What on Earth Is ‘Ugly Cholesterol’ and How Dangerous Is It?

As if worried about good, bad, high or low cholesterol was not enough to keep us preoccupied, we now have to deal with yet another cholesterol danger: 'ugly cholesterol' or 'remnant cholesterol' which may be the deadliest blood fat of all . A recent Danish research study has shown that people with high cholesterol levels were 2.8 times more likely to develop ischemic heart disease, which is caused by a decrease of oxygen to the heart muscle as a result of narrowing of the coronary arteries.

What exactly is ugly cholesterol?

Ugly cholesterol is the result of high levels of triglycerides, fats, found in the blood which causes the arteries to clog, resulting in atherosclerosis and heart disease. Even though this is not a new phenomenon, doctors have been focusing primarily on increasing good cholesterol (HDL) up until now.

How does it develop?

Eating more calories than our bodies need and gaining weight all contribute to the development of high cholesterol. The best way to avoid this happening is to make sure you maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle. The fast-food epidemic has lead to increasingly high triglyceride levels and the processed carbohydrates in these foods rapidly increase sugar levels. These sugar levels, if not used for energy, are converted into triglycerides and high levels of these fats can cause heart disease.

Who should be tested for it?

People over the age of 20, especially those with 'questionable' eating habits and generally unhealthy lifestyles should have their remaining cholesterol checked at least once every year. The blood test required for this is called a 'lipid profile', where your good cholesterol (HDL) and your bad cholesterol (LDL), along with your ugly cholesterol levels are checked.

How is it treated?

If your annual cholesterol check-up shows high reminderant cholesterol levels, you will probably be advised to change your eating habits and to lose weight. Exercising raises your good cholesterol levels and because this lowers insulin resistance, it indirectly also affects ugly cholesterol levels.

How can ugly cholesterol be prevented?

This can be preceded by adopting a generally healthy lifestyle:

· Limiting your intake of high-sugar foods and beverages

Limiting your intake of processed carbohydrates

Limiting your alcohol consumption

· Living an active lifestyle

· Stopping smoking

What if, despite my healthy lifestyle, I still have ugly cholesterol?

If exercising and adopting healthy eating habits do not have any effect on your cholesterol levels, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication. Drugs such as statins are usually prescribed for cholesterol problems; they block the liver enzymes responsible for producing bad cholesterol.

Not having risk factors does not mean your worrying days are over

Even if your weight is normal and you do not have any other clear risk factors, ugly cholesterol could still pose risks as blood tests are not always inconclusive. Factors such as ethnicity as well as heredity all play a role in influencing one's cholesterol levels. Especially if there is a family history of diabetes or heart disease, it is advisable to have regular tests done, such as a CT scan; which can accurately identify heart disease by means of 3D imaging.

Whether or not we are at risk of this ugly villain lurking in our blood vessels, it is important to take preventive measures by adopting a healthy lifestyle, starting today. Should you be worried about possible cholesterol-related health conditions due to having one or more risk factors, consult your doctor.

{ Comments are closed }

5 Tips for Heart Healthy Seniors

One of the biggest threats to the health of older men and women is heart disease. Out of people who are 65 years old or older, 84 percent die form heart disease, a staggering statistic. Heart disease covers a lot of different conditions. The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease, or CAD, which is responsible for serious and even life-threatening cardiovascular events such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and heart failure. However, this risk factor is not set in stone. As you age, your risk for heart disease increases, but there are things you can do to fight back, and maintain a healthy heart and long life. Here are 5 things you can do to maintain a healthy heart:

1) Quit Smoking, Reduce Alcohol – All at once the simplest, and yet the hardest of the lifestyle changes you may have to make in order to have a healthy heart. After the age of 65 smoking can be the largest enemy for you and your heart. And alcohol should be cut back to 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages a day, minimum. Do this, and your heart will thank you!

2) Watch What You Eat – Again, this is easier said than done. The best way to go about getting yourself on the right diet is to add healthy foods to what you normally eat, instead of trying to erase or eliminate unhealthy foods. Over time, the healthy foods will become easier to eat, and you will eat more of them as you notice how good they make you feel. Look for: Foods with high fiber; nuts; fruits and vegetables; an apple a day; olive oil (instead of butter!). As little as 10 grams of fiber a day will do wonders, as will eating a useful of unsalted nuts once a day or five times a week to lower cholesterol. Also, foods that start with “B” are usually great to add to your daily intake as well, such as beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bread (whole wheat only!).

3) Exercise – This may sound harder than it looks. What you do not have to do is get a gym membership and start sweating and pumping iron. On the contrast, all that is required is to spend 30 minutes of your day in motion. This could be walking through the neighborhood or the mall, swimming at your community pool, really anything that gets you up and moving for just 30 minutes a day. You may find that as you work in this time for yourself in your schedule, you will find yourself allowing more and more time for this activity as it strengthens you and boosts your mood.

4) Get Regular Check-Ups – It is important to monitor your numbers as often as you can. Your numbers include your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and medication levels for things like diabetes. All of these can have an effect on your heart health. The higher your weight, blood-pressure, and cholesterol levels are, the more you run the risk of getting heart disease.

5) Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease – If you have any of the following warning signs, talk to your doctor immediately about cardiac rehab: Feeling fault, or dizzy; feeling light-headed or weak; ability to catch your breath, whether it is after movement or during a period of rest or action; nausea or vomiting; feeling overly full, or having indigestion; pressure or pain in the chest; pains in you back, shoulders or neck that are irregular; sweating; having an irregular heartbeat.

{ Comments are closed }

Improving Health Outcomes for Heart Disease Patients Through Telemetry

Coronary artery disease has become one of the most concern public health issues in the United States over the past several years. The condition often arises as a result of consuming foods that are high in fat content and low in nutritional value. In addition, a lack of daily exercise can be a contributing factor that makes heart disease develop faster and have more devastating consequences. When the blood vessels lead to the heart become clogged, they can no longer deliver the oxygen and nutrients that contractile cells require to continue pumping blood to the body. Because the heart is one of the most important vital organs in the body, even the smallest amount of damage can result in severe health consequences and even death. Individuals who suffer from heart disease are evaluated using many tests that capture the electrical and contractile activity of the cardiac tissue while it beats. This information is then used to make a diagnosis and develop a strategy for disease management.

The electrocardiogram and echocardiogram are two of the most common noninvasive diagnostic procedures that are performed in the cardiovascular department. Although these two exams are very important in the evaluation of heart disease patients, they do not always provide enough information for nurses and doctors to make a complete diagnosis. Conditions that have proven to be difficult to evaluate or that show signs of being unstable may require long-term observation using technology that is known as telemetry. This test is also noninvasive and allows individuals to remain mobile while they are being seen by doctors who want to observe the heart's activity in both resting and active states.

Telemetry is a scientific innovation that uses sensors to collect information that is then transmitted to receivers that are often located a great distance away from the data collection site. The technology was first used by the military to gather details about factors that could impact mission success and to better communicate between different branches. Organizations in the weather industry later discovered that telemetry could have been used to keep an eye on seismic activity and other environmental phenomena that could represent a danger to society. As the technology improved, commercial and industrial sectors such as oil exploration and space travel began using the technology to improve operations.

Medical establishments that offer cardiac care to the public often assign the task of handling telemetric equipment to an EKG technician, medical assistant, or registered nurse. Because the procedure is noninvasive and has little chance of compromising the health or safety of patients, unlicensed personnel can be expected to accept the responsibility with little or no supervision. In order to begin monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, sensors are located on the patient's chest and a wireless transmitter is switched on. Data is then broadcast to the computer systems in the monitoring center that are responsible for translating the information into a tracing tracing consisting of waves and intervals. These tracings are identical to those seen on an electrocardiogram except for the fact that they occur in real-time and continue for as long as the patient is being monitored.

The fact that telemetry is a wireless technology means that patients are able to move about their environment while they are being evaluated and treated. This makes the patient care experience more tolerable and allows medical personnel to observe the activity of the heart while the patient is both resting and engaging in physical exercise. Because some conditions only demonstrate signs and symptoms when the heart is being stressed, telemetry is able to collect data that would not otherwise be seen on an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram. For this reason, many facilities have begun using a combination of these exams to create the most detailed picture of cardiac activity possible. Those who work in cardiac care may be required to work in the telemetry monitoring center and should be familiar with the process before providing care.

{ Comments are closed }

How Telemetry Benefits Patients Who Suffer From Heart Disease

Telemetry is a term that is used to describe technology that allows for the wireless transmission of data from sensors to remote receivers. This type of technology has been used in the defense sector for many years to improve the ability of different military branches to communicate with each other and to gather information about events that could affect operational outcomes. Other industries that take advantage of telemetry include weather monitoring, oil and gas discovery, and space exploration. Within the weather industry, organizations use sensors to detect seismic activity and to record other natural phenomena. Although telemetry has been around for many years, its application in the medical sector was discovered many years after it had been used in other private and commercial endeavors.

Long distance monitoring has been found to be extremely beneficial in collecting data about patients who suffer from a variety of different heart diseases. In order to get patients set up for observation, sensors are placed on the individual's chest and a wireless transmitter is switched on. As the heart beats, the electrical activity is detected by the sensors and the information is broadcast to a monitoring center that may or may not be located within the same treatment facility. This center of observation consists of computers and software that are specifically designed to receive signals from transmitters and translate them into a visual representation that appears as a tracing. These tracings are very similar to those created by an electrocardiogram except for the fact that they provide real-time data over a long period and can display cardiac events as they are happening.

The responsibility for setting up the telemeter is usually assigned to the EKG technician or a medical assistant. The fact that this is a noninvasive procedure that presents very little risk of harm means that a technician should be able to perform it with a minimal amount of training and oversight. Technicians who are familiar with electrocardiogram administration will find that telemetry equipment is very similar. Some facilities may also expect technicians to share the responsibility for monitoring patients with the nursing staff. Although this may seem like a complicated task, most equipment manufacturers have created systems that recognize abnormal rhythms and that sound an alert when professional attention might be needed. In these cases, it is usually the technician's job to communicate the information to a nurse or physician.

