Posts Tagged ‘Low-density lipoprotein’

FDA wants to ban trans fats from food, citing health concerns – NBC

The Food and Drug Administration has declared war on trans fats. The government agency said Thursday it would require food makers to gradually phase out artificial trans fats — the artery-clogging ingredient found in crackers, cookies, pizza and many other baked goods.The change could potentially prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths, said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.While the amount of trans fats consumed by Americans has dropped dramatically over the last decade, they still “remain an area of significant public health concern,” Hamburg said during a press conference Thursday. The FDA hasn’t yet set a time table for sweeping trans fats from the market. “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” said Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. Still, the “industry has demonstrated that it is by and large feasible to do.”Trans fats are considered harmful because they increase risks for heart disease by both raising bad cholesterol levels LDL and lowering good cholesterol HDL.

via FDA wants to ban trans fats from food, citing health concerns – NBC

Good news.  Of course you’ll note that this is just a statement of intent and there is no actual proposed end date.  So it’s not going to actually DO anything.


Major blow to the idea of using Niacin to improve your HDL good cholesterol for reduction in risk of heart events


“Whitehouse Station, NJ – The Heart Protection Study 2-Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events (HPS-2 THRIVE) study has missed its primary end point and shown no clinical benefit for extended-release niacin [1].

After nearly four years of follow-up, the combination of niacin with the antiflushing agent laropiprant did not significantly reduce the risk of the combination of coronary deaths, nonfatal MI, strokes, or coronary revascularizations compared with statin therapy, according to Merck, the sponsor of the HPS-2 THRIVE trial. In a press release announcing the results, Merck said the combination significantly increased the risk of nonfatal but serious side effects.

Merck announced it will no longer be taking the drug before the US Food and Drug Administration to gain approval. The combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant, known as Tredaptive or Cordaptive, was approved by European regulators in 2008, but Merck is advising doctors from starting any new patients on the drug.

This is the second major setback for physicians hoping that niacin, a drug that raises HDL-cholesterol levels, might be used clinically to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. In May 2011, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Atherothrombosis Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome with Low HDL Cholesterol/High Triglyceride and Impact on Global Health Outcomes (AIM-HIGH) study, was halted early after showing no benefit of niacin when given in addition to statin therapy.”


What’s going on here — there’s a lot of effort in the supplement and natural foods corners for taking niacin in large doses, enough so it would make you have, trust me on this, I tried it, major red flushing and major itchy drive-you-nuts complications unless it’s timed-release — to raise your HDL and cut your risk of heart events.

What’s been found, twice now, is that while it’s possible to increase your HDL this way there’s no proof that it will help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular issues.

Pretty shocking, really.   There was a lot of hope that surely this was one can’t miss evidence that taking a nutritional supplement was good for you.    And again, as always, nope.  If you do not have a deficiency of a nutrient, taking more of it has never been shown to be of benefit.

We’re back to where we were a hundred years ago.  Eat.  Eat good food.  Eat in moderation and with an eye toward your health.