Strong evidence that the diabetes drug Avandia should be avoided

December 19, 2007

The findings of clinical trials have linked the use of Thiazolidinediones, a class of diabetes drugs that include Actos and Avandia, with congestive heart failure and heart attacks. Now, new research indicates that these associations, at least with Avandia, also apply to individuals in the community, and not just clinical trials.

Scientists from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, and analyzed data for 159,026 older adults who were treated with at least one oral diabetes drug and followed over an average period of 3.8 years. 7.9 percent of the patients were hospitalized for congestive heart failure, 7.9 percent were hospitalized for a heart attack, and 19 percent died, according to the report.

Current Thiazolidinediones use increased the risks of heart failure by 60%, heart attack by 40% and death by 29 percent mostly due to taking Avandia compared with the use of other types of oral diabetes drugs. The harm caused by Thiazolidinediones may outweigh their benefits, even in patients without obvious...cardiovascular disease according to the researchers. The study is published in the December 12th, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association

Cocoa flavanols improve blood flow to the heart within a few weeks

Japanese researchers tested the effects of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate on circulation to the heart muscle in healthy adults. The study was a randomized, single-blind design conducted for 2 weeks in 39 healthy men (23-40 years of age). Subjects were randomly assigned either flavonoid-rich dark chocolate (Meiji Black Chocolate that included cacao polyphenols at 550 mg/day) or non-flavonoid white chocolate (Meiji White Chocolate including cacao polyphenol 0 mg/day) as a control.. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate consumption significantly improved coronary blood flow significantly whereas non-flavonoid white chocolate consumption did not. CONCLUSION: Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved coronary circulation in healthy adults, independent of changes in oxidative stress parameters, blood pressure and lipid profile, whereas non-flavonoid white chocolate had no such effects. The study is published in the November 26th, 2007 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology.