News articles 2007



Dec 29 2007

Fish oil capsules and fatty fish do an equally good job of enriching the blood and other body tissues with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, new findings suggest.
But the findings can't be interpreted to mean that capsules and fish are equally good for the heart, Dr. William S. Harris, who was involved in the research, told Reuters Health. 'There are things that can change the blood lipids but don't do anything for the heart and vice versa,' said Harris, who is with the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls.
Omega-3 fatty acid consumption is recommended by the American Heart Association and several other groups to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and consumption of fatty fish and fish oil capsules have been assumed to have similar effects, Harris and his colleagues note in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
But there has been little research on whether the body processes fatty acids from fish oil capsules and fish in the same way.
To investigate, Harris and his team had 11 women eat two servings of tuna or salmon each week, while an additional 12 women took in the same amount of omega-3s, an estimated 485 milligrams daily, in capsule form.
After 16 weeks, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the red blood cells of women in both groups had risen by 40 percent to 50 percent, while omega-3s in the plasma (the cell-free, liquid portion of the blood) had risen by 60 percent to 80 percent.
'We went into the project assuming that fish would be better, based on some previous literature from other people,' Harris noted in an interview. Based on the current findings, he added, 'it doesn't make any difference whether you get your omega 3 fatty acids from a concentrate in a capsule or in fish -- they have the same effect on enriching the tissues with omega 3.'
Nevertheless, Harris said, he would encourage people to eat fish rather than relying on fish oil capsules. 'Fish of course brings with it proteins and minerals and other factors that are good for our health that the capsules don't bring, but we weren't able to measure any of those things,' he said.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2007.


Dec 27 2007

The largest, most comprehensive study of young women with heart attacksVIRGO (Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes in Young AMI patients)was recently launched at Yale School of Medicine with a $9.7 million National Institutes of Health grant.
This is the first study to focus on this high riskand highly unstudiedgroup. said Yale School of Public Health Associate Professor Judith Lichtman, co-principal investigator of the study. There have been no large, prospective studies of this population, even though the death toll is comparable to that from breast cancer.
She said the research team is exploring what accounts for premature heart disease in women and why they experience worse outcomes than men of similar age with heart disease.
The four-year grant will support the study of 2,000 women age 55 and younger with 1,000 men for comparison. The multi-site study bridges disciplines from basic biology and clinical sciences to psychology and health services research.
Eventhough women under age 55 with heart attacks represent a small proportion of all patients with heart disease, they account for about 40,000 hospitalizations each year. About 8,000 women under the age of 55 die of heart disease annually, ranking it among the major causes of death in this group. While most women in this age group are protected from heart disease, notes Lichtman, previous research indicates that young women have a much greater risk of dying after a heart attack than men of the same age.
The study addresses questions ranging from genetics and clinical care to outcomes, including: How are outcomes of women different from those of men" What are the genetic, demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors that contribute to premature heart disease in women" How do delays in clinical presentation and therapy affect the risk and outcomes of women" Do women get the same quality of care as men".
Despite the increasing focus on women with heart disease in recent years, we know little about heart disease in this population, said principal investigator Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., the Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. Since young women with heart disease are relatively rare at any one hospital, we have assembled an unprecedented network of almost 100 sites nationwide to identify and enroll women for this ground-breaking study.
The researchers have also developed a novel partnership with the American Heart Associations Go Red For Women, a national movement to raise awareness of heart disease and to empower women to reduce their risk by learning about prevention. The researchers will also collaborate with various other organizations.

Posted by: April, heart-watch-blog.com, Source Yale University.


