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Do B Vitamins Reduce Heart Attack Risk?

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Do B Vitamins Reduce Heart Attack Risk?

What Role Do B Vitamins Play In A Heart Healthy Lifestyle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

vitamin B - heart health - Shaklee - Dr. ChaneyTwo weeks ago I shared some studies that challenge the claim that vitamin E doesn’t reduce heart attack risk. To close out “Heart Health” month, I want to share some information that may change how you think about B vitamins and heart disease risk. Once again, you’ve seen the headlines: “B Vitamins Do Not Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease”. In fact, these headlines have been repeated so many times that virtually every expert thinks that it has to be true. Once again, I’m going to share some information with you that I learned from a seminar by Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg who disagrees with this commonly held belief. Dr. Blumberg is a Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Dr. Blumberg has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is considered one of the world’s top experts on supplementation, and his specialty is conducting and analyzing clinical studies. He believes that the media has seriously misinterpreted the studies on B vitamins and heart disease risk. You might call this “The Rest of the Story” because you (and your doctor) definitely did not hear this part of the story in the news.

Do B Vitamins Reduce Heart Disease Risk?

heart desease risk - Dr. Chaney - ShakleeThe study in question is called the “Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation-2” (Lonn et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 354: 1567-1577, 2006). In that study a group of middle aged men and women received 2.5 mg of folate, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of vitamin B12 versus a placebo and were followed for an average of 5 years. The headlines that you may have seen said “B vitamins do not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with vascular disease”. But, the headlines did not tell the whole story. In the first place, that was only true for heart attacks and cardiovascular death. Strokes were reduced by 25%. I don’t know about you, but I consider strokes to be fairly major. However, even when we focus on heart attacks and cardiovascular deaths the headlines didn’t tell the whole story. You see, even the best intentioned studies sometimes contain fatal flaws that aren’t obvious until after the study has been completed.

The Flaws In The Study

heart health - Shaklee - Dr. ChaneyThere were two major flaws in this study. Flaw #1 was that 70% of the study subjects were eating foods fortified with folate and had adequate levels of that nutrient in their bloodstream before the study started. For those people who were already getting enough folate in their diet, B vitamin supplementation didn’t make much of a difference. However, for those people not getting adequate levels of folate in their diet, B vitamin supplementation decreased their risk of heart disease by ~15%. Flaw #2 was that ~90% of the people in the study had a history of coronary artery disease and most of them were already on cholesterol lowering medications. To understand why this is a problem you have to understand both the proposed mechanism by which B vitamin supplementation has been proposed to lower the risk of heart disease AND how the cholesterol lowering drugs work. Deficiencies of folate, B6 and B12 are thought to increase the risk of heart disease because the B vitamin deficiency causes an increase in homocysteine levels in the blood, and high homocysteine levels are thought to increase inflammation – which is a risk factor for heart disease. So supplementation with folate, B6 and B12 has been proposed to decrease heart disease risk by decreasing inflammation. The problem is that the most commonly used cholesterol lowering medications also decrease inflammation. So you might not be surprised to learn that those people who had a history of coronary artery disease (and were taking cholesterol lowering medication that reduces inflammation) did not receive much additional benefit from B vitamin supplementation. For those people in the study who were not taking cholesterol lowering medication, B vitamin supplementation also reduced their risk of heart attacks by ~15% – but there were too few people in that group for the results to be statistically significant. So the headlines from this study really should have said “B vitamins do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or cardiovascular deaths in people who are already getting adequate folate from their diet or in people who are taking drugs that reduce the bad effects of B vitamin deficiency”. But that kind of headline just wouldn’t sell any newspapers.

What Does This Study Mean For You?

