LDL levels

  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. Slash heart risk by 50 percent?

    Bizarre new claim over all-in-one heart drug

    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.

    That's a heckuva claim to make from a study where absolutely NO ONE suffered from heart disease or a stroke.

    Yup... this was another one of those theoretical jobs, where they plug in some numbers and expect us to believe it.

    In this case, they at least started out with real people: Researchers gave the polypill -- a single drug that contains a statin, two hypertension meds, and aspirin -- or a placebo to 378 people at clinics around the world.

    After 12 weeks, researchers say the patients given the polypill had slight improvements in meaningless biomarkers: blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    How slight? Systolic blood pressure fell from 134 mmHg to 124 mmHg.

    Even if you agree that this is a good measure of cardiovascular health (it's not!), both numbers are safely below the levels considered hypertension by the mainstream.

    LDL levels fell from the "borderline high" category to "above optimal," and don't even waste your time trying to figure out what that means.

    That's it.

    But the researchers say that over the long term, these minute changes will lead to a 50 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke -- a massive leap of faith that somehow got published in PLoS One.

    "Peer review" ain't what it used to be.

    But this is exactly the kind of hokum they have to use to make this drug look good -- because when you look at the REAL numbers, there's just nothing there... and that's been the case all along.

    Nearly eight years ago, I warned you about a polypill study that supposedly slashed heart risk by a third. That claim was technically true, but it looks a lot less impressive when you read the fine print and see that the absolute risk reduction was just 1.4 percent. (Read the story here.)

    And just a few weeks ago, one of the polypill's inventors said his new study found that absolutely everyone over the age of 55 needs to take the drug's main ingredients, statins and BP pills.

    But it turned out that wasn't a real study -- just a computer simulation. (Read more here.)

    I'd say wake me up when they actually get some real results from this pill... but I'd have to be asleep for a very long time.

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