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coffee cardiovascular disease

Coffee is linked to reduced cardiovascular disease and mortality

A new peer-reviewed paper has been published that seems to indicate that coffee consumption is linked to reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality. As I am writing this article while drinking a large cup of coffee, I can only say, “awesome!”

I have written previously about the benefits of coffee to health, but this new article is one of the better ones that examine the effect of coffee on the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

But those of you who read my articles demand more than “awesome,” but you want me to take a look at the article and determine if it meets the standards of good science. I think it does, but let’s take a better look.

Read More »Coffee is linked to reduced cardiovascular disease and mortality
damar hamlin

Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field — anti-vaxxers go nuts

Yesterday, I was watching the Monday Night NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, when I saw a player, Damar Hamlin, stand up after a tackle, then apparently collapse. He suffered a cardiovascular event, and he had to be resuscitated on the field in front of his teammates, opponents, fans at the stadium, and the TV audience. Eventually, the game was postponed, with the NFL doing the right thing for its player, something that it doesn’t frequently do.

As of the time of this writing, Hamlin is still in critical condition and is being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (where the game was being played). There is little information coming from the NFL, the Buffalo Bills (the team he was playing for), or the hospital about his condition or prognosis, so everyone is hopeful.

Within seconds of Hamlin’s injury, anti-vaxxers were on Twitter claiming that the injury was a direct result of the COVID-19 vaccine. Ignoring real medical science and making conclusions based on a total lack of evidence, which is typical for the anti-vaccine crowd.

I’m going to first discuss what probably happened to Damar Hamlin, based on the best available science, and then talk about the disgusting anti-vaccine cretins.

Read More »Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field — anti-vaxxers go nuts
statins supplements

Dietary supplements are not better than statins for heart disease

As I wrote previously, statins are important in preventing cardiovascular disease and mortality, but people continue to push dietary supplements as a better alternative to statins. Well, a new study blows that claim out of the water — statins are better for your cardiovascular health than dietary supplements.

I keep writing about supplements, and rarely do I find powerful, robust, and repeated evidence that supplements have any positive effect on one’s health. Occasionally, some research might show a small clinical benefit, but mostly, taking supplements means you have very expensive urine since most of it is removed by your kidneys.

As most of you who read this blog know that I love reviewing these articles, so you have the bullet points for the results. Of course, the article is linked, so you can get into the weeds if you want. Here we go.

Read More »Dietary supplements are not better than statins for heart disease
statins

Statins protect your cardiovascular health — systematic reviews

Statins have been controversial and are used by alternative medicine (not medicine) lovers as an example of all kinds of malfeasance from Big Pharma. However, real studies show quite the opposite — they protect cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of death.

I know I’ll get nasty comments (see Note 1) claiming everything that I am a Big Pharma shill or I don’t know anything about anything. But I’ve got the evidence, so those kinds of attacks mean nothing.

So let’s take a look at the best systematic reviews and try to put to rest the nonsensical dismissal of the claim that statins prevent cardiovascular events, including death.

Read More »Statins protect your cardiovascular health — systematic reviews
omega-3 supplements

Omega-3 supplements have little effect on cardiovascular disease and mortality

This article about omega-3 supplements is a companion piece to my recent article about fatty fish and cardiovascular disease. There is little evidence that two servings of fatty fish, which are filled with omega-3, have any effect on the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

I have been skeptical of supplements for a long period of time. Supplements are generally of low quality, they don’t prevent or cure cancer, they don’t prevent colds, they can’t boost the immune system, and they don’t prevent heart disease. Now there is a powerful review of omega-3 supplements that shows that it has little effect on cardiovascular disease.

Unless one has a chronic disease or is chronically malnourished, there are precious few instances where supplements are necessary. A couple of cases where supplements may be critical include prenatal folic acid supplements to prevent neurological defects in the developing fetus, vitamin C to prevent scurvy, and vitamin D supplements for individuals who do not produce enough endogenous vitamin D. In each of these cases, however, supplements are necessary to counteract a micronutrient deficiency that results from a chronic deficiency in the diet.

