Causes And Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in the world and unless you ensure that you minimize the risk factors that bring on this problem, you could be at risk too. It is so important to try and prevent coronary disease by following a healthy lifestyle and letting your doctor guide you about how best to go about this.

Heart Attacks Happen

The arteries or the plumbing in your body through which the blood is transported to every part of your body, needs to be clear so that the oxygen-rich blood can flow and nourish every part. However, when the treaties get clogged due to sticky blood or plaque, they tend to get narrow and there could be the danger of blood clots blocking these narrow openings and causing angina or even a heart attack. This condition which is called atherosclerosis is the reason for most coronary heart disease problems. This can be preceded by following a healthy lifestyle and eliminating the risk factors that lead to this problem.

Most Common Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that make you prone to coronary diseases and by ensuring that you take them out of your life, you could prevent or minimize the potential of attacks.

• Cigarettes: Smoking is one of the main culprits and nicotine not only thickens the blood and makes it sticky, it also deprives it of oxygen. When the blood gets thicker, it moves more sluggishly and it can cause plaque and blockages.
• Cholesterol and BP levels: If your 'bad' cholesterol or LDL levels are high or if your blood pressure is over the normal levels, you could run the risk of coronary problems so it would be wise to keep these under control with healthy eating, exercise and medication.
• Obesity and Lack of Exercise: Both factors run the risk of pressure on the heart and you need to change your lifestyle habits, factor in regular exercise and make an effort to lose weight.
• History of Heart Disease: If you are genetically prone to coronary disease, all the more reason to ensure that you take preventive action and do everything you can to follow a healthy lifestyle and prevent getting a heart attack.
• Diabetes: If you are a diabetic, make sure you keep your sugar levels under control and exercise regularly so you ease the pressure on your heart.
• Depression: This needs to be treated because it is one of the risk factors of heart disease.

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How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat – What to Do About It – It’s Not Drugs

If you have elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and or belly fat you need to read this article. It will help you understand why taking medication is not the only answer or choice to reducing cholesterol. I will share with you a general understanding of how stress drives up cholesterol, blood pressure and belly fat.

Elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a big concern for many. The first question to ask is where does cholesterol come from? The research shows, 15-30% of the total blood cholesterol comes from your diet depending on what you eat. Over the last 25 years or so there has been a huge public awareness campaign for people to stop eating cholesterol. So we see food packages with a “no cholesterol” label.

And here is a key finding … many have actually reduced their cholesterol take yet they may still have elevated cholesterol in their blood. How is this happening?

Your body makes cholesterol in the liver and this may account for some 70-85% of the total cholesterol in you blood.

So even if you eat zero cholesterol your body would make it all needs in the liver.

A smart question to ask is why is my body making cholesterol? What is stimulating it to produce it and an even better question would be how can I slow it down? What is becoming very clear in the research is that one of the strongest stimuli on the liver to produce cholesterol is … insulin! Yes that's the hormone involved in blood sugar management.

Insulin is a very powerful stimulus that tells the body to store energy and produce cholesterol. In the liver it turns on enzymes that produce cholesterol. Insulin also stimulates the liver to make more LDL the “bad” cholesterol.

Now you are asking asking, what makes my insulin levels go up? Great question. One of the largest components is your diet and specifically your intake of the sugar spiking foods. We call these the High Glycemic foods. It can also be the excessive intake of carbohydrates which as a society we take in way to many.

Nutrient insufficiencies can also contribute to “insulin resistance” . This means the insulin receptors that help bring down blood sugar do not work quite right so the body compensates and produces more insulin to get the job done, to drive the sugar into the cells.

There are also other factors at play that alter you physiology to increase insulin.

One very key player is lack of sleep. Reducing your sleep from 8 hours to just 6 hours a night for 7 days can greatly increase your insulin production. (It will also increase hormones that make you eat more as well reduce your satiety so you do not feel full and keep eating.)

And finally the elevated stress hormone, which is called cortisol, also drives up insulin in turn driving up cholesterol production. Cortisol elevates blood sugar and insulin reduces it so that they work in opposition. Chronic stress drives up insulin, which in turn drives up cholesterol production. It is also interesting to note that lack of sleep also greatly drives up cortisol levels and feeds forward this cycle. Cortisol also directly acts directly on the liver to increase cholesterol production.

The story does not stop here. It has been known for a long time that elevated blood pressure is part of the “ticking time bomb” of cardiovascular disease. Often many have elevated cholesterol and elevated blood pressure and may even belly fat at the same time. Insulin also works through multiple mechanisms contributions to “vascular inflammation” which is what drives up blood pressure (BP). And chronic stress also causes elevated blood pressure directly.

Earlier it was stated that insulin promotes storage of fat. It does this everywhere on the body including the belly area. The fat tissue around you organs is unique in that it has high levels of cortisol receptors. What this means to you is …

when you are chronically stressed, the fat cell are continuously getting the signal to “store fat”.

The external “symptom” is that you gain belly fat. It is a sign that your physiology is out of balance and has been for a while. Simply cutting calories is not the answer to reducing belly fat.

It is vital to understand that belly fat sits in you not on you. It sits deep within your abdominal area around your organs where it causes damage. It is the most dangerous type of fat.

There is a condition called Metabolic Syndrome which to simplify we could say is kind of like “pre-diabetes”. Some of the “symptoms” include elevated blood pressure and or cholesterol, and or elevated LDL and low HDL and belly fat. Can you see how these pieces of the puzzle work together to give or take away your health?

