- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
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Treatments and drugs (6)
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Lifestyle and home remedies (4)
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Alternative medicine (2)
- High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol?
- Does prickly pear cactus have health benefits?
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High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol?
Does cinnamon lower cholesterol levels?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
There's little evidence that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol, and cinnamon isn't recommended as a treatment for high cholesterol. Eating a large amount of cinnamon (1 to 6 grams of cinnamon a day) can affect how your body processes sugar and fat. This could theoretically lower your cholesterol. However, there's not much evidence that this happens.
But even if cinnamon doesn't live up to its reputation for lowering cholesterol, it can be a healthy way to add flavor to foods, especially when used in place of adding more sugar or salt.
To reduce your cholesterol, focus instead on lifestyle changes:
- Lose excess weight.
- Eat heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine.
- If you smoke, stop.
If necessary, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication.Next question
Does prickly pear cactus have health benefits?
- Letinsky D, et al. Is cinnamon safe and effective for treating lipid disorders? The Journal of Family Practice. 2011;60:43.
- Cassia cinnamon. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.
- Vafa M, et al. Effects of cinnamon consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and body composition in type 2 diabetic patients. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;3:531.
- Ulbricht C, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 2011;8:378.
- Grundy SM, et al. Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3upd04.pdf. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.
- Prevention and treatment of high cholesterol. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001215_Article.jsp. Accessed Oct. 8, 2012.