A healthy diet, regular exercise, and the daily use of a broad spectrum, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplement program, that includes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the essential fatty acids appear to be our best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, and death from heart disease, as well as nearly every other chronic degenerative disease (cancer, diabetes, lung diseases, Alzheimer’s disease …just to name a few). Antioxidants have even been shown to slow the aging process, and promote longevity. Today, people are living longer than ever, but they are usually living longer with chronic illnesses, not necessarily living longer, HEALTHIER lives.Too often we KNOW what we “should do,” but often don’t. We get lulled into a false sense of “health security” simply because we don’t “feel” anything wrong. However, the majority of people who die of heart disease don’t feel any symptoms whatsoever…they simply have a heart attack one day and die! Even more startling, more than half of the people who die of atherosclerotic (plaque)-related heart attacks have totally NORMAL cholesterol levels! If that is the case, then there MUST be more going on than cholesterol that is causing coronary artery disease and deaths from heart attacks.Our lifestyles choices have almost everything to do with our chances of dying of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and to some degree many cancers, as well as many other chronic diseases. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to choose among what will support us in becoming healthier and what will not. For example, stress and sleep can be considered two opposing forces affecting our health. A lack of sleep and an increase in stress will increase the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and accelerate aging.Most people know to eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, reduce stress, reduce exposure to toxic substances, but most people still do not realize the incredible benefits that may be obtained through daily implementation of a full spectrum, pharmacuetical-grade vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement program.The True Cause of Heart Disease and StrokeAtherosclerosis is a disease characterized primarily by inflammation of the arterial lining caused by oxidative damage from homocysteine, a toxic amino acid complex found in everyone. Homocsyteine, in combination with other free radicals and toxins that we’re all continually exposed to (stress, pollution, unhealthy food choices, cigarette smoke, etc.), oxidizes arteries, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, which in turn releases C Reactive Protein (CRP) from the liver-a marker of an inflammation. Inflammation (which results from oxidation) is the beginning stage of plaque build-up and ultimately, cardiovascular disease. Plaque, combined with the thickening of arterial smooth muscles, arterial spasms, and clotting, puts a person at a high risk of suffering heart attack or stroke.Oxidation of metal resuls in rust. We’re not made of metal so we do not rust, but we do undergo oxidation. Cut an apple in half, and watch it turn brown when it is exposed to air ….it is being oxidized, or damaged. Bananas when purchased green at the grocery store and put on your kitchen counter, will eventually ripen to yellow. Oxidation causes them to turn brown, and then black. Rubber bands left in the driveway in the hot summer sun, exposed to UV light, become brittle after a few weeks as the elastic molecules are oxidized (damaged). People who do not protect their skin from the sun and exccessively tan, cause oxidative damage to collagen and elastic molecules, and end up wrinkled more than others who protect their skin.Oxidation occurs every single second throughout our entire body, organs, and cells. Free radicals, from various sources, including breathing and metabolism, let alone from toxic chemicals, stress, trans fat, and cigarette smoking, strip away electrons from cell membranes, hormone receptors (including insulin receptors), lipids (including cholesterol), enzymes, and DNA …which may initiate cancer.Antioxidants, which are both produced by your cells and ingested in the form of vitamins and other supplements, “donate” electrons to neutralize free radicals, and therefore protect our cells and cellular structures from damage. Our cells are protected by antioxidants, and they repair themselves. Healthy cells function at their optimum. Healthy cells not only function normally, healthy cells are, by definition, not cancerous.This does NOT mean that a person who takes nutritional supplements will never develop heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, wrinkle, or die. However, this much is true …just like we know, people who smoke 2 to 4 packs of cigarettes per day (excessive oxidation) have an increased risk of nearly all chronic diseases compared to those who don’t smoke, and likewise, those who do not take a full-spectrum, quality nutritional supplement program have a much better chance of living a longer and healthier life compared to those who do not adequately supplement.Regarding the number one cause of death, heart disease: Of the two major types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, the more important parameter is the level of HDL cholesterol. HDL, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is responsible for clearing