Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Fabulous, Fascinating, Fortuitious Forum: The 2008 Top Ten

As I sit back and think about all the things that have happened on the Track Your Plaque Forum in the last year I am truly amazed. So much so I have come up with a Top Ten list (in no particular order) of all the things we have done together on the Forum this year. Here are several interesting or important (IMHO) posts that started or were further developed by Members over the past year (they can be accessed by clicking the links).

Dr. Davis was right: Framingham Researchers say Lack Of Vitamin D May Increase Heart Disease Risk
We were saving many lives through the early recognition, adoption, and use of Vitamin D. The rest of the world is just now catching up to where we all were over one year ago. Happy New Year and please pass another bottle of sunshine!

Hypothyroidism as a driver of artherosclerosis?
Soon after Vitamin D we embarked on a discussion of the role of thyroid disease a powerful co-factor in heart disease. Once again we were well-ahead of the curve (and still are) on thyroid issues and heart disease and are pushing the envelope ever further. Until now, who knew thyroid was an issue for so many of us?

Lp(a) studies for discussion
Lipoprotein(a) is the scourge of many TYP Members. Everything from new drugs under study to treatments such as niacin, nuts, and NAC has been covered in the TYP Forums.

New here-- question #1 regarding Fish Oil
Everyone knows (or should) about the numerous therapeutic effects of fish oil. From question #1 to #1000 the TYP Forum has covered everything from allergies and accelerated dosing to its use with Xenical and Zetia. If it’s about Omega-3s and fish oil you are likely to find an in depth discussion here.

Question regarding Blood Glucose Readings and Dr. Davis's new report on BP
These posts are remarkable in that they attracted a fair amount of attention for subjects that I thought would have been so thoroughly hashed over that they were dead. However, it proves that the simplest concepts are deeply intertwined with heart disease prevention and often misunderstood.

Wheat is evil
This one was a killer – almost literally. If you had to pick something that was so endemic to American lifestyle and yet so eminently dangerous it would have to be eating wheat. This was one of the first posts that started the brushfire that has erupted into an inferno and continues in many similar posts today. Put that piece of bread down or TYP’s resident pharmacology guru Dr. BG (Member Nickname “ggglll”) may have to keep you after school and write “I will not eat wheat” 100 times!

SPLENDA: good or bad?
Once again, something so simple and common sparked an extremely erudite discussion. What was most remarkable about these posts is how it adroitly displayed the vast amount of knowledge (even about subjects as arcane as artificial sweeteners) of TYP Members and their willingness to share. It is this very feature of the TYP Forum that makes it the best of any in its category.

Boswellia and 5-Lipoxygenase Pathway Inflammation
Wow, 144 posts and 1043 views (and counting) on the subject. We added the “Emerging Medicine” Forum for this exact reason and we were treated to a treatise by “wccaguy” on a subject that is just now beginning to be seriously studied by researchers. Want to stay on the “bleeding edge” of heart disease prevention and reversal? Read the TYP Forum!

Very stubborn plaque!
This post exemplified how a first-time poster dipped their toe into the TYP Forum “Fountain” and was showered with help from Members. Equally important is the number of Members who, although they didn’t post, viewed the posts to glean information to aid their personal efforts. That is what the TYP Forum is all about!

OK, so I lied. I DO have a Number 1 item!
But it is not any specific post. What is happening on the TYP Forum is something special and it is not just the thousands of posts. Quantity is one thing but it is the quality of the posts that is so impressive and it is a sentiment I have heard Dr. Davis express frequently. It is truly outstanding and a distinct pleasure to meet so many people intent on beating heart disease and willing to help others do the same. Thanks again on behalf of our small (but committed) team at TYP. It was a heck of a year with another great one planned for 2009.

Keep Tracking and Talking . . . and have a HAPPY (and healthy) NEW YEAR!



Anonymous said...

Vitamin D is on the top of everyone's list right now. You covered it earlier in August 2008. There you say you needed 10000IU to raise the level to 62ng/dl.
Did you by any chance have yourself tested for other cholesterol levels? According to Dr. Davis higher level of vitamin D also produces better values for HDL and triglyceride. I was just wondering if that was the case with you.

HeartHawk said...

Dear Anonymous:

Since I take a fair amount of niacin (3000g/day) in addition to Vitamin D it is difficult to say which has had more effect. My starting HDL was 38. After niacin it when to about 50 and after D to about 55 but the test to test variation is significant (anywhere from 46 to 74) so it is hard to be precise. However, since niacin is such a powerful HDL raiser I do not expect to see much of a change with the addition of D.

My advice would be to continue to consider D as it has so many benefits in addition to HDL raising.



HeartHawk said...

Dear Anonymous:

P.S. The same is true of my low triglycerides (about 30mg/dL). It is already so low from the niacin it is hard t expect anything to drive it much lower.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could read the posts and especially the comments at TYP without having to pay so much! :(

But I do read through the heartscan blog! Thank you Dr. D!

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