Dec 16 2007

A study of more than 3,300 women ages 51 to 83 indicated that panic attacks were relatively common, suffered by about 10 percent of those in the study. While heart attacks and strokes were relatively rare, those suffering panic attacks had four times the risk of heart attack, three times the risk of heart attack or stroke, and twice the risk of dying from any cause as those who didn't.
"This adds panic attacks to the growing body of evidence that emotional states and psychological symptoms are relevant to physical outcomes," said Jordan Smoller, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the study's lead author.
Smoller said the link between panic attack and health remains unclear. The study controlled for 14 known variables, including age, race, income, body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, hormone use, high cholesterol or blood pressure, level of physical activity, atrial fibrillation, depression, and history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
A panic attack's influence on health appears to be independent of any of those factors, Smoller said. That doesn't rule out, however, some other unknown underlying condition at work, causing both panic attacks and increased health risks.
Panic attacks differ from other anxiety-related conditions in intensity and duration. A panic attack tends to occur suddenly and be brief. It is marked by several symptoms, including feelings of terror, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath, among others.
The research, published in the October Archives of General Psychiatry, was conducted as part of the Myocardial Ischemia and Migrane Study. The study included 3,369 healthy postmenopausal women, enrolled between 1997 and 2000 and followed for an average of 5.3 years. It was conducted by Smoller with Professor of Psychiatry Mark Pollack at MGH and colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Ohio State University, the University of Alabama, Birmingham, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Florida and Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
On enrolment, the women were asked whether they'd had a panic attack in the prior six months and then were followed for the study's course. While just 1.1 percent of nonpanic attack sufferers had heart attacks during the study, that rose to 3.9 percent for those who did have panic attacks.
The numbers are similar for stroke, with just 1.1 percent of those who didn't have a panic attack suffering strokes, compared with 3.6 percent of panic attack sufferers.
The study helps fill in the emerging picture of the effects of emotional states on one's physical health. Earlier work has linked phobias, anger, depression, and hostility to cardiovascular risk.
Smoller said there are many questions remaining. Because the questionnaire used to enroll women in the study didn't differentiate between those who'd had only one panic attack and those who'd experienced regular, recurring attacks, there's no way to know whether those groups experienced different outcomes. Similarly, he said, the study doesn't examine whether treating panic attacks can have a beneficial impact on one's cardiac health.

(Source: Archives of General Psychiatry : Alvin Powell : Harvard College : December 2007)
From virtualcardiaccentre.com RSS


Dec 14 2007

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have jointly released revised Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina (UA)/Non-ST- Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI). Major changes to the guidelines include: suggesting an initial non-invasive set of preliminary tests, such as a stress test, echocardiogram or radionuclide angiogram; recommending the use of anti-platelet treatment clopidogrel for at least one year after receiving a drug-eluting stent; highlighting the importance of more intense lipid and blood pressure control; and advising cessation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) use for all UA/NSTEMI patients during hospitalization.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and UA and NSTEMI are acute manifestations of this condition. In 2004, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 669,000 hospitalizations for UA and 896,000 for myocardial infarction. Unstable angina, which causes chest pain and discomfort, occurs when a coronary artery is partially blocked. Myocardial infarction, or heart attack, occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked, cutting off blood flow to the heart resulting in death of heart muscle.
The ability to detect and treat these conditions earlier has greatly improved over the last several years. New evidence from pivotal trials over the past five years has been gathered together in these guidelines to give physicians up-to-date and detailed information on which therapy options will provide the best possible outcomes for their patients, said Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., a member of the guidelines writing committee and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. This is a major educational document for health professionals, and I trust it will become part of the core teaching for medical students, residents and graduate physicians.
The guidelines, which were last published in 2002, have been developed for cardiovascular specialists, emergency room physicians and healthcare professionals who evaluate and treat patients with acute coronary syndrome. They focus on the diagnosis, therapy and management of patients with UA and the closely related condition of NSTEMI.
The 2002 guidelines recommended an early invasive strategy diagnostic angiography and revascularization as the way to treat UA/NSTEMI patients. The revised guidelines differentiate more extensively between high- and low-risk UA/NSTEMI groups, and recommend an early invasive strategy for unstable and high risk patients, with an initial conservative (non-invasive) strategy stress test, echocardiogram or radionuclide study as a possible therapy option in stabilized UA/NSTEMI patients and low risk patients. Risk status is determined by risk scores.
For clinical practitioners, the revised guidelines emphasize secondary prevention, recommendations that should be continued after the UA/NSTEMI patient is discharged from the hospital to reduce risk of a recurrent heart attack. We are emphasizing the use of ACE inhibitors---drugs that protect the muscle--- and prescribing aldosterone receptor blockade, a new drug category that wasnt available previously for people with heart failure, said Wenger. High-dose antioxidant vitamin supplements such as beta carotene, vitamins E and C and folic acid for secondary prevention are no longer recommended because results from clinical trials have shown no benefit and possible harm. There is also a greater emphasis on smoking cessation.
Also new in the guidelines is the call for more intense lipid and blood pressure control. More stringent LDL cholesterol-lowering treatment and blood pressure management is recommended for UA/NSTEMI patients. LDL (bad cholesterol) should be lower than 100 mg/dL and ideally reduced to 70 mg/dL. Blood pressure should be lower than 140/90 and for those with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, a reading lower than 130/80 is recommended.
Because platelets are thought to play a key role in recurrent heart attack, the anti-platelet treatment clopidogrel is now recommended for at least one year after placement of a drug-eluting stent and shorter term for bare metal stent and with medical treatment. In addition we are emphasizing the value of intensive, long-term platelet treatment, said Wenger.
Additional updates to the guidelines include recommendations to discontinue the use of hormone replacement treatment in postmenopausal women; add troponin biomarkers as markers of cardiac damage and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) markers as potentially useful for cardiac risk assessment; and stop the usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for all UA/NSTEMI patients during hospitalization.
Posted by: Sandra heart-watch-blog.com


