Can Advil Increase the Risk of a Heart Attack?

0 31 May 2013

A patient of mine was recently put on high-dose ibuprofen to reduce progression of his osteoarthritis (OA), which in his case appears to be genetic in origin. His dose is 800mg three times per day. That’s pretty much the max dose and he was asked to be on that indefinitely since some research indicates that it can help in the outcome of his osteoarthritis. Today, I was alerted to a study published in The Lancet that showed elevated cardiovascular events in patients taking common anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex, diclofenac and ibuprofen. The study was a meta-analysis that looked at data from over 600 trials. Meta-analyses are good studies, but they do have their limits. While I wouldn’t hang my hat on them, they are helpful in gaining a better understanding. The study found that for diclofenac (Cambia, Voltaren) and cox-inhibitors like Celebrex, the risk of a major vascular event and coronary event was about one-third higher. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) had double the risk of coronary events. Naproxen (Aleve) did not have an increase in cardiovascular risk. Of course, I let my patient know that he may want to switch to naproxen instead of ibuprofen based on this new study. Having said that, I have moved most people away from these medications in general (except for short t

Posted in Blog, Health and Wellness, Vitamins by admin
0 21 April 2013

Thiamine is a B-vitamin that is extremely important for the functioning of the Central Nervous system. The CNS is responsible for integrative and interpretive function of the body. It is essentially comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. These two structures are responsible for receiving all the inputs from your senses, interpreting them, and then acting on them. Without a properly functioning CNS, your body cannot send the right signals to the rest of the body for proper functiioning. When people have insufficient levels of thiamine, they can experience fatigue, memory loss, depression, headache, confusion and muscle weakness. In severe forms of thiamine deficiency, such as in the starvation disease Beri Beri, people can experience anorexia, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, enlarged heart, and nerve pain. In medical school, we always thought of thiamine deficiency as something that happened to starving kids in Africa or in alcoholics. But it turns out that diets that are high in bad fat and sugar can lead to a low level of thiamine. In addition, sulfites (a common food additive) destroys thiamine. So does moist heat, especially when combined with alkalis such as baking soda. Makes you think differently about that muffin at Starbucks, doesn’t it? Even that Power Bagel at Einstein’s isn’t safe. Because thiamine is vital for energy production, you need more wher

Posted in Blog, Vitamins by admin
0 4 April 2013

We hear about B-vitamins all the time. We hear about them as B-12 shots, as B-complex vitamins, as energy drinks with B-vitamins. Most people know that the B-vitamins are very important for energy. But they are also important for almost every function in the body. In fact, because so many body systems are involved, many vague complaints can be related to low levels of some or all of the B-vitamins. So what are the B-vitamins, anyway? Once thought to be a single vitamin, the B-vitamins are actually a group of water soluble molecules that are found together in the same foods. They function at such an important, basic, cellular level that deficiencies in any of them can have an impact on many biochemical and physiological processes. And while the levels may not be low enough to cause the classics signs of true deficiency, low levels can make it so that your body just doesn’t work as good as it should. Patients can experience fatigue, irritability, depression, muscle weakness, skin issues, memory issues, nervous system issues… the list goes on and on. The B-vitamins are important in the metabolism of sugars, lipids, cholesterol, hormones, nervous system function, and many other important processes. Because B-vitamins are water soluble, your body doesn’t store much of them. They are excreted into the urine. Thus, it is important to get B-vitamins from food and supplements regu

Posted in Blog, Vitamins by admin