Is Cardiovascular Disease Preventable, Reversible?

Most patients who undergo stent and bypass procedures have not removed the cause of their disease, and so they continue to experience progressive disability and most often die a premature death as a result of their heart disease. This is a reminder to Americans that cholesterol-lowering drugs, stents and bypass surgery are not magic bullets to cure heart disease.

Is Cardiovascular Disease Preventable, Reversible?

What wouldn’t we do if we knew for sure how to prevent heart problems. Probably the best step in that direction is to familiarize ourselves  with the latest ongoing research about this problem. Read the excerpts below for some good direction. Read excerpts from Dr.Mercola’s post below.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US. According to a new report1 from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually.

According to the CDC report, preventive lifestyle strategies include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing your blood pressure and diabetes
  • Reducing salt consumption
  • Quitting smoking

In a nutshell, preventing cardiovascular disease involves reducing chronic inflammation in your body. Proper diet, exercise, sun exposure, and grounding to the earth are cornerstones of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

Unfortunately, while all the CDC’s general recommendations listed above are spot-on, there’s still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to more detailed recommendations for how to achieve weight loss and manage health problems like blood pressure and diabetes.

You really need to focus on your diet to reduce the inflammation in your body, which is aggravated by:

  • Eating lots of sugar/fructose and grains
  • Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
  • Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
  • Eating trans fats

A proper diet can improve just about anyone’s health. Following is a summary of the basic recommendations, all of which will help combat chronic inflammation:

Limit or eliminate all processed foods
Eliminate all gluten, and highly allergenic foods from your diet
Eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals such as glyphosate
Eat at least one-third of your food uncooked (raw), or as much as you can manage
Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet
Avoid artificial sweeteners of all kinds
Swap all trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine etc) for healthful fats like avocado, raw butter or coconut oil
To re-balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, take a high-quality omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of processed omega-6 fats from vegetable oils (trans fats)
Drink plenty of pure water
Optimize your vitamin D levels, either through appropriate sun exposure, a safe tanning bed, or as last resort an oral vitamin D3 supplement
Limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day, from all sources, including whole fruits. If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, you’d be well advised to keep your fructose below 15 grams per day

Vitamin D from sun exposure also plays a significant role in this equation. Low levels of vitamin D in your blood have long been correlated with higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks. It’s also been suggested that the more sunlight you get, the better your cardiovascular health will be, as there are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart disease, such as increase in your body’s natural anti-inflammatory cytokines; the suppression of vascular calcification; and the inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth.

In addition to avoiding the dietary hazards just mentioned—particularly sugar/fructose, grains and processed foods of all kinds—here are a few more recommendations that can have a profound impact on reducing inflammation in your body and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

      1. Optimize your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, a major risk factor for heart disease. If your fasting insulin level is above three, consider limiting (max 15 grams of fructose per day) or eliminating your intake of grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level. Following my nutrition plan will automatically limit your intake of foods that raise insulin levels.
      2. Exercise regularly. One of the primary benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize and maintain a healthy insulin level. A 2011 study4 published in the Lancet, which included several hundred thousand people, found that a mere 15 minutes of exercise a day can increase your lifespan by three years—even if you have cardiovascular disease risks.
      3. Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil. Also reduce your intake of damaged omega-6 fats from processed vegetable oils, in order to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
      4. Optimize your vitamin D levels. For the reason discussed above, your best source of vitamin D is through your skin being exposed to the sun. This way, your body will produce much-needed cholesterol sulfate. In the wintertime, however, you may need to take an oral supplement. Just make sure you’re taking the right form of vitamin D (D3, not D2), and remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly to make sure you’re within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
      5. Regularly walk barefoot to ground with the earth. When you do, free electrons are transferred from the earth into your body, and this grounding effect is one of the most potent antioxidants we know of, and helps alleviate inflammation throughout your body.Grounding helps thin your blood by improving its zeta potential, which means it improves the negative electrical charge between your red blood cells thus repelling them and keeping your blood less likely to clot. In fact, grounding’s effect on blood thinning is so profound if you are taking blood thinners you must work with your health care provider to lower your dose otherwise you may overdose on the medication. Research has demonstrated it takes about 80 minutes for the free electrons from the earth to reach your blood stream and transform your blood.

The strategies listed above will help prevent a variety of chronic diseases caused by reducing chronic inflammation in your body. As for heart disease prevention specifically, there are two additional strategies that need mention.

Check your HDL to total cholesterol ratio. HDL percentage is a potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. This ratio should ideally be above 24 percent.

Boost your good cholesterol and lower your triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are also a very potent risk factor for heart disease. In combination, high triglycerides and low HDL levels are an even bigger risk; this ratio is far more important to your heart health than the standard good vs. bad cholesterol ratio. In fact, one study found that people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL.You calculate your triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio by dividing your triglyceride level by your HDL level. This ratio should ideally be below 2. So while you strive to keep your HDL cholesterol levels up, you’ll want to decrease your triglycerides. You can increase your HDL levels by exercising and getting plenty of omega-3 fats like those from krill oil. Triglycerides are easily decreased by exercising and avoiding grains and sugars in your diet.

Check your iron levels. Iron is nature’s rusting agent. If you have excessive levels in your body you are at risk of major oxidation, or premature aging. Excess iron will also increase your risk of heart disease. If you are a man, or a woman in menopause, you should get your iron levels tested and, if they’re too high, take steps to reduce them.

Avoid drugs that promote heart disease. Statin drugs and antidepressants are two commonly prescribed types of medications that have been shown to promote heart disease.

Article Summary

  • About one in every three deaths in the US is attributed to cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and stroke
  • About 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually. A quarter of these deaths could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and managing your diabetes
  • Your diet is your primary and best tool for the prevention of inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Reducing sugars/fructose and grains in your diet is a critical measure to reduce your cardiovascular risk
  • Compelling research suggests that vitamin D deficiency, combined with cholesterol deficiency, may be at the heart of the cardiovascular disease phenomenon
  • Guidelines that will help reduce chronic inflammation and protect against heart disease are included. This includes specific dietary measures, exercise, sun exposure, grounding and much more

Read Dr Mercola’s complete article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/07/cardiovascular-disease-preventable.aspx?e_cid=20140413Z1_SNL_MC_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=mc1&utm_campaign=20140413Z1&et_cid=DM42617&et_rid=484886742

photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Blausen_0259_CoronaryArteryDisease_02.png

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