Dec 5 2007

Premier Dalton McGuinty is banning transfats and junk food in school cafeterias and vending machines. It will stop the sale foods with transfats to kids from junior kindergarten up to Grade 12.
Transfats are found in french fries, many cookies, chips and other foods containing processed oils. They are a main cause of an increase in child obesity for the lasr 25 years.
The province will work with the food industries to define the junk foods to be banned from school vending machines. Premier McGuinty said occasional hot dog and pizza days would still be allowed in schools despite the ban.
Rocco Rossi, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, praised the Ontario Government for "joining us in our fight against transfats", and added "We look forward to working together to make our schools a healthier environment for our children".

Hopefully this is will eventually lead to a full ban of transfat in all processed foods!


heart-watch-blog.com RSS. Dec 4 2007

Secondary prevention programs for coronary heart disease that contain less than 10 hours contact with health professionals and those provided by family doctors are just as effective in saving lives as more expensive, longer and more specialized hospital-based alternatives, as per cardiovascular scientists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Dr. Alexander Clark, an associate professor in the U of A Faculty of Nursing and Alberta Heritage Investigator, is lead author on an article reported in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.
The study presents the results of a systematic review of 46 randomized trials all the published trials of secondary prevention programs in the English language. The programs collectively improve life expectancy and reduce hospitalizations. However, those that have fewer than 10 hours of contact time, are based in family care settings and use non-specialist family doctors and nurses, show an equal mortality benefit to longer, specialist-led programs.
The findings have a great impact on health care policy and funding, Clark said. As the shorter and more generalist programs are as effective at saving patients lives, these offer an attractive and highly efficient alternative to longer, more costly, and often less accessible hospital programs. As most programs have poor access, contain more than 50 hours contact with professionals, and heart disease affects more people in the world than any other disease, the implications of these findings for patients and health care costs are major.
The authors are careful to point out that participants in the studies they analyzed tended to be less complicated and younger.
While those with more complicated conditions remain best served by specialist support services, the findings indicate that patients who have less complex heart disease can get equal benefit from shorter programs provided by local health professionals in their communities, Clark said. Enrolment in longer programs provided by specialists can then be better targeted to those with more complicated disease.
Coronary heart disease remains the single biggest cause of death in the world and affects more than 20 million North Americans. Health Canada estimates the total cost of cardiovascular diseases on the health sector of the Canadian economy is more than $18.4 billion (11.6 per cent of the total cost of all illnesses). In the United States, costs are estimated to exceed $111.8 billion US per annum.

Posted by: Sandra


heart-watch-blog.com RSS. Nov 25 2007

Patients with type 2 diabetes may soon be able to control their glucose and their cholesterol levels with a single drug, as per a research studyled by Vivian A. Fonseca, professor of medicine and pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine and chief of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center Diabetes Program.
Results from the clinical trial demonstrated that the compound colesevelam HCl, in combination with Sulfonylurea-based treatment in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes, achieved significantly reduced glucose levels versus those in the study taking a placebo. The study was recently presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 16th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress.
People with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol face many challenges in keeping their glucose levels and cholesterol in check. This study demonstrated the potential to improve two important metabolic parameters with one drug, says Fonseca.
Patients who received colesevelam HCl were shown in the study to have significant reductions in blood sugar levels, and participants lipid profiles in the colesevelam HCl group also showed substantial improvement over placebo. An application for the commercial production and sale of the drug is currently being assessed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that 20.8 million people in the United States have diabetes and over 90 percent of these have type 2 diabetes. The Association recommends that these patients control their glucose levels, keeping their blood sugar level at less than 7 percent. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that patients with type 2 diabetes keep their cholesterol levels in check and target a goal of less than 100 mg/dL for bad cholesterol levels in the blood.

Posted by: Sandra


truestarhealth.com RSS. Nov 24 2007
By Dr. Joey Shulman

As the cold winter months approach, we tend to crave warming foods and liquids. Unfortunately, as a nation, we tend to satisfy those cravings on a habitual basis with the consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, green, black and red tea. Although green, black and red teas are wonderful for health and contain cancer-fighting antioxidants called polyphenols, there is another group of teas, herbal teas, which also contain enormous health benefits.

