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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


A large new study adds to the body of evidence showing diets rich in potassium reduce blood pressure and stroke risk.  The study tracked more than more than 90,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 for an average of 11 years.  Researchers found women who consumed the most potassium were 10% less likely to die during the study period and 12% less likely to suffer a stroke compared to those who ate the least potassium.
Potassium is an important mineral that helps the body maintain a balance of fluid and minerals.  It also helps blunt some of the harmful effects of sodium on blood pressure.  In the study, the average daily intake of potassium was just over 2,600 mg per day. The lowest potassium group consumed less than 1,925 mg daily. The highest group consumed more than 3,194 mg per day.  More than 97% of women in the study did not get the recommended 4,700mg of daily potassium in their diets.
What to do:  Like the study participants, most Americans do not get adequate potassium.  In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fewer than 2% of Americans consume the recommended 4,700mg of potassium daily.  So, make a point of including plenty of high potassium foods in your diet.  The foods richest in potassium are fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and dairy.  Particularly good fruit and veggie options include bananas, citrus, apricots, melons, kiwis, tomatoes, Swiss chard, Romaine, turnip greens, spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, yams, and potatoes.  Always talk to your health care provider before taking potassium supplements as too much potassium can be dangerous for persons with certain health conditions and/or medications.
Adapted from articles available at:


Blanch N, Clifton PM, Petersen KS, et al.  Effect of high potassium diet on endothelial function.  Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases; Sept 2014,Vol 24(9), pgs 983-989.  DOI: 10.1016/j.numecd.2014.04.009

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


A new analysis of 16 studies including nearly 900,000 subjects from around the world finds that having pre-diabetes is associated with an increased the risk of many types of cancer.  Researchers found that people with pre-diabetes had a 15% increased risk of cancer overall and specifically pre-diabetes increases the risk of stomach, colorectal, liver, pancreas, breast and endometrial cancers.  

People with pre-diabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered full-blown diabetes.  An estimated 36% of adult Americans currently have pre-diabetes and this percentage is expected to rapidly rise in the coming decade.  The increased risk remained even after controlling for overweight/obesity, an important risk factor for many types of cancer as well as diabetes. 

There are several reasons why pre-diabetes and cancer appear to be linked.  Chronically elevated blood sugar increases oxidative stress on the body and depresses the immune system increasing the likelihood that cancer will take hold.  Additionally, the accumulation of advanced glycated end-products that are the result of high blood sugar are believed to be carcinogenic.  Additionally pre-diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance in which the body must produce much more insulin than normal.  Excess insulin is known to promote cancer cell growth and division.  On the plus side, the drug metformin, a first line therapy for pre-diabetes that decreases high blood sugar and insulin resistance, has been found to decrease cancer risk among diabetics by as much as 30%.    

What to do:  Most people with pre-diabetes do not know they have it.  Keep up to date with your healthcare to ensure you are being screened for pre-diabetes.  Excess weight and inactivity are two of the most important risk factors for pre-diabetes (as well as most other chronic diseases).  So, eat healthier and get moving!  Losing as little as 7% of body weight and getting in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) five days a week has been shown to be quite effective at preventing and improving pre-diabetes. 

Adapted from articles available at:


Huang Y,  Cai X et al. Prediabetes and the risk of cancer: A meta-analysis.  Diabetologia, September 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s00125-014-3361-2