Polypill, fish oil or exercise?

There has been a lot of press this week about a study conducted in India using the “Polypill,”  a combination of a beta-blocker, a diuretic, an ace inhibitor, folic acid, a statin and aspirin rolled into a single pill.  The intent of the pill is to reduce four risk factors for cardiovascular disease: LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, platelet function, and serum homocysteine.  The new study involved testing the Polypill on 2,053 subjects aged between 45 and 80 for 12 week, people without cardiovascular disease (CVD) but having one major risk factor for CVD such as high cholesterol, diabetes,  smoking, or high blood pressure.  The pill was found to reduce high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol without major side-effects – not surprising given the pill’s ingredients.  Of course, the study was far too short to show any final outcomes.  The Polypill has received somewhat of a mixed reception.  One thoughtful analysis argues that the same benefits can be achieved by taking Essential Fatty Acids, such as in fish oils. “Thus, EFAs and their metabolites show all the classic actions expected of the ‘polypill’. Unlike the proposed ‘polypill’, EFAs are endogenous molecules present in almost all tissues, have no significant or few side effects, can be taken orally for long periods of time even by pregnant women, lactating mothers, and infants, children, and adults; and have been known to reduce the incidence cardiovascular diseases including stroke.  Others are also skeptical that the Polypill should be taken by everyone in lieu of good lifestyle preventative measures.  Medpagetoday quotes Robert Bonow, M.D., professor of medicine at Chicago’s Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University: “We already have a polypill — it’s called exercise,”

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at www.vincegiuliano.com and an extensive site of my art at www.giulianoart.com. Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to vegiuliano@agingsciences.com.
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