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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What about Heart Healthy Herbs?

This story is interesting because it follow on a report yesterday from the BBC that seemed to indicate a plan to promote this combo pill to any one over 55 years of age.

What happened to the art of diagnosis? Maybe it is too much cell phone use as a vector, food allergy or something obscure. We may never know.

And what about side effects, or what about the cholesterol hoax and the terrible side effects of these drugs. And what about the fact that anti-hypertensives and diuretics can lead to diabetes, even osteoporosis. Then there is aspirin that can cause lots of problems like silent bleeding and 8th cranial nerve damage that can affect hearing and maybe lead to Bell's Palsy. And don't forget electrolyte loss and CO Q 10 destruction. Yes, there's more...

Sounds crazy to me, but then I'd rather try vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin C, cod liver oil, nutritional yeast, lecithin, hawthorne, meadowsweet, or something else other than a drug to maybe have a small effect along with high risk of other disease.

So are you willing to go for profit and more problems when, if your systolic B/P is 150, you can expect to lower it by .05 percent, to 142.5 mm Hg ?

Not sure this is a statistically valid premise.
from UPI: 'Polypill' combines heart medications
Published: March 31, 2009 at 1:08 AM

HAMILTON, Ontario, March 31 (UPI) -- A "polypill" that combines blood pressure drugs, a cholesterol-lowering statin, aspirin and folic acid may minimize heart attacks, Canadian researchers say.

Dr. Koon Teo of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, says the polypill could reduce cardiovascular events by more than 80 percent in healthy people.

In a double-blind trial in 50 centers in India, 2,053 people without cardiovascular disease -- ages 45-80 and with one risk factor -- were randomly assigned to the Polycap. It consisted of low doses of the drugs: 12.5 mg. thiazide, 50 mg atenolol, 5 mg ramipril, 20 mg simvastatin and 100 mg aspirin per day.

Subjects were otherwise assigned to eight other groups, each with about 200 individuals, of aspirin alone, simvastatin alone, hydrochlorthiazide alone, three combinations of the two blood-pressure-lowering drugs, three blood-pressure-lowering drugs alone, or three blood-pressure-lowering drugs plus aspirin.

Compared with groups not receiving blood-pressure-lowering drugs, the Polycap reduced systolic blood pressure by 7.4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg, which was similar when three blood-pressure-lowering drugs were used, with or without aspirin.

The findings were published in The Lancet.

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