The benefits of omega-3 supplements have always been intriguing to me because it is one supplement that I thought might be useful for improving cardiovascular health based on some clinical evidence. But as I reviewed before, the evidence seemed awfully weak. With this new study, there may be no evidence whatsoever supporting the use of omega-3 supplements, at least for cardiovascular disease.

Read More »Omega-3 supplements have little effect on cardiovascular disease and mortality
fatty fish

Two servings of fatty fish every week — does it help your heart?

Nearly 30 years ago, I attended an American Heart Association meeting and sat in on a presentation about fatty fish in the diet. The presenter claimed that two servings of fatty fish helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and other issues.

This presentation occurred way before I made a presence on the internet debunking nutritional claims. I thought that the researchers behind the study were smarter than me, so who am I to dismiss their claims? Plus, I enjoy fatty fish with my sushi, salmon, and lox with my bagels. I mean, I was already practicing the diet, so my cardiovascular system must be working well.

The study was eventually published, and it became gospel in the cardiology world. Everyone who had anything to do with cardiology — physicians, researchers, cardiovascular device manufacturers — jumped on board with their two servings of fatty fish.

Then I grew up to be a cranky, snarky skeptic. And I wondered if this recommendation was actually supported by science. And that’s when the foundation of this belief that I held crumbled very quickly.

Read More »Two servings of fatty fish every week — does it help your heart?
COVID vaccination

COVID vaccination lowers cardiovascular and stroke risk

Complete vaccination against COVID-19 was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular events such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke as secondary complications of a COVID-19 infection. These results were published in a peer-reviewed journal recently.

This is another huge benefit of COVID-19 vaccination that should be convincing evidence that the vaccine has both short- and long-term benefits.

As I usually do, I will review the study and results so that you can use this paper as further evidence that COVID-19 vaccination saves lives.

Read More »COVID vaccination lowers cardiovascular and stroke risk
alcohol cardiovascular

Powerful study shows cardiovascular risk from drinking alcohol

There has been a belief that drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol might provide a benefit to the cardiovascular system. Unfortunately for believers in that myth, new powerful scientific evidence debunks it.

I honestly never bought into it because it always seemed to be one of those medical myths that were never really supported by robust and repeated evidence. But it hung around for so long that even cardiologists thought that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol reduced the risks of cardiovascular events.

Drinking alcohol, even in moderate amounts, has a lot of deleterious effects like increasing the risk of cancer. So, maybe we should consider drinking alcohol to be along the lines of smoking cigarettes — evidence-based links to cancer, mental health, cardiovascular disease, and so much else. I know that I’m advocating a very unpopular point of view, but I’m into the science, not the societal, points of view.

So let’s take a critical look at this paper, and determine if it really does debunk the myth about alcohol and cardiovascular disease.

Read More »Powerful study shows cardiovascular risk from drinking alcohol
COVID-19 cardiovascular

COVID causes “substantial” long-term cardiovascular risks — get the vaccine

A new study that includes nearly 12 million patients have found that COVID-19 causes severe long-term cardiovascular risks. This is convincing evidence that everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated or boosted.

Let’s take a look at the study and find out what it says about COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease.

Read More »COVID causes “substantial” long-term cardiovascular risks — get the vaccine
men in white and red jersey shirt playing soccer

Athletes are not collapsing after getting any of the COVID vaccines

I’ve noticed that anti-vaccine activists are pushing a trope that athletes are collapsing on the field after getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines. I watch a lot of sports and read a lot of sports news, so if this were really happening, I would have noticed.

I have to pick and choose which dumb anti-vaccine myths I need to debunk. But since I love sports and I know that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective, I thought I’d look into it. And what I found was, as you might expect, nothing. It’s just one of those myths that anti-vaxxers make appear as factual but isn’t.

Let’s take a look at this silly myth.

Read More »Athletes are not collapsing after getting any of the COVID vaccines