Acetaminophen may Increase Stroke Risk in People with Diabetes

Many people reach for a couple of acetaminophen tablets (acetaminophen is the main active ingredient in Tylenol) for a headache and other minor aches and pains. It’s easy to think that you’re safe taking a drug that is so readily available in pharmacies and supermarkets, but for people with diabetes, taking acetaminophen may increase the risk of having a stroke.

According to a recent study, approximately 5% of people who took acetaminophen suffered strokes, compared to 4% who didn’t take acetaminophen but had strokes. However, people in the study who had diabetes suffered even more strokes.

Study author Philippe Gerard, a researcher at Gérontopôle, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Toulouse, said:

“My personal message to the people in my everyday practice is that any drug they take may have some form of harmful side effect unknown to them, even those they can buy over the counter.”

Researchers conducted the study to explore the link between acetaminophen and cardiac events in older people living in nursing homes in France. In the end, no connection was uncovered.

Overall, the researchers found that acetaminophen is a safe pain reliever for older adults, but people with diabetes should be more wary of taking the medicines containing the drug.

The study concluded with:

“Despite old age, polypharmacy, and polymorbidity, acetaminophen was found safe for most, but not all, of our NH study population. Pain management in NHs is a health priority, and acetaminophen remains a good therapeutic choice as a first?line analgesic. More studies are needed on older diabetic patients.”

It should also be noted that it is remarkably easy to overdose on acetaminophen, and the drug is associated with kidney damage and acute liver failure.

Read: Over-the-Counter Painkillers can Increase Risk of 2nd Heart Attack, Death

Gerard said:

“It is always best to check with your healthcare provider before you take any new medication, and make sure you’re taking the dose that’s right for you.”

The study was published March 26 in the online version of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Source:

[1] UPI

Acetaminophen may Increase Stroke Risk in People with Diabetes

Many people reach for a couple of acetaminophen tablets (acetaminophen is the main active ingredient in Tylenol) for a headache and other minor aches and pains. It’s easy to think that you’re safe taking a drug that is so readily available in pharmacies and supermarkets, but for people with diabetes, taking acetaminophen may increase the risk of having a stroke.

According to a recent study, approximately 5% of people who took acetaminophen suffered strokes, compared to 4% who didn’t take acetaminophen but had strokes. However, people in the study who had diabetes suffered even more strokes.

Study author Philippe Gerard, a researcher at Gérontopôle, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Toulouse, said:

“My personal message to the people in my everyday practice is that any drug they take may have some form of harmful side effect unknown to them, even those they can buy over the counter.”

Researchers conducted the study to explore the link between acetaminophen and cardiac events in older people living in nursing homes in France. In the end, no connection was uncovered.

Overall, the researchers found that acetaminophen is a safe pain reliever for older adults, but people with diabetes should be more wary of taking the medicines containing the drug.

The study concluded with:

“Despite old age, polypharmacy, and polymorbidity, acetaminophen was found safe for most, but not all, of our NH study population. Pain management in NHs is a health priority, and acetaminophen remains a good therapeutic choice as a first?line analgesic. More studies are needed on older diabetic patients.”

It should also be noted that it is remarkably easy to overdose on acetaminophen, and the drug is associated with kidney damage and acute liver failure.

Read: Over-the-Counter Painkillers can Increase Risk of 2nd Heart Attack, Death

Gerard said:

“It is always best to check with your healthcare provider before you take any new medication, and make sure you’re taking the dose that’s right for you.”

The study was published March 26 in the online version of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Source:

[1] UPI

Black Garlic Treats Heart Disease and Common Cold in Human Studies

by Crystalline Nutrients Garlic has been used throughout the ages as a medicinal food to help support cardiovascular health, brain health, immune system health and has also been used as a treatment for the common cold and is known to be a strong antibiotic. Black garlic is different from regular garlic in that it is […]

The post Black Garlic Treats Heart Disease and Common Cold in Human Studies appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

How Tai Chi Proves to be a Gentle Solution for Improving Heart Health

Heart attacks are often the unfortunate culmination of years of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and it’s necessary to lead a healthier lifestyle to avoid having another one. Some of the dietary and exercise changes and rehabilitation programs that doctors recommend to heart patients can seem more than a little intimidating, especially for inactive people. But a small study suggests that Tai Chi can be a gentle way for people with heart problems to get moving at a less overwhelming pace. [1]

Heart disease kills 600,000 people in the U.S. every year and is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. It’s the leading cause of death in both men and women. [2]

For many, a heart attack isn’t a once-and-done deal. Of the 735,000 people in the U.S. who suffer a heart attack every year, 2 out of 7 will have already experienced one.

