As the leading cause of death for both men and women, about 1 in 4 people die every year due to heart disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). This central component to our being is our lifeblood for physical, emotional, and spiritual health. While there are certain risk factors that we’re aware of, such as smoking and high blood pressure, the whole book on heart health has not been written.
Here’s what we do know:
- Cardiovascular health (or lack of) arises from a balance between vascular injury and vascular repair. When injury is chronic and excessive and repair mechanisms aren’t in check, vascular health suffers.
- The relationship between cholesterol and heart disease is a myth, and statins are mere mitochondrial toxins. For more on cholesterol and statins, read my post here
- Hypertension is not a disease. It’s a dysregulated response that arises when the body is given toxic input to the blood vessels, whether from too much sugar, inflammatory vegetable oils and trans fats, or stress, for example.
- Cardiovascular disease is caused by: Inflammation, an autoimmune reaction, oxidative stress, altered-gene expression, and blood vessel dysfunction.
At DBC, some of the markers I pay attention to for heart dysfunction include:
-Blood work: Homocysteine, C-reactive protein levels (CRP), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides
- Blood pressure
When these markers indicate a cardiovascular condition, I adhere to the following to promote healing in my patients, along with other patient-specific recommendations.
1) Proper stress response, overall fitness, and proper sugar regulation is crucial to a healthy heart.
is a huge component to reducing inflammation to the heart, as is exercise
. Of course, eating an anti-inflammatory diet low in sugar and low in glycemic index greatly reduces damage to the blood vessel walls as well.
The average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar each in the form of candy, cereals, pastries, soft drinks, juice, baked goods, bread, and even too much fruit (Walton, 2012). Not only do these foods displace consumption of other nutrient-rich foods in the diet; they cause a spike in blood sugar, inflammation, and can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases (Howard & Wylie-Rosett, 2002). In fact, I have seen many heart attack-like symptoms that landed patients in the emergency room solely from an insulin spike!
Stick to a mostly plant-based, Mediterranean diet full of colorful vegetables and quality fats like coconut, avocado, olive oil, nuts and fish to benefit artery and heart function.
2) Healing the gut decreases inflammatory stress to the whole cardiovascular system.
At DBC, a healthy gut is paramount and central to every part of health and healing, including cardiovascular health.
For more on how to repair the gut, refer to my post here
. 3) Fish oil greatly reduces cardiovascular disease.
Since the 1980’s, we’ve known that fish oil significantly reduces vascular incidence (Kris-Etherton, Harris & Appel, 2003). Both Omega-7 and Omega-3 fatty acids are the most advantageous, which is why I recommend OmegaGenics Mega-10 from Nature’s Remedies, which contains both of these fatty acids for optimum cardiovascular repair and protection. For more on finding a quality fish oil supplement, read my post here
Eating 1 – 2 servings of fatty fish, such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, and herring, is another way to boost intake of these heart healthy fatty acids.
4) Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) dramatically improves heart function.
Coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like antioxidant, is found in all body cells and protects against oxidative damage. After age 20, though, our levels steadily decline with age. Supplementation has been proven to improve blood vessel function, hypertension, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, angina pectoris, and heart attack recovery (Fotino, Thompson-Paul & Bazzano, 2012).
5) Magnesium glycinate is also very helpful to heart conditions.
Magnesium plays a key role in numerous metabolic reactions, energy production, and muscle relaxation. Magnesium glycinate (Mag Glycinate in Nature’s Remedies) is six times as absorbable as regular magnesium, and especially helpful to heart conditions.
In my practice, I’ve seen patients move from 15% heart function to 35% heart function - almost normal function! – in a matter of just four months!
It’s truly amazing to see how strong our body’s repair mechanism is, especially within the cardiovascular system, which can heal rapidly when given proper input.
Walton, A. (2012). How much sugar are Americans eating? Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2012/08/30/how-much-sugar-are-americans-eating-infographic/.