Heart Health for Women

  • Nature's Source

The nation’s #1 killer is cardiovascular disease (CVD). The main disease process at the base of CVD is atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and clogging of arteries. The main underlying factor in atherosclerosis is inflammation, which can come from chemicals, junk food, stress and other factors. Atherosclerosis involves the thickening and narrowing of blood vessels. It commonly affects coronary arteries, which deliver blood to heart muscles. The basic process of atherosclerosis is thought to begin with minor micro-injury to the vascular lining. Tiny wounds stimulate an overgrowth of muscle cells. Fat and platelets aggregation with calcium form a fibrotic scar. Cholesterol is a waxy fat that attempts to heal the irritated tissue. The injury to the vessel wall is due to free radicals. Atherosclerosis is a slow process. The disease may not cause any problems for years, but when the symptoms begin, they progress rapidly. When seventy to eighty percent of the coronary arteries are closed, chest pains may occur. The biggest cardiovascular concern is that it causes a great deal of limitation and chest pain, or angina pectoris. In the advanced stage, this coronary artery disease can lead to a heart attack or myocardial infarction.

The key pathology involved in atherosclerosis is hypertension. The narrowing and hardening of arteries increase their resistance and pressure, and make the heart work harder, which can fatigue vital muscles. Untreated hypertension can lead to heart attacks, congestive cardiac failure, and stroke. Nutritional deficiencies can decrease cholesterol metabolism, and lead to an increase in atherosclerosis. Deficiencies of vitamin C, E, B6, and selenium are the main concerns. Other essential minerals are magnesium, chromium, niacin, essential fatty acids and fiber. Heated and hydrogenated oil consumption lead to oxidation of cholesterol. This causes the immune system to kick in after spotting a potential danger in the bloodstream. It sends its macrophage cells to scavenge and clean the oxidized cholesterol. Too much debris results in formation of foam cells that begin to adhere to blood vessels. Cholesterol oxidation can be prevented through vitamins like vitamin C, E, zinc, selenium, copper and phytonutrients. The aim is to keep the free radicals and inflammation to a minimum.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in most of the body cells. It is usually converted into methionine with the help of B6, B12, and folate. High homocysteine can give rise to CVD. Hypertension is not only another major risk factor, but also occurs as a result of atherosclerosis itself. The normal blood pressure range is from 100/70 to 120/80. The higher number represents systolic blood pressure: the pressure while the heart pumps. The lower number represents the diastolic blood pressure which is the pressure while the heart rests.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks

CVD risks include personal factors, disease relationships, and behaviour patterns. Personal factors may include family history, gender, age, stress level, and weight. Disease relationships may include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and elevated lipoproteins. Behaviour patterns may include smoking, type of diet, nutrient deficiencies, exercise, substance abuse (sugar, alcohol, caffeine, etc), and regular use of hydrogenated fat and margarine.

Signs and Symptoms of CVD

Unfortunately, the first sign of CVD may be a life-threatening calamity. Disorders of the cardiovascular system are far-advanced before they become symptomatic. An estimated 25% of people who have heart attacks have no previous symptoms of heart trouble. Some have no symptoms at all, a situation that is referred to as a “silent” heart attack. In the early stages of hypertension, many people don’t even know they have it. Hence, hypertension is also called a “silent killer”. Some of the symptoms of hypertension are rapid pulse, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, and sweating. Some of the warning signs of CVD are numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs, difficulty speaking, severe dizziness, loss of balance, sudden dimness of vision, sudden intense headaches, brief loss of consciousness, chest pain that radiates to left arm, neck and back, and tightness and pressure in the chest. If you experience any of the warning signs, seek medical attention immediately.

CVD is not an inevitable result of aging. Many preventative measures can be taken to avoid heart disease.

Goals for decreasing CVD risk

The best approach to CVD is prevention. In doing so, certain goals can be set:

  • Smoking should be minimized or stopped completely
  • Blood pressure should be controlled
  • Total cholesterol should be decreased
  • High homocysteine levels should be decreased
  • LDL cholesterol should be lowered
  • HDL cholesterol should be increased
  • Weight should be brought to a proper number
  • Aerobic exercise should be increased.

Dietary suggestions to decrease CVD risks:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more whole grains
  • Reduce red meat intake
  • Avoid cured meat or lunchmeat
  • Eat more cold-water fish, such as sardines and salmon
  • Use fresh mono-unsaturated olive or flax seed oil
  • Decrease caffeine and nicotine intake
  • Increase complex carbohydrates

Supplements for heart health

Coenzyme Q10: it is an antioxidant present in mitochondria of all cells in the body and provides the energy for heart muscle function. Cholesterol-lowering drugs decrease CoQ10 in the body. It is very important to take CoQ10 while taking anti-cholesterol medication. 75% of people over 50 years of age may be deficient in CoQ10.

Some of the supplements containing CoQ10 are Inno-vite, Inno-Q-Nol, CoQ10 100mg, Natural Factors Coenzyme Q10 100mg, and Sisu CoQ10 60mg.

Magnesium: relaxes smooth muscles of blood vessels. It is important for preventing coronary artery spasms, which is the cause of heart attacks. Low magnesium causes more calcium flows into vascular muscle cells, which contract them, leading to higher vessel resistance and blood pressure.

Supplements are Magnesium Taurate from AOR and Magnesium Bisglycinate from Rx-Balance.

B6, B12 and Folate are important for proper homocysteine levels. Supplements are Innate B6, B12 and folic acid, and Max Methyl from AOR.

Vitamin C: it stabilizes the wall of blood vessels, thereby preventing the deposition of Lipoprotein A and other risk factors. The good vitamin C supplements for heart health are MediC Plus and C+ Bioflavonoids from AOR.

Omega-3 fatty acids: it decreases the total cholesterol and decreases the platelet aggregation. Supplements are Ascenta Nutra Sea, HP 3:1, and other fish oil products.

Herbs for heart health

Garlic: decreases total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. It also helps to decrease blood pressure. Garlic inhibits clumping of platelet cells in blood, and decreases the risk of clogged arteries and clots. It also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a landmark problem in the development of atherosclerosis. One of the best supplements is Kyolic 108.

Hawthorne: it helps in early stages of congestive cardiac failure and minor arrhythmias. It also decreases blood pressure. Supplements are A. Vogel Hawthorne and Flora Hawthorne 150mg.

Always consult your physician if you are taking blood pressure medication, anti-platelet medication or blood thinners.

 

Blood

pressure

LDL

Homocysteine level

Prevent oxidative damage

Improve Vessel wall

Anginal Pain

Platelet aggregation

Improve heart muscle function

Arjuna Flow from AOR

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Advanced Cardiac Support

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Cardana Capsules

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OrthoHeart

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Kyolic 108

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Ascenta NutraSea HP 3:1

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Flora Hawthorne

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