Read: Health Benefits of Tai Chi – a Chinese Art

The study was conducted by Dr. Elena Salmoriago-Blotcher, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine & Public Health, and colleagues. Twenty-nine adults who had recently had a heart attack were randomly assigned to two groups. [1]

One group practiced Tai Chi twice a week for 12 weeks by attending sessions at the hospital. The participants in the other group attended Tai Chi sessions three times a week for 24 weeks. Both groups received DVDs so that they could practice at home.

Most of the 21 men and eight women in the study had also had a previous heart attack or had undergone bypass surgery to clear a blocked artery. All the volunteers were physically inactive and had rejected conventional cardiac rehabilitation, but expressed an interest in Tai Chi. Additionally, all continued to have high cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, overweight, and smoking. [2]

After 3 months, those in the group that practiced Tai Chi more frequently were more physically active, compared with those in the less-frequent group. This was even more true after six month – those who were asked to attend Tai Chi sessions three times a week were actually practicing it even more, and they were engaging in more physical activity outside of the sessions, such as riding their bikes and climbing up and down the stairs at home – activities they had previously found intimidating.

Salmoriago-Blotcher said:

“People like it, and they came. We retained pretty much everybody for the length of the study. And there is a preliminary indication that the longer program may improve physical activity. We changed behavior.” [1]

The study was intended to determine whether Tai Chi could replace traditional exercise programs associated with cardiac rehabilitation. What researchers actually wanted to find out was whether people who find exercise off-putting would engage in Tai Chi as a way of becoming more physically active.

Due to the small size of the study, Salmoriago-Blotcher and her team couldn’t determine whether the activity changed the volunteers’ fitness levels and other measures of metabolic health.

Read: Meditative Practices Alter Genes

After someone has a heart attack, it’s not uncommon for that person to worry that strenuous exercise could cause another cardiac event. More than 60% of patients turn down conventional cardiac rehabilitation. The findings suggest that Tai Chi could serve as a gentle, less nerve-wracking way for cardiac patients to start getting physical activity, while improving physical fitness and lowering the risk of another heart attack. [1] [2]

“Tai chi is an interesting, promising exercise option. I think based on what we found, it’s a reasonable and safe step to offer tai chi within cardiac rehab. If someone says they are afraid of exercising, we could ask if they are interested in doing tai chi,” Salmoriago-Blotcher said. [1]

And once those patients become more physically active through Tai Chi, doctors can consider switching them to a more intensive traditional cardiac rehab program.

Salmoirago-Blotcher added:

“If proven effective in larger studies, it might be possible to offer it as an exercise option within a rehab center as a bridge to more strenuous exercise, or in a community setting with the educational components of rehab delivered outside of a medical setting.” [2]

The study, which was by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA).

Additional Sources:

[1] Time

[2] Medical News Today

How Tai Chi Proves to be a Gentle Solution for Improving Heart Health

Heart attacks are often the unfortunate culmination of years of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and it’s necessary to lead a healthier lifestyle to avoid having another one. Some of the dietary and exercise changes and rehabilitation programs that doctors recommend to heart patients can seem more than a little intimidating, especially for inactive people. But a small study suggests that Tai Chi can be a gentle way for people with heart problems to get moving at a less overwhelming pace. [1]

Heart disease kills 600,000 people in the U.S. every year and is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. It’s the leading cause of death in both men and women. [2]

For many, a heart attack isn’t a once-and-done deal. Of the 735,000 people in the U.S. who suffer a heart attack every year, 2 out of 7 will have already experienced one.