Since telemetry can be performed from remote locations, many healthcare facilities have discovered that they can outsource certain aspects of the patient monitoring process to independent companies that operate virtual intensive care units. These units are typically located outside of the facility that is providing care, but have the capacity to observe patients and interact with medical personnel who work in the treatment facility. The services that virtual units offer have greatly improved the efficiency of care in some medical establishments and often assist in providing better health outcomes to patients. The current shortage in qualified nurses and doctors has also left many administrators with no other option but to outsource some of the patient care responsibilities to virtual units.

Telemetry has been an extremely beneficial innovation for both patients and personnel in cardiac care units. The portability of wireless technology means that individuals who are receiving treatment can move around the facility while they are being evaluated. Personnel appreciate this mobility because it gives them the opportunity to observe the activity of the heart in both a resting and active state. Some heart conditions are only seen while the patient is active and can not be observed using other cardiac exams. Without this technology, the condition may go unnoticed and the appropriate treatment plan may not be apparent. For this reason, telemetry allows doctors to make more informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment.

{ Comments are closed }

Leadless Pacemaker – A Novel Solution To An Old Problem

The normal heart has its own facemaker that regulates the rate at which the heart beats. However, the heart's own pacemaker may malfunction, causing the heart rate to slow down. This condition is known as heart-block, and may result in symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath or blackout. In such cases the implantation of an artificial pacemaker corrects the problem.

An artificial pacemaker is a device which monitors heart rate and provides electrical stimulation to the heart when it beats too slowly. It consist of a battery-operated generator that produces the electrical impulses which travel down an insulated wire (lead) into the apex of the heart.

Since its first implantation in 1958, pacemakers have undergone innovations in size, design and function. Pacemakers are now smaller but more efficient. Till now, however, they need surgical implantation, which presents the patient to the risks of infection, bleeding and accidental lung injury. The lead is also susceptible to displacement or fraction, for which restrictions are imposed on the life-style of the patient.

Recent development of leadless pacemaker systems is likely to resolve many of the potential problems associated with conventional pacemakers. These leadless pacemakers consist of a miniature pen-like battery operated generator that could have inserted under local anesthesia through the vein in the groin, up into the chamber of the heart and positioned at the apex of the heart. As the generator is directly in contact with the heart, no leads are necessary to send the current to the heart muscles. With this novel technique, the potential risks of a surgical implantation and development of a scar tissue at the site of a surgical incision could have been avoided. Also, absence of a lead obviates the need for any life-style restriction. Moreover, such pacemakers could also be retrieved in a way similar to the implantation procedure after the battery life runs out or should replacement be necessary for any reason.

The first human implantation of a leadless pacemaker took place in the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in 2014. As it is implanted through the vein, the approach is less invasive as compared to traditional pacemaker implantation that needs more intensive surgery. Operative time averaged about 30 minutes. Even with miniaturization, the device battery is expected to have an average lifespan of ten to thirteen years.

More than 4 million people worldwide have an implanted pacemaker and an additional 700,000 patients receive the device each year. In such a scenario, this advanced medical technology is something we can fall back on when necessary, and there is some reason to rejoice in that.

{ Comments are closed }

What Happens When You Get a Heart Attack and What You Can Do?

You feel a pain in your chest. You begin to feel nauseous. Suddenly a tingling feeling shots down your arm. You panic as you wonder if it is a heart attack. And indeed, these are some of the classic symptoms (symptoms are slightly different for men and women), and if you get them you should get medical attention as quickly as possible. Over 700,000 Americans have heart attacks every year.

What has happened is that one of the arms in your heart has become blocked, and the blood that typically flows through it carrying oxygen and nutrients to part of your heart is no longer there. And without oxygen the cells in this part of the heart soon begin to die.

How and Why a Heart Attack Occurs

Many people think that their arteries are similar to the water pipes in their house, which sometimes get clogged when “gunk” builds up in them. But they are actually quite different. In your arteries, and particularly the ones in your heart, the walls of the treaties interact with the blood that flows through them. And since this blood carries many different live cells, there is a constant communication and interaction between them and the cells in the walls of your heart. Because of this, these cells participate in the development of a heart attack.

The major thing that causes a heart attack is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, referred to as atherosclerosis. This buildup does not happen suddenly; it builds up slowly over many years – usually over several decades. Surprisingly, though, in most cases, it is not the plaque itself that causes most heart attacks.

But why does this plaque build up? Part of the reason is inflammation. As you reasonably know, infection is produced when your body senses an injury or a foreign object. It immediately goes to work to repair the injury or get rid of the foreign object.

To understand infection's role in the process we have to look at how cholesterol is distributed throughout the body. We usually refer to it as LDL or HDL cholesterol, but these initials actually refer to the carrier of the cholesterol. (Cholesterol itself does not dissolve in blood so it needs a carrier). Most people have heard that LDL cholesterol is “bad cholesterol” and HDL is “good cholesterol,” but this is not exactly true. Both types of cholesterol actually play an important role in your body.

