Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

Niacin – a.k.a vitamin B3 – the neglected broad spectrum cholesterol drug!

 

Niacin - vitamin B3 - when taken in high dose acts as a powerful cholesterol drug. Niacin is unique among all available cholesterol drugs because it has beneficial effects across the entire lipid/lipoprotein spectrum, including the three components of atherogenic dyslipidemia. 
 
To learn the basics about atherogenic dyslipidemia, see my previous article "Why you need to look beyond your LDL - “bad cholesterol” - level". 
 
Niacin is especially noteworthy because it is the most potent drug available for raising HDL levels.[1, 2] Besides boosting  HDL levels, niacin also markedly lowers triglyceride levels while reducing LDL to a smaller degree.[1]
 
The table below provides an overview of the effects of popular drugs and supplements on blood lipids.[3]
 
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Long-term testosterone treatment with different testosterone preparations - provocative results on diagnosis and adherence

Due to lack of consistent clear-cut guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency, there is a lot of confusion among both health professionals and suffering men. The multiple different testosterone preparations available further add to the complexity of testosterone treatment.

This article presents the intriguing results from a notable study that analyzed effects of testosterone therapy with seven different testosterone preparations in symptomatic men who had previously been denied treatment because of “normal” baseline testosterone levels.[1]
 
The results are quite provocative and highlight several important practical issues relating to diagnosis and treatment of hypogonadism…
 
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Risk of Blood Clots in Men Receiving Testosterone Therapy?

Venous thromboembolism is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body; it mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. 
 
Blood clot formation (venous thromboembolism) has been suggested to be one main risk with testosterone replacement therapy. In 2014, both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1] and Health Canada [2] implemented a requirement for manufacturers to add a warning about the potential risks of venous thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis to the label of all testosterone products.
 
However, until recently there were no comparative studies examining an association between testosterone replacement therapy and venous thromboembolism. Here we report the results of a recent case-control study - published July 20th 2015 - that specifically examined the risk of venous thromboembolism associated with testosterone therapy in middle-aged and older men.[3]
 
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Artificial Sweeteners and Diet Sodas - do they Help or Hinder Fat Loss?

The potential benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are hotly debated. Critics state that artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are fueling obesity [1, 2], increasing the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease [2, 3], and of causing metabolic derangements.[2]
 
A popular argument against consumption of sweet-tasting but non-caloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages is that this interferes with appetite and physiological energy intake regulation.[2]
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Why you need to look beyond your LDL - “bad cholesterol” - level

In the United States, cardiovascular diseases account for about 1 of every 3 deaths.[1] The cornerstone in heart disease treatment is reducing elevations of LDL, popularly known as the “bad cholesterol” (see table below “What do the terms mean?”) [2, 3], primarily with statins, the most widely used cholesterol/ heart disease drug.[4]  
 
However, when one looks at the aggregate effectiveness of statin treatment in all studies, morbidity and mortality rates among statin-treated patients still remain approximately two thirds to three quarters of those found in patients randomized to placebo.[5, 6] In the “Treating to New Targets” study there were still 80% cases of cardiovascular disease, despite intensive treatment with high-dose statins.[7]
 
Thus, many patients – even those treated aggressively with statins to meet LDL goals - have residual cardiovascular risk.[8-13] This remaining risk is associated with low levels of HDL, increased levels of triglycerides, and elevated numbers of small, dense, atherogenic LDL particles.[8, 10, 11, 14-17] and other common metabolic abnormalities that you will find out about in this article...
 
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Fish Oil for Fat Loss - can it really help you get in shape?

Fish oil is most known for its beneficial heart and cardiovascular effects, and continues to top the list of health promoting supplements. Fish oil is unique in its ability to protect against heart disease and promote cardiovascular health in all people, regardless of age or baseline health status [1, 2].
 
Fish oil improves the blood lipid profile and is especially effective at lowering triglycerides (a.k.a. blood fats).[3] It also has beneficial effects on blood platelet activity, blood thickness, as well as blood vessel (endothelial) function [4-11], blood vessel elasticity [12], and blood pressure [13, 14], among other things.
 
