Heart Health

…and as they say “The Beat Goes On”.

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Today heart disease, also known as atherosclerosis, is the nation’s #1 killer. Any disease that ends in osis or itis is associated with inflammation, somewhere in the body. In the case of cardiac disease the common concern is the endothelial cells that line the inside of your blood vessels. “When these cells become dysfunctional because of excessive LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, or inflammation, the damage attracts immune cells, which accumulate excess fatty deposits like LDL cholesterol, cell waste and circulating calcium.”  The arteries narrow and harden due to arterial plaque which over time restricts blood flow and the arteries can actually rupture or break apart. And, as I said, ‘the beat goes on’ to cause strokes, cause heart attacks, clog the arteries, and block the blood flow to the brain.

I found an article in the Life Extension magazine that tells us there are 4 Stages of Arterial Plaque. They are as follows:

  1. Intimal thickening: During intimal thickening, the inner layers of your vascular endothelium accumulate smooth muscle cells and extracellular matrix.
  2. Fatty Streaks: One of the early signs of heart disease, fatty streaks, can be reversed with timely lifestyle and diet changes and/or medication.
  3. Fibro-calcific plaque: Fibrous plaques restrict blood flow. They are composed of a thick (fibrous) cap that encapsulates accumulated cellular debris.
  4. Vulnerable plaque: Ruptured plaque deposits are the most common cause of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

How can you keep the heart healthy?

  • Start with lifestyle changes to include: losing weight as needed, eating the right kind of healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry and fish – and avoid excess salt, red meat and saturated fats.
  • Increase your intake of vitamins and supplements and if you are not already taking B3 niacin, CoQ10, magnesium and Vitamin K – add these to your supplement intake.
  • Stop smoking if you are, get quality sleep, and start a regular exercise routine.
  • Continue to get regular check ups with your doctor. Do your own research for further helps, and then continue to make healthy decisions for your life.

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