out the LDL cholesterol that sticks to arterial walls. Exercise, vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants, particularly the bioflavonoid and olive polyphenol antioxidants, increase HDL cholesterol levels and protect the LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage, and therefore may do more to reduce your risk of heart disease than medications.LDL cholesterol is not inherently bad. It is necessary for life. It is important for many cellular functions, hormone production, cellular repair, brain function, etc. LDL cholesterol only becomes “bad” when it is damaged, or oxidized by free radicals. Only the damaged, or oxidized form of LDL cholesterol sticks to the arterial walls to initiate the formation of plaque. So, rather than focusing on lowering the level of LDL cholesterol, it make more sense to focus on lowering the OXIDATION of LDL cholesterol!Let us look at the case of cigarette smoking for a simple example demonstrating that we really need to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol to prevent atherosclerosis, as opposed to indiscriminately lowering LDL cholesterol with statin drugs. Everyone knows that cigarette smoking increases the risk of many chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Smokers with normal levels of LDL cholesterol are at an even greater risk of developing heart disease than a non-smoker who has elevated levels of LDL cholesterol. Of course the reason why a smoker with normal levels of LDL cholesterol is at greater risk of disease is because his LDL gets excessively oxidized.Cigarettes and antioxidants are opposites. Everything that cigarette smoking would do to harm you, and HOW it harms you, is exactly the opposite of everything antioxidants do to protect you and HOW they protect your cells. If cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease, antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease. If cigarettes increase the risk of cancer, antioxidants help reduce the risk of cancer. If cigarettes increase the risk of wrinkling of the skin and aging of the body, guess what does the opposite? Yes, antioxdidants!Certainly, it is true that if you have two people, and neither of whom are taking nutritional supplements, the one with the highest cholesterol level would “lose;” that is have the greater risk of heart disease, heart attack, and death. The reason for this, he would have more LDL cholesterol getting oxidized and sticking to the arterial walls than the person with lower amounts of LDL cholesterol, even though the person with lower levels of LDL cholesterol is still developing heart disease (just at a slower rate than the person with a higher level). However, studies suggest it may be possible to have a person with a higher LDL cholesterol level than another person, but because he takes a full range of pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements he may be at lower risk of heart disease than the person with normal LDL cholesterol levels who does not take supplements.Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants and Essential Fatty Acids: The Real Way to Maintain CardioVascular HealthThe answer to lowering the life threatening risk of arteriosclerosis, heart disease and stroke is to reduce the oxidative damage to the LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and the arterial lining so that inflammation and resultant plaque does not form. Oxidation and inflammation are effectively neutralized with the use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids; and the medical studies show that less oxidative damage and chronic inflammation in the body translates into less incidence of nearly all chronic diseases. It is almost that simple. However, we must do more than take nutritional supplements to protect ourselves from heart disease; we must eat right, exercise, get adequate sleep, and reduce chronic stress as much as possible. And, it is my opinion that the answer to the prevention of heart disease does NOT lie in statin drugs.Not long ago, widespread interest was ignited by studies that reported associations between antioxidants and reduction in death from heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Interest continued to increase as even larger studies were published by researchers from Harvard Medical School, who saw a link between higher vitamin E blood levels and lower numbers of cardiovascular deaths. As time goes on, the more we are learning about the tremendous benefits of various antioxidants, as well as minerals, in reducing the risk of developing most chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps protect LDL cholesterol, as well as all cell membranes in all organ tissues from oxidative damage. Vitamin E rides along with the triglycerides and cholesterol protecting them from oxidative damage. Recent studies show that the natural form of vitamin E is able to reduce the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis beyond its antioxidant effect. (The full range of the natural form of vitamin E includes: d alpha tocopherol, gamma tocopherol, delta tocopherol, and the tocotrienols.)Knowing all the benefits of vitamin E, can you imagine my shock in 2005 when I read in one of my medical journals a three page report regarding the results from the Nurses Health Study that vitamin E was “shown NOT to reduce the risk of heart disease?” This was a powerful and statistically significant