There are two very important take-home lessons from this study. Lesson #1: Once again this study makes the point that supplementation makes the biggest difference when people have an increased need. The studies discussed in “Health Tips From the Professor” two weeks ago illustrated increased need because of age, pre-existing disease, and genetic predisposition. This study illustrated increased need because of inadequate diet. Lesson #2: This study also illustrates a problem that is becoming increasingly common in studies of supplementation. It is considered unethical to not provide participants in both groups with what is considered the standard of care for medical practice. In today’s world the standard of care includes multiple drugs with multiple side effect, and some of those drugs may have the same mechanism of action as the supplement. I have discussed this problem in the context of omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease in a previous “Health Tips From the Professor”. In many cases it is no longer possible to ask whether supplement X reduces the risk of a particular disease. It is now only possible to ask whether supplement X provides any additional benefit for patients who are taking multiple drugs, with multiple side effects. That’s not the question that many of my readers are interested in.

The Bottom Line

1)     Headlines have proclaimed for years the “B Vitamins Do Not Reduce Heart Disease Risk”. Dr. Jeffrey Bloomberg of Tufts University has reviewed one of the major studies behind this claim and found the headlines to be misleading.

2)     For example, the study showed that B vitamin supplementation reduced strokes by 25%, which is a pretty significant finding in itself.

3)     When he analyzed the portion of the study looking at heart attacks, he found two major flaws:

#1: 70% of the people in the study were already getting adequate amounts of B vitamins from their diet and would not be expected to benefit from supplementation. For the 30% who weren’t getting adequate amounts of B vitamins from their diet, supplementation reduced their risk of heart attack by 15%.

#2: 90% of the people in the study were taking a drug that masks the beneficial effects of B vitamin supplementation. For the 10% who weren’t taking the drug, supplementation with B vitamins also reduced their risk of heart attack by 15%, but there were too few people in that group for the results to be statistically significant.

Obviously, there were only a handful of people in the study who weren’t getting enough B vitamins from their diet AND weren’t on medication, so we have no idea what the effect of B vitamin supplementation was in that group.

4)     Once again this study makes the point that supplementation makes the biggest difference when people have an increased need. The studies discussed in “Health Tips From the Professor” two weeks ago illustrated increased need because of age, pre-existing disease, and genetic predisposition. This study illustrated increased need because of inadequate diet.

5)     This study also illustrates a problem that is becoming increasingly common in studies of supplementation. It is considered unethical to not provide participants in both groups with what is considered the standard of care for medical practice. In today’s world the standard of care includes multiple drugs, some of which may have the same mechanism of action as the supplement.

In many cases it is no longer possible to ask whether supplement X reduces the risk of a particular disease. It is now only possible to ask whether supplement X provides any additional benefit for patients who are taking multiple drugs, with multiple side effects. That’s not the question that many of my readers are interested in.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Dr. Steve Chaney Health Tips From the Professor stevechaneytips@gmail.com www.healthtipsfromtheprofessor.com

 

About The Author

Dr.Chaney - ShakleeDr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He is Professor Emeritus from the University of North Carolina where he taught biochemistry and nutrition to medical and dental students for 40 years. Dr. Chaney won numerous teaching awards at UNC, including the Academy of Educators “Excellence in Teaching Lifetime Achievement Award”. Dr Chaney also ran an active cancer research program at UNC and published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In addition, he authored two chapters on nutrition in one of the leading biochemistry text books for medical students.

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NTSA – Dr. Chaney – Children’s Health, Diabetes, Heart Health (June 14, 2014)

North Texas Shaklee Association presents:

Dr. Steve Chaney, PhD
Shaklee Master Co-ordinator

The topics Dr. Chaney will discuss are as follows:

The Shaklee Difference
Children’s Health
Diabetes
Heart Disease

Meeting date: Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meeting time: 9:00 a. m. to 12:30 p. m.

Location: Hilton Garden Hotel;
1001 W. George Bush Fwy.
(south on feeder road between Independence and Custer).
Hotel is on the west side of George Bush Fwy.

Cost: $25.00 non NTSA members before May 31 – $30.00 after that date

$20.00/NTSA members before May 31 – $25.00 after that date

“Limited seating so please make your reservations early to insure admittance.”

