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 …

Hail Kale! Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Eat It

We are in the midst of a kale craze. The dark green leafy vegetable is everywhere, from upscale restaurant menus to the grocery store snack food aisle (think kale chips). It’s been called “the new beef” because of its high iron content. It’s been hailed as the “queen of greens” because, well, it’s fun to say. Even the health-conscious White House has gotten in on the trend with a kale salad that was the hit of the Obamas’ Thanksgiving menu …

During American Heart Month, NIH Offers Heart Healthy Advice

 The following is a guest post by Chhanda Dutta, Ph.D., Chief, Clinical Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH and Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D., Nutritionist, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), NIH During February, American Heart Month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urges you to take action to keep your heart healthy. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women aged 45-64 has heart disease, …

Mediterranean Diet Beats Low-Fat to Cut Heart Disease

Which diet would you rather follow to protect against heart disease and stroke – the Mediterranean diet, which stresses fish, nuts, olive oil, beans, fresh veggies and wine, or a low-fat diet, which basically makes you cranky and miserable? We all know the answer to this one, and now science backs us up. A major study in Spain of nearly 7,450 adults ages 55 to 80 who were at high risk for heart disease found that those who followed a …

Sen. Kirk Lays Out Struggles After Stroke

In a sort of mini-memoir, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) lays out the struggles and introspection that sprang from his year-long battle to heal from an ischemic stroke. “I’m different from what I was,” Kirk writes in a first-person story for the Washington Post. “My left leg and left arm might never work like they once did, but my mind is sharp. I’m capable of doing the work entrusted to me by the people of Illinois, but I am forever changed.” Kirk …

Does Going Vegetarian Cut Heart Attack Risk?

A large, new British study of vegetarians in the U.K. found that a meatless, fishless diet cut the risk of being hospitalized or dying from heart disease by a third – news that got a lot of publicity in this country last week. The study tracked nearly 45,000 people living in England and Scotland, of which about a third indicated they were vegetarians and ate no meat or fish. After about 10 years of follow-up, researchers found that the vegetarians …