study, and the main report was actually about how aspirin reduced the risk of stroke in healthy women by 24%. I read that and thought to myself, “okay, I can buy that. I see how aspirin, which thins the blood can reduce the risk of stroke, …and 24% is statistically significant.”I also know that aspirin kills over 21,000 people in the United States alone due to gastrointestinal bleeds. The shock came when I saw on the third page of the report, a small headline regarding this study’s corollary findings. The headline read, “Vitamin E Shown Not to Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Heart Disease.” I couldn’t believe it. I wondered how this could be, after 30+ years of studies showing the benefits of vitamin E in maintaining a healthy heart.Since I knew better, I needed to read further. Sure enough, from the Nurses Health Study about the prevention of heart disease and vitamin E, the report stated …and I’ll quote, “vitamin E showed neither any harm or benefit in all the clinical parameters examined.” My first thought was, good, I’m glad there was no harm …but, how could it be that there was NO benefit? This sounded very definitive. “NO BENEFIT IN ALL THE CLINICAL PARAMETERS EXAMINED!”Then, I read the very next sentence, “The one exception, vitamin E was shown to confer a 24% decreased risk of cardiovascular death.” As if I was not stunned enough already, after reading this I was really confused. “Wait a minute? ….the previous sentence said that vitamin E showed no benefit in all the clinical parameters in reducing the risk of heart disease ….the one exception being a 24%, decreased risk of cardiovascular death!” Decreasing the risk of cardiovascular death is quite a benefit, wouldn’t you think?Look at it this way, aspirin reduced the risk of stroke by 24% and it got all the praise, despite it being responsible for killing 21,000 people every year in the U.S. Vitamin E showed no harm whatsoever, and it reduced the risk of cardiovascular death by 24%, and somehow this was of no benefit?I figured out what was going on. Vitamin E did not show any benefit in all the clinical parameters examined, …you see, I discovered that death was NOT one of the clinical parameters of the study. They just happened to notice that there was a 24% decreased risk of death. The parameters of the study were things like blood pressure, heart rate, arrhythmias, cholesterol levels and ratios, etc. Vitamin E did not change these parameters …all it did was prevent DEATH! Since it did not show any benefits according to the parameters of the study the authors concluded it didn’t do anything …except prevent against death.The researchers stated that they were unable to explain the reduced risk of death from heart disease. I can explain it …it’s simple: vitamin E protects cholesterol from oxidation. Cholesterol that is not oxidized does not stick to the arterial walls, and if it doesn’t stick to the walls, there is less atherosclerosis, and less atherosclerosis means less heart attacks, and less heart attacks, translates into a reduced risk of death. Can you imagine what the researchers would witness if they had followed the percentage of oxidized cholesterol levels? If they would have tested for lipid peroxidation, that is oxidized cholesterol and triglycerides, they would have seen a profound reduction in this “parameter.”This Nurses Health Study involving vitamin E was the largest and longest study ever conducted regarding vitamin E among women. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005, this study involving over 40,000 women found that vitamin E reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in women under the age of 65 by 24%, …and even more impressive, in women over the age of 65, vitamin E was shown to reduce the risk of DEATH by an astounding 49%!A study published in the 1996 report from the National Institutes of Health (Division on Aging), showed impressive results among a study population of 11,178 people using multiple antioxidant vitamins who were followed for ten years. The group of elderly people that supplemented with vitamins E and C above the amounts found in a common multi-vitamin had one-half the number of deaths from heart disease of those who did not supplement. That is a 50% reduction in the number one cause of death!Furthermore, the supplemented group demonstrated fewer overall deaths from NEARLY ANY CAUSE, INCLUDING CANCER, which was decreased by nearly 60%. Not one study involving drugs comes close to showing such benefits (and without the risks of drugs). Even more impressive, these benefits were found with the use of only a few antioxidants. Can you imagine the benefits possible from using a full range of quality supplements?Antioxidants provide protection from many diseases. B-complex vitamins, folic acid and B6, are associated with a reduced risk of heart attack. Researchers also believe that vitamin C provides protection to arterial walls and reduces plaque formation by neutralizing free radicals before they can damage elastic tissues and affect cholesterol profiles. The epidemic deficiency of vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, and supplementation with at least 1000 IU of vitamin D revereses this deficiency and provides numerous and amazing health benefits. Others have studied the usefulness of a combination of antioxidants, particularly vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C in the prevention of