I used to be thrilled that my blood level of HDL cholesterol, the so-called good cholesterol, was high, the likely result of my devotion to daily physical activity. After all, HDL, for high-density lipoprotein, acts like an arterial cleanser, removing cholesterol from blood vessels and preparing it for removal outside the body.An ample supply of HDL cholesterol in blood serum has long been linked to protection against coronary heart disease and stroke, so what could be bad?I now know that, as with many other good things in life, there can be too much of this usually helpful protein. The best available evidence has shown that most of us would probably be best off aiming for moderation with regard to serum levels of HDL.A series of studies, large and small, in this country and abroad shows that the relationship of HDL levels to heart disease and overall mortality forms a U-shaped curve: Too little and too much of this blood lipid are, on average, associated with an elevated risk of heart … [Read more...] about HDL Cholesterol: Too Much of a Good Thing?
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By Janet Reitman The New York Times Tues., Nov. 6, 2018 The first indication to Lt. Dan Stout that law enforcement’s handling of white supremacy was broken came in September 2017, as he was sitting in an emergency-operations centre in Gainesville, Fla., preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Irma and watching what felt like his thousandth YouTube video of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va. Jesus Christ, he thought, studying the footage in which crowds of angry men, who had gathered to attend or protest the Unite the Right rally, set upon one another with sticks and flagpole spears and flame throwers and God knows what else. A black man held an aerosol can, igniting the spray, and in retaliation, a white man picked up his gun, pointed it toward the black man and fired it at the ground. The Virginia state troopers, inexplicably, stood by and watched. Stout fixated on this image, wondering what kind of organizational failure had led to the debacle. He had … [Read more...] about How U.S. law enforcement failed to see the threat of white nationalism
(Reuters Health) - E-cigarette liquids sweetened with flavorings like clove and vanilla may damage cells in the blood vessels and heart even when they don't contain nicotine, a small experiment suggests.Researchers examined what happened in lab tests when they exposed endothelial cells, which line arteries and veins as well as the inside of the heart, to a variety of popular e-cigarette flavorings. They tested the effect of different doses and concentrations of nine popular chemical flavorings: banana, butter, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, mint, strawberry, vanilla and "burnt" - which is used to impart a popcorn or tobacco-like flavor to foods.At high concentrations, all nine flavorings damaged cells in lab tests, researchers report in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.Five flavors - vanilla, mint, cinnamon, clove, and burnt - impaired production of nitric oxide, a molecule that inhibits inflammation and clotting and helps blood vessels widen in response to increased … [Read more...] about E-cigarette flavorings may damage blood vessels and heart
By Jonathan D. Rockoff The Wall Street Journal Preetika Rana Thu., June 14, 2018 Fledgling biotechs and medical-technology startups in the U.S. and Europe have found a new source of cash to fund costly research: China. Foreign health-care investments by Chinese venture-capital and private-equity firms reached a record $3.5 billion (U.S.) last year, up from $500 million four years earlier, according to Bain & Co. Much of the new money has gone to buying stakes in U.S. and European firms. For some Western life-sciences firms, such funding is becoming a significant source of cash. All nine named investors in blood-testing startup Grail Inc.’s $300 million financing round last month are from Hong Kong or mainland China. A Grail spokeswoman described its new investors as a “natural fit” with the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s planned Asia expansion, starting with the launch in Hong Kong later this year of a test for early detection of a … [Read more...] about China’s investors pour into western biotech startups
By Dr. Peter Vadas University of Toronto Sun., April 29, 2018 After what feels like a long wait, most people are relieved about the arrival of spring weather. But if you’ve got seasonal allergies, warmer conditions also mean the eventual return of pollens, mould spores and other allergens. As an allergy specialist, I generally think it’s best to minimize exposure to the things that bother us where possible. But, when it comes to seasonal allergies, this is easier said than done. And ultimately, we want to be able to go outside and enjoy spring, summer and fall. Thankfully, there are some new medications available to make the allergy season more bearable. If your symptoms are fairly mild, one option is over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines. I recommend avoiding the older ones since they have a lot of side effects like dry eyes, mouth or nose. As well, they can also lead to pressure changes within our eyes, especially in people who have glaucoma. The older … [Read more...] about New medications make seasonal allergies nothing to sneeze at