Not Taking Care Of Your Teeth Could Give You A Heart Attack

Not Taking Care Of Your Teeth Could Give You A Heart Attack

NOV. 27, 2013, 8:58 PM 1,922 1

Excessive sugar – not just fat and salt – in junk food can cause heart disease, experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine have warned. The risk posed by saturated fats and salt are already generally accepted, and sugar has been blamed for fuelling obesity, but the editorial, published on Thursday, says that a link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been demonstrated by a “convincing evidence base”.Co-author Dr Ahmed Rashid, from the department of public health and primary care at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s an additional mechanism by which junk food can elevate your risk of having a heart attack. We know that junk food causes heart disease, we assume it’s through salt and fat but people don’t mention sugar, or if they do it is in terms of obesity”.

Gum disease, which can be triggered by excess sugar consumption, can prompt an inflammatory response that leads to CVD through a process called atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, the paper says.

It points out that “free sugars”, which includes those added by manufacturers and present naturally in honey and fruit juices, in fizzy drinks and other junk foods are “particularly potent drivers” of gum disease.

“The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene,” said Rashid. “Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”

Sugar has already been blamed this year as being the real villain behind the obesity epidemic, by a US doctor, who described it as “addictive and toxic”. But the latest UK guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly (pdf).

The paper says that the association between oral health and CVD “suggests that reducing sugar consumption may be a particularly important target for future health policy in this area”.

Tracy Parker, heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, which has said a 20% tax on sugary drinks would reduce obesity, said: “A diet full of junk food can have all sorts of unhealthy consequences. As well as being high in salt and saturated fat, which can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol, processed foods and fizzy drinks are often packed with sugar. Too much sugar is bad news for your teeth and gums.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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