heart disease and found them to be beneficial. In addition, bioflavonoid antioxidants are associated with a reduction in many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Add to this benefits of co-enzyme Q10 and olive phenol antioxidants-and one can truly benefit beyond taking any medications for prevention.Beta carotene, grape seed extract and olive extract penetrate deeper inside the LDL cholesterol and arterial walls, adding more protection from oxidation. Quercetin and alpha lipoic acid work through nitrous oxide pathways to reduce high blood pressure and prevent spasms of coronary arteries, both being major risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks, and death.Studies have shown how the B-complex vitamins, particularly folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 help reduce homocysteine levels by facilitating the conversion of homocysteine into the safe amino acid, cysteine. This leaves less homocysteine to oxidize and nick the arterial walls and LDL cholesterol. To further reduce homocysteine levels, one can take the amino acid betaine, also known as tri-methyl-glycine (TMG), as it “back-converts” homocysteine into the safe amino acid, methionine.Vitamin C intake is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. One study found that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was 42% lower in men and 25% lower in women who consumed more than 300 mg/day. Recent results from the Nurses’ Health Study, based on the follow-up of more than 85,000 women over a sixteen-year period, also suggest that higher vitamin C intakes may be cardioprotective. Vitamin C and grape seed extract in combination are very powerful in preventing oxidation in all areas; the cholesterol, the endothelium, and deeper in the arterial walls. Furthermore, the two antioxidants replenish vitamin E and other antioxidants to synergistically protect cholesterol and the arterial walls.The bioflavonoid class of antioxidants such as grape seed extract, resveratrol, and quercetin, has been associated with reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 50% and possibly as high as 70%. Grape seed extract and resveratrol are two potent antioxidants that neutralize free radical oxidation of cholesterol, the arterial lining, the arterial wall, the liver, the brain, the kidneys, and the skin. Both work synergistically with other antioxidants.Studies have demonstrated the ability of bioflavonoid antioxidants such as quercetin, to reduce high blood pressure, a well-known risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Doctors commonly turn to antihypertensive medications to lower blood pressure as the first line of treatment for hypertension rather than through safer means. Diet, exercise, weight loss, and the use of vitamins and minerals have all been shown to reduce high blood pressure. If people truly knew how powerful grape seed extract, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, and quercetin are in reducing LDL oxidation, increasing HDL levels, strengthening arteries and capillaries, and reducing high blood pressure every person would be taking these nutrients.Green tea extract helps to both reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and to lower LDL cholesterol. Both actions are necessary, not just the lowering of LDL cholesterol, as with prescription drugs. Green tea extract also reduces the oxidation of the endothelium (the thin layer of cells that line the heart, blood vessels, etc.) Green tea extract increases HDL cholesterol and it helps prevent cancer.Olive extract has been shown to be even more effective in protecting LDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer than most other antioxidants, but it’s more effective if used in combination with a myriad of antioxidants already mentioned.Soy isoflavones have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. A meta-analysis of eight randomized, controlled clinical trials published in the September 1, 2004, issue of the Journal of Nutrition found that soy isoflavones were successful in lowering serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Again, lowering LDL cholesterol is secondary to the primary protective means of protecting LDL from being oxidized; but the action of soy includes cholesterol lowering, plus inhibiting LDL oxidation, protecting against development of atherosclerosis, and reducing risk of thrombosis. The active constituents in soy responsible for these benefits are the isoflavones: genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. Soy along with Co-Q10 has been shown to reduce risk of breast cancer.Alpha-lipoic acid protects against oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol and reduces the inflammatory cellular response within arterial walls that produces more oxidative damage and plaque formation. Alpha-lipoic acid along with magnesium is able to prevent and help reduce high blood pressure in diabetics. This happens by raising the levels of glutathione to protect bio-mechanisms that regulate arterial tone. Furthermore, alpha-lipoic acid prevents reperfusion injuries after ischemic injuries, i.e., damage done to tissue when the blood flows back into damaged vessels and leaks into the heart muscle after heart attacks.The combination of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), vitamin E, grape seed extract, resveratrol, olive extract, green tea extract, quercetin, and Co-Q10 