The problem is that the LDL passes in and out of the walls of your arteries. At low densities very few LDL's get stuck, but at higher concentrations more and more begin to stick, and the greater the concentration, the greater the number that get stuck. Looking closely at the LDL's we see why. The LDL particles are not all the same size; some are large and some are small. And it's the small ones that get stuck. This means that we would like most of our LDL '' to be large; Unfortunately, we do not have much control over this.

When large numbers of LDL's get stuck, our immune system senses it as a danger and sends out infection cells to rectify the problem. The first infection cells to react are called monocytes. They attach themselves to the artery walls at the LDL buildup and soon begin to multiply. As they grow they develop into more powerful agents called macrophages. The macrophages go after the LDL particles and beginning ingesting them. Soon they are so packed with LDL's they begin to look foamy; at this stage they are referred to as foam cells.

At the same time, T cells from the immune system also go to work trying to get rid of the LDL's. They release what are called cytokines that amplify the process. Together with the macrophages they create what is called a fatty streak that eventually develops into a bulging section of plaque on the artery wall. This section of plaque will continue to grow over the years, and it will eventually develop a “cap” over it. Surprisingly, it is not this bulging section of plaque that actually causes most heart attacks. It can grow big enough to block the artery, but only about 15-percent of heart attacks are caused by this blockage.

As the plaque grows, however, inflammatory substances secreted by the foam cells within the plaque can weaken the cap. If this happens, a crack, or channel, forms deep within the interior that leads to the surface. The foam cells then release chemicals that can cause a blood clot above the cap, and it is this clot that completely blocks off the artery. This is when most heart attacks occur.

What Causes This to Occur?

There are, of course, many things that can contribute to this. And by avoiding them as much as possible you can reduce your chances of a heart attack. They are:

  • Age (this is one you can not control). It usually takes years for the plaque buildup to occur.
  • Cholesterol level. High levels of cholesterol initiate the process.
  • Diet. The best way to keep your LDL cholesterol level low is through diet.
  • Smoking. Do not smoke.
  • High blood pressure. Keep your blood pressure low.
  • Obesity. Watch your waistline.
  • Little or no exercise. Make sure you exercise several times a week.
  • Keep stress to a minimum.

What Happens After You Get to the Hospital

Once you're sure you've had a heart attack it's important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. One of the first things that will do there is administrator drugs to clear up the blockage (if it has not cleared up on its own). Several tests will also likely be done. Two of them are an ECG and a blood test. The ECG is a device that monitors the electrical activity of the heart muscles; it produces a small electrical signal each time the heart beats. This will tell the cardiologist how well the heart is functioning, and if any damage has occurred. The blood test is used to look for enzymes in the blood that were produced during the heart attack. They tell the doctor that a heart attack has, indeed, occurred.

Echocardiography will also be used to look directly at the heart. It uses ultrasonic waves; they are sent out and reflected back, and they also show any damage that has occurred. An angiogram will also be taken (usually later during the operation). In this case a dye is inserted in the blood and it is examined using X-rays as it passes through the heart.

Once the area of ​​blockage is located the cardiologist will insert a hollow tube (catheter) into a large artery in your groin. Using X-ray technology, the tube will be guided to the blockage in the heart's artery. A balloon is then used to widen the artery. Then a stent (a tube of mesh wire) will be inserted to hold the artery open. The latest stents have medicine embedded in them to help stop the chances of a blockage reoccurring.

In some cases there is too much damage for a stent (or some multiple stents) to be used and a bypass will be needed. In this case a vein is taken from the leg and used as a bypass tube. The blood then lows around the blockage.

Post Heart Attack Problems

When you leave the hospital it's important to begin an exercise program and one may be set up for you. Exercise strengthens the heart and lowers the risk of another heart attack. Depression and anxiety can also be a problem. According to one study about 20-percent of heart attack victims experience depression or anxiety soon after leaving the hospital, and another 20-percent experience minor depression in the months after the operation. This can affect recovery and it's a good idea to try to avoid it. Stay positive and do not let negative thoughts enter your mind. Keep busy with things you enjoy and be optimistic.

{ Comments are closed }

Iron From Meat Increases Chance of Getting Heart Disease

This information comes from a new (May 2014) study done by the Indiana University School of Public Health . This will be in a future issue of the Journal of Nutrition. The kind of iron found in beef and other animal foods is called heme iron. The iron found in plant foods is called non-heme iron. The researchers collected information from 21 different studies to examine the effects of different kinds of iron on risk of coronary heart disease, heart disease or coronary artery disease. It included over 292,000 people and was done over 10 years.

This study (as reported by Fox news) showed that the participants who consumed the most heme iron from meat or fish raised their risk of developing heart disease by 57 percent. The iron from plant foods did not have this effect. In the United States the number one cause of death is heart attacks.

Many experts warn people to never consume a supplement with iron in it without a doctor advises you to. With food, if the body is in danger of getting too much iron, the body will not absorb the iron from the food. But the body can not do this with iron supplements so a person can get too much iron from supplements which can cause death. Many children have died from taking iron supplements.