Read: Health Benefits of Tai Chi – a Chinese Art

The study was conducted by Dr. Elena Salmoriago-Blotcher, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine & Public Health, and colleagues. Twenty-nine adults who had recently had a heart attack were randomly assigned to two groups. [1]

One group practiced Tai Chi twice a week for 12 weeks by attending sessions at the hospital. The participants in the other group attended Tai Chi sessions three times a week for 24 weeks. Both groups received DVDs so that they could practice at home.

Most of the 21 men and eight women in the study had also had a previous heart attack or had undergone bypass surgery to clear a blocked artery. All the volunteers were physically inactive and had rejected conventional cardiac rehabilitation, but expressed an interest in Tai Chi. Additionally, all continued to have high cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, overweight, and smoking. [2]

After 3 months, those in the group that practiced Tai Chi more frequently were more physically active, compared with those in the less-frequent group. This was even more true after six month – those who were asked to attend Tai Chi sessions three times a week were actually practicing it even more, and they were engaging in more physical activity outside of the sessions, such as riding their bikes and climbing up and down the stairs at home – activities they had previously found intimidating.

Salmoriago-Blotcher said:

“People like it, and they came. We retained pretty much everybody for the length of the study. And there is a preliminary indication that the longer program may improve physical activity. We changed behavior.” [1]

The study was intended to determine whether Tai Chi could replace traditional exercise programs associated with cardiac rehabilitation. What researchers actually wanted to find out was whether people who find exercise off-putting would engage in Tai Chi as a way of becoming more physically active.

Due to the small size of the study, Salmoriago-Blotcher and her team couldn’t determine whether the activity changed the volunteers’ fitness levels and other measures of metabolic health.

Read: Meditative Practices Alter Genes

After someone has a heart attack, it’s not uncommon for that person to worry that strenuous exercise could cause another cardiac event. More than 60% of patients turn down conventional cardiac rehabilitation. The findings suggest that Tai Chi could serve as a gentle, less nerve-wracking way for cardiac patients to start getting physical activity, while improving physical fitness and lowering the risk of another heart attack. [1] [2]

“Tai chi is an interesting, promising exercise option. I think based on what we found, it’s a reasonable and safe step to offer tai chi within cardiac rehab. If someone says they are afraid of exercising, we could ask if they are interested in doing tai chi,” Salmoriago-Blotcher said. [1]

And once those patients become more physically active through Tai Chi, doctors can consider switching them to a more intensive traditional cardiac rehab program.

Salmoirago-Blotcher added:

“If proven effective in larger studies, it might be possible to offer it as an exercise option within a rehab center as a bridge to more strenuous exercise, or in a community setting with the educational components of rehab delivered outside of a medical setting.” [2]

The study, which was by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA).

Additional Sources:

[1] Time

[2] Medical News Today

Nature Slashes the Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and More

Sure, Netflix is full of great shows and movies to watch, but it can never replace nature in providing a natural and euphoric boost in both physical and mental health. Many studies have showcased the powerful benefits nature can offer, proving that spending time outside slashes the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stress. [1]

Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. reviewed data on almost 300 million people from 20 countries, including the U.S., and assessed the effect of nature on people in Australia, Europe, and Japan – where Shinrin yoku, also known as forest bathing, is popular – to reach their conclusions.

In the study, “green space” was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation, as well as urban green spaces like parks and street greenery.

The researchers compared the health of people with little access to green spaces to the health of those with the greatest access to such areas.

A multitude of health benefits was linked to spending time in or near green spaces, though it’s not clear which factors of nature are most responsible for sparking such health benefits.

Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, a Ph.D. student and lead author of the study, said:

“Spending time in nature certainly makes us feel healthier, but until now the impact on our long-term wellbeing hasn’t been fully understood. It reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.

People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a marker of stress.”

She suggested that Japan has the “right idea.”

Living near green spaces provides people greater opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Moreover, the researchers said that being outdoors exposes people to a diverse variety of bacteria that boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Andy Jones, a professor at UEA and study co-author, said:

“We often reach for medication when we’re unwell, but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease. Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact.” [2]

Twohig-Bennett said she hopes the findings will encourage people to make the most of green areas, and nudge policymakers and town planters toward creating, cleaning up, and maintaining parks and other green spaces.

