ErinPharm Gazette November 2007
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As further advances are being made in cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors such as anacetrapib from Merck it is troubling that about half of all individuals placed on statin therapy at some point will discontinue treatment. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. The utility of inexpensive agents such as aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and vitamin D3 to reduce the risk of cancer as well as alleviating and reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis needs to be much more widely known. It is remarkable that less than four years after landmark trials were published proving that plaque erosion and reversal of atherosclerosis are possible that clinical trials of CETP inhibitors could become added to statins and omega-3 fatty acids to reverse arterial plaque. Inducing 'longevity syndrome' is no longer a dream but an objective.
A review of November 2007. A selection of topics.
This web page is one of a number of ErinPharm web pages designed by me as a synopsis of topics that interest me as well as being a quick reference page for my newsletter subscribers and myself. I have no affiliation of any kind to any pharmaceutical company or medical group. The opinions expressed are my own. I welcome communication and debate. I am an optimist. I look forward to the future with wonder.
The Life Extension Foundation
Keep up to date with advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Know about the latest treatment guidelines for addiction.
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Advances in lung cancer therapies are moving ahead. Keep up to date.
University of Kansas research scientist, Dr. Ann Manzardo, is exploring the link between thiamine deficiency and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
The first comprehensive map of Genomic copy number variations has been developed. Such copy numbers influence genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease.
The American Cancer Society is your main source of information in the ongoing battle against cancer.
Are you trying to lose weight and have been misled by the multi-billion dollar industry selling pills, potions, and 'magic cures'? You are not alone. A survey backed by a commercial drug company reports that approximately 70% of American dieters have tried scientifically unproven methods to lose weight. That's an astounding number of people who have tried dietary supplements in the form of pills and powders. About half of survey respondents incorrectly think supplements are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, while about two-thirds believe such products must carry warning labels for side effects. All that happens is maybe temporary loss of weight and the emptying of your pocket. Resist the temptation to believe in those seductive commercials. The only way you can lose weight and keep it off is by a commitment to a change in lifestyle. I recommend lifestyle changes. For more about companies who will help you with lifestyle changes look near the end of the index page for ErinPharm. Index page.
In a post-hoc evaluation of more than 10,000 subjects with coronary heart disease who had been randomized to 10 mg or 80 mg atorvastatin (lipitor) a day, Dr. John C. LaRosa and colleagues of the State University of New York Health Science Center, found that there was a highly significant reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events with descending levels of HDL-cholesterol. The lowest risk was seen in patients who achieved levels below 64 mg/dL. This observation adds impetus to current studies aimed at lower than currently recommended LDL-cholesterol levels. Since LDL-cholesterol is actually a heterogeneous group of similar molecules in which composition, size, and cholesterol carrying capacity vary, some more atherogenic than others, future studies could do well to include evaluation of such factors as LDL-cholesterol levels are taken lower.
Although somewhat technical in scope, this link provides evidence that researchers are attending to the complexities of LDL-cholesterol heterogeneity.
For women who regularly take aspirin or ibuprofen there is encouragement to continue in preliminary findings that doing so has been found to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease by as much as 60% especially for those who have been doing so for more than two years. Such promising findings are under further investigation including the speculation that these results have not been found in men possibly due to lower doses taken by men.
As evidence is being accumulated that the majority of Americans do not have a sufficient intake or production of vitamin D, either from nutrition/supplements or adequate sunlight, a study conducted at King's College, London, on 2,160 women between 18 and 79 brings the information that higher levels of vitamin D were correlated with longer telomeres in white blood cells and thus a slower rate of ageing. Currently medical experts are advocating daily supplemention of 1,000 to 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 because of reason to believe that doing so could reduce the incidence of most cancers by up to 50% as well as ameliorating the risks and effects of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Since vitamin D3 is very inexpensive this is a call for all to take the prudent step of adding vitamin D3 to daily nutrition.
Inexpensive vitamin D3 is available from ErinPharm.
The concept of raising HDL-cholesterol levels using cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors is still viable despite the cancellation of Pfizer's torcetrapib trials. At the American Heart Association (AHA) 2007 Scientific Sessions evidence was presented that the toxicity associated with torcetrapib was possibly due to a rise in aldosterone and not the CETP activity itself. Dr Steven Nissen (Cleveland Clinic) commented that further study of other CETP inhibitors without this adrenal toxicity seems warranted. Dr. Steven Nicholls (Cleveland Clinic) commented that at the highest level of HDL there was a clear regression of plaque and that it was very clear-cut but that in patients with reduced potassium levels, suggesting stimulation of aldosterone, this benefit was not seen. Encouraging information presented by Merck scientists on their CETP inhibitor anacetrapib in pre-clinical results from rats showed that although torcetrapib increased blood pressure and aldosterone in rats their CETP inhibitor anacetrapib did not. Since rats do not have CETP this indicates that the toxic effects of torcetrapib were not due to CETP inhibition.
The importance of omega-3 fatty acids in any nutrition plan helps protect against cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. Eating beneficial foods promotes a healthy blood flow and a healthy brain. Attention to this knowledge is important to achieving a healthy optimal longevity. Taking omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) requires the responsible person to chose a product that is derived from sustainable fisheries of cold water fish harvested in the lowest waters of metal pollutants as well as triple distillation to ensure the purest grade.
Highest quality omega-3 fish oils are available from ErinPharm
The first clinical trials of Merck's HDL-cholesterol raising drug, the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, are impressive. Anacetrapib gave a 129% increase in HDL and a reduction of 38% decrease in LDL with a 150 mg daily dose. This CETP inhibitor does not have the toxic effects of increased blood pressure and aldosterone seen with torcetrapib so now is a leading candidate in the intense competition between the major research pharmaceutical companies to be the first to market with a product that will significantly contribute to the erosion of arterial plaque for those with coronary, carotid and peripheral artery disease as well as reversing the course of atherosclerosis in those who have not yet reached the point of clinical symptoms. Since this comprises the majority of people as they age it could become a major step toward an optimal healthy longevity for us all.
In a Research and Development News press release from Merck additional information was provided that addition of a statin (atorvastin) to the anacetrapib regimen resulted in a further additive increase of HDL and decrease of LDL with no treatment related serious adverse events. This is very exciting news since it implies that combination of anacetrapib, a statin, omega-3 fish oils, proper nutrition and exercise would provide a means of inducing 'longevity syndrome', the known distribution of blood lipids in those rare individuals who do not develop atherosclerosis and live well beyond a century.
It is very troubling that about half of all patients placed on a statin will discontinue treatment at some point. There are many factors for this and these factors need evaluation. There is a need for various types of intervention to address discontinuation. ErinPharm advocates concomitant usage of Co-enzyme Q10 to alleviate at least some of these reasons for a patient to decide not to take a statin as well as patient education oriented toward HDL, LDL, and triglyceride blood level objectives as explained on the ErinPharm cholesterol 01 web page. Patients need to understand the very real benefits of statin treatment as well as the scientific objectives currently under way to reverse atherosclerosis in the progress toward the elimination of most heart attacks and strokes. Within the next five years dramatic advances will reach the general population. It would be a tragedy of monumental proportions to have discontinuation continue.
Regular fasting as a part of a person's lifestyle, whether for religious or non-religious reasons, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This additional option for vascular health is receiving renewed attention.
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