A lot of the information out there is not from science but from marketing. There are many foods that have a lot more iron than beef. For example the seaweeds kelp and dulse have 50 times the iron that is in beef. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds have about 5 times the iron that is in beef. Brazil nuts and filberts have 50% more iron than beef. Pecans, sesame seeds, kale, spinach, Lima beans, mustard greens, dates and Swiss chard have more iron than beef.

Many associate lack of iron with the main source of anemia . There are 400 types of anemia. WebMD.com says that the 3 main causes of anemia are 1) from loss of blood, 2) reduced red blood cell production and 3) destruction of red blood cells. Under type 1 is menstruation and under type 2 is iron-deficiency anemia. There are many causes of iron-deficiency anemia including drugs, food, drinks, menstruation and digestive problems. For more on this story from Fox News see: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/05/too-much-iron-from-meat-may-raise-heart-risks/

Many experts, including Dr. Joseph Mercola (DO) (a doctor of osteopathic medicine is similar to an MD and can prescribe drugs), say that a bigger problem than iron deficiency is too much iron in the blood. A study of 1,000 people showed that 3% had a deficiency of iron and 13% had an iron overload that could cause many problems like cirrhosis (hardening of the liver), liver cancer, cardiac arrhythmias, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections and Alzheimer's disease .

A study showed that women who adopted a vegetarian diet and stopped eating meat had less premenstrual and menstrual symptoms according to Obstetrics & Gynecology 2000; 95: 245-250 (done in 2000). This included less mood changes and less bleeding. This has also been reported by many who have switched to a raw vegan or raw plant-based diet. They report having menstruation with minor symptoms that last only 1 day. For more on getting iron from vegan sources that do not cause heart disease, see Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet .

{ Comments are closed }

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Unfortunately, in spite of all our medical advances, heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. There are several conditions that increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The good news is, if you know what they are, you can improve or reverse almost all of them.

If you have any of the following, give yourself one point for each one.

1. Metabolic Syndrome is present if you have 3 or more of the following. If you only have 1 or 2 you do not get a point here.

  • Waist measurement is over 35 inches for women or over 40 inches for men
  • Blood pressure numbers are higher than 140 systolic or 80 diastolic or you take blood pressure medication
  • Triglyceride on lab test is 150 or higher
  • Fasting glucose on lab test is 100 or higher
  • HDL on lab test is less than 50 for women or less than 40 for men

2. Diabetes is present if you have had a faster glucose of 126 or higher, a random glucose of 200 or higher or the 3 month average blood glucose test is 6.5% or higher.

3. Pre Diabetes is present if you have had a fast glucose of 100 or higher or the 3 month average blood glucose test 6-6.4%.

4. Overweight is present if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25-29.9 and obesity is present if your BMI is 30 or higher. Use this link to the Mayo Clinic BMI calculator to determine your BMI: http://www.mayoclinic.org/bmi-calculator/ITT-20084938 .

5. Blood pressure is high if your numbers are higher than 140 systolic or 80 diastolic or you take blood pressure medication.

6. Abnormal lipids are present if any of the following are true for you. You have a total cholesterol over 200, LDL cholesterol over 100, HDL cholesterol less than 50 for women or 40 for men, triglycerides are over 150, total cholesterol / HDL ratio is higher than 3.5. Count one point for each abnormal result.

7. You smoke or chew tobacco.

8. You have ongoing high levels of stress.

9. You do not have a regular exercise program.

10. You have a family history of heart disease that occurred below the age of 55 in men or below the age 65 in women.

11. Your age is over 45 if you are a man or 55 if you are a woman.

All but 2 of these risk factors (3 if you have Type 1 Diabetes) are modifiable and / or reversible. You can not change your age and you can not change your family history. Be proactive and learn how to make the necessary changes to improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease! The road to success will usually be found in what you eat and how active you are. Pick one thing to work on at a time. Once you are progressing with that problem, start working on another.

Let's change the fact that heart disease is still the number one cause of death. That fact is not going to be changed with drugs. Start eating whole foods as much as possible. Avoid packaged foods, especially those that contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate. Be physically active 5 days a week for 30 minutes. If you are currently inactive, start gradually and build up with a few minutes a day. Consult with nutrition and fitness professionals to develop an individual plan that works for you.

{ Comments are closed }

Health Benefits of Co-Q10

This Nutrient Co-Q10 is a highly effective enzyme affecting the Liver, Heart, Respiratory System along with the Pituitary and Thyroid Glands, Gums and muscles. This enzyme is used by the body for energy at the cellular level. Co-Q10 helps the cells stay healthy and live longer. Unfortunately as we age the levels of Co-Q10 in our bodies decrease. This causes oxidative stress at the cell level which speeds up the aging process.

Taking a Co-Q10 supplement can reduce damage at the cell level. Damage can occur to the cell membrane or DNA. Our Hearts are probably the largest beneficiary of a Co-Q10 Supplement. It can reduce Blood pressure and aid in recovery from a Heart Attack. In addition it keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and improving energy production in the Heart muscle.

