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High Cholesterol

Several drugs and diseases can bring about high cholesterol, but, for most people, a high-fat diet and inherited risk factors may be the main causes. Learn how to lower your high cholesterol.

Lower Cholesterol Or Risk Death

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Seemingly in excellent health, Beth goes to the doctor for her regular checkup. In the past year, she has lost weight, begun an exercise routine, and finally landed her dream job. Life is good! During the checkup, Beth tests all come out great, except one. She has high cholesterol. Since the other tests look good, Beth is not overly concerned. Unfortunately, her "put off until tomorrow" attitude is her final, and fatal mistake. At the age of 57, Beth dies.

Although the name has been changed, and a few irrelevant details omitted, the circumstances are true. If a patient is diagnosed with high cholesterol, especially above 240 mg/dL, he/she is 50% more likely to have a life cut short unnecessarily. Thus, lowering high cholesterol is paramount. The risks of suffering from a debilitating illness, or leaving life behind prematurely are simply not worth the gamble.

First, people with high cholesterol are daring a to strike. Many individuals, like Beth, die before paramedics or doctors can administer possible life-saving medical aid. For the person who is lucky/unlucky enough to survive, the future is no picnic. Usually, blocked arteries have to be replaced, in order for the heart to have a chance to function properly. Thus, the doctors have to pull the breastbone apart to perform open-heart surgery.

Question: Where will the replacement artery come from? Answer: The doctors need to take a long vein from the patient's leg. Now, after suffering a heart attack, the patient also has to recover from a lengthy incision in the leg, and the process of healing bone and tissue from cracking the ribcage and invading the heart. Not fun! The healing process is lengthy, and many people do not regain 100% of pre-attack abilities. For the people who may still feel invincible, consider an alternative possibility.

The second possibility is a stroke. When most people contemplate a stroke, older senior citizens come to mind. However, anyone with dangerously high cholesterol levels is a prime candidate for a stroke. To explain, think of arteries as highways and blood as the car. High cholesterol leaves fatty deposits in the bloodstream. The resulting plaque adheres to the artery walls, much like plaque sticking to teeth. However, as plaque builds up, the roadway for the blood gets clogged, basically causing a physical traffic jam. If an sufficient amount of blood cannot continue on the journey to the brain, an individual suffers a stroke. Thus, any adult with high cholesterol can die, or become severely disabled.

Knowing someone who has survived a stroke is a real wake up call. While some people die, many people technically live, although a stroke can render an individual into a vegetative state. Most people are unable to move on one side of the body, speak without slurring, are unable to swallow-and drool as a result, unable to communicate, and an innumerable combination of other disabilities. Sometimes, with therapy, a person can regain physical abilities torn away by the stroke. However, most people have lingering and permanent effects to contend with throughout life. Also, the process to reach an individual's full recovery potential can take years, is extremely costly, and terribly frustrating.

Hopefully, by now the reality regarding the importance of is becoming scarily apparent. If not, consider the effects dying, or suffering a debilitating stroke, will have on loved ones. Children will grow up without a parent; parents will miss monumental milestones in a child's life. Grandchildren will have to depend on pictures and memories to know a grandma or grandpa. Friends will mourn the loss, and gather to reminisce, until life moves on, and the memory is delegated to the anniversaries of special events, or a trip down memory lane.

Instead, make the effort to stick around and remain more than a melancholy memory. Finally, do not risk leaving friends and family the responsibility of taking care of a disabled loved one, when medical science can prevent a catastrophe from happening in the first place.

Scared? Good! If the diagnosis is , do something! If the levels are dangerously high, the doctor will probably prescribe , in addition to the necessary lifestyle changes. Do not put off until tomorrow, what needs done today. Do not invite a heart attack or stroke. Instead, do everything possible to stay healthy and vibrant. Life is too precious to lose prematurely. Friends and family do not want to mourn a loss, or be responsible for rehabilitative care. Learn the . Do not become a memory; stay an active and loving presence.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Avoiding Cholesterol In Foods Wont Lower Your Cholesterol
lower cholesterol naturally

Avoiding Cholesterol in Foods Won't Lower Your Cholesterol

Tip! Eating out can be a test for your determination to lower cholesterol. The best method to pass this test is to eat mainly in restaurants that are serving low cholesterol dishes.

