Study: Fish Oil, Vitamin D Won’t Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

For people hoping to prevent the heart rhythm disorder known as “a-fib,” new research shows that taking vitamin D or fish oil supplements won’t help.

A-fib, also known as atrial fibrillation, affects more than 33 million people worldwide and is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. It can cause symptoms that affect a person’s quality of life, result in blood clots that can cause a stroke, and also lead to heart failure.

For the study, the researchers examined whether taking vitamin D supplements or omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil might affect different kinds of a-fib, and whether some patients would be more likely to benefit or be harmed by the supplements.

Overall, the results were mostly consistent across the different types of a-fib and patient groups, according to lead author Dr. Christine Albert and colleagues. Albert is chair of the cardiology department at Smidt Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

The study, published March 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follows a presentation by Albert at an American Heart Association conference last year.

“Our recommendation remains the same,” she said in a JAMA Network news release. “We do not support taking fish oil or vitamin D supplements to prevent atrial fibrillation.”

However, “unlike other recent trials that found increased risks of atrial fibrillation with higher-dose omega-3 fatty acid supplements, our study did not find a significantly increased risk of atrial fibrillation with one gram of fish oil per day, which is good news for individuals taking low-dose fish oil for other health conditions,” Albert said.

Her team also found that vitamin D supplements at 2,000 international units per day did not increase a-fib risk.

Source: HealthDay

Easter Chocolate

The Bvlgari chocolate are available in selected stores in Japan for a limited time. The price is 6,000 yen (tax included) each.

How Oral Health May Affect Your Heart, Brain and Risk of Death

Thor Christensen wrote . . . . . . . . .

Dental cavities could significantly increase the risk of a life-threatening stroke from bleeding in the brain, according to new research.

Past studies have shown a link between gum infection and stroke, but few studies have looked into what role dental cavities might play. In the new study, researchers looked specifically at cavities and intracerebral stroke, which occur when an artery in the brain bursts and floods surrounding tissue with blood.

Researchers looked at data from 6,506 people without stroke, and then followed them for 30 years. For the first 15 years, those who developed cavities had a slightly higher risk for stroke from brain bleed, but their risk shot up dramatically in the next 15 years.

In the second half of the study period, people with cavities had 4.5 times higher risk of a stroke from brain bleed than those without cavities, after adjusting for age, gender, race and high blood pressure.

Dr. Souvik Sen, co-author of the study, said it was one of the first times cavities and intracerebral stroke had been studied in people. While brain bleeds, also called as intracerebral hemorrhages, account for only 10% to 20% of all strokes, they’re more deadly than the more common ischemic strokes, which occur when blood flow through an artery is blocked.

While doctors can manage the risk for ischemic stroke in several ways, options are limited for brain bleeds, he said.

“This study throws more light on how we can address and prevent this more devastating form of stroke,” said Sen, professor and chair of the department of neurology at University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

South Carolina medical student Elizabeth LaValley presented the research this week at the American Stroke Association’s virtual International Stroke Conference. It was one of two studies Sen and his colleagues offered for the conference on the topic of oral disease and stroke. The second study showed gum disease is associated with damage to the brain’s tiny blood vessels. Study findings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Sen said gum disease can be caused by 20 to 30 different types of bacteria, but cavities are predominantly caused by one: Streptococcus mutans, which has been shown in animal studies to be linked with brain bleeds.

While Streptococcus mutans was the most likely “culprit” in the study’s results, Sen said, a limitation of the research is that it didn’t pinpoint the type of bacteria responsible for the dental cavities. He’s currently researching that question in another study, and he’d like to see future work done on whether antibiotics or other treatments for dental cavities that may lower the risk of intracerebral stroke.

Today, the only real preventive strategy for cavities is to seek dental care regularly, Sen said. “Maybe we need to start thinking about how we can treat people with Streptococcus mutans aggressively in the early stages.”

Dr. Robert P. Friedland, who has researched the link between oral bacteria and stroke, said the new study underscores the need for medical professionals to take the topic seriously.

“I’ve been disturbed that many stroke doctors don’t counsel patients about it. It’s just not something in their toolbox,” said Friedland, the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and a professor of neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He was not involved in the current research.

“I discuss it with every patient I see, regardless of what they’re seeing me for,” he said. “I tell them ‘Take care of your teeth: It’s important for the health of your teeth, but more so, it’s good for the health of your brain and your heart.'”

Source: American Heart Association

Ham Rolls with Spinach

Ingredients

1-1/2 lb fresh spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 tbsp butter
freshly ground pepper to taste
6 thin slices cooked ham
6 thin slices Emmenthal or Swiss cheese
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup Madeira wine
2 tsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Clean and cook the spinach. Place the spinach in a colander over a bowl and press with the back of a wooden spoon, extracting and reserving the liquid.
  2. Place the spinach in a blender container and process until pureed.
  3. Combine the spinach, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, whipped cream, butter and pepper, mixing well.
  4. Spread some of the spinach mixture over the ham slices and top with the Emmenthal cheese slices. Roll each ham slice up as for jelly roll and place in a buttered, heatproof platter.
  5. Arrange a border of the remaining spinach mixture around the ham rolls, using a fork to shape the design.
  6. Combine the reserved spinach liquid, stock and Madeira in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Blend the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth. Stir into the stock mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Pour over the ham rolls, then cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Garnish with broiled cherry tomato slices and crescents made of puff pastry trimmings, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course


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