Elevated cholesterol is not your problem.

Your out of balance physiology which is driving up cholesterol production is. And that's most likely due to your lifestyle. You have complete control over these factors! As a matter of fact the major governing bodies that recommend treatment to doctors recommend diet and lifestyle before medicines!

Now, you could use medications (statin drugs) to bring down your cholesterol. And they can do that but they do have some negative effect associated with them previously muscle pain and fatigue. Or you could work “upstream” and take actions which give you direct control and which directly target the root cause of your elevated cholesterol (and other risk factors!). What's your choice?

Some key solutions include: Improving the amount of your sleep to the recommended eight hours per night, focusing on reducing stress in all the different areas of your life (workplace, home life, life purpose, mission, direction, reducing sources of inflation, financial stress, etc) that is the key area of ​​my writings. See website Stress Reduction Stress Relief to get more training videos.

And also key is reducing your intake of high glycemic carbohydrates, reducing intake of “liquid candy” and boosting your diet with key nutrients to overcome any shortfalls (multi vitamin-mineral).

Increasing both soluble and insoluble fibers will help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce insulin as well as bind cholesterol before it enters your blood which all bring cholesterol down.

I can also strongly recommend and encourage you to move more. Can you move more for fun, joy purpose and socialization? Of course you can. Exercise helps tire one out so we sleep better, it works better than any medication to improve insulin resistance and lower insulin levels, it help “burn” stress and fat and it gives our bodies muscle tone which is sexy! NICE. We did it as kids and we can do it as adults.

I hope this article serves you well and shows you how stress drives up your cholesterol, BP and belly fat. I also hope it empowers you to take control of your health.

Best of health and spirits

Robert Ridpath

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Mitral Valve Prolapse: Get The Facts Before Treating – It Could Be Dysautonomia

Many people are diagnosed each year with mitral valve prolapse, which indicates that one or both of the mitral valves are not opening and shutting correctly as blood is pumped from the top part of the heart to the bottom part where it then goes out to the rest of the body. This diagnosis infers that the valve is prolapsed due to a structural problem with the valve itself, requiring surgical correction or replacement to correct the problem.

People usually go to the doctor with symptoms like lightheadedness or false (syncope), racing heart when standing (tachycardia), gastrointestinal issues, general fatigue, low blood pressure, numbness, brain fog, etc., and when tests indicate that blood flow through the heart is not right, or it looks like the valves are not opening and shutting right, then the diagnosis is often mitral valve prolapse. Then for some reason, this diagnosis infers that there is something structurally wrong with the valve. What's important to keep in mind about this diagnosis is that the dysfunction of the valve may not be a structural defect that requires surgery – it may actually be a dysfunction of the automatic nervous system or dysautonomia that is actually behind the valve not operating properly.

As you may guess, mitral valve prolapse often has symptoms similar to dysautonomia symptoms. And when they can not put their finger on exactly what is causing the valve dysfunction or the group of symptoms, they call it MVP syndrome – which is actually dysautonomia when you get down to the details. Fortunately, many forms of dysautonomia can be treated and effectively with a variety of natural treatment options including nutritional supplementation, exercise, maintaining proper water and electrolyte balance, and other things that do not require surgery.

Granted, in some cases there is a structural defect or problem with the valve that does require surgery to correct. But if there's any doubt at all about that, it can be more than worth your while to seek the opinion of an automatic disorder specialist or dysautonomia doctor and at least let them run a few tests, and certainly before undergoing surgery. And the best places to do that is to Google something like dysautonomia doctor or dysautonomia treatment center. Even if there is not one locally where you are, it can be worth it to travel to a top-rated clinic and get some definite answers before you start other treatment protocols. It is far better to be as clear as possible about what is going on and then begin treatment than to start treatments when you're not sure.

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Heart Health: Some Proven Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips to Boost It

A revealing discovery was made In the middle of the 17th century. An Englishman named Harvey discovered that the job of the heart is to pump the blood through the body, almost in a continuous circle – carrying food and other substances to all the cells, muscles, bones and skin. Indeed, the heart is an intricate and capable machine, composed almost entirely of muscle.

There are some unique heart-loving foods and supplements that have proven themselves winners for increasing the health of the heart and blood vessels. These include fish, fish oil capsules, garlic, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Co-enzyme Q10. Eating fish and / or taking fish oil supplements is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a special type of fat that body body can not make by itself and is vital to the health.

In the Netherlands, eating a mere one ounce of fish daily was associated with 50% fewer deaths from coronary heart disease – in other words, it cut the risk in half. In another study done in the UK, fish oil greatly improved the function of small arteries in patients with excess cholesterol in their blood.

Garlic is a favorite plant for lower cholesterol. It also inhibits blood clotting and reduces blood pressure (from Preventive Medicine). The best way to benefit from garlic is to eat it raw or cooked on a frequent basis. It is also beneficial in supplement form.

Vitamin E and C are powerful health-giving vitamins. One study of 11,178 people, aged 67 to 105 years old, found very good results from combining vitamins E and C. Those who were taking vitamin E supplements at the beginning of the study had a 34% lower risk of death from heart disease than those who were not. The combination of vitamins E and C together created a total risk reduction of 53%.