If you avoid all foods that contain cholesterol, will your high cholesterol return to normal?

It's not that simple. Your blood cholesterol level is influenced far more by how many calories and how much saturated and partially hydrogenated fat you eat, than by how much cholesterol is in your food. Cholesterol is found only in foods from animals, such as meat, fish, chicken, dairy products and eggs. It is not found in plants. More than 80 percent of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver. Less than 20 percent comes from the food that you eat. When you eat more cholesterol, your liver makes less.

Your liver makes cholesterol from saturated fats, which are found in most foods but are concentrated in meat, poultry and whole-milk dairy products. The saturated fat is broken down by your liver into acetone units. If you are not taking in too many calories, your liver uses the acetone units for energy, but if you are taking in more calories than your body needs, your liver uses these same acetone units to manufacture cholesterol. That explains why eating two eggs a day does not raise blood cholesterol levels in the average American. They are already taking in so much cholesterol from meat, fish and chicken and diary products, that when they take in more, they absorb less.

Effective Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol. With our Cholesterol Lowering Toolkit, you can find out what you need to know.

Read the Cholesterol Article

Read more about Cholesterol Lowering Foods or the complete

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Creatine - Not Just A Sports Nutrition Supplement

by Will Brink

Author of: Muscle Building Nutrition.com
Muscle Gaining Diet, Training routines by Charles Poliquin & Bodybuilding Supplement Review
Diet Supplements Revealed
Real World Fat Loss Diet & Weight Loss Supplement Review

Readers of the March 2003 issue of Life Extension magazine should recall the long list of potential medical, performance and anti-aging effects of creatine. The article outlined the substantial body of research that found creatine may help with diseases effecting the neuro muscular system, such as muscular dystrophy and may have therapeutic applications in aging populations, wasting syndromes, muscle atrophy, fatigue, myopathies, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and other mitochondrial cytopathies. Several studies have shown it may reduce cholesterol by up to 15% and has been used to correct certain inborn errors of metabolism, such as people born without the enzyme(s) responsible for making creatine.

The article also covered exactly what creatine is, how it works and how much is required to possibly treat the aforementioned pathologies. If you missed that article, refer to the March 2003 issue of Life Extension magazine, or view it at www.lef.org. In this article, we examine some additional properties of creatine, such as its effects on growth hormone release, homocysteine and chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as other important issues surrounding this supplement, such as its safety.

Although data is limited, some research suggests creatine can raise growth hormone equal to that of intense exercise. Growth hormone (GH) is known to play an essential role in the regulation of body fat levels, immunity, muscle mass, wound healing, bone mass and literally thousands of other functions both known and yet unknown. It is well established that GH levels steadily decline as we age and is partially responsible for the steady loss of muscle mass, loss of skin elasticity, immune dysfunction and many other physical changes that take place in the aging human body. Therefore, the possible effects of creatine on GH is worth exploring in aging populations.

One study found creatine could mimic the increased GH levels seen after intense exercise.1 In this comparative cross-sectional study, researchers gave six healthy male subjects 20 grams of creatine in a single dose at resting (non-exercising) conditions. The study found that all subjects showed a "significant" increase of GH in the blood during the six-hour period after creatine ingestion. However, the study also found "a large interindividual variability in the GH response." That is, there were wide differences among individuals in the levels of GH achieved from taking the creatine. For the majority of subjects the maximum GH concentration occurred between two and six hours after ingesting the creatine.

