Green Tea Significantly Reduces LDL (Bad Cholesterol)

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

GREEN TEA SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES LDL (BAD CHOLESTEROL)

The cultivation and consumption of tea has continued, uninterrupted, for at least 12,000 years, based upon documentation from China.  Today, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage throughout the world other than water.  As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, a lot of health claims have been made for green tea, including a decrease in the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  However, the available clinical and laboratory research data for green tea, unfortunately, includes multiple contradictory findings for these and other health-related claims.

As with most of the available disease prevention research that has been published so far, the majority of research data supporting beneficial health effects for green tea has been in the form of public health studies that rely upon dietary surveys or other research methodologies that produce low-level clinical research data. For this reason, new clinical research studies that rely upon prospective, randomized methods of conducting research, and which generate more valid and predictive data than survey-based studies, are essential in order to better understand the potential health benefits of green tea, if any.

A newly published paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers important information about the potential health benefits of green tea, based upon a comprehensive analysis of all previously published prospective randomized clinical research trials looking at the effects of green tea consumption on blood lipids (e.g., total cholesterol; LDL-cholesterol, also known as the “bad cholesterol;” and HDL-cholesterol, also known as the “good cholesterol”). A total of 14 prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research studies were identified and analyzed in this comprehensive meta-analysis.

In this meta-analysis, green tea consumption, in the form of either a tea beverage or a green tea extract, was found to significantly and consistently reduce blood levels of total cholesterol (by an average of 7.2 mg/dL) and LDL-cholesterol (by an average of 2.2 mg/dL). At the same time, green tea consumption did not significantly affect blood levels of HDL-cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”). Thus, this important meta-analysis study provides powerful, high-level research evidence that green tea does indeed significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. These effects of green tea on total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels are the same primary effects of the enormously popular statin drugs, and which have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and stroke.

This is a powerful research study on the effects of green tea consumption on lipid profiles, because it is based solely upon data from high-level research studies, rather than the much more commonly published (and less expensive) survey-based public health studies that make up the majority of research in disease prevention.  I have, for many years now, included green tea in my diet, and while the impact of green tea, if any, on cancer risk is still open to debate, studies such as this one provide compelling evidence that the regular consumption of green tea may be an important part of a cardiovascular disease prevention lifestyle.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Obesity, Alcohol, Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”




OBESITY, ALCOHOL, SMOKING AND BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there are several important lifestyle and dietary factors that have been linked to cancer risk by numerous high-level research studies. Moreover, breast cancer risk, as well as the risk of several other hormone-responsive cancers in particular, appears to be especially associated with potentially modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors, including obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, lack of physical activity, high-fat diets (and diets rich in animal-based foods, specifically), as well as other modifiable risk factors.

While certain lifestyle and dietary risk factors linked to breast cancer risk have been confirmed by numerous research studies, the underlying mechanisms whereby these risk factors increase breast cancer risk has not been entirely clear. Now, a comprehensive new review of 13 prospective breast cancer public health studies sheds important light on the important topic of breast cancer prevention, and provides much-needed insight into how our own personal habits may directly increase our risk of developing breast cancer. The findings of this new cancer prevention study are scheduled to appear in the next issue of theBritish Journal of Cancer.

Of the 13 prospective clinical research studies that were analyzed in this report, 7 were performed in the United States, 1 was performed as part of a multinational European study, and 1 each was performed in Australia, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Altogether, 6,291 women were evaluated in these 13 prospective public health studies.

As has been shown in many previous studies, this report confirmed that women with high levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone in their blood are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop breast cancer when compared with women who have low circulating levels of these hormones.