synergistically work together in the prevention of oxidation of LDL cholesterol and the arteries much better than any working alone. All these antioxidants also help reduce the risk of cancer by inducing apoptosis, the “self destruction” of cancer cells.Olive oil and olive extract bestow incredible health benefits. There are particular powerful phenol antioxidants within the fruit of olives that are associated with a significant decreased risk of heart attack and cancer. The Mediterranean diet, in which olive oil is the primary source of fat, has been shown to provide the longest lifespan and lowest incidence of heart disease and cancers. Many studies have shown olive oil reduces death from heart disease by reducing atherosclerosis, plaque formation, lowering LDL cholesterol, preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol, and preventing abnormal and potentially lethal clot formation.Researchers found that countries in which people consumed the highest amount of olive oil had the lowest incidence of heart disease and cancers. People of Greece were found to have the highest consumption of olive oil, particularly those on the island of Crete. On Crete, people traditionally consume 2 to 3 oz. of olive oil per day.On the island of Crete heart disease and cancers have been rare; 37 times (not 37 percent, but 37 times) lower incidence than that found in the United States! In essence, we can think of heart disease and cancers as rare on Crete as scurvy and rickets are in the United States.Anyone could consume 2 to 3 oz. of extra virgin olive oil every day to obtain these same benefits, but that would add about 500 to 750 calories to one’s diet and cost an additional $100 U.S. per month. Then, there’s the problem that not all olive oil brands are consistent in their concentrations of antioxidants. The best way to get olive phenol antioxidants is to take a standardized, pharmaceutical-grade olive extract.Are All Vitamins the Same?In the last decade, the dietary supplements industry has grown tremendously. The fact that nutritional supplements do not receive the same regulation as prescription or over-the-counter drugs raises questions in the minds of many consumers. That’s why NSF became involved in developing the nation’s first truly independent testing standard and product certification program strictly for dietary supplements. Consumer Labs is another independent source evaluating the quality of nutritional supplements.Due to the independent testing and guaranteed pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices I am confident of the amount and quality of ingredients I am taking. Within my multi-antioxidant, which already has a full spectrum of other antioxidants, I get 30 mg of olive extract. The 30 mg of olive extract is equivalent to consuming 2 to 3 oz. of extra virgin olive oil per day. That would mean, although I live in the U.S., I get the same benefits as those on the island of Crete who have 37 times lower risk of heart disease and cancers than in the U.S.Fish oil supplements: essential fatty acids, especially the type that contain concetrated levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) along with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol and inflammation of arteries, and thereby protect the heart. Most commercially available fish oil supplements consist primarily of EPA, yet scientific evidence shows it is the DHA component that is more effective in preventing heart disease. Worse is the concern for mercury – which is more of a problem with eating fish. The best advice I can give is to find a pure fish oil supplement with concentrated DHA levels.Once again, let us compare the effectiveness of statin drugs with something as simple as fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements. Statin drugs lower LDL, but that has not translated into significantly fewer heart attacks and death, because lowering LDL cholesterol is not the key to preventing disease.However, the omega-3 essential fatty acids, the components in fish and flaxseed oils that make them so beneficial, actually do decrease death and disease. Fish oil and flaxseed oil reduce ventricular dysrrhythmias, platelet aggregation, and triglycerides. These oils serve to decrease the number of immune cells that adhere to arterial walls, and thus reduce plaque formation. They also increase nitric oxide production, which lowers blood pressure. And, they reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol!Omega-3 fatty acids, as found in nuts, oily fish, and flax seed help protect LDL from oxidation, and therefore act like “antioxidant” fats. These fats do not cause damage, do not solidify, and do not stick to the walls of the arteries. They get incorporated into LDL cholesterol and protect it from being oxidized. Thus fish and flaxseed oil reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. There is no comparison between the “benefits” of statin drugs and the actual benefits seen with omega-3 fatty acids.In a study consisting of 11,323 people who had suffered a heart attack within the previous three months, fish oil supplements (850 mg of EPA=DHA) were shown to reduce the risk of sudden death and repeat heart attacks by 45%, and provide a 20% decrease in total mortality, versus placebo. Statin drugs don’t come close to producing those results. Additional studies confirm these powerful and significant results.A report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2005 