The researchers concluded "In resting conditions and at high dosages creatine enhances GH secretion, mimicking the response of strong exercise which also stimulates GH secretion." These researchers felt that the effects of creatine on GH could be viewed as one of creatine's anabolic properties with the lean mass and strength increases observed after creatine supplementation. Although creatine supplementation has been found to increase lean muscle mass and strength in many studies, the effects of creatine on those tissues via GH enhancement has yet to be elucidated.

Creatine may reduce homocysteine levels

Homocysteine has been recognized as an important independent risk factor of heart disease, more so than cholesterol levels according to some studies. Creatine biosynthesis has been postulated as a major effector of homocysteine concentrations,2 and oral creatine supplements may reduce levels of homocysteine. Many studies have found that methyl donors (such as trimethylglycine (TMG) reduce levels of homocysteine, which also reduces the risk of heart disease. Conversely, pathways that demand large amounts of methyl groups may hinder the body's ability to reduce homocysteine levels. The methylation of guanidinoacetate to form creatine consumes more methyl groups than all other methylation reactions combined in the human body.

Researchers have postulated that increasing or decreasing methyl demands on the body may increase or decrease homocysteine levels. In one study researchers fed rats either guanidinoacetate- or creatine-supplemented diets for two weeks.3 According to the researchers "plasma homocysteine was significantly increased (~50%) in rats maintained on guanidinoacetate-supplemented diets, whereas rats maintained on creatine-supplemented diets exhibited a significantly lower (~25%) plasma homocysteine level." These results suggest that homocysteine metabolism is sensitive to methylation demand imposed by physiological substrates such as creatine.

Creatine and chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia

Because of creatine's apparent abilities to improve the symptoms of other pathologies involving a lack of high energy compounds (e.g., congestive heart failure, etc.) as well as the aforementioned afflictions outlined in the introduction to this article, it has been suggested that creatine may help with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (some researchers now posit that they are in fact the same syndrome). Although the causes of both pathologies is still being debated, a lack of high energy compounds (e.g. ATP) at the level of the mitochondria and general muscle weakness exists. For example, people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of creatine phosphate and ATP levels compared to controls.4 No direct studies exist at this time showing creatine supplementation improves the symptomology of either chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

Considering, however, the other data that finds that creatine supplementation increases creatine and ATP levels consistently in other pathologies where low levels of creatine and ATP are found, it stands to reason that people suffering from either syndrome may want to peruse the use of creatine. Another similar syndrome to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, which may also be potentially improved by the use of creatine supplements, though more research is clearly needed.

Creatine safety issues: fact or fiction?

After the first article in Life Extension magazine on the many potential medical and anti-aging uses of creatine, I received several letters and many e-mails that basically said "I would like to use creatine for the various reasons stated in the article, but I am worried about its safety." This fear over the safety of creatine was usually generated from some hysterical news report or poorly researched article. It's odd, but predictable that the media and conservative medical establishment have desperately tried to paint creatine as an inherently dangerous or "poorly researched" dietary supplement. The fact is, creatine may be the most extensively researched performance-enhancing supplement of all time, with a somewhat astounding safety record.

True to form, the "don't confuse us with the facts" media and anti-supplement conservative medical groups have had no problems ignoring the extensive safety data on creatine, or simply inventing safety worries where none exists. A perfect example of this was the news report that mentioned the deaths of three high school wrestlers who died after putting on rubber suits and riding a stationary bike in a sauna to lose weight. Amazingly, their deaths were linked to creatine by the media, rather than extreme dehydration! Even more amazingly, on further examination, it was found that two of the three wrestlers were not using creatine!

Creatine has been blamed for all sorts of effects, from muscle cramps to dehydration, to increased injuries in athletes. However, these effects have been looked at extensively by researchers without a single study reporting side effects among several groups taking creatine for various medical reasons over five years.5-8

In some, but not all people, creatine can raise a metabolic byproduct of creatine metabolism known as creatinine. Some people-including some medical professionals who should know better-have mistakenly stated that elevated levels of creatinine could damage the kidneys. Elevated creatinine is often a blood indicator, not a cause, of kidney dysfunction.