I mentioned earlier that Co-Q10 could benefit bleeding Gums. This is true. Most studies have focused on the effects of C0-Q10 on the Heart, however because of its Antioxidant Properties it has also been known to be of benefits reducing the effects of Chemo-therapy, Gingivitis (Bleeding Gums), Gum Disease, Pyorrhea, Incontinence (urinary problems), Inflammation, Migraines, and other disorders. There has been recent research suggesting that Co-Q10 may be a benefit to Huntington's disease.

Anyone over age 50 should be taking Co-Q10 as a supplement. That being said can I just go to the local Nutrition store or Drug store and pick up a bottle labeled Co-Q10. The answer to that is a resounding NO! The Vitamin, Mineral and Herbal Industry is for the most part unregulated. What that means is that any company can come up with a formula for Co-Q10 and go and have it manufactured in Mexico or some other third world country and distribute is here in the USA and that's OK.

No that is not OK. Because of the situation that currently exits you need to see who is the distributor? Also who is the manufacturer of the product? Third party manufactures are not regulated by the FDA and the distributor has no control over quality.

I spent a lot of research on this very issue and found here in the good old USA a manufacturer and seller of this very product. They have research facilities I can tour and they have a very tight control on the quality of the raw materials going into each and every product they manufacture and sell. They send out people into the field to view Herbs and other plants that go into every product. They turn down shipments if they do not meet quality standards.

This is the Highest Quality and most potent Co-Q10 that I have found on the market today. You take less and have a more quality result. So What does all this mean?

It means you need to do your research on all your supplements just like I did.

{ Comments are closed }

Button Mushroom and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Scientists may have found one of the natural food used in many different culture with a potential in reduced risk and protect against CVD.

Strong evidences through epidemiological studies suggested that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is strongly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (8) (9). Dietary fungi, such as, mushrooms, can protect against chronic disease by altering inflammatory environments throughhibition of inhibitory cellular processes under pro-inflammatory conditions which are associated with CVD (1) (2).

According to Dr. Martin KR., Ergothioneine (ERT), a novel antioxidant, presented in edible mushrooms, accumulated through diet was found effective in interrupted pro-inflammatory induction of adhesion molecule expression associated with atherogenesis (2).

Mushroom, a standard name of white button mushroom, the fleshhy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus produced above ground on soil or on its food source, contains several important nutrients including Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Selenium, Iron, Copper and Zinc which are necessary to maintain the growth, functions of the body as well as protected against chronic diseases (6) 7).

Its antioxidants such as Astraodorol, Psilocybin, Lectin, adustin, ribonuclease, nicotine, etc. may also consist of the magic power in reduced risk and treatment of varying types of cancer, including colon, breast and gastric cancers through inhibitory of cell cycle arrest, significant suppression of cellular proliferation, in tested cancer cell lines (3) (4) (5) ).

These findings showed to support the notification of dietary mushrooms in protection of CVD, but multi quants and large sample size studies to identify the main ingredient which comparable to current medicine used are necessary to improve its validation.

But, the study of University of Gdansk, in the reviews and updates data on macro and trace elements and radionuclides in edible wild-grown and cultured mushrooms suggested that the coexistence of
minerals of nutritional value collected from natural habitats, and co-occurrence with some hazardous elements including Cd, Pb, Hg, Ag, As, and radionuclides should have taken certain precautions (10).

References
(1) The bioactive agent ergothioneine, a key component of dietary mushrooms, inhibits monocyte binding to endothelial cells characteristically of early cardiovascular disease by Martin KR (PubMed)
(2) Both common and specialty mushrooms inhibit adhesion molecule expression and in vitro binding of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cells in a pro-inflammatory environment by Martin KR (PubMed)
[3] Macro and trace mineral constituents and radionuclides in mushrooms: health benefits and risks. by Falandysz J, Borovika J. (PubMed)
(4) Intracellular trafficking and release of intact edible mushroom lectin from HT29 human colon cancer cells Lu-Gang Yu, David G. Fernig and Jonathan M. Rhodes (The Febs Journal)
(5) Commonly consumed and specialty diet mushrooms reduce cellular proliferation in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells by Martin KR, Brophy SK (PubMed)
[6] Macro and trace mineral constituents and radionuclides in mushrooms: health benefits and risks. by Falandysz J, Borovika J. (PubMed)
[7] Macro and trace mineral constituents and radionuclides in mushrooms: health benefits and risks.
(8) Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data by Oyebode, Gordon-Dseagu V, Walker A, Mindell JS. (PubMed)
[9] Seasonal consumption of salad vegetables and fresh fruit in relation to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer by Cox BD, Whichhelow MJ, Prevost AT. (PubMed)
10 Intakes of fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates and the risk of CVD by Josipura KJ1, Hung HC, Li TY, Hu FB, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Colditz G, Willett WC (PubMed)

{ Comments are closed }

Enlarged Heart Or Cardiomegaly Heart Condition – Symptoms Are Helped By Following A Low Sodium Diet

An enlarged heart, also known as cardiomegaly, refers to the abnormal enlargement of the heart due to various causes which is stressing the heart. It is not heart disease but a heart condition. The doctor will need to find out what is causing this condition. One of the major causes is high blood pressure (hypertension) and various coronary artery conditions. What makes this medical condition a serious one is that once the heart is stretched, its capacity to pump blood gets severely compromised and these leads to what is known as congestive heart failure.