looked at 97 double-blind controlled studies comparing the efficacy of cholesterol lowering statin drugs to fish oil. They found that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduced the risk of death from heart disease by only 13%, and interesting enough it was NOT due to the effect of lowering cholesterol. The benefits, although small, were derived from the fact that statin drugs have a slight to modest antioxidant effect.Even more interesting, the salmon oil was shown to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 23%, nearly double the benefit of statin drugs. Salmon oil is an omega-3 fatty acid that gets incorporated into cholesterol and triglycerides and prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Since LDL cholesterol is protected from excessive oxidation there is less plaque build up and less risk of heart disease.Magnesium relaxes smooth muscles in the arterial walls, thus opening up arteries. It also helps incorporate calcium into the bones when intake of calcium and magnesium are properly balanced, as in a good supplement. Magnesium helps maintain the rhythm of the heart.Magnesium helps to reduce the risk of arrhythmias and other electrical dysfunctions following a heart attack.Damage that leads to abnormal heartbeats is worsened by magnesium deficiencies. In addition to magnesium supplementation, researchers are finding promise in the higher rates of survival after heart attacks when high-dose antioxidants are commenced shortly after an attack. Apparently, antioxidants help prevent the mechanisms that lead to vasospasm (the spasm and closing off of small arteries) and blood clot formation. Magnesium can even help reduce the incident and severity of migraine headaches, especially in combination with the other vitamins and minerals, particularly the grape seed extract and turmeric extract.Fiber is essential in the diet in order to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Fiber helps to control the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream. Diets high in both soluble and insoluble fiber help reduce blood lipid levels, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Most people barely consume five grams of fiber per day. However, our target should average around 30 grams of fiber per day. High fiber and less simple and starchy foods are what constitutes a healthy “low-glycemic” diet. (For more information on a low glycemic diet, or weight loss program, please see the Weight Management section.)The thought of taking numerous pills every day can be quite daunting for many people. Therefore, when I practiced medicine, and even now, my recommendations are for people to take a full spectrum, pharmaceutical brand vitamin and mineral supplement that contains all the essentials that one needs in as few tablets as possible. Of course, there will be other supplements you will want to add to the essential vitamin and mineral foundation, such as omega-3 fatty acids, grape seed extract, and co-enzyme Q10. However, if your essential vitamin and mineral program is broad sectrum and fully balanced, then you will be getting most of the supplements discussed in this article.To reduce the risk of chronic diseases it is critical to eat right, exercise, reduce stress, obtain adequate sleep, and supplement your diet with the correct nutritional supplements. Most supplements do not contain the quantity or purity of ingredients listed on the bottle. Many supplements do not dissolve as they should, nor are readily abosrbable, …and if they are, they may not be in the most bio-available condition for the cells to utilize. You need to trust the company that is producing the supplements that you expect to help you maintain good health for a lifetime. You need to trust the potency, purity, and bio-availability. You should discuss all medical conditions with your physician, however, you may need guidance in regard to finding a quality nutritional supplement brand.Get healthy and stay healthy with the principles discussed in this article. Applying these principles will greatly increase your chances of living a long AND healthy life.
Unfortunately, heart disease is still among the top 3 killers in the United States.The diseases of the heart include: coronary heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease, marfan syndrome, and vascular disease.All of these diseases affect the structure or function of the heart. Here we look at some of the diseases, including coronary heart disease (the one that most people think of when they think of diseases of the heart), and what causes heart disease of different kinds.Congenital heart disease is a type of birth defect affecting approximately 500,000 adults in the United States. These defects may be minor requiring no treatment at all or more serious, requiring surgery and/or lifelong monitoring and medications.Factors believed to be included in what causes heart disease of this type includes genetics, chromosomal abnormalities, drug use, alcohol use and the use of certain medications during pregnancy. Viral infections in the mother during the early stages of pregnancy can also lead to congenital diseases of the heart.Heart failure is one disease that can be caused by other diseases of the heart including coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Other conditions that cause damage to the heart muscle, such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, kidney