Most processed foods today have added sugars. With up to 70% of all processed and packaged foods on the market today being infused with more sugar, it is indeed difficult to avoid the white stuff. So what about the substitutes, the low to no cal sweeteners that promise you they are better for your health. Are they any better? What about if you’ve already had a stroke or have heart disease? It makes sense why drinking all that sugar might increase stroke and heart disease risk, with the extra inflammation and triglycerides but is switching to these non caloric sweetners a better choice?
A study on diet soda
No problem,” I’ve switched to diet soda”. I hear this all the time when I speak with a client that has “made the switch”. But by choosing diet soda, can we get the sweet taste we crave, without the downsides? Unfortunately, routine consumption of diet soft drinks is associated with increases in the same risks that many seek to avoid by using artificial sweeteners. Watch this nutritionfacts.org video below!
The video reviews the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with regular soda, and the cardiovascular risks associated with diet soda. Key finding: the belief that “making the switch” to diet soda will reduce long-term health risks ” is not well supported by scientific evidence, and instead…may contribute to the very health risks people were seeking to avoid” in the first place.
The authors of this report wanted to compare the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter device closure (TDC) versus medical therapy in people with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) who have suffered a stroke of unknown cause in order to prevent strokes or similar events occurring again.
Key results: The Cochrane Report found that, “when compared with medical therapy, TDC failed to show any significant benefit in reducing the risk of recurrent stroke or similar events. However, there was a possible protective effect on recurrent strokes in those participants for whom an Amplatzer device was used compared with medical therapy. We did not find evidence that TDC increased the rate of serious adverse events overall. However, TDC increased the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation (where there is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat) and may be associated with the type of device used.”
Li J, Liu J, Liu M, Zhang S, Hao Z, Zhang J, Zhang C
Have You Had PFO Closure? Take Our Quick Poll:
Many patient’s report improvement in symptoms and sometimes even complete resolution of symptoms after PFO closure, while other patients report mixed results. If this applies to you, I hope you’ll chime in here how you feel after closure in this very unscientific anonymous poll:
What a brilliant idea! Heartwire by Medscape presented a case report where Australian physicians are taking advantage of 3D printing to create an exact replica of the patient’s cardiac anatomy when planning left atrial appendage (LAA) closure procedures.
Can’t help wondering…
Could 3-D printing also be used in other cardiac procedures?
Perhaps to better size PFO occluders prior to placement?
This alert however was for a large registry study on the Amplatzer plug for left atrial appendage (LAA) closure. Read the full report as posted today in TCTMD by Todd Neale. Caution is warranted despite positive findings of this study. As always, it is wise to always read the full disclosures of those involved for any potential conflicts of interest.
These PFO posts still remain two of my most popular posts in 2014 according to WordPress site stats for “Year in Review” which makes me sad actually because it probably means folks are still looking for closure on PFO closure (2 years after the original PFO closure/”Dark Ages” post and 4 years after the PFO Exercise Guidelines post)!
Wish the medical community could do much better for PFO patients:(
A Chinese herbal remedy NeuroAid (by Moleac), which is widely marketed* to improve stroke recovery failed to show it was any more useful than a placebo in a large,three month multi-center clinical trial. This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial randomized 1100 patients with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score 6 to 14, within 72 hours of onset, to trial medications for 3 months. Half were randomly assigned to get NeuroAiD and the other half to a dummy medication. Neither the patients nor the doctors knew which pills each participant was taking.
For three months, all the patients took 12 capsules a day.
The results demonstrated the herbal medicine did not help stroke survivors recover their function.
The results of this trial were reported recently in Stroke.
More facts on NeuroAid:
NeuroAid is a blend of extracts from plants, leeches, beetles, scorpions and antelope horn.
*Moleac’s CEO David Picard reported to Reuters that NeuroAiD is sold in at least 25 countries, and 20,000 people have taken it.
NeuroAid is currently not available through U.S.-based vendors, although consumers can buy it online. A three month regimen costs about $1,500.