Among postmenopausal women, who make up the great majority of all new breast cancer cases, the single most significant risk factor for having elevated levels of estrogen in the blood was obesity, in this study. Although obesity has long been known to be a risk factor both for developing breast cancer and for experiencing a recurrence of a prior breast cancer, it has not been entirely clear how excess body weight actually causes breast cancer risk to increase. (Aromatase, an enzyme that is manufactured by fat cells, is known to increase the production of estrogen in overweight and obese women and men, and has long been suspected to contribute to breast cancer risk in obese women.) Perhaps the most important finding of this new report, therefore, is to confirm the long-suspected linkage between excess weight and elevated levels of estrogen in the blood. Increased estrogen levels, in turn, are known to increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

The findings of this report also indicate that, second only to obesity, regular alcohol intake and smoking were the next most significant lifestyle-related factors associated with an increased circulating level of estrogen and other sex hormones. (Both alcohol and smoking have previously, and consistently, been linked to breast cancer risk. Indeed, as I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, women who consume 2 or more alcoholic beverages per day have been shown, by multiple studies, to experience a significant increase in breast cancer risk, as well as an increased risk of several other cancers.)

While some breast cancer risk factors (such as gender, age, and family history) cannot be changed, this new report, and the research studies which it analyzes, confirms that women can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by making evidence-based changes in their lifestyle and diet. When it comes to cancer, an ounce of cancer prevention really is worth a ton of cancer treatment or cancer cure.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Acetaminophen (Tylenol) May Prevent Prostate Cancer

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



ACETAMINOPHEN (TYLENOL) MAY PREVENT PROSTATE CANCER

As I note in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, chronic inflammation is thought to play an important role in the development of many types of cancer. For this reason, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib, have been intensively studied as potential cancer prevention medications. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm for these medications, at least when it comes to prescribing them for patients who are at only average risk of developing cancer, has cooled considerably, as multiple research studies have linked the chronic use of most NSAIDs (other than aspirin) with an unacceptably high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Acetaminophen, which includes Tylenol, has been used for decades to treat both pain and fever. While we still don’t understand exactly how acetaminophen relieves pain or fever, it appears that mechanisms other than direct anti-inflammatory activity are involved (unlike the pure anti-inflammatory actions of NSAIDs). However, acetaminophen is still thought to possess at least mild anti-inflammatory activity, and so some researchers have recommended that this very commonly used over-the-counter medication be studied as a possible cancer prevention drug.

Now, a newly published prospective clinical research study, from the American Cancer Society, suggests that acetaminophen may indeed be able to reduce the risk of cancer, and prostate cancer in particular. In this huge study (the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort Study), which appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 78,485 men were followed for an average of 15 years. Throughout this prospective public health study, this enormous group of male volunteers completed detailed questionnaires regarding their dietary and medication habits. The resulting data that was collected was then analyzed, taking into account other potentially “confounding” prostate cancer risk factors such as age, race, weight, the presence or absence of diabetes, history of NSAID use, and history of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

The findings of this study were quite dramatic. Among the men who regularly took 30 or more acetaminophen pills per month, for 5 or more years, the incidence of prostate cancer was decreased by 38 percent when compared with the men who regularly took acetaminophen for less than 5 years during the course of this clinical research study. Moreover, the incidence of aggressive forms of prostate cancer was reduced by a whopping 51 percent among the men who regularly took acetaminophen for at least 5 years!

The findings of this very large public health study are extremely intriguing, although they will have to be validated by a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research trial before acetaminophen can be formally recommended as a cancer prevention medication. (I should also point out that the excessive use of acetaminophen can be associated with significant side effects, including severe and permanent liver damage.) Should these findings be validated in the future, then acetaminophen could become a powerful addition to a cancer prevention lifestyle.


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Drug and Medical Device Company Advertising to Physicians

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

DRUG AND MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANY ADVERTISING TO PHYSICIANS

I have written before about the interactions between physicians, on the one hand, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, on the other hand, and how these relationships can adversely impact upon patient care (Generic vs. Brand Name DrugsDrug Company Marketing & Physician Bias).  Not surprisingly, there are several previously published research studies that have confirmed that the prescribing habits of physicians can be significantly affected by the marketing activities of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies.  (Estimates of pharmaceutical marketing expenditures in the United States, alone, range from about $30 billion to year up to about $57 billion per year, indicating that pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are well aware of the effectiveness of their marketing and promotional campaigns that directly target both physicians and patients.)

