Cardiovascular Health - The Heart of the Matter

It is estimated that some 68 million Americans will suffer from some form of heart disease this year, and the numbers keep growing. The following is a list of 12 of the more common cardiovascular disorders. For information on signs and symptoms of each, and for helpful books and resources, click on the link of the disorder you're wanting to know about.

Heart failure, like so many other conditions, is strongly linked to chronic inflammation and specific immune overactivity. Studies of many heart failure patients have clearly shown that the levels of certain inflammation markers, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6) accurately predict who will have the most rapidly advancing heart failure.

   

Chronic inflammation destroys heart muscle cells, damages the lining of coronary blood vessels and microvessels (called endothelium), and can damage the heart’s electrical conduction system.

Inflammation results in very high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation products in the heart muscle. Even if inflammation is not a primary cause of cardiovascular problems, it plays a major role in expediting the process.


The Cholesterol Myths

Since the publication of the renowned Framingham Study in the 1960’s which indicated that higher levels of serum cholesterol in the blood led to a higher percentage of heart disorders, doctors have taken it for granted that high cholesterol values have been the major marker for heart disease. And it has been this way for five decades!
That is why statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, are one of the most highly prescribed pharmaceuticals in our country.

It turns out – after further research – that the actual fact is this: Because cholesterol cannot float in the blood on its own, it needs some form of carrier. These carriers come in the form of high- density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. They carry the cholesterol along the blood to help it perform some very vital functions.

Now, the LDL or low-density variety has been called “the bad cholesterol”. Now, why is it bad? Because the low-density lipoproteins are made up of smaller particles, they are more likely to oxidize. This oxidation happens when there is free radical damage and inflammation in the blood.

This oxidative stress and inflammation breaks down the low-density carrier and this oxidized cholesterol mixes with unabsorbed calcium in the blood and other cellular debris. The inflammatory terrain makes it possible for this “mix” to enter the arteries and form arterial plaque along the arterial walls, eventually narrowing the opening for proper circulation of the blood and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells, including the heart.

Some of the more important markers in the blood to assess a patient’s needs are hsCRP (Creative Reactive Protein) to signify inflammation, IL-6 (the inflammatory cytokine autoimmune reaction), homocysteine (an amino acid in the blood that has been linked to the promotion of blood clots and artery damage), and triglyceride levels (fatty deposits that can thicken the blood and make it sludgy). You should ask for these tests alongside your cholesterol readings next time you have a blood panel for cardiovascular health.

The bottom line about cholesterol is this: Even if you have “in reference range” cholesterol readings, if the inflammation markers are high, then you are at risk. That is why most of the studies have shown that, in the last 8 years or so, 56% of the people who suffered severe cardiac events had normal to low cholesterol.


A Natural Blood Thinner or Aspirin?

Although aspirin is thought of as a blood thinner, what it actually does is reduce inflammation in the blood, particularly C-reactive protein.

By reducing this inflammation, the blood can flow more easily throughout the body. This blood flow improvement decreases the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack, which is why aspirin is prescribed as a preventative measure as well as a post-incident application.

However, due to the potential side effects of long-term aspirin usage, you may be better off with a natural blood thinner, something that has been proven to reduce inflammation without the adverse effects. One such option is fish oil which contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the blood. It also has numerous other benefits for cardiovascular health and well being.

One of the most potent sources of Omega-3’s comes in cod liver oil from the arctic or krill oil.

Another natural product, nattokinase, which made from fermented soy, has been shown to thin the fibrin in the blood, allowing better circulatory flow and preventing unnecessary clotting and inflammation.

Some other supplements that have been shown to effectively decrease inflammation, and that can be used synergistically, are serrapeptase, turmeric, quercetin and magnesium/calcium.


CoQ10 – A Must Take For Heart Health

This supplement is something found in all cells in the body and is critical for energy generation in cells – especially heart cells – which have to work for a lifetime, almost without rest.

Many studies have also shown that it has a number of other beneficial functions, including acting as an antioxidant.

More studies demonstrate that the CoQ10 levels in the blood and heart muscle are low in heart-failure patients, and these numbers fall even further as the disease progresses.

For the past 20 years, all these studies have consistently shown CoQ10 supplementation to benefit heart-failure patients.

According to Russell Blaylock, a nationally recognized, board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author and lecturer: “A recent review found that out of 1,000 patients examined in a number of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on CoQ10, the vast majority experienced a statistically significant improvement in exercise capacity and had reduced hospitalizations for heart-related problems.”



Combined Effects of Vitamin E and C On Inflammation
A new study examined the effects of supplementation with Vitamins C & E.

Vitamin C alone had no effect on lipid peroxidation, but when combined with Vitamin E, they lowered insulin levels (improved diabetes) and reduced inflammation and lipid peroxidation.

When combined with other known anti-inflammatory nutrients (as previously referred to above), one can expect dramatic reductions in inflammation.


The Miracle of Ribose
Ribose is a 5-carbon sugar that doesn’t raise blood sugar levels or cause your body to produce insulin. It’s been known that ribose helps cells that aren’t getting enough oxygen. In a 1991 study, researchers found that ribose can quickly get those cells pumping again. This is especially important to anyone who undergoes bypass surgery.

A study conducted by Dr. Perkowski of Laguna Hills, California, studied 143 people who previously had bypass surgery. He found that the new patients who were taking ribose had a 43% improvement in cardiac index – triple the numbers of the controls in the study who were not taking ribose.

This means that ribose delivers more oxygen to the cells to protect it from ischemia or oxygen debt.


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Recommended: One thing we recommend for anyone who has cardiovascular health issues, is to have a hair mineral analysis test done.

How can a hair analysis help one achieve better health? If we consider that diet is what we consume and nutrition is what we retain, then we can see that discovering what the body needs when it needs it is a valuable tool in creating health. A hair analysis can determine which essential minerals the body is needing more of and which toxic elements it needs to eliminate. It also provides valuable insight into the body's metaoblism and what dietary changes would be most helpful for recovery. Hair Analysis Report

In Conclusion

The heart is your vital link to life and it must be kept healthy. Mainstream medicine, based on the use of pharmaceutical drugs, ignores research that shows the efficacy of nutritional treatments for cardiovascular problems. In the case of the heart, an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure.

Decreasing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and free radical damage, alongside an enhancement of better circulation and more effective oxygen delivery will go a very long way to ensure that the most vital organ in your body is being protected to the best of your ability.


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To visit our page on Artherosclerosis, please click here.

Thank you for visiting our page on Cardiovascular Health!