POM, Vitamin Water, and SoBe Have Made Misleading Claims According to Experts

Cancer, General Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Health
It has a sleek, curvy bottle, features the juice from an exotic fruit and has a catchy name, but according to both government and consumer agencies, POM Wonderful is a drink that's not as wonderful as its manufacturer claims. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently issued a complaint against the makers of POM Wonderful 100 Percent Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements, accusing the company of making "false and unsubstantiated claims" in its advertisements that these products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. Here are the details from ABC News: POM Wonderful is just the most recent drink to feature dubious nutritional claims, and experts say while these drinks may offer some health benefits, consumers should be wary of products that make promises that sound too good…
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Hostile, Competitive Types May Be Harming Their Hearts

Heart Health, Mental Health
An Italian study finds that a hostile personality type is linked to a thickening of neck artery wall -- which may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Here are the details from a report in HealthDay News: Hostile people, especially those who are manipulative and aggressive, may be paying a price in terms of heart health, a new study finds. These types of people showed a thickening in the walls of their neck arteries tied to a 40 percent higher risk of having the artery narrow. And that could boost their risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, the researchers concluded. "The public is often worried about stress, but sometime it's how our personalities interact with stress that can have an effect on…
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Mediterranean diet also helps existing heart disease

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet can help heart patients stay healthy, new research from Greece shows. The Mediterranean diet, which I recommend in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, vegetable and olive oils, no-fat dairy products, legumes, whole grains, and fish, and has been shown to help shield people from heart disease and also ward off certain cancers. But less information is available on whether the Mediterranean diet might be helpful for people who already have heart disease. According to a report in Reuters Health, to investigate this, Chrysohoou and her team looked at 1,000 patients who had suffered heart attacks or severe chest pain while at rest or with only light exertion. They rated each patient on a scale of…
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New Study Says, “Check blood pressure at home, not MD’s office!”

Heart Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
Think you need to go to the doctor's office to check your blood pressure? Think again. For years I've had my patients monitor their blood pressure at home. I do NOT rely solely upon blood pressure readings in the office. Now comes a new study saying the best way to predict your risk of stroke or heart attack due to high blood pressure is through systematic monitoring at home rather than periodic checks in the doctor's office. Here are more details from Reuters Health: "With home blood pressure monitoring you get a greater number of measurements and there is no white-coat effect," lead author Dr. Teemu Niiranen told Reuters Health, speaking of the tendency for anxiety to drive up blood pressure. "At home the patient is more relaxed and this…
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Dark chocolate Easter eggs good for your heart?

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Easter eggs and other chocolate may be good for you – at least in small quantities and preferably if it’s dark chocolate – according to research that shows just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. The study is published online in the European Heart Journal. Researchers in Germany followed 19,357 people, aged between 35 and 65, for at least ten years, and found that those who ate the most amount of chocolate – an average of 7.5 grams a day – had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate – an average of 1.7 grams a day. The difference…
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Eating Processed Meat Riskier Than Red Meat

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Here's some surprising information from the Harvard School of public health. It's an old news, new news story. First a reiteration of some old news: Eating processed meat such as bacon, salami, hot dogs, or lunch meats is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. But, this old news becomes even more convincing since this particular report is based upon an analysis of 20 studies including more than 1.2 million adults. However, the new news is that the increased risk of heart disease and diabetes does NOT come from eating UNPROCESSED red meat, such as steak, lamb or pork. How about that for a shocker!? The risk comes from eating PROCESSED meats. The researchers theorize that the higher sodium and nitrate levels in processed meats are the…
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Vitamin D Linked to Lower Heart Risk

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
According to new research, vitamin D supplements may not only help your bones, they may help protect your heart. A new review of research on vitamin D and calcium supplements shows that people who take moderate to high doses of vitamin D have a lower risk of heart disease -- while calcium supplements seemed to have little effect on heart disease risk. Here's the full report from WebMD: Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to exposure to sunlight but is also commonly found in fortified dairy products and supplements. It is already known to play a critical role in calcium absorption and bone health, but a growing number of studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation may also lower the risk of heart disease. Researchers say vitamin D and…
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Herbals and Heart Health