In the current issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery is a rather disturbing clinical research study that further calls into question some of the advertising strategies directed at physicians by drug and medical device manufacturers.

In this study, five academic Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons (Otolaryngologists) reviewed 50 specific claims that were made for medical products within 23 individual advertisements.  All of these advertisements were displayed in prominent peer-reviewed otolaryngology professional journals.  Each of these five physician-reviewers had significant experience as editorial reviewers, and several of these physicians had also previously undergone intensive training in research methodology and scientific methods.

Among the 50 separate claims made within these 23 advertisements, only 14 of these claims (28 percent of the total claims) were determined to be based on solid scientific evidence.  While there was not uniform agreement in every case on the part of all five physician-reviewers, when any three of these five academic physicians were in agreement regarding their findings, only five of the 50 claims (10 percent of the total) were deemed to be accurate and correct!  At the same time, only 3 of the 50 claims (6 percent of the total) were considered to be well supported by clinical research data! 

This interesting study points out several very important considerations.  First of all, and as I have already noted, drug and medical device manufacturers don’t spent tens of billions of their hard-earned dollars on marketing every year as a casual undertaking.  They invest this tremendous sum of money because they know, without a doubt, that these marketing dollars influence physicians to prescribe their products.  Secondly, in many cases, and as confirmed by this particular research study, the claims that pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers make, to both physicians and patients, are very often based on very flimsy scientific or clinical evidence (or, in many cases, no real evidence at all).  Therefore, significant patient care decisions are routinely made based solely upon the impact of advertisements (and based upon physician interactions with sales representatives) that provide no compelling scientific or clinical evidence to support the use of one particular medication or medical device over another.  At a time when we can no longer afford the health care system that we have now, and at a critical time when our nation is saddled with a debt burden that we also can no longer afford to sustain, the findings of this study, and others like it, should compel both physicians and the appropriate regulatory agencies to take a closer look at the rules that govern pharmaceutical and medical device advertising to both physicians and patients.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Dietary Fiber Significantly Reduces Risk of Death

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

Dietary Fiber Significantly Reduces Risk of Death

Most of us already know that a high-fiber diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Numerous previous research studies have associated a high-fiber diet with a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. However, there is very little research information available that directly links a high-fiber diet with a decreased risk of death from these or other diseases. Now, a newly published public health study puts some actual numbers on the potential health benefits of adding fiber to your diet. This study appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health)-AARP Diet and Health Study is an enormous prospective public health study, which has enrolled 219,123 men and 168,999 women between the ages of 50 and 71 years. All of these research study participants completed extensive dietary questionnaires, and all were closely followed for an average of 9 years.

During nearly a decade of follow-up, 20,126 men and 11,330 women participating in this study died of various causes. When the researchers compared the dietary fiber intake of the volunteers who died with those who did not die, several important findings were identified. High levels of dietary fiber intake appeared to decrease the risk of death for both men and women by about 22 percent, overall. A diet rich in fiber was also specifically linked to a significant reduction in the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, infection, and respiratory disease in both men and women; while men (but not women) appeared to have a lower risk of death due to cancer if they consumed a fiber-rich diet. Finally, as has also been found in previous diet-based studies (including several of the Mediterranean diet studies that I cite in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), dietary fiber from whole grains appeared to provide the greatest benefit in terms of reducing the risk of death due to all causes.

While this study suffers from the same limitations as all other survey-based public health studies, its prospective methodology and its enormous population of research volunteers make this a very powerful public health study. Its finding that a diet rich in fiber (derived from whole grains) significantly reduces the risk of death from the most common global causes of death offer all of us an important strategy to improve our health and longevity.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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