Coenzyme Q10 is another strictly potent nutrient. It is found in every cell in the body. CoQ10 was first used by the Japanese to strengthen the heart muscle. In one study, treatment with Q10 four times a day for four weeks reduced the frequency of angina attacks (heart pain) by 53 percent and also increased the patient's exercise tolerance – all without any side effects (American Journal of Cardiology).

As the heart is basically a muscle, its strength can be greatly increased with regular exercise and physical activity. One example is a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association where researchers learn that higher levels of physical fitness can prolong people's lives overall, mostly due to lowered rates of cardiovascular disease (heart) disease and cancer.

Brisk walking is an excellent choice of exercise (one of the best), and so is stair-climbing, bicycling, swimming and various team sports. These are all very beneficial when done regularly. If you're just beginning an exercise program, take it slowly at first and build it up gradually.

Keep your heart happily humming along by doing a variety of enjoyable exercises at your own pace and adding some heart-loving foods and supplements to your diet.

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What Is Ebsteins Anomaly?

Statistics show that only one in every 210,000 live births gets to suffer from Ebsteins anomaly. This condition has an equal ratio for both females and males. It's a condition that is hard to detect and its symptoms are noticeable at any age. Patients who suffer from this condition are hard to notice from the first look. Severe symptoms may be seen at an early age while minor problems may hide the symptoms till the teenage age. This is a very rare disease that involves the hearts right side. It's a condition that may affect Caucasians as research suggests.

What is Ebsteins Anomaly?

Ebsteins anomaly is generally congenital malformation. This is a disorder that happens when the tricuspid valve that divides the two chambers of the heart does not make a normal formation. What happens is that the tricuspid valve forms far the down the ventricle, hence making the ventricle to grow weaker and even smaller than its normal size. It involves one half of the tricuspid valve getting stuck on one side of the ventricle. This may in turn cause blood to move or leak on the wrong direction.

Symptoms and signs may include;

1. Due to the tricuspid valve causing leakage or backflow of blood to the rest of the body, swelling may happen on the belly and legs.

2. Difficulties in breathing to liver enlargement. Leakages causing mixing of both deoxygenated and oxygenated blood that flows to the rest of the body.

3. Blue coloring of the lips and fingers This is referred to as cyanosis.

4. It's believed to cause strokes and brain tremors and damage of brain tissue. This happens when blood clots flow to left ventricle.

5. Causes unrhythmic heartbeats that result to dizziness or even fainting. Abnormal heartbeat may cause a victim to fall short of breath for some time.

Whats Causes This Disease?

It is believed to be genetically inherited or caused by environmental aspects that have yet to be proven by research. But research is doing its best to give answers to all these questions.

Whats The Treatment for This Condition?

The treatment is dependent on defection of the heart and normally for mild cases certain kinds of surgery may be required and also antibiotics may be administered. In some cases, if too much blood back flows to the left ventricle certain medications can also be administered that prevent strokes and heart failure.

In critical conditions surgery may be done to either repair or replace the tricuspid valve this ensues there's no back flow of blood through the atria. Surgery can help to repair right ventricle counter parts too.

Unrhythmic heartbeats can also be corrected during the surgery by getting rid of the muscle that causes the strain. High energized radio waves can also be used to get rid of smaller parts that measure the muscle.

The outcome of this condition will depend on how soon the symptoms and signs occur. So the earlier, the better. This is dependent on how the valve is leaking. It's estimated that for those young children who receive diagnosis at a tender age of about one year the results turn out to be good. In fact they leave very normal lives.

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High on Cholesterol

Should we really be worried about having a 'high' cholesterol level?

Raised cholesterol levels are seen as a risk factor for heart disease and statins are seen as the cure. I already knew that statins had side-effects so when I was told my cholesterol was too high I wanted to find out more.

What follows is not a medical act, a professional view, or a qualified opinion, purely a summary of information available on the web which I personally found convincing.

UK doctors consider a cholesterol level over 5mml / l (millimoles per liter) to be 'high' and an indicator of increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. In countries such as Switzerland and France the average cholesterol levels are higher than this but the incidence of heart disease and strokes is much lower than ours. In Russia the average cholesterol levels are much lower and yet the incidence of heart disease is much higher than ours.

How can this be?

Cholesterol is a fatty acid created by the liver and used through the body to generate new cells and create hormones. This is a natural and necessary function and without cholesterol we would die.

As fat is not soluble in our watery blood it must mix with a protein 'carrier' to form molecules of low density lipoprotein (LDL) for delivery to where it is needed. Unused cholesterol is then transported back to the liver via high-density lipoproteins (HDL) for recycling.

There is no good or bad cholesterol, just cholesterol and even if we had a cholesterol-free diet our bodies would still be creating it.

It is the physical size of the LDL particles which are of concern. If they are too small then they can get lodged between flakes of arterial plaque turning rancid over time to increase localized inflammation. In order for cholesterol to have this effect the treaties must already have plaque. Heart disease is not caused by cholesterol but if you are already suspect then it can make things worse: so could any fat in the blood such as omega-3 from oily fish!

We need to have more of the larger LDL particles to reduce our risk and we can do this with changes to our diet and so avoid harmful medication. Interestingly it seems that alcohol and saturated fats in the diet will actually increase the size of LDL particles. Sound familiar? Yes, just like the French diet!

