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Category: Cardiovascular Health

Making It Easier To Say No To Statins

Patients and doctors alike are understandably nervous about taking/prescribing any of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. You as a patient especially don’t want to hear “You’ll be on this pill for the rest of your life.” And if you’ve followed some of the recent articles on statins, you’ve likely felt annoyance at the mixed messages from the medical community. For example, I recently wrote Read More

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Seriously Spooky Sugar

When you walk into a Walgreens (“at the corner of happy and healthy”) and make your way past the cigarette section, you’ll soon hit the candy aisle. Halloween’s coming up and there are, without exaggeration, at least a thousand big bags of candy for you to pass out to unsuspecting children. This year, don’t do it. Give them an apple. Ignore their frowns, their “yech!” Read More

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Red Rice Yeast

Red yeast rice, an Asian dietary staple made by fermenting red yeast (Monascus purpureus) on rice, is rapidly gaining recognition as a cholesterol-lowering agent in the United States. Supplements are now available here that contain an extract imported from China, where a particular strain of M. purpureus is grown on rice under careful fermentation conditions. This yields specific amounts of statins–the compounds largely held responsible for reducing cholesterol levels. In contrast, the red yeast rice long used in Asia to flavor, preserve, and color food, and to make rice wine, contains negligible amounts of statins.

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Niacin

Also known as vitamin B3, niacin has earned a reputation (in supplement form) as a natural cholesterol-lowering agent that often rivals prescription drugs in mild to moderate cases. It may also help to prevent or treat a number of other disorders, from arthritis and depression to diabetes. Three forms of niacin supplements–each with a specific therapeutic role–are commercially available: nicotinic acid (also called nicotinate), niacinamide and inositol hexaniacinate, a compound of niacin and inositol (another B-family vitamin).

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

One of the world’s most popular supplements, the chemical coenzyme Q10 has generated great excitement as a heart disease remedy and a cure for countless other conditions. The body naturally produces this compound, which has been dubbed “vitamin Q” because of its essential role in keeping all systems running smoothly. In fact, the scientists who identified coenzyme Q10 in 1957 initially honored its ubiquitous presence–it’s found in every human cell and in all living organisms–by naming it “ubiquinone.” Small amounts are also present in most foods.

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Allium Compounds

Allium compounds are derived from Allium sativum, or garlic, which is one of the most widely studied medicinal plants. The fresh garlic bulb is usually dried, crushed into a powder, and then compressed to produce a tablet. The tablet form is the most commonly used commercial preparation of garlic. Raw whole cloves have similar effects.

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High Cholesterol

Some cardiologists have philosophized about Western civilization’s love-hate relationship with cholesterol. For what’s basically a form of grease, it’s certainly more valuable than gold. After all, to surgically by-pass a pea-sized morsel of cholesterol will set your insurance company back about $50K. In fact, this tiny amount of cholesterol lodged in just the right place can kill you with a heart attack or paralyze you with a stroke. So on one hand, here’s the food industry developing more imaginative ways to feed us salted fat, and on the other, the pharmaceutical industry creating cholesterol-lowering medications we’re supposed to gobble up like M and M’s.

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Arrhythmias

The steady lup-dup, lub-dup regularity of our heart’s pumping beat is reassuring, and we don’t mind it speeding up for exercise or slowing down for sleep, as long as its rhythm remains steady. Any glitch in that rhythmic throb, whether too slow or too fast, is called an arrhythmia.

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Angina

An attack of angina, especially the first one, is a terrifying and life-changing experience. You’ve raced up the stairs or you’ve run to catch a train; suddenly an elephant is standing on your chest or a huge hand is squeezing your heart. Then you’re sweaty, lightheaded, and nauseated. You stop in your tracks; you wait; you pray you’re not having a heart attack. At last the elephant lifts his foot or the fist opens, the world slowly brightens, and slowly, carefully, you go home. (You really SHOULD go to an emergency room.)

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Crestor: To Take or Not To Take

Click here for the Health Tip link. When drug research like the recent Crestor study makes headlines in the Chicago Sun-Times and the national media, I know I’ll be fielding questions from patients. The very day after the Crestor study, in fact, the perky Crestor drug reps arrived in my office, barely able to contain their glee about the study’s conclusions. I was pretty sure Read More

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Upcoming Workshops

**Functional Sport Nutrition: Decoding Your Personalized Path to Wellness and Optimal Performance
Olivia Wagner
Thursday July 19, 6:00 – 7:30pm
Fee: $35 

Planning to run a 5 or 10k this summer? Are you training for a marathon? Want to improve your energy and performance at the gym or in a favorite sport?

Just as each individual responds differently to training, each person requires individual nutrition approaches.

In this work shop you will learn real-food nutrition strategies and functional medicine tools to support.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online or by calling (773) 296-6700
More>>

 

**Shamanic Gathering: The Power of Summer as an Ally for Healing
Katie Oberlin, HTCP

Thursday August 9, 2018, 6-7:30pm
Group Session – $55 registration

From a shamanic perspective, the South is related to Summer, midday, a time of power and activity, and supported by the Earth element as a container for our lives.

Learn how to work with these energies to support your intentions for healing and living in alignment with your life purpose.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Please register online or by calling the Center at (773) 296-6700
More>>

 

Recent Health Tips

  • Why Conventional Medicine Hates Homeopathy

    If it’s of any comfort to US homeopaths, until the past ten years or so, when the health insurance industry gave conventional medicine something serious to fret about, the organized hostility toward alternative medicine was mostly democratic. It hated all forms. Their battle cry, “We’re the real doctors, down with quacks,” was directed at any healer who didn’t follow three rules: Go to our schools. Read More

  • Revealed: Why Susan Can’t Lose Weight

    Susan sat across from me and I could see her chin quivering as she tried to hold back the tears. “I am trying so hard to lose weight, doctor! Look at my diet diary. I’m at the gym almost every day. My thyroid numbers are perfect. And so what happens? This past month I actually gained three more pounds!” Having battled weight issues myself since Read More

  • Ten Drugs Doctors Should Consider De-Prescribing

    Physicians use the word polypharmacy when a patient is taking five or more prescription drugs daily. A recent survey showed that half of women Medicare recipients were taking five or more drugs daily, and 12% of them were taking ten (!) or more. New patients frequently arrive at WholeHealth Chicago carrying bags stuffed like piñatas with prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, the latter recommended by Read More

July Sale: 20% off Curcumin Supplements

Turmeric extracts and curcumin products are popular and potent anti-inflammatory supplements. For the month of July, both Theracurmin HP and CurcuPlex-95 are 20% off in the Apothecary.

As always, we recommend you check with a physician before beginning any new supplement. Because curcumin is contraindicated in several conditions, please consult with a healthcare professional before adding this to your regimen. More>>