That's a very important distinction, and several short- and long-term studies have found creatine supplements have no ill effects on the kidney function of healthy people.9,10 Though it makes sense that people with pre-existing kidney dysfunction should avoid creatine supplements, it is reassuring to know that creatine supplements were found to have no ill effects on the kidney function of animals with pre-existing kidney failure, showing just how non toxic creatine appears to be for the kidneys.11 Bottom line, creatine safety has been extensively researched and is far safer than most over-the-counter (OTC) products, including aspirin.


Though additional research is warranted regarding the pathologies outlined in this article, creatine has a substantial body of research showing it is an effective, safe and worthwhile supplement in a wide range of pathologies and may be the next big find in anti-aging nutrients. Although the dose used in the studies was quite high, recent studies suggest lower doses are just as effective for increasing the overall creatine phosphate pool in the body. The dose of 2 to 3 grams per day appears adequate for healthy people to increase their tissue levels of creatine phosphate.

People with the pathologies mentioned in this article may benefit from higher intakes in the 5 to 10 gram per day range. People interested in more information regarding creatine, in particular the use of creatine and other supplements for athletes, should consider referring to my recent ebook Muscle Building Nutrition found at www.MuscleBuildingNutrition.com for additional information.

About the Author - William D. Brink

Will Brink is a columnist, contributing consultant, and writer for various health/fitness, medical, and bodybuilding publications. His articles relating to nutrition, supplements, weight loss, exercise and medicine can be found in such publications as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Penthouse, Women’s World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors. He is the author of Priming The Anabolic Environment and Weight Loss Nutrients Revealed. He is the Consulting Sports Nutrition Editor and a monthly columnist for Physical magazine and an Editor at Large for Power magazine. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.

He has been co author of several studies relating to sports nutrition and health found in peer reviewed academic journals, as well as having commentary published in JAMA. He runs the highly popular web site Brink Zone which is strategically positioned to fulfill the needs and interests of people with diverse backgrounds and knowledge. The Brink Zone site has a following with many sports nutrition enthusiasts, athletes, fitness professionals, scientists, medical doctors, nutritionists, and interested lay people. William has been invited to lecture on the benefits of weight training and nutrition at conventions and symposiums around the U.S. and Canada, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs.

William has worked with athletes ranging from professional bodybuilders, golfers, fitness contestants, to police and military personnel.

See Will's ebooks online here:

Muscle Building Nutrition http://musclebuildingnutrition.com
A complete guide bodybuilding supplements and eating to gain lean muscle

Diet Supplements Revealed http://aboutsupplements.com
A review of diet supplements and guide to eating for maximum fat loss

Free Creatine Report

The "Creatine Report" is a free and in depth report on creatine's usage in sports, health and anti-aging.

In this report you will learn what creatine is and how it works, and what it can do for you.

This excellent free report exposes the facts and fiction of creatine, and details it's effects on the brain, heart, the body's production of growth hormone, anti-aging effects, fatigue, muscle atrophy, Parkinson's disease, and much more!

You'll also learn how to use creatine properly, as well as topics such as purity, safety, and loading are fully explained...

...And of course, as with all Will Brink's writing, it's based on the actual studies with creatine and backed up with scientific references, not conjecture and pseudo science many self proclaimed "experts" rely on.

Click here for information on the instantly downloadable Creatine Report


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Links for 2007-03-30 [del.icio.us]

High Cholesterol May Cause Prostate Cancer Development
According to general medical opinion regarding causes of prostate cancer, the risk factors are age, ethnic history and family background. But recently, a research study have found that high cholesterol levels speed up the growth of prostate tumours. This conclusion may help to find an explanation regarding the fact prostate cancer is more frequent in the West world than in Asian countries because of diets high in cholesterol. For instance, in rural parts of Japan and China, where people use low fat diets, rates of prostate cancer are up to 90% less than in the West countries. It is also a reality that in United States prostate cancer hits about one in every six men.

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