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Coronary Artery Disease - Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart are known as coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease is caused by a buildup or hardening of the arteries. The arteries become narrowed by a buildup of plaque or when a blood clot becomes lodged in the artery. When the supply of blood to the heart muscle is decreased due to plaque build up, blood clots, or heart spasm you may experience chest pain or angina. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply is completely cut off and the portion of the heart muscle that is lacking blood dies.

Many deaths from cardiovascular disease are preventable. In addition, for people who already have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, the risk of death and further complications can be reduced. Research has uncovered several factors that contribute to heart attacks and strokes. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Although some risk factors cannot be changed, you can modify others with your doctor's help, and still others can be eliminated altogether. The following checklist can help you determine your risk.

Major risk factors that can be changed:

Homocysteine. Studies have shown that excess levels of an amino acid, homocysteine, may raise your risk of developing coronary artery disease. The exact level of risk has been shown to be anywhere from two to fourteen times greater in individuals with the highest levels of homocysteine. Exactly how high levels of homocysteine contribute to the development of CAD has not yet been determined. In addition, there is no easy way to measure your levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine levels are determined by genetics and nutrition - particularly B vitamins. Eating a well balanced diet will help increase your levels of B vitamins which in turn will lower your homocysteine levels. Additionally, there is strong evidence that supplementing with folic acid (folate-from green leafy vegetables) 400 micrograms per day will significantly lower homocysteine levels and reduce your risk for heart disease.

We at Body language Vitamin Co have dedicated our lives to study the appropriate supplements necessary to promote health and wellness. We emphasize appropriate lifestyle choices (i.e. maintaining appropriate weight, no smoking, minimal alcohol, reduce stress, eating at least 3-5 helpings of fruits and vegetables per day (preferably 10, but this is extremely difficult to do), adhering to a low fat healthy diet, exercise and appropriate nutritional supplementation to reduce your risk not only for heart disease but for cancer and other illnesses.

There is compelling scientific evidence that we can help with sensible supplementation. Dr. Seidman (B.S. in Nutrition and MD both from the University of Michigan) is an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon and the Co-Chair of the Complementary/Alternative Medicine Initiative at Henry Ford Health System. Seidman has more than 75 publications in peer-reviewed journals or books, lectures around the world and has an NIH funded laboratory to study antioxidants, aging, free radicals etc. He has developed an outstanding line of nutritional supplements that have been scientifically developed and clinically tested to provide the most outstanding health supplement for you. One supplement has received a patent for its ability to reverse age-related hearing loss and possibly slow or even reverse other age-related processes.

The three major supplements recommended to enhance your health and give you the best chance at helping your heart are Body language Vitamin Co?s Multivitamin (3 pills/day), Antioxidant formula (2 pills/day) and the Anti-age/Energy formula (1 pill/day-patented). These outstanding supplements contain the highest grade of vitamins, minerals (all chelated to enhance absorption and efficacy), herbs and phytonutrients that have demonstrated ability to fight off specific diseases. The supplements not only have high doses of all natural vitamin E, C and beta carotene, but it also has ingredients such as grape seed extract (50 times more powerful than Vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C. This is one reason why our French comrades who have a terrible diet have minimal heart disease?because they drink a significant amount of red wine which is very high in polyphenols and grape seed), pine bark extract ( a powerful antioxidant), n-acetyl cysteine, Co-enzyme Q-10, acetyl -l-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid. These ingredients as well as many others included in the three supplements recommended, may reduce your risk for a second heart attack. The supplements also have ginseng, ginkgo biloba and gotu kola which are excellent herbs that enhance blood flow, energy and memory. For more details please visit our website at www.bodylangvitamin.com

Smoking. Smokers have more than twice as many heart attacks as nonsmokers. Sudden cardiac death occurs two to four times more frequently in smokers. Peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels in the arms and legs) is almost exclusively a disease of smokers. When people stop smoking, the risk of heart disease drops rapidly, and 10 years after quitting, their risk of death from cardiovascular disease is about the same as for people who never smoked.

High Blood Pressure. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder, causing it to enlarge and become weaker over time. This can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. For some people, high blood pressure can be controlled by a low-salt diet, weight reduction, and regular exercise. Other people also require medication to lower their blood pressure.

Blood Cholesterol Levels. A cholesterol level between 200 and 240 mg/dl increases the risk of heart disease. A cholesterol level greater than 240 mg/dl doubles the risk of coronary artery disease. The American Heart Association Diet, which is low in cholesterol and other fats, is recommended for anyone with a level of 200 or higher. Medication may also be necessary.

Physical inactivity. Researchers have found that people who seldom exercise do not recover as well from heart attacks. Although it is not clear if lack of exercise alone is a risk factor for developing heart disease, in combination with other risk factors, such as being overweight, this risk is higher.

Obesity. Excess weight forces the heart to work harder. People who are overweight are more prone to high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels. Obesity is defined as 30% or more over your ideal weight.

Other Risk Factors

Diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of heart attack because it raises blood cholesterol levels. In addition, people who develop diabetes in midlife are often overweight, which is an additional risk factor.

Stress. Excessive emotional stress over a prolonged period appears to increase the risk of heart disease. Stress can increase other existing risk factors, such as overeating, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Alcohol. Heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure and can lead to heart failure. Alcohol should be consumed only in moderate amounts - 2 ounces of liquor a day or less.

Oral Contraceptives. Birth control pills can worsen other risk factors. They raise blood cholesterol levels and increase blood pressure, so women who already have these problems should not take oral contraceptives. Smokers who take "the pill" run the risk of developing dangerous blood clots (thrombosis).

Menopause. The hormone estrogen appears to offer women some protection against heart disease and stroke before menopause by lowering total cholesterol and raising HDL levels. Studies show estrogen loss may be a significant contributor to heart disease after menopause.

Major risk factors that cannot be changed:

Heredity. A tendency towards heart disease runs in families. If one or both parents had cardiovascular disease, one's chances of developing it are higher.

Race. For reasons presently unknown, African Americans have a much greater risk of developing high blood pressure than Caucasians; twice as many have moderately high blood pressure, and three times as many have extremely high blood pressure. As a result, their risk of heart disease is greater.

Gender. Men have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke than women. During their childbearing years, women produce hormones that keep blood cholesterol levels low. Male hormones have the opposite effect - they raise blood cholesterol. However, women lose this protection after menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries, and women over age 55 have a 10 times greater risk than younger women. In recent years, however, more women under age 40 have developed coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. This probably results from the use of oral contraceptives and increased smoking.

Age. Fifty-five percent of heart attacks occur in people age 65 and older.
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