Happily, the same fundamental steps in Basics of Health that boost health in other parts of the body are also beneficial for the health of our heart and circulatory systems. Unfortunately, the trend in mainstream medicine has been to use medications and even surgery to treat supposed risk factor numbers from standard tests. Studies show that this approach especially in otherwise healthy people does not generally save lives and too often leads to over-treatment and dangerous side effects—without providing true prevention of ill health. It seems prudent to fix the foundation (e.g. poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress, inadequate sleep, toxins, etc.) and the invasive interventions for those with diagnosed disease and for true emergencies.
Fewer pills for the elderly? New guidelines issued January 2014 by the Journal of the American Medical Association recommend that patients age 60 and over NOT be put on high blood pressure drugs unless their blood pressure is at least 150/90. By using diet and lifestyle adjustments instead, the folks would be spared not only the known side effects of the drugs, but also surprise problems from interactions with their other medications. LINK. Natural remedies for high blood pressure such as fish oil and magnesium offer added protection for many other health issues. Celery Seed Extract is another good choice. LINK.
Fewer deaths from aspirin…really? It is trendy to take a daily aspirin in hopes of preventing heart attacks and cancer. However, according to a review of studies, the risks of that plan may outweigh benefits for most healthy adults. Neither the article nor the abstract seemed to address dosage. Aspirin may be anti-inflammatory and reduce platelet stickiness (“thin the blood”) but, its use carries the risk of GI bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke. Natural supplements such as fish oil, vitamin E and curcumin are also anti-inflammatory and reduce platelet stickiness. Plus, they offer fringe benefits instead of side effects. Likewise, pycnogenol may be a better choice.
Fewer statin drugs with better testing? An important new study (Dec 2013) shows that calcium in the arteries is a much better indicator of cardiovascular risk than cholesterol levels or other supposed risk factors. LINK. The results call into question the practice of dispensing statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) based on the old guidelines or on the new ones discussed in our recent newsletter. (One of the study authors, Dr. Budoff, was on our radio show.)
Fewer statins, more apples? A British study opined that as many lives would be saved in the UK by prescribing an apple a day as there would be by giving a statin drug to every person over 50 years of age who wasn’t already taking one. LINK.
Fat Free Folly by Martie Whittekin, CCN
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue
Is Your Cardiologist Killing You? Sherry Rogers, MD
Stopping Inflammation: Relieving the Cause of Degenerative Diseases, by Nancy Appleton, PhD
Supplements (I do not sell any supplements—I just recommend what I believe in):
- To protect cholesterol from becoming oxidized and therefor harmful to arteries, a natural vitamin E complex, FamilE from Jarrow Formulas
To reduce high levels: Fiber, liver support, Kyolic Aged Garlic Formula 107
Blood pressure: Kyolic Aged Garlic Formula 109
High Triglycerides and general cardio health: Omega 3 oils from Nordic Naturals
Calcium: (We need it to go into bone not the arteries) Vitamin K2 by Superior Source
New CPR procedure demo
Heart attack symptoms (includes women who may be different)
Calculate Heart and Stroke Risk – Reynolds Risk Score
Stroke Risk Calculator
Long Term Supplementation With Vitamins C and E, Coenzyme Q10 and Selenium May Benefit Patients With Multiple Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Copyright 2014 by Martie Whittekin, CCN