Cardiovascular Myths and Facts

Manila Bulletin, March 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

Cardiovascular Myths and Facts


(It is a privilege to cite some relevant facts and fallacies on cardiology culled from the paper written by Dr. Antonio S. Sibulo Jr., director of St. Luke’s Heart Institute, past president of Philippine Heart Association and the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology. He will present his findings - which will benefit our readers - before an overseas conference on cardiology this summer.)He begins by saying that lifestyle change is an important component of managing cardiovascular risk, and nutritional health being a vital component of cardiovascular health. Towards this direction, there have been earnest efforts to enhance well-being with dietary supplementations.Dr. Sibulo says “high cholesterol is recognized to predisposed individuals to cardiovascular disease through oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) which may initiate a series of processes leading to atherosclerosis.”This fact led to wide interest on antioxidants best known of which are vitamins E and C. But sadly studies on the intake of these vitamins failed to show benefit in cardiovascular disease prevention, he noted.Another discouraging news was the result made by the United States Physicians Health Study in 2007. It enrolled 14,641 participants followed-up for a mean eight years and showed that vitamin E supplementation did not reduce risk of cardiovascular events, neither did they reduce risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.The renown cardiologist revealed those findings confirmed earlier studies made by Gissi Prevenzione, British Heart Protection, HOPE-2 and Women’s Health Studies.On the other hand, vitamin E was associated with increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke!He said hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and, therefore, diet plays an important role among its different causes. A high sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure among predisposed individuals.A low salt intake is equivalent to 1-1.5tsp/day (90-130 mmols sodium/day) and high intake at 3 tsp/day (175 mmols sodium/day), he said. “It is advised that we supplement our diet with at least 60 mmols/day from fruits and vegetables. …

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