The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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    Heavy marijuana use leads to high triglyceride levels

     ApoC-III is a risk factor for heart disease. The increased levels observed in marijuana users might explain, in part, the heart and cerebral abnormalities seen in tokers.

    TheHeart.org tells us, “Marijuana abuse causes increased resistance to blood flow and may increase the risk of certain cardiovascular disorders.”

    Researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, Maryland tested the possibility that marijuana use might be associated with changes in serum protein levels.

    First, the details.

    • 18 heavy marijuana users and 24 controls were studied.
    • Blood samples were tested using mass spectroscopy.

    And, the results.

    • Marijuana users had significant increases in 3 protein peaks, including one for apoprotein C3 III (apoC-III).
      • An increase in apoC-III levels leads to development of high blood levels of triglycerides.
    • There were significant correlations between apoC-III and triglyceride levels.
    • The average triglyceride level in marijuana users was 122 mg/dL vs 91 mg/dL in the non-smokers.
    • High triglyceride levels are defined as greater than 150 mg/dL.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “The observed increases in apoC-III in the marijuana users hint of the possibility that chronic marijuana abuse could lead to impairments of cellular energetics and mitochondrial function, which are critical events associated with myocardial infarction, stroke, and ischemic/reperfusion damage.”

    5/31/08 15:11 JR

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