hypertension

  1. What red wine can't do

    Everyone knows that red wine is good for your heart. Studies have shown over and over again that a glass or two a day can lower your heart disease risk.

    But a new study found that it won't do a thing for your blood pressure.

    Shocking! How can something that's good for your heart NOT lower your blood pressure?!

    For starters, it's because blood pressure is a bogus marker of heart health that's long been over-hyped simply as a way of selling more blood-pressure-lowering drugs.

    But to add to that, this study is junk science of the worst kind.

    Believe it or not, the 61 men and women in the month-long study on how red wine affects blood pressure didn't drink a single glass of wine in the process.

    Instead, the volunteers were given daily servings of either a plain dairy drink, or one of two dairy drinks loaded with different amounts of the polyphenols found in red wine.

    At the start of the study, the volunteers all had hypertension, with average BP levels of 145/86. And after four weeks of dairy drinks, nothing had changed.

    But what'd they think would happen, some kind of blood pressure miracle?

    Bottom line: Whether red wine lowers your blood pressure numbers or not-who cares? Studies have shown that it can boost your heart health, strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, boost your brain health, reduce your cancer risk, help you sleep better, and can even help you live longer.

    I'll definitely drink to that.

  2. Scary new plan to drug teens

    Researchers say more kids need BP meds

    It's shameless, dangerous, and downright dirty.

    A new study opens the door for pumping kids full of blood pressure meds -- even if they're perfectly healthy and even if they don't actually have high blood pressure by any standard definition.

    (And of course, one of the study's authors works for a drug company that makes hypertension meds. It just doesn't get any more predictable than that, folks!)

    Researchers set out to "prove" that hypertension in children is more widespread than previously believed. But no matter how hard they tried, they couldn't make the link even after crunching the numbers on thousands of Texas school kids who took part in drug company-funded screenings.

    All told, they found that only 1 in 200 teens develop high blood pressure in any given year, with similarly low numbers of kids facing the bogus category of "prehypertension." (For more on why it's bogus, read this.)

    That won't sell many meds now, will it?

    So instead of using existing standards, they fabricated their own: Any kid who's ever had a single above-normal BP reading for any reason is suddenly "at risk" and a possible candidate for medication.

    Doesn't matter if the kid was sick, scared, tired, or just plain having a bad day -- one high reading, and they're on the list, never mind that BP levels can change from day to day and minute to minute in even the healthiest of people.

    Under this new definition, the number of "at risk" kids suddenly skyrockets to include up to 26 percent of all U.S. teens -- including children who are stringbean-thin and perfectly healthy in every measurable mainstream way with no other signs of hypertension.

    Now THAT'S how you sell meds!

    It's an outrage -- and any doc who follows this advice should have his sphygmomanometer taken away permanently.

    The fact is, there's no evidence that kids with hypertension, prehypertension or even "at risk" BP levels go on to develop other heart risks. There's no evidence they need to be treated. There's no evidence they need meds. And there's no evidence these meds are even safe for children.

    How's that for evidence-based medicine?

  3. The white coats are coming! The white coats are coming!

    You know the drill: If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. That's especially true when it comes to checking your blood pressure levels -- because just your doctor's presence can send your BP levels shooting up to the moon.
  4. Slash heart risk by 50 percent?

    The polypill pushers are at it again -- and this time, they say their all-in-one drug can slash the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent.
  5. The non-epidemic of young hypertension patients

    Hypertension is either nothing to worry about for nearly all young adults or a "sleeping epidemic" threating nearly a fifth of them. Researchers say one of those two statements is true... and they can't for the life of them figure out which.
  6. Cereal for BP? No way!

    Researchers say their analysis of data on 13,368 male doctors who were tracked for more than 16 years found those who ate seven bowls of whole grain cereal a week had a 19 percent lower risk of hypertension than those who didn't.
  7. Study finds sodium levels haven't changed

    You know all that noise about how much more sodium we're consuming these days? It's just that -- noise -- because our sodium levels actually haven't risen a pinch over the years, and a new study proves it. And that means I was right all along -- because if our sodium levels haven't changed, something else is causing all those...
  8. Hypertension drugs can raise blood pressure

    A new study shows why blood pressure meds don't work for some people -- and how they can actually raise blood pressure to dangerous levels among a significant number of patients.
  9. Folate cuts colorectal cancer risk in women

    The latest research points to folate, or folic acid, as one of the keys to helping women avoid colorectal cancer.
  10. Don't quit your day job: Nightshift linked to cancer

    A new study has re-affirmed the old medical suspicion that night work can shorten your life.

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