Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The most effective heart protection -- for heart month 2013….

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 2-12-2013

Every year in February is Heart Month because the symbol of Valentine’s day is a heart.

So I thought a good post to do would be on the surprising things that are the most effective ways to prevent heart disease.

There are 4 categories.

Here’s the first surprise, the first 3 methods are the safest and most complete and most effective methods.

Statins and other drugs are in category 4.  So, people who rely only on those, get weak and only partial protection. New drugs may change that. But it’s true now.

Of the categories, the first two have 90 % of the value.

The first two are:

1.  Regular, vigorous exercise every week with some moderate exercise too for those who can also fit that in.

2.  Eating and drinking almost exclusively real foods and NOT eating and drinking heart attack starter. (This includes avoiding virtually all tobacco smoke because both self administered and second hand smoke are heart attack starters -- AND they trigger heart attacks too!)

1.  Regular, vigorous exercise every week with some moderate exercise too for those who can also fit that in is THE number one best heart protector.

In fact, as long as you get into it safely and build up slowly, such exercise is simply THE best heart protection known.

Such exercise has been shown to be the best protection for people with high blood pressure.  Such exercise tends to prevent or reverse insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and obesity.  And, the more years you do it in a row recent studies show the better your heart health lipid measures get! Best of all, it isn’t just the readings; your real heart protection keeps improving!

And, as we posted on many times, including our Friday post last week, such exercises slows or delays aging.  So, since many of the problems that cause heart disease get worse with age, vigorous exercise every week prevents or delays those also.

You must use the second method and it’s best to add the third one before you ramp up your exercise.  Starting easy and progressing slowly also helps.  That way if your heart attack risk is currently quite high you don’t give yourself one with your exercise. 

Two other things also help.  Build up your strength training first with super slow repetitions.  Those are surprisingly safe since you use lighter weights and don’t make snapping motions that can cause injuries at all using that method. 

And, in your cardio once you add it, if you feel close to your limit particularly at first, take a brief break until you recover a bit and you recover your breath and your heart rate drops a bit before you continue.  (Snow shoveling and sometimes running Marathons can trigger heart attacks or damage your heart precisely because people DON’T cut themselves such breaks or use them often enough.)

2.  Eating and drinking almost exclusively real foods and NOT eating and drinking heart attack starter. (This includes avoiding virtually all tobacco smoke because both self administered and second hand smoke are heart attack starters -- AND they trigger heart attacks too!)

This one is nearly as effective as regular, vigorous exercise!  And the reason is totally simple.

If you stop GIVING yourself heart disease -- because you stop ingesting heart attack starter foods and food components, you get a lot of heart protection!

Put that way, it seems a bit of no brainer doesn’t it?!

It’s literally quite comparable to fire prevention. 

Yes, you want things like great detectors and fire extinguishers and automatic sprinklers and more. Having a fire department with a very quick response time can also help.

But if you keep wandering around the building you want protect from throwing out lit matches and starting fires off and on at various places every day, guess what?

You’d wind up with a LOT more fires if you were to do that.

The horrible news is that most Americans do exactly that with what they eat and drink every day.

a) Hydrogenated oils cause your LDL to go up and have more of the heart attack starting small particle LDL that builds up and causes inflammation and harms your blood vessels.  Eating any at all is quite literally heart attack starter.

Worse, consuming just a little bit several days a week is NOT safe either.  It takes your body over two weeks to get rid of half of any hydrogenated oils you eat.  So if you eat ANY on a regular basis, you build up to the point you are giving yourself heart disease 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Guess what?  That means that putting nondairy creamer in your morning coffee each morning is as effective in causing heart disease as setting a fire or two every day would be in causing fire problems.

b) Consuming high fructose corn syrup, consuming more sugar in a week than the average American gets per day, and eating any refined grain based foods – and even eating whole grain foods in excess are each and every one heart attack starter.  Unfortunately, regular soft drinks do this extra and diet soft drinks do it even more!

Something like 95% of the population has no clue these foods and drinks are unsafe to consume.

But they really are! 

They cause heart disease in three ways and each way is effective.  So they are literally as bad for you as hydrogenated oils or smoking!

1) They spike your blood sugar.  When your blood has too much sugar as a result, the sugar crystals stick on to your LDL cholesterol particles – even the larger fluffy ones that are normally harmless – and everywhere your blood goes it damages the inner surface of your blood vessels.  In your capillaries, this can even destroy them completely if it goes on too long or too much.

Your body tries to put out that inflammation and patch the damage with extra plaque build up.  Then between the smaller blood vessel remaining and the destroyed blood vessels heat attacks and fatal heart attacks become far more  likely.

2) Unbelievably, that’s not all!  Eating or drinking these things boosts the dickens out of your triglycerides which new research is showing are even more harmful than LDL cholesterol!

It turns out high triglycerides are a blood marker of having lots of small particle LDL!

Is that the same stuff that makes hydrogenated oils so effective as a heart attack starter?

You bet it is!

3) Obesity causes many people to exercise less and have high blood pressure. Exercising less removes the essential heart protection regular vigorous exercise could have given you otherwise.  And the high blood pressure caused by the extra weight for your heart to pump against strains your heart too.

People who eat and drink lots of foods from this category and drink soft drinks every day are almost all fat if they do it long enough.

The far better news is that stopping 99% to all these foods and drinks, can often remove that 25 to 225 pounds of extra fat with no added hunger!

c)  Eating oils high in omega 6 such as corn, soy, and canola and eating lots of fats from animals fed grain which has even more omega 6 oils and NOT getting enough omega 3 oils, harms your brain and causes high levels of chronic inflammation.