disease and diabetes, alone or in combination with other conditions, may be what causes heart disease known as heart failure.The term heart failure is confusing to many people and can be a very scary diagnosis to hear from the doctor. It does not mean that the heart has stopped working, but that its pumping power is weaker than normal. According to the American Heart Association, those who suffer from heart failure can lead full active lives by paying close attention to diet, exercising moderately and following their doctor’s recommendations. Controlling other risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes is also important.Cardiomyopathy or heart muscle disease is one of the progressive diseases of the heart. As this disease progresses, the heart becomes enlarged, thicker and stiffer, weakening its ability to pump blood, causing blood to back up into the lungs and/or the rest of the body. What causes heart disease of this type includes coronary artery disease, thyroid disease, alcoholism, diabetes, congenital heart disease and viral infections of the heart. In addition, cardiomyopathy may be inherited, caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure or simply age.Abnormal heart rhythms may be harmless, a result of too much caffeine, nicotine or excessive exercising. Or they may be a symptom of coronary heart disease or other diseases of the heart. Thus treatment depends on the cause.The diseases of the heart can be broken down into two very simple categories: those which are related to, caused by, or a symptom of coronary artery disease and those that are not.Heart failure, cardiomyopathy, certain types of heart valve disease, pericardial disease and vascular disease fall into the first category. Congenital diseases of the heart, marfan syndrome and other inherited conditions fall into the second group.This is also similar to the way that experts look at what causes heart disease: those things that can be controlled and those things that cannot. It is believed that coronary artery disease can be prevented and even reversed with proper treatment, dietary changes, exercise, and control of blood sugar, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, certain dietary supplements including antioxidants, B-vitamins and folic acid appear to be helpful.Coronary artery disease is a condition in which a build-up of plaque inside the blood vessels leading to the heart reduces blood flow to the heart, causing blood vessels to initially increase in size and eventually to lose elasticity. In some cases, new blood vessels form to bypass the obstruction and carry more blood to the heart.However, the new blood vessels are weaker and sometimes collapse or burst. When the obstruction becomes so large that it blocks the flow of blood completely a heart attack occurs. In many cases, people are unaware that they have coronary artery disease, until they have a heart attack.What causes heart disease of this type is the topic of some debate. Doctors, researchers and scientists know that there are certain risk factors. That is to say that some people are more likely to develop coronary artery disease than others. The debate concerns why the plaque begins to build up in the first place.It is believed that diet plays the biggest role, with high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol being at the top of the list. Research has shown that plaque buildup begins in early childhood, as early as 5 years of age, and is composed of an inflammatory accumulation of white blood cells. This indicates that the immune system is responding to an irritation of the lining of the blood vessels believed to be caused by LDL cholesterol.HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, binds to LDL cholesterol, removes it from the blood stream and from the plaque deposits. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of HDL cholesterol in the blood stream can reduce the size of the plaque deposits and effectively reverse the diseases of the heart that affect the coronary arteries.The role of inflammation in coronary artery disease has only recently been identified and most information about the disease still refers to the arterial plaques as fatty deposits, which can be misleading. Cholesterol is a steroidal chemical that is found in fatty tissue, but is not simply fat. It is possible that in order to simplify discussions about what causes heart disease of this type, the simple word fat is used, rather than explaining the difference between total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and fat.A number of dietary supplements may be recommended for use by those who suffer from diseases of the heart. Among these is mangosteen juice which contains natural anti-inflammatory components, necessary B-vitamins, folic acid and a large number of different antioxidants that provide a number of health benefits.Some scientific research, historical use and patient reports have indicated that drinking mangosteen juice on a regular basis may help to control blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reduces inflammation.What causes heart disease in many cases appears to be improper diet and lack of exercise. While mangosteen use cannot control these things for you, when used as a supplement to proper diet and regular exercise, it may help reduce your risk of developing diseases of the heart some medical experts believe.