Please make checks payable to NTSA and mail to:

North Texas Shaklee Association
C/O Mary Ann Pahmeier
3207 East University Blvd. Be sure to say Blvd.)
Dallas, TX 75214-2139

We have gotten a special room rate of $89.00 per night for either king or double queen size beds. This includes breakfast; however, this special is only good through May 31. The phone number is (972) 792-9393. Use ” Shaklee” for special rate. When making reservations by email, please use the code NTS.

Supporting the Hardest Working Muscle In Your Body – Your Heart (Health Letter – February 2012)

Letter from Shaklee Health Sciences,

Dr. Jamie McManus MD, FAAFP Chairman,
Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education

Abbreviated by Nadya Tatsch

heart health

Your heart – it beats on average 100,000 times a day and pumps the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood each day. Imagine what a
workhorse our hearts must be! So vital to our life and yet not well taken care of by most of us. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming close to a million lives each year. Over 30 million Americans live with the burden of heart disease; 60 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease.

While traditionally considered a “man’s disease,”heart disease has become a serious health challenge for women as well. Cardiovascular disease kills over 500,000 women each year, more than the next seven causes of death combined. To give you a perspective, 1 in every 2.5 women will die of heart disease and stroke, compared to 1 in every 30 women who will die from breast cancer. What may be the most important information is that heart disease in women presents with different symptoms and physicians tend to under-diagnose the disease in women. In fact, more than half of women who die of coronary heart disease have either had no classic symptoms, or have been misdiagnosed as anxiety, stress or musculoskeletal disorders. Part of the challenge comes from the fact that coronary artery disease in women tends to present with symptoms like shortness of breath or fatigue rather than the classic “crushing” substernal pain that is more typical in men. Research conducted by NIH with 515 women surprisingly revealed that fewer than
30% of women reported having chest pain or discomfort prior to their heart attacks, and 43% reported have no chest pain at all during any phase of the attack. The most common symptoms they reported were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and shortness of breath. So, whether you are male or female, today is the day to put your heart health on the radar screen.

So, let’s talk about what you can do. First of all, let’s assess your risk and then determine what you can do to lower your risks. Yes, there is much you can do to hopefully prevent a catastrophic event from happening to you down the road!

The seven major risk factors for coronary artery disease are:

  1. Family history
  2. Obesity
  3. Hypertension
  4. Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
  5. Type 2 Diabetes
  6. Smoking
  7. Sedentary lifestyle

Well, only one of these risk factors is not in your control. You cannot change your family history, but knowledge is good –so, if your family tree includes heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, it behooves you to look at the other 6 risk factors — because these are all modifiable risks that you have control over! Knowing your risk factors is the first step in preventing heart disease. Once you know your risk factors, you can begin to take the steps needed to reducing your chances of developing heart disease.

First, some general diet and lifestyle guidelines to support your healthy heart:

