Should Everyone Cut Salt Intake? Study Says No

A large international study questions the conventional advice that all people should cut their salt intake to the bone. Too much salt is bad, especially for those over 60 or those who already have high blood pressure, but too little salt may be just as bad, the scientists said. The findings are the latest in a decades-long controversy over whether health officials have gone too far in urging everyone to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. The new research suggests …

Should You Take a Daily Aspirin to Prevent Cancer?

Taking a daily low-dose aspirin has been standard advice for many at risk for heart disease, but now a large scientific review of research finds that the same advice could dramatically cut older adults’ risk of developing – and dying from – colon, stomach or esophageal cancer. British researchers found that if adults ages 50 to 65 took a daily low-dose (about 75 milligrams) aspirin for 10 years, it could cut colon cancer cases by 35 percent and deaths from …

Niacin Won’t Help, May Harm, Heart Patients

For 50 years we’ve been told that taking high doses of the B vitamin niacin was one way to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Now some prominent physicians have had an abrupt change of heart: New research shows that niacin not only doesn’t help but could be very risky for patients. Two large studies, published July 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking niacin didn’t reduce deaths from heart disease and it put patients at …

Study Questions the Need to Fast for Cholesterol Test

For years we’ve been told we need to fast for eight to 12 hours before getting a blood test to measure our cholesterol. But for the second time in two years, a large study finds there’s no evidence that fasting is necessary. “The evidence on which the fasting recommendation is based is weak at best,” said senior author and cardiologist Sripal Bangalore of New York University Langone Medical Center. “Our study and data from other studies now really question this …

Cereal, Grains Key to Longer Life After Heart Attack

Eating a high-fiber diet can help you avoid heart disease, but what if you’ve already had a heart attack – can adding fiber to your diet help you live longer? A study that researchers say is the first to examine this question has some good news for heart patients: The more fiber heart attack survivors add to their diet – especially in the form of cereal and whole grains – the lower their risk of dying from any cause, said …

To Lower Cholesterol, Eat These 4 Foods, Study Says

Lowering your cholesterol and reducing your heart disease risk may be as easy as adding a daily serving of beans or other legumes to your diet, according to a new analysis of Canadian and American studies. Canadian researchers reported that a ¾-cup daily serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or peas resulted in a 5 percent drop in “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – and, by association, a potential 5 percent drop in heart disease risk. It also didn’t matter which of …