Unlike green, red or black teas that are made from the leaf of an evergreen known as Camellia sinesis, herbal tea is derived from infusions of herbs, flowers, roots, spices or other parts of plants. Herbal teas hold different health benefits in comparison to the antioxidant qualities of green, red or black teas, but they can also be equally beneficial for health. Although there are numerous types and combinations of herbal teas, the top five include:

Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is wonderful for digestion and nausea. It is also a strong muscle relaxant and is useful to drink after a meal. If you find the taste of peppermint tea too strong, simply steep the tea for longer than 30 seconds.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is also known to soothe digestion and relax the gastro-intestinal tract. This tea also helps to relax and soothe an anxious mood and is a good stress-relieving tea to drink prior to bedtime. Chamomile also contains several flavonoids, plant chemicals, that have anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. If you suffer from ragweed allergies, it is best to avoid chamomile tea.

Licorice Tea
Licorice tea is excellent for soothing and healing the lining of the stomach and intestines. Many healthcare practitioners use licorice tea as part of their treatment approach for ulcers. Licorice tea has a very sweet and distinctive taste that is wonderful to drink on its own to curb sugar cravings. Licorice tea is also very beneficial for sore throats and coughs. For winter coughs and congestion, drink one cup of licorice tea three times a day.

Ginger Tea
In Asia, ginger and ginger tea is highly used for its healing abilities. Ginger tea has a wonderful aromatic taste that is sweet and warming. This type of tea is beneficial for stomach upset, indigestion and nausea. Ginger has also been shown to block the effect of prostaglandins, inflammatory chemicals, produced in the body. This effect makes ginger tea excellent for helping with migraines or arthritis aches and pains. Ginger tea is available in tea bags, however, grating ginger or using a garlic press and adding it to boiling water will give you the best effect.

Berry Teas
Lemon, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry teas are a wonderful way to help lose weight and to kick carbohydrate cravings. These sweet teas are excellent to drink at nighttime when temptations for cookies, candies and comfort foods kick in. They are also hydrating and cleansing to the system which can help decrease bloating and optimize digestion.

Remember, when making herbal, tea it is important to use a glass, porcelain or glazed earth ware pot as the metals can react with some of the herbs. In the summer months, herbal iced teas can be made by steeping the tea in hot water for five minutes and then chilling the tea for 30 minutes over a glass of ice. Although berry herbal teas are naturally sweet, honey or a little brown sugar can be added to the tea for additional sweetness. In a nutshell, herbal teas are wonderful for digestion and overall health. This winter, stock your kitchen with five to six selections of your favorite blends and drink up!



Toronto Star RSS Nov 13, 2007
Doug Cook Special to the Star

Product: Wendy's Baconator
Price: $5.49 per hamburger
Manufacturer: wendys.com

Ingredients: Two 114 g hamburger patties, 2 cheddar cheese slices, bacon (6 slices), mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, dill pickles, onion, tomato, lettuce, wheat-flour bun

Nutritional breakdown: 840 calories; 36 g carb (1 g fibre, 8 g sugar); 51 g fat (22 g saturated, 2.5 g trans); 57 g protein

Analysis: Just when I thought I'd seen it all, along comes Wendy's with an inappropriately over-sized sandwich. Why does anyone need another fast food item that provides 35 to 47 per cent of the average person's daily energy requirements in one sitting? Throw in a small soft drink and a small serving of fries and you'll be putting away 1,290 calories, 68 g fat, 51 g of sugar (or about 12 tsp) and more than 2,000 mg (or 2 g) of sodium. And don't think you'd do yourself any favour if you went for diet pop a savings of 140 calories is hardly going to make a dent in this disaster.

I realize that these are just numbers to a lot of people so let me try to put them into perspective:
The recommended daily calorie intake for women is 1,800 to 2,000; for men, 2,200 to 2,400. The suggested limit for saturated fat is about 25 g; for sodium, 1,500 mg; trans fat intake should be as low as possible.

Just one Baconator can eat up not only a large part of your caloric budget but all of your saturated and sodium allowance, too, and it's devoid of fibre (1 g doesn't cut it).

Alternative: You could go for a Wendy's quarter-pound single hamburger for a mere 430 calories (that's a 75 per cent savings).

Take it or leave it: Be afraid, be very afraid.

Doug Cook is a dietitian at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. wellnessnutrition.ca.


MSNBC RSS Nov. 7, 2007
CHICAGO - A popular drug used to keep cholesterol in check might be interfering with a good night's sleep, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

A large study looking at sleep patterns of people who took the statin drug Zocor or simvastatin found they had significantly worse sleep quality compared with people who took Pravachol or pravastatin, another cholesterol-lowering drug.