Alternative Medicine, Heart Health
The folks at Natural Standard recently sent out a notice of a significant review in the cardiology literature on the potential interactions between herbs and heart medications. A news release on the study can be found here. This new analysis suggests that herbal supplements, such as Ginkgo biloba and garlic, may cause dangerous interactions when combined with heart medications. Some examples of herbs and their adverse effect on heart disease management include: St. John’s wort, which is typically used to treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders among other problems, reduces the effectiveness of medications contributing to recurrences of arrhythmia, high blood pressure or increase in blood cholesterol levels and risk for future heart problems. Ginkgo biloba, which is supposedly used to improve circulation or sharpen the mind, increases bleeding risk in…
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Scientists link BPA in plastics to heart disease

Children's Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
#mce_temp_url#With disagreement over baby bottle chemical (bisphenol A), what’s a parent to do? Reuters Health in London is reporting that exposure to a chemical found in plastic containers is linked to heart disease. Scientists researching bisphenol A, known as BPA, have just confirmed earlier findings casting suspicion on BPA and adding to pressure to ban its use in bottles and food packaging -- not only for those containers of food or drink for infants and children, but also adults. British and U.S. researchers studied the effects of the chemical bisphenol A using data from a U.S. government national nutrition survey in 2006 and found that high levels of it in urine samples were associated with heart disease. Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is widely used in plastics and has been…
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The Ten Commandments of Preventive Medicine – Part 6 – Alcohol

General Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
In my latest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the sixth installment of this ten-part series. (more…)
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The Ten Commandments of Preventive Medicine – Part 2 – Obesity

General Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
In my newest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize the ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, I’ve developed a list of what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine."  Here’s the second installment of this ten-part series. More information: (more…)
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Federal investigators uncover major problems with chelation study

Alternative Medicine, Heart Health
I've written about chelation for many years. In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I conclude, "Evidence against (chelation's) effectiveness in heart disease is so clear, its continued use raises serious ethical questions. The therapy is very expensive and can be very lucrative for providers. Nevertheless, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine decided to do a very large study to try to establish once, and for all, whether chelation works or not. More Information: (more…)
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Obese teens show signs of heart disease. What can you do?

Children's Health, Parenting
Bloomberg News reports that "teenagers and young adults who are obese . . . show signs of damaged heart arteries that may lead to heart attacks, strokes, and shortened lives," according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. If you child or teen is overweight or obese, what does this mean for he or she, and what can you do? More Information: (more…)
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Study indicates inexpensive polypill pill may significantly reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Should you consider it?

Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Woman's Health
On the March 30th edition of the ABC World News, Charles Gibson reported, "Some of the country's leading heart doctors heard results" yesterday at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference "about ... just one pill that could revolutionize the way heart disease is treated. This pill combines five commonly used medications, and new findings show it to be safe and effective." Should you get your doctor to prescribe this to you? More Information: (more…)
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Are multivitamins helpful or harmful when it comes to preventing chronic diseases?

Alternative Medicine, Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
According to the LA Times, “a spate of high-profile studies published in the last few years shows that a variety of popular supplements -- including calcium, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E -- don't do anything to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, or a variety of cancers.” And, the New York Times is reporting, “In the past few years, several high-quality studies have failed to show that extra vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.” But what about multivitamins? Are they helpful or harmful More Information: (more…)
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What a woman’s heart needs, at every age

Heart Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Heart disease is the number-one killer of women in the US. While 8 million women have it,  you can take specific steps to protect your heart starting at an early age. What's more, a new study shows that in recent years the overall heart disease risk for Americans – especially women – h=asn't continued the healthy downward trend it showed in previous decades. Here are some tips for women of all ages. More Information: (more…)
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Green tea protects against heart disease

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Health Headlines, Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Reuters has published a story about Greek researchers who say a few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease. The study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, showed further evidence of the potential health benefits from a brew already linked to a reduced risk of a range of cancers and other conditions. My Take? (more…)
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“The Russert Effect”: Docs Report Surge in Appointments

Health Headlines, Heart Health, Men's Health
ABC News is reporting a phenomena that family physicians around the country are reporting to me: Tim Russert's death Friday from sudden cardiac arrest may have hit a nerve deeper than sadness. Russert's death may have lead some to fear for their own seemingly healthy bodies, or the health of a loved one – and doctors are seeing the effects. Calls are up dramatically for exams for middle aged men. (more…)
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