There are various ways in which the heart enlarges. One of the causes of enlargement is response to heart muscle damage. In such a case, the heart will continue to function normally and pump blood, but beyond a certain point the function of the heart will be severely compromised and will not be able to do its job well.

What is known as dilated cardiomegaly is the most common type of this condition. Here the walls of both the left and the right heart chambers become thin and stretched, leading to a over stretched heart. Blockages that can occur in the heart's blood channels and high blood pressure are some additional causes. Also, viral infection, kidney disease, pregnancy and HIV infection are some other possible causes.

Symptoms

There are various manifestations of this deadly condition. In some cases an enlarged heart does not exhibit any symptoms. However, some cases have symptoms such as shortness of breath, weight gain, fatigue, increased abdominal girth, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) palpitations or skipped heartbeats, are common red lights signaling the development, of this condition. When the condition is not identified early enough and where there is lack of effective medication, this condition can easily become a death a sentence.

Low sodium diet help

Cardiomegaly is often a lifetime condition wherein patients need to rely on lifelong medicines. Patients can also find help when following a low sodium diet. Sodium is one of the elements that are required by the human body in very small amounts. This element is crucial for controlling blood volume and blood pressure. A diet which is low sodium (fewer than 2 grams) of sodium each day or lower; is a great help for the cardiomegaly condition as well as other critical-organs, related medical conditions such as high blood pressure and kidney disease. This diet also helps with the prevention of edema (the accumulation of fluid or swelling in the feet, ankles, lower legs or the abdomen). Lower levels of sodium in the blood stream ensures that there is no overload which triggers hypertension and swelling. Not only do lower levels of sodium diminish chances of heart failure, a low sodium diet enables heart medications to be more effective.

An enlarged heart condition is better treated when detected early. By finding and correcting the cause it could be treatable with medications, medical procedures, surgery and of course the help of a low sodium diet.

{ Comments are closed }

How Is Heart Failure Treated?

A few years ago, CNN released a special on heart disease called “The Last Heart Attack,” which showcased some of the present and future treatments out there. Although, we have made many strides in the treatment of heart disease, we are still a long way from getting to the last heart attack as heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States. One in four deaths in the United States is related to heart disease in some fashion, and more than 700,000 people will have a heart attack this year. Let's take a look at how heart disease is treated and what may be in line for the future.

• Lifestyle Changes: Before anything else, your doctor will ask you whether you smoke, how much you drink, how much you exercise, and so on to see where improvements can be made. First and foremost, the doctor will recommend that you follow some sort of a nicotine cessation program if you smoke. If you drink more than two drinks in a session, he will likely recommend that you cut back on the alcohol, and exercise instead. Finally, if you're obese, some sort of a weight loss plan will be recommended. “The Last Heart Attack” featured Caldwell Esselstyn's vegan, low-fat diet that helped Bill Clinton resolve his heart disease issues, although any efforts to reduce red meat intake and salt will help improve your numbers.

• Medicine: The pharmaceutical industry has come a long way in the past few years in treating heart disease. The most common ones are ACE Inhibitors to lower blood pressure, Beta Blockers to lower heart rate and strengthen the heart, Statins to reduce blood cholesterol, Diuretic pills to get rid of extra fluids, and Aspirin to thin the blood. Biochemists are getting better at making pills that target the right part of the body for treatment. Specialty Chemical Contract Manufacturing companies are creating special polymer coating for drug delivery systems to combat heart disease, and this will continue to only get better.

• Surgery: When non-invasive methods like lifestyle changes and medicine do not work, your cardiologist will likely recommend some sort of a surgical procedure. The most common procedures are angioplasty and bypass surgeries. Both help to improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain. Although these surgeries can certainly improve heart failure, they are most effective when the patient follows a low fat diet, exercises, quits smoking, takes the correct medicine, and practices stress relief to put less pressure on the heart.

{ Comments are closed }

What Is Congestive Heart Failure and What Isn’t?

There are some misconceptions about congestive heart failure, also known as CHF. To answer the question what is congestive heart failure, it is necessary to first clarify what it is not. First of all, it is not distinct from heart failure. In the medical field both terms mean the same. Heart failure and congestive heart failure are there synchronous with respect to documentation and coding.

Heart failure does not mean the heart stops beating. The term for that is cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest can be the terminal event of heart failure but many other conditions can cause it. A source of confusion is incorrect information on death certificates. When a death certificate requests for the cause of death it is not referring to the terminal event itself. Unfortunately, cardic arrest sometimes appears on the death certificate as the cause of death when in fact an underlying disease was the cause of the cardiac arrest. In that case, the underlying disease that led to the cardiac arrest is the cause of death and cardiac arrest is the terminal event.

There are only two broad categories of terminal events. They are the failure of the heart to beat properly or at all and impaired or absent exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the process of ventilation. Since the immediate event leading to the death of anyone who dies falls under one of these categories it is important to understand the distinction between the cause of death and the terminal event. Otherwise, many will believe that individuals died of CHF, when in fact they did not have it at all.