The formation of plaque on arterial walls is in response to damaging toxins transported by the blood. Anything we ingest will at some point pass through the blood stream so could cause damage – including viruses and bacteria. Normally blood vessels will react to damage by becoming inflamed – which neutralises the toxins – then the inflammation dies down and the repair process starts. This process takes a matter of hours and is happening all the time.

Sometimes, however, the inflation persists but the repair process still tries to lay down new cells. The infection will try to break down the new cells and it becomes a localized battle. Even if the repairs work, they are just covering inflated areas (with plaque) and this can continue for many years. Sometimes the loose plaque may be dislodged and cause damage as it moves through the blood stream. The end result can be strokes or heart attacks.

Although cholesterol may make things worse – as any oil in the blood stream could -it is not the root cause of the problem. It seems cholesterol is getting a bad press.

Statins reduce the overall amount of cholesterol but they also have many side-effects such as dizziness, loss of muscle-mass, memory problems and lower bone-mass. There is also a risk of kidney damage. This is not surprising as statins are interfering with a natural and necessary process.

Some research indicates that statins can help prevent a second heart attack but there is little evidence that taking statins makes any difference to the risk of having the first heart attack. It seems that statins do not have an impact on the size of particles – just the overall volume – so these results are not surprising.

The threshold of 'high' cholesterol is variable and arbitrary yet it can lead to prescribed medication in the form of statins which can have serious side-effects. Having a high overall cholesterol level need not be bad news but taking statins almost always is. Statins are not addressing any underlying problems some people may have but they could be giving false hope.

There are a lot of interesting sites out there and some of these are collected on this site .

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Why I Love Chia Seeds

I first learned about chia seeds when I read the book “Born To Run” almost 10 years ago. The Tarahumara Indians used the seeds in a cocktail that allowed for what seemed like super-human strength and endurance. So how could you not want to give that a try, right?

Not knowing too much about the nutritional qualities of this seed back then, I started adding a couple of tablespoons to my morning routine, and have never stopped. As I transitioned my career to the health and fitness industry by becoming a certified personal trainer and nutritional counselor, I began to appreciate the amazing benefits of incorporating it into my daily eating routine.

Here are a few reasons why you should add chia seeds to your daily routine:

1. Helps You Lose Weight:

Chia seeds can help you lose weight in a couple of different ways. The first is that the insane amount of fiber in a chia seed absorbs tons of water and expands your stomach. This makes you feel full. When you feel full, you stop eating. Also, they are high in protein, which helps to satiate you and reduce your hunger response. The result? Eat less food, shrink your stomach, and lose weight. Since most weight gain is the result of “overeating”, they can help you lose weight. The second is that the chia seeds slow the absorption of food, which aids in weight loss

2. Helps To Prevent Cancer:

Chia seeds have a high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage the molecules in cells and be a major contributor to diseases like cancer. The molecular damage caused by free radicals also accelerates the aging process.

3. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease:

Chia seeds have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. By lowering LDL cholesterol, you reduce the potential for the buildup of this goo on the walls of your arteries, which allows for better blood flow. The HDL cholesterol is like a guy in a hazmat suit that removes the toxic LDL goo from your arteries. So not only are you reducing the bad stuff, you are boosting the good stuff. This all adds up to better heart health.

They are best absorbed when added to food during prep. If you start your day off with a morning smoothie, put a tablespoon in with the mix. If you like to cook up some oatmeal, add a tablespoon while cooking. Sprinkle them on salads, add to your cold drink after a workout, add it to sauces. The possibilities are endless.

Chia seeds best ways to purchase chia seeds is in bulk. You pay a fortune for the little seed when you buy it in a store like Whole Foods. Try Costco or Amazon and buy a big bag. You will save a ton of money this way, which will allow you to eat them every day.

One word of caution about the chia seeds – When you cook with the seed, like in oatmeal and sauces, make sure that you do not allow any seeds to escape down the drain. You see, the seed will basically sprout and grow ANYWHERE, like in your trap in your drainpipe. One day, I turned on the water in my sink only to find the drain hopelessly clogged. I called the plumber and he snaked the pipe. What do you think he found? Yup. There was a gig ole Chia Pet growing in my drainpipe.

Start enjoying the health benefits of chia seeds today. You will be glad you did.

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3 Health Reasons to Stay Hydrated

Summertime is the time of year we spend outside exercising, sunbathing, picnicking, and just enjoying the outdoors. Spending more time in the sun means your body will perspire in order to regulate temperature. That takes water, lots of it.

Here are 3 reasons why you want to stay properly hydrated during the summer months:

1. Lowers You Risk of Heart Attack:

When your arms get clogged-up with plague, it can lead to the onset coronary disease and eventually, a heart attack. Since the heart is one of the most important organs in your body, it is important to keep it healthy.

One of the best ways to prevent coronary disease, in addition to changes in your diet, is to drink more water. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, drinking more water is associated with a decrease in the risk of coronary disease.

The reason for this is that proper hydration keeps your blood thin and flowing. When you do not have enough water in your body and dehydration sets in, your blood becomes thick and does not flow well. This gives plague the ability to build-up much easier.

2. Helps Control Appetite:

The mechanism in our body that controls thirst is not that good, especially as we age. In fact, one of the largest health issues of aging adults is chronic dehydration due to the fact that their body is not telling them to drink. The signal is rather to eat something. So, they have food rather than water to satisfy the urge.