  1. Lose weight. For the 2 out of every 3 Americans who are overweight or obese, losing weight is your first priority for lowering your risk of heart disease. Even modest weight loss can significantly improve blood cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (See Shaklee Cinch Weight Loss Program)
  2. Eat a balanced diet with nutritious foods from all food groups, but especially concentrate on nutrient rich fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber whole grain foods. Plant foods are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Limit intake of alcohol and sodium. (See Shaklee Cinnamon Apple Fiber bars)
  3. Eat oily fish rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. The AHA recommends that individuals with heart disease should consider an additional supplement of 1000 mg EPA and DHA, and those with high triglycerides consider two to four grams EPA + DHA daily in consultation with a physician. (See Shaklee Omega Guard)
  4. Ensure your nutritional intake of heart-healthy B vitamins, including folic acid, B6 and B12, vitamin D, antioxidants such as vitamin E, and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which is well studied for its effects on heart muscle function. (See Shaklee
    Essential Nutrition
    )
  5. Reduce intake of nutrient-poor foods including sugary soft drinks, sweets, and processed salty snack foods. These foods typically provide very little vitamin, mineral, dietary fiber, or phytonutrient value, yet often provide unnecessary and unhealthy calories from excess sugar and fats, including saturated and trans fats. If you already have high cholesterol, consider natural cholesterol reduction complex that can be taken along medication. It slowly wins off medication until the medication is not needed any more. Cholesterol Reduction Complex is a proprietary formula with clinically proven ingredients that help prevent absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It is made with a powerful blend of sterols and stanols, which are found naturally in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains. It’s often reported that Cholesterol Reduction Complex also lowers blood pressure.
  6. Exercise. Expend at least as many calories as you take in. Regular physical activity is critical for achieving and managing a healthy weight, and to achieve cardiovascular fitness. Strive for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. (See Shaklee Cinch Weight Loss Program)
  7. Take time to De-stress. There’s no denying we live in a stressful world, and most of us experience stress on a daily basis. Whether it is physical or emotional stress, your body reacts in the same way: it sets off its “fight or flight” response. As a result, stress hormones are released, increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and blood glucose in attempt to provide our body with an increased energy supply. Over time, this chronic stress response wreaks havoc—slowing digestion, weakening immune function and increasing the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. So take time to de-stress your life. Start by getting more sleep. Incorporate relaxation and deep-breathing techniques into your daily routine. Your heart will love you for it.
  8. And of course, don’t smoke.

heart health

American Heart Month is our nation’s annual reminder to take care of the most important and perhaps most neglected organ in the human body. After all, our hearts beat 100,000 times a day and never have the luxury of a day away from the office. Celebrate and pay tribute to your healthy heart with a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise! At Shaklee, we continue to believe in and will continue to communicate our message that a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle should be a year-round, life-long effort, today and forever.

~~~~~

The American Heart Association launched its nationwide movement “Go Red For Women” in 2004 to raise women’s awareness of their risk for heart disease and to help them take action to reduce their risk. Shaklee supports this effort to link the color red and the red dress with the ability all women have to improve their heart health and live stronger, longer lives. For more information on the Go Red for Women movement, visit www.goredforwomen.org.

~~~~~

Letter from Shaklee
Health Sciences,

Dr. Jamie McManus MD, FAAFP Chairman,
Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education

Abbreviated by Nadya
Tatsch

Supporting the Hardest Muscle (Health Letter – February 2012) (.pdf)

Healthy Heart – Healthy Living (NTSA, February 9, 2012)

 
February is Heart Month.
 
Les Wong will be joining us to introduce Shaklee’s new CoQHeart product and share updates on research studies.
Les Wong, Vice President of Health Sciences for Shaklee Corporation

Les Wong, Vice President of Health Sciences for Shaklee Corporation

His Health Sciences Team is charged with establishing and safeguarding the scientic credibility of Shaklee Health related products and programs, and supporting the research, development, and marketing of Shaklee health and wellness products.
Les is responsible for assessment of the scientic literature on emerging health and nutrition issues, substantiation of Shaklee health and product claims, development of scientic communications to the eld, management of Shaklee’s clinical research programs, and consulting with world class athletes. Les is deeply committed to the highest standards of scientic integrity and is proud to be a long-term member of the Shaklee scientic team.
 
 
 
 
Shaping Up in the New Year
 
One month into the 2012 how is your weight loss plan working? Cinch is making a difference in the lives of people all across the country. Les will provide insights into developing an effective Cinch plan and how you can help others achieve their weight loss goals.
 
Les Wong and NadyaTatsch (The Natural Power, Shaklee Ind Distributor)Science to Build On…Why Shaklee?
 
Discover the opportunities that lie ahead when you start a Shaklee business. You can live life to the fullest by earning more money, driving a cool car, traveling to exotic locations, and improving the health and well-being of your friends and family. We call it The Dream Plan, but the opportunity isn’t just a dream — it’s real.

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Good News Doesn’t Always Make the Headlines



Dr. Jamie McManus MD
"I’d like to take a few moments of your time to provide some perspective on recent media attention to supplementation. It can be challenging to know what to trust, and we urge you to critically read articles about health and vitamins before assuming their validity - just as you would for any other reports from the Internet, a newspaper or the evening news.

