There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

A surprising new genetic study shows that some people with naturally high levels of HDL cholesterol—the supposedly good kind of cholesterol—are at increased risk of a heart attack. Doctors are now further questioning the use of drugs to boost HDL levels while looking to new therapies to reduce heart risk.

Source: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

Sorry for the scare.

For the people with this genetic defect, HDL (“good”) cholesterol is not good because the defect destroys their liver’s ability to absorb fat brought to it by HDL.  In normal people, HDL still correlates with lower risk of heart disease.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

Red Bull may give you wings, but at what cost? To some, energy drinks are dangerous elixirs, while others consider them magic potions of vitality? The truth about how they affect your body is not so black and white.

Source: Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

I’ve never had an energy drink.  Closest thing would be a Gu gel…

The specific mention about long term ginseng use is interesting with the mention about impact to blood thinners.  Ginger is a low dose of vitamin K, ginseng is entirely different.

Why Taking Niacin Turns People Lobster Red

Some of you have tried, for various reasons, taking niacin. Some have also shortly after experienced a sensation of sudden, all-encompassing, prickly heat and looked in a mirror to find yourself lobster red. Here’s why that happens.

Source: Here’s Why Taking Niacin Turns People Lobster Red

Supposedly the cholesterol-lowering properties of niacin only come from the regular “flush” version, so there are some differences between these different types of niacin.

This could be a way to spice up that potluck 😉

Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

Do you know which foods contain good cholesterol, and which contain bad cholesterol? If you think you do, ha! That’s a trick question! Cholesterol in our food doesn’t come in “good” and “bad” varieties, but cholesterol readings from blood tests do, and the two aren’t as closely connected as we used to think.

Source: Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

HDL is the one you want to be high; you want LDL to be low.

My doctor told me that my levels were a tad high, but the ratio mattered more.  The best part?  No cholesterol medication suggestion from the doctor.  It really does pay to eat better and look after yourself.

Related: The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

Vegemite, Marmite: Do They Have Vitamin K?

This took a little digging, but in a 1 teaspoon (6 grams) serving there is either no vitamin K, or it is so small it does not warrant mention.  So you can eat a fair amount of it without concern, but I would still not recommend consuming an entire container to yourself in a single sitting unless you already do that regularly, and your INR has been relatively stable.

To those unaware, both vegemite and marmite are made with brewer’s yeast extract.  Vegemite is Australian/New Zealand, while marmite is British/UK.  Either is a spread you’d apply to toast. As I remember, either tastes like sadness but I digress…

Marmite/vegemite is an acquired taste for most, but it is incredibly healthy.  Very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories (9 calories per serving). And a good source of protein, iron and selenium, and a very good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium and potassium.  The warning about sodium is outdated – there’s no relationship between sodium and heart disease.

Vegemite/marmite is also vegetarian, and vegan.  However some of the key ingredients of vegemite/marmite are malt extract derived from barley and yeast extract, from yeast grown on barley and wheat.  Therefore either is not gluten free.

Vegemite/marmite contains MSG, which is not the health risk myth that still persists.  But if you have an allergy to yeast, or are prone to yeast infections (IE: thrush) – consuming vegemite/marmite is not a good idea.  Allergic reactions to baker’s yeast may include a congested/runny nose and inflammation/itching of the skin.

What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

Wandering into any conversation about vitamins and other health supplements is wandering into a thicket of hyperbole and half-truths. We’re here to cut through some of the bullshit in the $28 billion supplements industry.

The biggest fallacy we need to let go of is that all vitamins are good, and more vitamins is always better. Vitamins are potent chemicals packed in potent pills.

…It’s also worth noting, the quality of supplement products varies greatly from brand to brand. Not only can the amount of active ingredient differ from the label, but adulterants can also be sneaked in. If you’re wondering if your (expensive) brand is up to snuff, Consumer Labs regularly publishes tests comparing the quality of different brands. Pro tip: More expensive is not always better.

Source: What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

The article doesn’t mention potassium or magnesium.  I prefer to source such things from plants/etc, rather than pills personally.