So, if you feel like you need to eat something, try drinking water first and see how you feel. In most cases, that urge to eat goes away because your thirst has been satisfied and your belly is full.

Avoid substituting a high calorie drink like soda or sports drinks over water. Drinking water will reduce your calorie intake. It will also allow you to burn calories more efficiently as well as keep everything in your intestinal track moving normally. You know what that means.

3. Maintaining Vital Functions In The Body:

Over 50% of your body is comprised of water. Without it, you will die. Water helps with critical functions like maintaining body temperature, transferring nerve impulses, delivering critical nutrients, providing a cushion for your vital organs, and assisting in the digestion and processing of foods, just to name a few.

On hot days, your body can lose a significant amount of water through sweating. This is the body's way of cooling itself. Not drinking enough water can disrupt and shut down bodily functions. If left untreated, this can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can lead to death.

How much water should you be drinking every day. Here is a formula to follow:

Take your weight in pound and divide by 2. This number is how many ounces of water you should drink per day before you factor in activities like exercise.

So, a 150 pound woman should drink 75 ounces of water per day. If she is exercising for an hour in the heat and loses another 40 ounces of water, then that needs to be added to the 75 ounces. This is referred to as the “sweat rate”.

The best way to calculate your sweat rate is weigh yourself before you exercise. Then exercise for an hour and re-weigh yourself. Add back in the weight of water consumed while you were exercising. The weight you lost represents the amount of water you lost during exercise.

When I was training for an ironman race in Kona Hawaii, I did this and determined that my sweat rate was about 60 ounces per hour. So that mean that I needed to drink 60 ounces of fluids per hour to stay hydrated. It took me 11 hours to complete the race, so you can only imagine how many bottles of water I went through.

Also, a clear sign that you are dehydrated is the color of your urine. If your urine is clear, then you are properly hydrated. If it has a yellow color to it, then you are at some level dehydrated. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are. The other way to measure it is how often you need to relieve yourself. If you are only going once or twice per day, chances are you are not drinking enough water.

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Poverty Breaks Down Your DNA

Despite being microscopic in size and packing all the information that makes you and I who we are, DNA is actually fairly fragile and can be easily affected by the outside world. We've known for years that cigarette smoke and other contaminants can cause genetic mutations, but a recent study published by a team of prominent biologists and social researchers is proving that financial stress may actually affect your health at the genetic level.

The team investigated a wide cross-section of Detroit citizens, primarily poor and lower-middle class residents (primarily Caucasian, African American, and Latino in origin). From these participants, the team collected DNA samples and specifically examined the telomeres attached to them. Telomeres are the tiny caps fixed at the ends of every DNA strand, just like the plastic protectors at the ends of your shoelaces. What these caps do for DNA is protect them from premature aging and deterioration. Research has shown that although when you deal with constant stress, those telomeres begin to break down and shorten.

Once they shorten, you become susceptible to a variety of serious health risks including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So to put it simply, the longer your telomeres stay, the healthier you will be and then the longer you should live (barring accidents).

The study's researchers discovered that although Detroit's lower-income residents, regardless of race, have significantly shorter telomeres than the rest of the country, on average. Given the massive economic downturn that Detroit has faced within the past ten years, Detroit's citizens have been living under socioeconomic pressures that far exceeded most of the rest of the country.

Dealing with negative social perceptions, exposure to unsafe environments, and other factors can all contribute to your DNA's protectors legally breaking down over time – leaving you more vulnerable to genetic disorders that can be triggered by mutations in your own genetic code.

Scientists are tracking these mutations and are working on methods to reverse them – but the science is not quite there yet. That being said, it may soon be possible to revert our DNA back to its original, uncorrupted state. Of course, to do this, we'd need to know what it originally was, which is why it's becoming increasingly important to store your DNA as early as possible.

DNA storage allows you to keep a copy of your genetic code intact for years on end, at which point, it is assumed there will be new therapies available to repair damage and also use your stored sample as a point of comparison.

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Stop Consuming Energy Drinks! Exclaim Top Cardiologists in Mumbai

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) claim that the concoctions of caffeine and ginseng are irrational and impermissible, as per the health standards. Three companies from Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune have been cracked down.

The food safety regulators have built the sale of few other products that has similar combinations and are categorized or promoted as fatigue reliever, alertness improver, tension and stress reliever. These beverages, available in small bottles and sachets, are generally consumed by youth as a fashion statement or health beverage.

“Adversarial effects” of concoctions of caffeine and ginseng – a compound extracted from a herb used for making Chinese medicine in tradition form, was the main reason cited by scientific panel, said FSSAI. This panel also warned that the effects can be fatal when consumed along with alcohol, as claimed by Canadian Journal of Cardiology. It warns that opposing effects has potential to trigger sudden cardiac deaths, when combined with alcohol or other drugs. FSSAI started cracking down on the manufacturers by making these letters; it sent these companies, public on its own website.

There are concerns raised by health activists regarding the regulation of ingredients of energy drinks in India. Caffeine content is the main concern. Generally caffeine content is regulated in carbonated beverages – 145 parts per million (ppm); however, for energy drinks there are no such regulations. In some of them, the content was as high as 320 ppm. Activists claimed that such drinks have high doses of caffeine and it can lead to serious adverse effects on health in long term.