Previous studies show that spending time in nature is good for both physical and mental health. A 2016 study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows that walking in a park or other green space for at least 30 minutes not only increases physical activity but lowers the risk of high blood pressure and depression.

A 2015 study found that city dwellers are more likely to be stressed, depressed, and struggle with mental illness. People living in urban areas had a 20% higher risk of anxiety disorders, a 40% greater risk of mood disorders, and were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as people who live in rural areas.

Sources:

[1] Daily Mail

[2] LaboratoryEquipment

Nature Slashes the Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and More

Sure, Netflix is full of great shows and movies to watch, but it can never replace nature in providing a natural and euphoric boost in both physical and mental health. Many studies have showcased the powerful benefits nature can offer, proving that spending time outside slashes the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stress. [1]

Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. reviewed data on almost 300 million people from 20 countries, including the U.S., and assessed the effect of nature on people in Australia, Europe, and Japan – where Shinrin yoku, also known as forest bathing, is popular – to reach their conclusions.

In the study, “green space” was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation, as well as urban green spaces like parks and street greenery.

The researchers compared the health of people with little access to green spaces to the health of those with the greatest access to such areas.

A multitude of health benefits was linked to spending time in or near green spaces, though it’s not clear which factors of nature are most responsible for sparking such health benefits.

Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, a Ph.D. student and lead author of the study, said:

“Spending time in nature certainly makes us feel healthier, but until now the impact on our long-term wellbeing hasn’t been fully understood. It reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.

People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a marker of stress.”

She suggested that Japan has the “right idea.”

Living near green spaces provides people greater opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Moreover, the researchers said that being outdoors exposes people to a diverse variety of bacteria that boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Andy Jones, a professor at UEA and study co-author, said:

“We often reach for medication when we’re unwell, but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease. Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact.” [2]

Twohig-Bennett said she hopes the findings will encourage people to make the most of green areas, and nudge policymakers and town planters toward creating, cleaning up, and maintaining parks and other green spaces.

Previous studies show that spending time in nature is good for both physical and mental health. A 2016 study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows that walking in a park or other green space for at least 30 minutes not only increases physical activity but lowers the risk of high blood pressure and depression.

A 2015 study found that city dwellers are more likely to be stressed, depressed, and struggle with mental illness. People living in urban areas had a 20% higher risk of anxiety disorders, a 40% greater risk of mood disorders, and were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as people who live in rural areas.

Sources:

[1] Daily Mail

[2] LaboratoryEquipment

Study: Vaping Raises Risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes, Depression

E-cigarettes may be an effective way of helping people to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but studies show that vaping is far from safe. According to the research, people who vape are more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and depression.

Using the National Health Interview Survey, researchers compared people who reported vaping to with those not reporting any e-cigarette use and found that e-cigarette users had a:

  • 55% greater risk of having a heart attack
  • 44% greater risk of circulatory problems
  • 30% higher risk of having a stroke
  • 10% higher risk of coronary artery disease

The risks were found to be significant for both regular e-cigarette users and those who only imbibe occasionally, though occasional users had slightly lower risks.

Read: Flavored Vape Juice Creates Irritating Chemicals in E-Cigarettes

In a news release, Mohinder Vindhyal, a researcher at the University of Kansas School and the study lead author, said: [2]

“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use. These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”

Those who reported vaping were more likely to complain of depression, anxiety, and emotional problems, the study found. These problems were 2.2-fold more common with e-cigarette use, and the risk was higher among vapers than among tobacco smokers. [1]

Read: Even Without Nicotine, E-Cigarette Flavorings may Damage Blood Vessels

Vindhyal said: [2]

“When the risk of heart attack increases by as much as 55% among e-cigarette users compared to nonsmokers, I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape. When we dug deeper, we found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease.”

I suppose the main question is: did vaping lead to issues such as heart attacks, strokes, and depression in this study, or are people who experience these issues simply more likely to vape than others?

Sources:

[1] MedPage Today

[2] UPI