In 2004 FDA approved a prescription fish oil preparation for treatment of high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia) [3, 15, 16]. Accumulating research shows that fish oil also has other beneficial effects, which are more visually notable… notably, fat loss!
 
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Aspirin – can it save you from heart disease or cancer?

 

In people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, it has long been well documented that long-term use of aspirin is an effective anti-platelet treatment that significantly reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes) by 30% and cardiovascular death by 15%.[1, 2] 
 
This benefit greatly exceeds the potential risk of increased bleeding events, which is a side effect of aspirin.[3] Therefore clinical guidelines recommend that people with cardiovascular disease take low dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg) daily to prevent recurrence of cardiovascular events.[4-6]
 
More recently, the use of aspirin in healthy people for prevention of cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer, has been getting more and more attention. However, research on prophylactic use of aspirin conflicting and clinical guidelines are contradictory. Here I will shed some light on new research to help you make an informed decision whether aspirin may protect you…
 
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Red Meat - Good or Bad for Fat Loss?

 
Consumption of red meat has been associated with fat gain (weight gain) because of its high fat and calorie content. Even though the old idea that “a high fat intake causes body fat gain” has been completely debunked in medical research [1-9], red meat still is a food that's on the forbidden or avoid list in most diet plans. And for some reason, women tend to be especially afraid of eating meat…
 
While there are studies showing an association between meat intake and obesity [10-12], there are also studies not showing this [12-14]. And when digging deeper in the data, many of the studies that did report a significant association with meat intake and fat gain / obesity have several flaws that invalidate their conclusions....
 
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Provocative New Research on Testosterone, Prostate Cancer and BPH/LUTS

The number one concern among clinicians worldwide and reason for not prescribing testosterone is the fear that it will cause prostate cancer and/or worsen benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, age-associated prostate gland enlargement that can cause urination difficulty).

This article is a summary of a recent presentation by Dr. Khera at The Annual European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress held in March 2015.
 
The EAU is Europe’s largest annual event for medical health care professionals, showcasing the latest medical research findings in the andrology and urology fields.
 
In this presentation, Dr. Khera debunks the popular widespread myth that testosterone supposedly is harmful for the prostate, and presents provocative new testosterone research…
 
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Vitamin D - what's the optimal blood level and how to achieve it?

 
Until just a few years ago, it was thought that vitamin D is only needed for building and maintain strong bones.
 
However, over the past decade an impressive body of scientific research has demonstrated the importance of optimal vitamin D status for wide array of health conditions.
 
Vitamin D is interesting for several reasons:
 
1. The role of vitamin D for health promotion has undergone a paradigm shift. Adequate vitamin D levels are necessary to prevent many diseases, especially cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure), endothelial dysfunction, diabetes (both type1 and type-2), the metabolic syndrome, muscle weakness, cancer, chronic inflammation, osteoporosis (including falls and fractures), cognitive dysfunction and mental illness, autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis), infectious diseases, as well as infertility and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes [1-26]. 
 
Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is associated with increased all-cause mortality [1, 27], and vitamin D supplementation has been shown to decrease mortality [28, 29]. It has been estimated that doubling blood vitamin D levels in the general population (from 21 ng/mL to 44 ng/mL) would reduce  vitamin D-related disease mortality rate by 20%, and increase life expectancy with about 2 years [30]. 
 
2. Insufficient levels of vitamin D also have direct implications for fitness enthusiasts and athletic performance, due to the importance of vitamin D for muscle function (I will cover this in much more depth in an upcoming article) [31-42].
 
3. In contrast to most other vitamins, vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is very common (more on that below).
 
4. The vitamin D requirement for health promotion and protection against all-cause mortality and muscle dysfunction is much higher than the dietary recommendations (RDA), which only consider for bone related outcomes [4, 43-48].
 
Having heard about all the vitamin D benefits you might wonder what is the optimal vitamin D blood level? How low is too low? How common is vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency? 
 
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Dr. Pierce's Medical Organization Affiliations

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