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Cardiovascular Health & Nutrition

Sep 14, 2008
Did you realize that the American Heart Association recommends implementing a plan for prevention of heart attack by the age of 20? How many people do you know in their 20's that are really thinking about the prevention of a heart attack? The sad truth is that there are an increasing number of people that have their first heart attack by the age of 40. For many of those individuals the life style habits that are formed in their early years are directly contributing to those heart attacks. Foods high in fat, refined sugars and diets lacking the basic nutrients that our bodies need to operate at an optimal level are all contributing factors.

I'm sure that it is not new news to you that America's number one killer is Heart Disease. But what you may not have realized is that it does not work alone. Heart Disease is part of a group of killers including improper nutrition, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and the lack of exercise. While heart disease may be the one that most often kills an individual it could just as easily be cancer or a stroke. The final cause of death really doesn't matter because they are all capable of beating the system: our immune system, cell damage caused by the free-radicals, on and on the list goes. The good news is that you can fight back.

The American Heart Association's plan on reducing and/or preventing heart disease and all of the closely related diseases could probably be summed up by saying eat healthier (including nutrient rich foods, fruits and vegetables), get more exercise, limit how much saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol you eat, avoid tobacco, reduce the number of beverages and foods with refined sugars, lean meats and poultry without skin, and have fish a couple of times per week.

Easy enough right?

One of the biggest challenges that we face on a day to day basis is getting the basic nutrients into our bodies to optimize our systems. Those base nutrients come in the form of vitamins and minerals. Many of you reading this probably take some form of a multivitamin and that is a great start. Did you know that many of the vitamins our bodies require to function and an optimal level are water soluble and only stay in our bodies for a matter of hours before they need to be replaced? One of these water soluble vitamins happens to be B vitamin, which happens to be a very critical part of our fight against heart disease. For many Americans getting the proper amounts of B vitamin into their bodies is a challenge because if the processing of the foods that they are consuming did not remove all or most of the vitamin B the cooking probably took care of the little that was remaining.

Folate is a B-vitamin found in citrus fruits; tomatoes; dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and romaine lettuce; pinto, navy, and kidney beans; and grain products. Since January 1998, wheat flour has been fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, to add an estimated 100 mcg per day to the average diet. However, researchers have found that that people who consumed at least 300 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke and a 13 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those consuming less than 136 mcg of folate per day.

As you can see from the list above one of the best sources of B-vitamin is dark green leafy vegetables - the very thing that you never wanted to eat as a child and your mom insisted that you eat. Fortunately there are some healthy sources of B-vitamins that will ensure that you are not only taking, but absorbing the nutrients needed to fight against this short coming in our diets. One such source is the MetaGreens supplement from Univera LifeSciences.

While many of you may have heard of free radicals and know that one of the ways to avoid the damaging effects of free radicals in our bodies is to ensure that we taken in ample antioxidants. What you may not have heard is that free radicals damage the lining of your arteries which ultimately leads to the build up of plaque and eventually causing a blockage in the artery. If that artery leads to your brain you suffer a stroke. It is estimated that most Americans get approximately 1800 ORAC daily. Unfortunately, many experts are estimating that we should be getting in excess of 3500 ORAC daily to combat the effects of free radical damage on our bodies. A fantastic source of antioxidants is the Univera LifeSciences AgelessXtra. Not only does it have one of the highest (if not the highest) ORAC ratings of all supplements available it is a great source of vitamins B3 and B6. Additionally AgelessXtra provides a host of other nutrients engineered to help keep you aging healthier.

Some additional vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you should be watching are:

Vitamin E which strengthens the immune system and heart muscle improves circulation, reduces risk of clots (preventing thrombosis: blot clot blocking a blood vessel), destroys free radicals.

Vitamin C is important in treating cardiovascular disease.

Vitamins B6, B12, and Folic Acid deficiency have been linked to heart disease, particularly blocked arteries.
Alpha Lipoic Acid reduces risks of heart attack, lowers LDL cholesterol.

Beta Carotene reduces risks of heart attack and stroke.

CoQ10 promotes heart function, reduces risk of heart failure, reduces high blood pressure, speeds recovery from bypass surgery, reduces risk of heart attack, and prevents recurrences of heart attack.

Chromium Picolinate fights atherosclerosis, lowers triglycerides, and improves blood cholesterol profile.

Magnesium contributes to proper functioning of heart muscle, keeps heartbeats normal, reduces angina.

DHEA prevents unwanted blood clots, controls insulin, destroys free radicals, and helps reduce body fat.

L-Carnitine reduces fat and triglycerides in the blood, increases oxygen uptake and stress tolerance.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) plays a potentially significant role in strengthening heart muscle, reducing atherosclerosis, and fighting obesity. Effective HGH releasers include Arginine, Arginine/Ornithine, L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, L-Lysine, L-Ornithine, Niacinamide, GABA, and OKG.

Below is some important information from the American Heart Association

Extensive clinical and statistical studies have identified "major" risk factors and "contributing" risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke. The risk factors are:

Heredity - offspring of parents and grandparents with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have heart attacks and strokes.

Men -- men are more likely than women to have heart attacks and have heart attacks at younger ages.

Increasing Age -- 4 out of 5 people who die of heart attack are over 65 years of age.

Physical Inactivity -- regular aerobic exercise plays a significant role in preventing heart and blood vessel disease. Even modest levels of low-intensity exercise are beneficial if done regularly over the long term. Exercise also helps prevent increased blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, etc.

Cigarette / Tobacco Smoke -- smokers have more than twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers, and the risk of sudden cardiac death is between two and four times the risk faced by nonsmokers.

High Blood Cholesterol Levels -- higher LDL ("bad") cholesterol correlates with increased risk of heart disease.

High Blood Pressure -- the extra burden on the heart causes the heart to enlarge and weaken.

Obesity -- the extra weight causes a strain on the heart; obesity leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Diabetes Mellitus -- 80 percent of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

Stress -- a potentially significant risk factor, particular in conjunction with one or more other risk factors.

In summery, please keep in mind when you fight cardiovascular disease by taking pro-active approach through a healthy lifestyle, simultaneously you will achieve reduced risk of all types of diseases and as such you are far more likely to live longer more fulfilling life.


1) American Heart Association (2004), International Cardiovascular Disease Statistics fact sheet

2) American Heart Association (2004), Heart and stroke facts

3) American Heart Association (2005), Homocysteine, Folic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease

4) Stephen Cherniske, M.S., The Metabolic Plan, The Random House Publishing Company, 2003, Pages: 59-61, 64-68, 271-272, 275-276, ISBN: 0-345-44102-8

5) American Heart Association website
About the Author
Glenn has combined his passion for health and fitness with a great business model that allows him opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible. For more information visit: http://www.aginghealthier.com/ or http://www.opportunityofyourlife.com/
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