Popular Painkillers Like Ibuprofen Are Linked to Heart Problems

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By Alice Park

Painkillers can be both a blessing and a curse. They’re effective at numbing everything from the inflammation that comes with infection to headaches and the achy joints of arthritis. But recent studies have exposed some serious side effects, including increased risk of heart events. The newest class of these drugs, COX-2 inhibitors, seemed especially risky for the heart, leading to the withdrawal from the market of one medication and a Food and Drug Administration warning on others.

In a new study published in the BMJ, researchers detail the risks associated with other prescription painkillers known as non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). COX-2 inhibitors belong to the NSAID class, but were supposed to be more targeted to reducing pain while avoiding some of the intestinal bleeding risk associated with NSAIDs—until their heart problems were revealed. So Giovanni Corrao, from the University of Milano-Bicocca, and his team studied data from 10 million users of NSAIDs from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and the UK to better understand if NSAIDs, too, carried any increased risk to the heart.

The people in the studied used 27 different types of NSAIDs, including four selective COX-2 inhibitors. When they compared NSAID use with rates of heart problems, they found that people currently using one of the painkillers had a 19% higher risk of being hospitalized for heart failure compared to those who had used the drugs in the past. The higher the dose of the NSAIDs, the higher risk of heart trouble. And seven medications in particular seemed to be linked to more heart problems: ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, indomethacin, ketorolac, nimesulide and piroxicam. Two COX-2 inhibitors, etoricoxib and rofecoxib, were also linked to higher risk.

While the risk of heart failure was known, the latest findings establish that even NSAIDs that aren’t COX-2 inhibitors, which work in a different way to relieve pain, carry some risk. Since they change the way the kidneys work and alter salt metabolism, they can contribute to heart failure in people who might be susceptible to heart problems. But the study found that even people without any history of heart trouble also increased their risk of events if they took NSAIDs.

The results also showed that the COX-2 inhibitors, which have caused the most concern when it came to the heart, were linked to about the same rate of heart-related hospitalizations as the other NSAIDs.

Because the study looked at correlations between NSAID use and heart issues, the findings don’t imply that the prescription painkillers cause heart failure. But they suggest that doctors prescribing the drugs should discuss the potential risk with their patients and be more aware of heart-related risk factors that might make the drugs more risky for some.

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Why Gwyneth Paltrow’s on board with the #nomakeup movement

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By Rachel Lapidos

Yesterday, wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow celebrated her 44th birthday. While that probably involved plenty of cauliflower tabbouleh being passed around her Zen-chic New York City pad, the most notable occurrence was her makeup-free selfie that she proudly posted to her 2.6 million Instagram followers.

“#Nomakeup for my 44th birthday, embracing my past and future. Thank you for the instalove,” wrote Paltrow underneath her beaming smile. Maybe that radiance comes from all the Moon Juice powder she infuses into her daily smoothie, or perhaps from using her clean skin-care line Goop—whatever the reason, it’s refreshing to see yet another makeup-free celeb embracing how she feels in her own skin.

In a statement, Paltrow notes that she’s been very inspired by the bare-faced beauty movement (which celebs like Alicia Keys and Nicole Richie are on board with) because of its empowering message. “It says here I am, this is me. This is what I look like, this is where I am in time, and I embrace it,” says Paltrow.

“Along with [age] comes some amazing new features, the roadmap to true self-acceptance, and real insight into who you are.”

“One of the most interesting things about being a woman is that around the time you turn 40, you get what I like to call a software upgrade,” she adds. “Along with it comes some amazing new features, the roadmap to true self-acceptance, real insight into who you are, and kind of not giving a s#*t about the things that are unimportant.”

She adds, “You find yourself investing in relationships that give as much as they get, you start to get a sense of the true size of your worth (immeasurable), you start to like yourself for who you really are (warts and all). The future suddenly has scarcity to it, and the past is all over your face.”

Word, Gwyn. It’s not just an aesthetic choice—as Paltrow describes it, it’s also a profound act of self-love. Here’s to more #nomakeup badasses letting their true beauty shine through.

Want to ditch your makeup and show off your radiant skin, too? Shine on from the inside out with these nine foods for amazing skin and these smoothies for a healthy glow.

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The healthy beauty secret that all supermodels live by, according to Veronica Webb

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By Katie Maguire

Welcome to My Morning Routine, where Veronica Webb and other good-life gurus share their personal (frequently surprising, often healthy) morning rituals—to help you make your a.m.’s more awesome.

Veronica Webb
Supermodel, actress, writer, television personality, and Tory Sport athlete. Webb is currently training for the Hamptons Half Marathon on October 1, in honor of the Tory Burch Foundation.

I wake up every day at 6:15am—without an alarm. Even on the weekend, I’m up by 7 a.m. I’ve always been a morning person, but deep down, I’m jealous of night owls. The first thing I do after I wake up is drink a glass of water, which also happens to be the last thing I do before I go to sleep. It helps the body flush out toxins and get organized.

Before I even get out of bed, I stretch—it’s a cardinal rule. I do a figure four or happy baby pose to stretch my back. I really believe that muscular tension shows on your face—and in your attitude towards life—so I try to get rid of that ASAP.

I usually like to workout first thing in the morning. One of the things I’ve learned over the years—and something that all supermodels will tell you—is that exercise is really your best beauty trick. I love to have my workout finished before anything else pops up during the day, and running in the morning is so quiet and peaceful. Plus, exercise—like coffee—makes me a nicer person.

As I train for this half marathon I find that while I’m working out less frequently, my workouts are a lot harder and require a longer recovery period in between my runs. Before I was training, my workouts were more focused on body weight, cardio, or were barre classes—I’d basically work out until my strength failed me. Now that I’m running so much, I find that I need a lot more recovery time.

As soon as I’m done with a long run, I take a bath in Epsom salt. I’ve also added magnesium glycinate complex to my supplement routine and I drink Focused Zone from Amino Vital—it’s a branched-chain amino acid that assists with quicker recovery.

Once I’m back from my run and get out of the bath, I’ll have breakfast. I make sure that the first thing I eat every morning is raw—whether it’s juice, fruit, or a smoothie—because I don’t want to shock my system awake. For breakfast, I eat—in this order—water, fruit, a cup of Bulletproof coffee, and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal that I make the night before.

I prefer Bulletproof coffee to regular coffee for so many reasons—it doesn’t give me that coffee crash, but I still have so much energy, it keeps me fuller longer, and it has less toxins. Instead of adding milk, I add a pat of grass fed butter and medium chain triglycerides that are derived from coconut oil.

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Walnuts Get A Calorie Cut

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By Dr. Weil

If you enjoy nuts but have been concerned about calories, you can allow yourself a few more walnuts without feeling guilty – they don’t contain as many calories as we once believed. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have found that a 1-ounce serving of the nuts actually provides 39 fewer calories than listed on the USDA Nutrient Database. That’s a 21 percent reduction. The old count was based on a 19th century calculation that’s been found wanting. Determining the true count involved recruiting 18 healthy adults randomly assigned to a 3-week controlled diet without walnuts, and then another 3-week controlled diet that included 1.5 servings of the nuts. Using a method called bomb calorimetry to calculate the number of calories actually metabolized, the researchers concluded that we can now count fewer calories (146 instead of 185) when we eat an ounce of walnuts. A 2012 study by the same USDA team suggested that almonds have 32 percent fewer calories than earlier estimates. With the new method an ounce of almonds yields 129 calories, not 170.

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