C-reactive protein

  1. Your soda habit is killing you

    If you're still drinking soda, there's not much else I can say at this point. You don't have to be a regular Dose reader to know this stuff is bad for you, and you'd have to have a hole in your head to think it's actually good.

    Hopefully, your head is intact and you know it's bad. And now, a new study spells out just ONE of the many ways soda can doom you to an early, bubbly grave.

    In this one, researchers found that men who have even one soda or other sugar-sweetened drink a day have a 20 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who don't drink this liquid junk.

    Two daily drinks boosted the risk by 42 percent, and three caused it to shoot up by 69 percent.

    Sugary drinks also boosted levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker that's a far more reliable indicator of heart risk than the LDL levels your own doc obsesses over.

    The study in Circulation was on men, but there's no reason to think it won't apply to women as well. After all, you don't have to be a cardiologist to know why soda will stop your heart.

    It's the sugar.

    Sugar is just about the worst thing you could pump into your body. And after your teeth, there's no part of your body that's more quickly ruined by it than your heart. Drink this stuff every day, and eventually it'll stop your heart colder than a refrigerator pack of cola.

    Throw in the fact that soda -- and sugar -- will swell your belly, rot your brain, and even damage your bones, and you've got no reason to ever go near this stuff.

    I know some of you will anyway. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

  2. Feds approve statins for people without high cholesterol

    If you didn't think the cholesterol conspiracy was a load of hooey created by drug manufacturers, maybe this will change your mind.

    Crestor -- that dangerous cholesterol-lowering drug -- has now been approved for people who DON'T have high cholesterol.

    You read that right -- a cholesterol drug... for people without cholesterol problems!

    If the circus clowns who run the FDA do what's expected and rubber-stamp the decision, AstraZeneca will be able to market Crestor to healthy Americans with high levels of a protein linked to inflammation.

    I suppose I should be gratified since I've been saying for decades that inflammation, and not "high" cholesterol, is the real problem when it comes to heart disease. And one good indicator of inflammation levels is something called C-reactive protein, or CRP for short.

    The higher the CRP creeps, the greater the inflammation... and the greater your risk for heart disease. The mainstream had no interest in exploring this link -- until some studies found that statins may lower CRP levels along with cholesterol.

    Now that they have a drug to sell, they're suddenly interested. But you don't need these meds for cholesterol or CRP, and here's why:

    First, forget cholesterol altogether -- I rarely tested for it when I was in practice. If it's somewhere between 200 and 300 and you're on a healthy low-carb diet, you're doing fine.

    Second, you can easily reduce your CRP levels and lower your risk for inflammation without meds. You just need some vitamin C -- the exact dose will depend on your individual needs, but between 2 and 6 grams per day should do the trick for most people who are eating right.

    Whatever you do, don't turn to statins. These meds have been linked to debilitating muscle pain and weakness as well as liver and kidney damage. Statin users also have an increased risk for diabetes.

    In fact, the AstraZeneca-sponsored JUPITER study that so impressed the FDA panel even found that Crestor patients had a 27 percent higher risk of diabetes than patients who took a placebo.

  3. How Big Pharma plans to get the world on statins

    In spite of all of the bad news I've brought you about statins in the past year, there's always a new study that claims they're the best thing since sliced bread.
  4. Researchers use good science to make a bad recommendation

    A study finally proves that inflammation is a predictor of heart disease. But it also finds that using statin-based drugs to treat inflammation could cut the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease in half.

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