Each year, hundreds of positive studies about nutrients and supplementation are published, the vast majority of which never make the news. Some examples of recently published clinical studies that have shown positive health outcomes include:


Read the rest of this entry »

You Have Been Lied to About Cholesterol and Fats (by www.naturalnews.com)

Author Paul Fassa, http://www.naturalnews.com/032262_cholesterol_fats.html

For decades we have been indoctrinated that cholesterol from saturated fat is the major harbinger of heart disease and death. The result has been big profits for unhealthy, cheaply produced no/low fat foods like margarine and Big Pharma’s dangerous statin drugs.

Over several decades, this propaganda has diminished or even destroyed the health of millions while killing thousands who have been put on cholesterol lowering statin drugs. Simply put, cholesterol as the major heart disease threat is disinformation.

Bad vs Real Science

The original study that started the whole cholesterol/heart disease hypothesis was conducted on rabbits. They were fed enormous quantities of butter and lard daily, equivalent to a quart a day for humans. But those animals are herbivores, not omnivores. Herbivores are not equipped to digest animal proteins and fats. When a similar study was conducted years later on rats, which like humans are omnivores, there were no negative consequences whatsoever.

More impressive are the three epidemiological human studies involving tens of thousands of subjects over two to three generations. They all discovered higher death rates among those with lower cholesterol counts. Those studies were: The Framingham Study; The Honolulu Heart Program Study; The Japanese Lipid Intervention Trial.

Many agree that stress coupled with heavy refined carbohydrate and junk food diets (SAD) are the sources of most obesity, diabetes, chronic inflammation, and heart disease.

Getting Fats Into Your Diet

Cholesterol is essential to many metabolic functions and forms 20% of our brains as well as part of our cell walls. Depression is often the result of low blood cholesterol levels. Our bodies make some cholesterol while regulating cholesterol blood levels. So if you consume too much cholesterol, the body compensates by making less.

The only bad cholesterol is external, unnatural oxy-cholesterol, which is the result of heating fats to where they oxidize. This occurs commonly in processed and fast food. Natural oxy-cholesterol is produced in the body as part of a regulatory function. But unnatural oxy-cholesterol can obstruct bile functions and eventually cause arterial problems. This arrangement is prevalent among SAD consumers.

A leading nutritional biochemist, Dr. Harry Eidiner Jr., has confirmed in medical journals that you cannot digest protein without fat in your diet. A vegetarian who consumes raw milk dairy products from grass fed cows and free range hen eggs has no problems with taking in sufficient fats.

Strict vegans may have a more difficult time getting enough fats. Virgin coconut oil and fresh raw nuts can be added. Unrefined cold pressed poly-unsaturated plant based oils have positive fatty acid value also. Balancing omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (around two or three to one) is healthiest. Hemp oil has that balance.

Omega-3 flaxseed oil can offset the imbalance of omega-6 olive oil. Avocado and avocado unprocessed oils are rich in good fats. Avocado is so nutrient dense it’s often considered a super food. Just make sure polyunsaturated fat oils don’t go rancid or get overheated. Seafood or fresh water fish not farmed are good fatty acid sources. But choosing healthy seafood is getting dicier daily.

Eating meat? A few of us need to. But unless you’re wiling to go the extra mile to find meats from grass fed livestock treated humanely and pay the extra bucks, you’ll be eating meat from diseased, drugged, and distressed animals. Not so healthy. This diet also perpetuates more massive, outrageous suffering to our friends in the animal kingdom.

Include some fat in your diet. Simply avoid refined carbs, processed or fast foods and the phony food no-fat diet craze that lingers on as the legacy of some old bad science.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]

Sources for this article include:

http://thehealthyskeptic.org/choles…
http://www.13.waisays.com/cholester…
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kos…
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004…
http://thecholesterollie.com/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a…

Author Paul Fassa, http://www.naturalnews.com/032262_cholesterol_fats.html