FSSAI crack down came when the health activists were raising strong voice regarding ingredients regulation in such beverages. This crack down led to immediate ban of – Monster and Absolutely Zero manufactured by Monster Energy of India; Cloud 9 in different flavors made by Pushpam Foods & Beverages; Tzinga Lemon Mint, Tzinga Tropal Trip and Tzinga Mango Strawberry manufactured by Hector Beverages. In the notices sent out to these three companies, the dictum stated immediate stoppage of manufacture, sale and distribution.

A team of researchers and doctors have cautioned about the effects of such drinks on heart. In the paper published researchers have told that it is important to consult cardiologists before consumption. Cardiologists in Mumbai strongly support the research results. They claim that mixing caffeine, ginseng and alcohol or drugs have lead to cardiac arrests in young and healthy individuals. They urge the people to understand the lack of regulations on these high caffiene level beverages; and insist that parents should advise their children against its consumption. Further, cardiologists in Mumbai insist that there should be warning on the labels that “Consumption of energy drinks is risk to life.”

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Alternative, Complementary And Natural Treatments For High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a substance similar to fat found in the bloodstream. The liver and various cells in the body produce cholesterol. Certain foods, for example eggs, meat and dairy products, contain cholesterol as well. Cholesterol allows the body to manufacture Vitamin D, hormones and bile, acids used in the digestion of fat.

Typically, people are most familiar with cholesterol as it relates to having “good” and “bad” cholesterol readings. Good cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL), assays with ridding the body of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL cholesterol is the type of cholesterol, which can accumulate on the interior walls of the arteries hardening and narrowing them. This condition is called atherosclerosis, which often leads to heart disease.

The levels of cholesterol people have in their bloodstream are influenced by weight, age, heredity, gender, and diet. Medications and medical conditions also affect cholesterol levels. Dietary choices, regular checks after the age of 20 and exercise can help keep cholesterol readings at healthy levels.

People who have high cholesterol or who are at risk of developing the condition can manage their levels using medications as well as alternative therapies like herbal and nutritional supplements as well as lifestyle choices.

Herbs To Lower Cholesterol

Certain herbal supplements and extracts show efficiency for lowering high cholesterol levels. If a person decides to use them, they need to check with their physician to determine any contraindications for using herbal extracts or supplements.

  • Garlic causes a short term reduction in total cholesterol. Studies have shown garlic to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) by as much as 10 mg / dL, lower triglycerides by as much as 20 mg / dL. It also contains antioxidants that can prevent oxidation, selenium to cleanse the blood, and vitamin C to reduce damage from LDL cholesterol. It also contains the phytochemical Quercetin that has been linked to reductions in death from heart disease, reduced risk of clotting and increased flow-mediated dilation of major arteries. Fresh raw garlic also releases a short-lived gas called hydrogen sulfide that acts as an intracellular signaling compound that protects the heart. Raw garlic, soon soon after cutting is best because cooking, processing and drying destroys this valuable gas.
  • Guggilipid, an Ayurvedic remedy is credited with lower cholesterol; its effectiveness requires further study.
  • Fenugreek has been shown to lower “bad,” LDL cholesterol.
  • Policosanol lowers LDL cholesterol.
  • Turmeric appears to lower cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis.
  • Rosemary contains phytochemicals, which lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Artichoke leaf extract lowers cholesterol levels, but its impact on LDL cholesterol is inconclusive.
  • Yarrow the plant compounds in yarrow resembl cholester and interfere with its absorption by the body.
  • Holy Basil also reduces overall cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

Dietary Support to Lower Cholesterol

Many doctors advocate the benefits of a healthy diet emphasizing plant food sources for lowering and managing cholesterol levels. A high fiber diet rich in healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants helps keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range. According to WebMD, these dietary choices significantly lower harmful cholesterol levels.

  • Fiber, especially the soluble fiber in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains lower cholesterol levels.
  • Nuts can reduce cholesterol as well. A daily serving of 1.5 oz. of almonds, pistachios, walnuts or other nut variety reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Phytosterols, plant compounds found in small amounts in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains prevent the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. They have been found to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids lower the levels of triglycerides, the form of cholesterol produced by the liver, keeping the blood thinning at a healthy level, and prevent the bonding of plaque to arteries. They also curl infection in the body. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna as well as flaxseed and walnuts provide these essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Exercise and Cholesterol

Exercise significantly influences cholesterol levels in the body. It facilitates the movement of cholesterol through the system by stimulating the production of enzymes responsible for moving LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream and into the liver.

The liver converts this cholesterol into bile for digestion or it becomes part of the waste excreted by the body. It also increases the size of the protein particles, which carry cholesterol in the bloodstream. This increased size makes it more difficult for cholesterol to permeate blood vessel walls and remain there leading to atherosclerosis.

According to WebMD, “most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking, or gardening,” to gain the great health benefits of lowered cholesterol levels. ”

Bottom Line And Safety

Using alternative and complementary treatment to manage high cholesterol is simple to incorporate into a person's daily regimen. Herbal and nutritional supplementation, dietary choices, and exercise offer simple ways to reap the benefits of lower cholesterol relatively quickly.

These methods become most effective when implemented synergistically. Of course, a doctor's recommendation should be considered when engaging in these therapies. Some complementary therapies may not be beneficial to individuals already on a regimen of medicine or those who may have other health restrictions or conditions.