Congestive heart failure is a state of fluid and pressure buildup in the heart, blood vessels and lungs – plus or minus other tissues – resulting from mechanical dysfunction of the left side, right side, or both sides of the heart. It most commonly is a result of the cardiac muscle being too weak to pump out as much blood as it receives. Consequently, it is not able to eject sufficient amounts of blood to provide tissues with much needed oxygen. Additionally, the reduced blood flow to the tissues is not sufficient to remove carbon dioxide, a waste product produced by them.

Although a weak heart is the most common cause of CHF, it is a misconception to believe that the condition can not exist when the strength of the heart is normal. That is because the same state of pressure and fluid buildup can occur when the heart can not fully relax and normally fill with blood in between beats.

Congestive heart failure can be acute or chronic. The terms acute and chronic have more to do with how quickly symptoms of the condition develop and whether or not they are stable than the severity of the symptoms.

Although a heart attack is a common cause of CHF many other conditions can cause it. Therefore the terms are not synonymous.

Heart disease is the major cause of death worldwide and congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Therefore knowledge of it is important. This is particularly true in today's changing health care climate in which health literacy is not an option but a must.

{ Comments are closed }

4 Easy Ways To Improve Your Good Cholesterol

A few decades ago some researchers discovered a few people in “Limone sul Garda” village who were near immune to heart diseases regardless of unhealthy cholesterol levels. When investigated thoroughly it was found that their immunity became possible due to the slight variation of a protein in their cholesterol. This protein, known as ApoA-1 Milano today, was responsible for their immunity to heart diseases regardless of high cholesterol levels. In other words, it was good cholesterol and those people were born with self-cleaning arteries.

Studies proceeded further for creating a synthetic version of that protein. This became possible in 2003, but due to expensive production process it's still quite hard to produce that protein today!

Luckily, improving your good HDL cholesterol and decreasing the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol is not too hard. There are several methods for helping you out, and best of all they'll cost you peanuts! So let's take a look at some of those methods:

  1. Eat more nuts: In a research conducted at Loma Linda University researchers discovered that eating around 67 grams of nuts everyday increased HDL cholesterol level by 8.3% in students. Furthermore, some Aussie scientists also discovered that replacing 15% of your daily calorie intake by nuts can increase the HDL cholesterol level by 8%.
  2. Exercise regularly: Japanese researchers found sometime ago that exercising everyday for 20 minutes can increase HDL cholesterol level by 2.5 points. So increasing your endurance can also help in protecting you from heart diseases!
  3. Build some muscles: Here's the killer one. However, it's linked to the previous point. Some Ohio University researchers found in a study that men who did lower body workouts like squats, leg extensions and leg presses increased their HDL cholesterol level by 19% within 3 weeks. It's a huge spike, is not it?
  4. Increase the dose of calcium in your diet: According to a study published by American Journal of Medicine taking 1000-mg of calcium daily increases HDL cholesterol levels by 7%. However, keep in mind that you should choose a brand that sells calcium citrate pills instead of coral calcium. For maximum absorption you may also want to ensure that 400 units of vitamin D are included in the pills.

So these are the four easy methods that you can use to protect yourself from heart diseases. They're easy, they're highly affordable and they can easily become a part of your life. Integrate them in your life today and increase your immunity to heart diseases.

{ Comments are closed }

Diet Drinks May Take the Fizz Out of Life

Recent research reveals that women who drink two or more DIET sodas a day are at a 30% higher risk of either suffering from a heart attack, or having some sort of cardiovascular “event.” And that around 50% of women are more likely to die from its consumption than women who do not drink such sodas – the American Collage of Cardiology.

However, there has been no suggestion that the sodas themselves are “killers,” but rather their consumption may take a part in the “make-up” for unhealthy habits – so say the experts.

Dr. Ankur Vyas (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) who led the study, said “Our study suggests an association between higher diet drink consumption and mortality.” And, although this new information may not be new, as it has for some time been understood that the consumption of artificial sweetened drinks are not healthy (anti-weight-loss) – it is news.

Near 60,000 middle-aged women were studied over a period of nearly 10 years for food and drink habits – including diet soda and fruit juice habits (8.5% of women who regularly drank two or more diet sodas a day resolved in suffering from some form of heart disease – compared with 6.8% who drank four or less per week, and 7.2% who drank a couple a month or none).

However, the information stated that only an “association” between diet sodas and heart disease has been found for the moment, and not any “evidence” that such soft drinks are directly responsible for killing anyone (heart disease is the number one killer in the USA [such sodas are only a low-risk to causing heart disease / death – although something that is actually present]).

Other considerations also taken into account were: the women who drank most diet sodas were more likely to be over-weight, be diabetic, suffer from high-blood pressure, and smoke (all factors that provoke heart disease). Given these other considerations, it is probable that although a connection was actually made between diet sodas and heart disease / death – any results were in fact highly distorted.

According to Federal Survey Data, one in every 5-people drink dietary drinks on a daily basis – although it is a figure shown to be on the decrease.

{ Comments are closed }