"The findings are significant because sleep problems can affect the quality of life and may have adverse health consequences, such as promoting weight gain and insulin resistance," Dr. Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement.

She presented her study at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.

While both simvastatin and pravastatin help lower levels of LDL or low-density lipoprotein, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, simvastatin is lipophilic, meaning it is soluble in fats, while pravastatin is hydrophilic, meaning it is soluble in water.

Because simvastatin is fat soluble, it can more easily penetrate cell membranes, making its way across the blood-brain barrier, a mechanism that protects the brain from chemicals in the blood.

Golomb wanted to see if this difference explained why some people on statins reported having trouble sleeping.

She studied more than 1,000 healthy adult men and women for six months. Study participants got either a dose of simvastatin, a dose of pravastatin or a placebo.

Their sleep quality was recorded on two different sleep rating scales.

"The results showed that simvastatin use was associated with significantly worse sleep quality," Golomb said.

She said the study suggests people who are having insomnia while taking simvastatin should consult their doctor.

Millions of people take simvastatin to lower their cholesterol and many studies have shown that statins can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.


Nov 5th 2007
Recovery from heart attacks is best served by continuing to take prescribed medications. Yet more than half of patients who have had a heart attack stop taking these lifesaving medications within three years, as per results from a Mayo Clinic study presented today at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007 in Orlando, Fla.
The Mayo data also show that in the short term, smokers are more likely to discontinue taking all of their prescribed heart medications, whereas in the long term, data show that patients enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation programs tend to continue their medications at a higher rate than patients who do not enroll. The scientists suggest their data support a two-pronged strategy for improving the publics heart health: 1) target heart patients who smoke for education on complying with physicians aftercare advice about continuing medications, and 2) encourage all heart patients to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, possibly increasing their likelihood of continuing prescribed therapys.
Significance of the Mayo Clinic Research
The study was designed to improve recovery and quality of life after heart attack by determining how well patients comply with physicians recommendations. It clearly documented that therapys exist that improve outcomes following heart attacks -- but patients need to comply with the therapy regimens for the goal of improved patient health to be realized, says Nilay Shah, Ph.D., the studys lead researcher.
By following patients at six, 12 and 36 months after a heart attack, the scientists discovered that smokers are most likely to stop taking their medication, placing them at increased risk for more heart attacks and complications, says Dr. Shah. This suggests that current smokers may be a target group for education acute heart attack. Participation in cardiac rehab programs seems to be another important factor linked to long-term continuation of prescribed medicine treatment, he says.
Patients discontinue taking medications too soon for a variety of reasons, including cost, says Veronique Roger, M.D., M.P.H., co-author of the study. More research is crucial to understand and resolve the barriers patients face as they recover from heart attacks she says.
About the Study
In their study, the Mayo scientists reviewed 292 patients, a subset of all the patients who were enrolled in the Olmsted County, Minn., registry of acute heart attacks. This subset also had prescription drug claims data available from another source. The team looked at long-term data (up to 10 years) for patients who had heart attacks and who were discharged from the hospital and taking ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and statins to help prevent another heart attack.
Results showed that:
* At six months, smokers were significantly less likely to continue all three heart medications in comparison to nonsmokers.
* At six months, 92 percent of the patients taking statins continued therapy, and by three years only 44 percent of the patients continued taking statins.
* Similarly, the rate of beta-blocker continuation dropped from 89 percent at six months to 47 percent at three years.
* The rate of ACE inhibitor continuation dropped from 77 percent at six months to 37 percent at three years.

Posted by: Sandra, heartnewsblog.com RSS


August 14th 2007
Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65
Basic recommendations from ACSM and AHA:
Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week Or Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week And Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
Read more at   www.acsm.org


August 4th 2007
A University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center team found a 30 minute video CPR training session was as effective as a traditional 1/2 day course. After 6 months the the participants of the shorter course perfomed equally as well as trainees in the longer course. The course utilizes a 23-minute DVD by the American Heart Association and short practice on manikins, with instructors present. The study is published in the journal Resuscitation. Hopefully this will give greater access to CPR training.


July 30th 2007
More bad news about transfats that have crept into our diet over recent years. A study published in the European Molecular Biology Journal show how transfats kill. When transfats build up in heart cells, they affect the flow of calcium. Bad fats interfere with the sodium-calcium exchanger protein. The protein should be removing the calcium, but during a heart attack it pumps the calcium into the heart. More calcium in the heart leads to worse heart attacks. A build up of calcium can cause irregular heartbeat or a heart stoppage. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats had no effect on the sodium-calcium exchanger.


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