drug Zetia and a generic version of Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor. So many people's arteries are clogged with cholesterol-produced plaque that drug companies are looking for ways to retain revenue from established drugs, ward off generic competitors, and try new combinations that might yield future profits.
November 11, 2011 |
More children should be screened for high cholesterol before puberty, beyond those with a family history of problems, according to wide-ranging new guidelines expected from government-appointed experts who seek to prevent heart disease later in life. The new advice will be presented Sunday at an American Heart Association conference by some members of a panel for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Any call for wider screening is likely to raise concern about overdiagnosing a condition that might not cause problems for decades, if ever.
October 9, 2011 |
I thought the days were over when I worried about my grades, but I've been checking the mail with college-acceptance levels of anticipation. Let me explain. A few years ago, I went to my great cardiologist for a checkup, and he did a blood test that showed my cholesterol was 258, which was high. Oddly, this was about the same as my math SAT score, which was lower than low. In fact, it was downright embarrassing, and maybe half my brain is missing. Anyway, to stay on point, the cardiologist explained that cholesterol is composed of bad cholesterol, or LDL, and good cholesterol, or HDL. I remember which is which by thinking that the L stands for lousy and the H stands for you can buy green bananas.
May 27, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - A drug that boosts people's good cholesterol did not go on to prevent heart attacks or strokes, leading U.S. officials to abruptly halt a major study Thursday. The disappointing findings involve superstrength niacin, a type of B vitamin that many doctors prescribe as potential heart protection. "This sends us a bit back to the drawing board," said Susan Shurin, cardiovascular chief at the National Institutes of Health. The bad kind of cholesterol, called LDL, is the main source of artery clogs.