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Cardiologists in Mumbai Give a Strong Warning About Hypertension

“Does anyone really know what is pre-hypertension and its effects?” requests a senior cardiologist from Asian Heart Institute (AHI) in Mumbai. According to him, in pre-hypertension the blood pressure of the person stays higher than normal, however below the threshold of pressure 140/90. Adding to the definition, he says that when the readings from systolic pressure are in range 120 to 139 mmHg or diastolic pressure are in range of 80-89 mmHg, then it is called pre-hypertension.

A study was conducted on this topic by the journal Act Cardiologica in 2011. From the sample of approximately 7,000 Indians living in urban areas, it was found that hypertension and pre-hypertension have almost the same level of prevalence – approximately 32%. It was found that hypertension is more prevalent from in 60 to 69 years, while it was 30 to 39 years for the condition before it. Another senior cardiology specialist Dr. Naveen says that, both these medical conditions are tough on the body. They are responsible for making the heart muscle thicker with time, and initially leading to hypertension.

Generally, both these are left unnoticed or is not given importance. The Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) conducted a thorough research on 154,000 people in the age group 35-70 from 17 countries across the world on this topic. A filter that applied on find the samples was that they should not have a history of heart problem. The results of the study were shocking – less than 45% of the people who had hypertension, were aware of it. This means precursor to it, being unnoticed, will be higher.

Dr. Naveen says that although there is no such research for Indians, the numbers are more or less similar if not higher. The main reason is there are no visible symptoms. Symptoms begin to show up only after the pressure move 140/90 levels. Also, these symptoms are generally ignored by Indians. In most cases, it is detected only when a person comes for regular check-up or for some other ailment. Dr. Naveen adds that if it was diagnosed at the right time, then there are chances of prevention of other diseases that it can result into later part of life, like heart attack, heart failure, and hemorrhage and kidney failure.

Most of the cardiologists in Mumbai advise to keep a track of blood pressure readings. They recommend that an individual should get blood pressure checked annually till the age of 40 years of age and after that every 6 months, especially if the family has a history of high blood pressure. Another advice that top cardiologists in Mumbai give is to maintain optimum weight and body mass index, because blood pressure and weight have a strong correlation.

Most doctors recommend maintaining a balanced diet is the start of keeping distance from pre-hypertension. Diet should be a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy and maintaining low sodium content (less than 2300 mg per day). Also, controlling stress is an important factor. Moderate cardio exercises and walking for 30-45 minutes a day, will help deal with the condition.

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How Stress Can Be A Cardiovascular Risk Marker

Everyone has stress in their life, whether it is related to work, family, relationships and finances. All may cause unwanted stress and anxiety which has immediate effect on the body. Not all stress has bad affect but chronic stress puts our health at risk.

Every feeling positive or negative affects some part of the body, create physiological changes. Skin, heart rate, digestion, joints, muscle energy levels, the hair on the head, and countless cells and systems you do not even know about, change with every emotion. Nobody can separate the wellness from the emotions.

Stress is “any real or imagined threat, and the body's response to it” by releasing stress hormones and increasing heart and breathing rate. Chronic stress includes irritability, anxiety, and depression.

How does stress affect Health?

Stress gives direct physiological effects on the heart and arteries. It rapidly activates the stress hormones viz. adrenaline and cortisol. Increase heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, gives a burst of energy.

1. High Blood Pressure: Anxiety and stress make the heart work harder. The body's “fight or flight” response is triggered – increasing blood pressure, body tenses causing heart to beat faster. High blood pressure leads to coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.

2. High Cholesterol Level: Stress releases fatty acids and glucose into the bloodstream. These can be converted into natural fat and cholesterol creating deposits that decrease blood flow.

3. Individuals start smoking, overeating, consuming caffeinated beverages, self-medicate with drugs or alcohol and lead a sedentary lifestyle which increases blood pressure and may damage artery walls ..

4. Damage to Arteries: chronic stress causes direct aging of arteries which elevate blood pressure and heart disease.

5. Inevitable Signs of Aging: wrinkles, weak muscles, poor eyesight, and more.

6. Depression: Not being able to stop thinking about the worries and unable to sleep properly.

When the body is under the stress response, cortisol and insulin levels rise. These two hormones tend to track each other, and when cortisol is consistently elevated under a chronic low-level stress response, you may experience difficulty losing weight or building muscle.

Tips for Reducing Stress

• Keep positive and realistic attitude
• Start an exercise
• Consult Doctor for guidance from a trained therapist
• Meditation
• Spend more time with love one or friends
• Quite smoking, alcohol

These are the good ways to deal with the stress and enjoying life. Be careful not to confuse stress with anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, speak with the doctor a treatment or management plan including whether you need medication. Figuring out how stress pushes buttons is an important step in dealing with it.

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Improving Heart Rate Variability to Improve Your Health

Heart rate variability has been recognized as an important biomarker that helps provide a quantitative evaluation of autonomic nervous system function, cardiovascular adaptation and stress levels.

The autonomous nervous system (ANS) is a division of the peripheral nervous system. It is responsible for regulating physiological processes such as hr, respiratory rate and digestion. The ANS is composed of two branches, namely, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). These two branches work in tandem to keep the body well-regulated.

Disruption in automatic function impeded the ability of the ANS to maintain homeostasis within the human body. Human homeostasis is the body's tendency to maintain stable internal conditions, even in the face of internal and external changes and demands. The body's self-regulation ability is crucial to maintaining and promoting health.

