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Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Chinese red yeast rice significantly reduces repeat heart attacks and mortality rates

A clinical study on patients who have suffered a heart attack found that a partially purified extract of Chinese red yeast rice, Xuezhikang (XZK), reduced the risk of repeat heart attacks by 45%, revascularization (bypass surgery/angioplasty), cardiovascular mortality and total mortality by one-third and cancer mortality by two-thirds. The multicenter, randomized, double-blind study, was conducted on almost 5,000 patients, ranging in age from 18-70 over a five-year period at over 60 hospitals in the People’s Republic of China. Corresponding author David M. Capuzzi, M.D., Ph.D, director of the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program at Jefferson’s Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and Zonliang Lu, M.D., Ph.D, from the Fuwai Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science report their findings in the June 15th edition of the American Journal of Cardiology.

“It’s very exciting because this is a natural product and had very few adverse side effects including no abnormal blood changes,” said Capuzzi. “People in the Far East have been taking Chinese red yeast rice as food for thousands of years, but no one has ever studied it clinically in a double-blind manner with a purified product against a placebo group until now and we are pleased with the results. However, people in the United States should know that the commercially available over-the-counter supplement found in your average health food store is not what was studied here. Those over-the-counter supplements are not regulated, so exact amounts of active ingredient are unknown and their efficacy has not been studied yet.”

The study looked at patients who had suffered a heart attack in the previous year. Study participants were given two-300-milligram XZK capsules or a placebo and tracked over a five-year period. The XZK capsules contained a combination of lovastatin, lovastatin hydroxyl acid, ergosterol and other components.

“I think it is surprising that a natural product like XZK would have this great an effect,” said Capuzzi. “If further testing and study prove true, my hope is that XZK becomes an important therapeutic agent to treat cardiovascular disorders and in the prevention of disease whether someone has had a heart attack or not. But it is important to recognize the fact we do not know exactly how Chinese red yeast rice works. The exact ingredients from the XZK capsules have not been isolated and studied yet. Still the results were so profound, even out performing statins prescribed in numerous western populations, that further study should certainly be investigated.”

Source:  Thomas Jefferson University

Effect of Xuezhikang, an Extract From Red Yeast Chinese Rice, on Coronary Events in a Chinese Population With Previous Myocardial Infarction. Zongliang Lu MD, PhD, Wenrong Kou MD, Baomin Du MD, Yangfend Wu MD, Shuiping Zhao MD, PhD, Osvaldo A. Brusco MD, John M. Morgan MD and David M. Capuzzi MD, PhD. Received 8 June 2007; revised 18 February 2008; accepted 18 February 2008. Available online 11 April 2008.

Kevin says:

Many Westerners dismiss Chinese/Eastern medicine because it is not a replacement for Western medicine. While it can’t replace Western medicine, there is much to be learned and it is great to see large studies like this showing significant results. Chinese medicine also has the benefit of being much, much more affordable to the world’s populations because patents and intellectual property and usually nil.

Mental stress reduces blood flow to the heart in patients with gene variation

University of Florida researchers have identified a gene variation in heart disease patients who appear especially vulnerable to the physical effects of mental stress — to the point where blood flow to the heart is greatly reduced.

“Searching for the presence of this gene may be one way to better identify patients who are at an increased risk for the phenomenon,” said David S. Sheps, M.D., a professor and associate chairman of cardiovascular medicine at UF’s College of Medicine and the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Those with the gene variation are three times more likely to experience dangerous decreases in blood flow to the heart — a condition doctors call ischemia — than heart disease patients without it. Ischemia increases the chance these patients will suffer a heart attack, heart rhythm abnormalities or sudden death, UF researchers report in the April 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. … Continue Reading »

Genetic variants of USF1 are associated with the increased risk for cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are major contributors to morbidity and mortality worldwide. Several interacting environmental, biochemical, and genetic risk factors can increase disease susceptibility. While some of the genes involved in the etiology of CVD are known, many are yet to be discovered. During the last few decades, scientists have searched for these genes with genome-wide linkage and association methods, and with more targeted candidate gene studies.

Master of Science, Kati Kristiansson, from the research group of Professor Leena Peltonen at the National Public Health Institute and the University of Helsinki, Finland, has investigated variation within the upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1) gene locus in relation to CVD risk factors, atherosclerosis, and incidence and prevalence of CVD. … Continue Reading »