Statins Reduce Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Posted on

If you take a cholesterol-lowering statin medication like Lipitor, you are likely familiar with statin side effects, including muscle issues and potential liver damage.

But did you know that taking a statin reduces the effectiveness of the flu vaccine?

Two new studies recently made that discovery. The studies were not small: four countries were involved, including the US, and almost 7,000 adults were evaluated. These two research studies concluded that adults who take statin medications had significantly reduced immune responses to the flu shot, compared with those who do not take statins. As well, the effectiveness at preventing serious respiratory illness was lower among adults taking statins.

READ MORE

Eileen’s Going Lo-Co Inspired Grapefruit-Metamucil Smoothie

Posted on

In honor of Thanksgiving week, I’d like to thank (see what I did there?) Going Lo-Co reader Eileen S. for sharing both her experience and the cholesterol-lowering recipe she invented. Inspired in part by my post, Grapefruit Pros and Cons (which will forevermore be dubbed, ‘the post that keeps on giving’ as I wrote about grapefruit way back in 2013 and Eileen ran across it two years later!), Going Lo-Co blog reader Eileen S recently invented a new cholesterol-lowering recipe.

As you may recall, Grapefruit Pros and Cons is about the amazing fact that grapefruit – plain old grapefruit –

READ MORE

New Year’s Exercise Resolutions and Heart Health

Posted on

If you’re like most Americans, getting more exercise is on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

And for good reason: exercise is one of the key methods for lowering cholesterol – and blood pressure, my new concern — without medications.  Oh, and that dropping weight side-benefit (ha ha) is kind of fantastic, too.

So to reduce my blood pressure and to continue to keep my cholesterol in check without any meds, I’ve been wondering just how much, how hard, and how often I need to exercise.

In researching, I found this nifty chart from the American Heart Association.  

READ MORE

New Cholesterol Guidelines – An App For That

Posted on

The American Heart Association and the America College of Cardiology released completely new, totally different guidelines for the treatment of high blood cholesterol back in November 2013.

As explained in my post, The NEW Guidelines For Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Meds, in broad strokes the new guidelines state that if you are in one of the following four groups you have elevated heart disease risk and should take statins:

  • those who already have cardiovascular disease
  • anyone with LDL (bad) cholesterol of 190 mg/dL or higher
  • anyone between 40 and 75 years of age who has Type 2 diabetes
  • people between 40 and 75 who have an estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 7.5 percent or higher.
  • READ MORE

    Heart Surgery

    Posted on

    I mentioned in my last post, Losing Lox, that my folks were staying with us for a few weeks. What I didn’t mention was why.  And heart surgery is the reason.

    My step-father had an aorta valve replacement nine years ago. The ‘epic’ valve that was supposed to last 15+ years didn’t even make it 10. Epic Fail. (Sorry, could not resist).

    So now, at 82, it was clear that he needed open heart surgery, again. Fortunately he is in great shape (other than the so-very-leaky aorta valve) and was thus a candidate for surgery —

    READ MORE