Possible causes and effects of disruption in automatic function

Autonomic function can get disrupted due to primary automatic disorders, secondary automatic disorders, stress and long-term sickness. Primary automotive disorders are inherited or degenerative neurologic diseases that disrupt automatic function. Secondary autonomic disorders refer to acquired illnesses that disrupt the smooth functioning of the ANS such as diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis and certain bacterial infections such as Lyme disease and tuberculosis.

As automatic disorders, stress or long-term illness affect autonomic function, an increased level of sympathetic activity along with decreased parasympathetic activity are common during the earlier stages. Occasionally, both sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning witness a significant decrease.

Relationship between the autonomous nervous system and heart

So, how is it that the heart can give us an insight into the functioning of the autonomous nervous system?

Several locations in the heart contain specialized cells that generate electric impulses causing the heart to contract. These locations help serve as intrinsic pacemakers that regulate heart rhythm. The primary center of an intrinsic pacemaker known as the sinoatrial node (SAN) is located in the right atrium of the heart. The SAN has the strongest pace-generating ability. It generates impulses that are connected through special conductive pathways and cause the heart to contract in an orderly manner.

The heart rhythm caused by the SAN is known as the sinus rhythm and its pace is 100-110 beats per minute. But sinus rhythm at rest or our resting heart beat is 55-60 beats per minute. This difference is caused due to the net effect of the interplay of the SNS and PNS on the heartrate, causing it to drop from the normal sinus rhythm.

HRV Test

HRV was introduced in the beginning of this article as a biomarker gaining extensive credibility as a reliable, quantitative indicator of automatic function. Heart rate variation is the continuous variation in the time intervals between successful heartbeats. A measurement of heart rate variability during a specific time period tells us about the total number of variations of heart rate during that period.
Heart rate variable indicates the effect of the interplay of sympathetic and parasympathetic branches as well as gives an idea of ​​the isolated function of these two branches of the ANS and their balance with respect to each other.

Improve HRV

You can improve your heart rate variation which entails increasing it through a variety of methods. Paced breathing, exercise and rest are proven ways to help improve heart rate variability.

If you'd like to have a healthy body that is resilient to external and internal stressors and is able to maintain homeostasis under varying conditions, your first step of action should be to test your current physiological state. You can do this through a heart rate variation test. You can then go on to improve heart rate rate to become healthier, more balanced and physiologically resilient. To know more about HRV test visit:

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When Your Heart Hurts

Every day, your heart tirelessly pumps hundreds of liters of blood to supply your body's needs. It does not even stop for a single minute to rest. Over time, however, your heart grows tired and begins to manifest symptoms of 'wear and tear'. It may first exhibit its gradual deterioration in occasional chest pains that may often feel like your heart is breaking. What characterizes a chest pain and when should this alarm you?

Chest Pains-an Overview

Chest pains can occur in varying degrees. Some of these can be nothing more than a dull ache that radiates to your neck and arms. The other can be as painful as a sharp stab, causing burning and crushing pain to spread to your jaw, neck, and back or arms. In all cases, sufferers experience repeating pressure and painful tightness in the chest that could last for several minutes.

Pain in your chest is a symptom of an underlying problem – either with your heart or other body organs. A common case of it is heartburn, which makes the sufferer feel a painful and burning sensation behind the breastbone, indicating problems with either the heart or the stomach. When this symptom is a prelude to a heart attack, it occurs along with nausea, dizziness, cold sweat, and shortness of breath. When it happens due to a non-heart problem, the sufferer experiences a kind of pain that may seem to get better with a change in body position but intensifies with coughing and deep breaths.

No matter what the undering cause for this chronic inflammation is, it requires medical attention. See your doctor immediately if you think you are experiencing a heart attack. Those with heart conditions may find it beneficial to take natural heart supplements such as forskolin that helps ease the blood flow, regulate blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks.

The paragraphs below will outline some heart-related, digestive, and muscular causes of chest pain.

Heart-Related Causes

There are several heart-related causes to some forms of chest pain.

1. Heart attack – A heart attack occurs when your blood clots and obstructs the flow of your blood to your heart muscle.

2. Angina – Angina occurs due to plaque buildup on the inner walls of your arteries that constrict blood flow.

3. Aortic dissection – This fatal medical condition occurs when the inner layers of your aorta separates, forcing blood to flow between the layers and causing it to rupture.

4. Pericarditis – This medical condition occurs when the sac that surrounds your heart, the pericardium, swell and causes sharp stabs of pain that get worse when you lay down or inhale.

Digestive Causes

Some chest pains occur due to problems in your digestive organs.

1. Heartburn – Like the previous paragraphs mention, heartburn causes a painful and burning sensation behind the breastbone; This occurs when acid from your stomach washes up into your esophagus.

2. Swallowing Disorders – Your chest pain could be a result of some abnormalities in your esophagus, making it difficult and painful for you to swallow.

3. Pancreas and Gallbladder Problems – Individuals who have problems in their gallbladders and pancreas experience abdominal pain that can radiate to their chests.

Bone and Muscle Causes

1. Costochondritis – This type of chest pain occurs when the cartilage joins your breastbone to your ribs swell, causing you pain.

2. Sore muscles – Fibromyalgia, a type of chronic pain syndrome, can cause frequent muscle-related chest pain.

3. Injured ribs – Chest pain can also be due to a broken or injured rib.

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