Diet, disease, and the microbiome

There is growing interest in the human body’s microbiome and its connection to chronic disease. A new study examines that connection, along with how the foods we eat influence the composition of our microbiome. Microbiome protects host and plays role...

Omega-3 fatty acids and the heart: New evidence, more questions

My patients commonly ask me whether they should try one supplement or another. Often my answer is equivocal, because for most supplements we just don’t have enough evidence to give a definite answer. This doesn’t mean that a particular patient...

Lowering cholesterol protects your heart and brain, regardless of your age

High or abnormal cholesterol levels, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction play a key role in atherosclerosis and plaque buildup, the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes. (Endothelial dysfunction refers to impaired functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels...

Does your health monitor have device bias?

In recent years, there’s been a veritable explosion in the number and type of health monitoring devices available in smartphones and fitness apps. Your smartphone is likely tracking the number of steps you take, how far and fast you walk,...

Flowers, chocolates, organ donation — are you in?

Chocolates and flowers are great gifts for Valentine’s Day. But what if the gifts we give this year could be truly life-changing? A gift that could save someone’s life, or free them from dialysis? You can do this. For people...

How does sleep affect your heart rate?

Even if you don’t wear a smartwatch or fitness band to track your heart rate, you can often sense your pulse fluctuating throughout the day. During your waking hours, the number of heartbeats per minute when you’re just sitting quietly...

Are early detection and treatment always best?

Throughout my medical career, I’ve heard statements like these: Early detection offers the best chance of cure. If you wait for symptoms, you’ve waited too long. Knowledge is power, and the sooner you have the information, the better. Over time,...

Exercise matters to health and well-being, regardless of your size

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in our daily lives. Regardless of who you are, your life has been impacted in some way. Stress is mounting, and you may need to find a way to decompress while social...

3 simple steps to jump-start your heart health this year

In 2020, the terrible toll of the COVID-19 pandemic largely overshadowed the affliction that remains the leading cause of death in this country: heart disease. In the United States last year, at least twice as many people died from cardiovascular...

COVID-19 and the heart: What have we learned?

Early in the pandemic, epidemiologists made a striking observation. Compared to the general population, people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more than twice as likely to contract severe forms of COVID-19. In the last six months, death rates from COVID-19...
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