Excessive inflammation has the almost the same effect on your blood vessels as high blood sugar because your body sees it and decides to add extra patches inside your blood vessels and again causes heart disease.

Important note, if you virtually eliminate these extra sources of omega 6 oils and take omega 3 supplements and eat wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils, you do NOT need to take aspirin or statins to reduce this high inflammation.

It also helps to use almost exclusively extra virgin olive oil instead and eat raw nuts and avocados if you aren’t allergic to them.  These monosaturated oils are neutral and do NOT cause inflammation.

As a side benefit to make this health upgrade, lowering this kind of excessive inflammation also helps prevent osteoarthritis and many cancers.

Eating a Mediterranean diet or a DASH II diet or a combination but with far less refined grain foods and more vegetables is an excellent way to eat instead.

These three styles avoid the stuff that harms your heart.  Many of the foods taste really good.  And people can live very well on them!

3.  There are supplements that boost your heart protection that do work and have virtually no side effects.

a) The exception on side effects is niacin but it’s the most protective.  I find that taking 300 mg of niacin after I eat my breakfast and after I eat my lunch mostly avoids the flush effect.

Yet my HDL is high; and my LDL and triglycerides are low in part because I do this.

Best of all, when people take niacin in this way their overall rate of death goes down.  (No drug so far has done that as far as I know.)

b)  Taking beta sitosterol or other sterol supplements lowers LDL cholesterol significantly and has no side effects.

c) Taking curcumin supplements or turmeric that contains the curcumin also lowers LDL cholesterol and inflammation too. Even better, if you take it with black pepper it works to prevent many cancers and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

It does have a side effect.  If you spill any on a wet spot on your clothes or spill a curry that has a bit of oil in it on your clothes, turmeric’s yellow color is a dye.  It’s often dreadfully hard to wash off.  But being careful with curried food and taking the capsules mostly avoids that.

There are about 10 more supplements that help.  But these 3 are the heavy hitters and I’m about out of time.

If you take the first two steps well and add these 3 supplements, you will have extraordinarily high heart protection.

4.  What about the drugs?

There may eventually be better ones; but most of them now have way more side effects than these first 3 steps and are dramatically less effective.

Many doctors simply don’t know these first 3 steps – or they don’t now know of time-efficient ways to ensure their patients use them.

They have been told that statin drugs reduce LDL cholesterol and excess inflammation and prevent heart attacks.

But these effects are weak and incomplete without the first 3 steps.  And if you do the first 3 steps well you don’t need to add statin drugs.

Of more importance, the side effects and weak heart attack prevention of statins mostly override the small amount of good statins do.

Worse, are these three things.

a)  The majority of people get very little heart attack prevention from statins because for people with those genes only 1 heart attack is prevented for every 100 people taking statins.  About 3% of them get cataracts they would have otherwise avoided; and many of the other side effects are far worse.

The minority with the genes that seem to make statins effective for them do get better protection; but they get the side effects too.  So, except for people with high levels of existing heart disease or who just had a heart attack even this group can get better and safer protection from the first 3 steps without using statin drugs.

b)  This means that most people should likely not take statins at all.  And the people statins CAN help don’t need them either unless their current heart health is dreadful for the same reason and they ARE using the first 3 methods.

Wouldn’t it at least make sense to know which group you are in before you take statin drugs?

Yep.  And there is a genetic test that cardiologist Arthur Agatson said in an article can now be done for about $150 that can tell you and your doctor which of the two groups you are in.

If your doctor has prescribed or recommended you take statins, did that doctor have you get that test first?

As far as I know, most doctors still have never heard of this information and never get this test done first!


c)  THE most effective way to protect your heart is regular, vigorous exercise.  But if you take statins, particularly if you use a stronger one or take a high dose, that kind of exercise will gradually destroy your muscle cells. And, if it gets bad enough this effect can kill you.

The better news is that recent research found that this IS caused by the CoQ10 statins deplete. There is a good chance that other serious brain and nerve side effects of statins may be compensated for the same way I think.

So, if you are in the group statins can help, and decide to take them, it’s imperative to know to take 200 mg a day of ubiquinol which is the most effective way to get extra CoQ10 to your muscles – and your heart!

Mercifully at least some doctors now know to prescribe that.  But it’s still a tiny minority, the others either know nothing of this or don’t yet know to use ubiquinol instead of the far less effective CoQ10 supplements.

But as you can see, I hope, most doctors who prescribe statins now still don’t know enough about  when to do so or how to make taking them safe.

The horrible news is that most of them only know to use statins for heart protection and not any of these other things, so they tend to be aggressive in suggesting them.

With this information you now know better and more effective ways to protect your heart. 

And you do know how to find out if taking statins would protect you and how to take them far more safely if you are in that minority of people as determined  by actual test.  

Labels: , ,


Blogger David said...

On 1-29-2013 we did a post on the incredible benefits of extremely slow repetitions both up and down while strength training and how to do it on your own.

I learned of it through a California company that just opened near me, called The Perfect Workout.

Because I'm on their email list, today I got an email showing truly massive heart protection without drugs for one of their clients.

Of course this person did also eat better too and likely got a bit better than average results.

BUT it does suggest a case can be made that doing strength training using extremely slow repetitions both up and down once or twice a week may be the most effective exercise AND method to protect your heart.

Here's that email:

"My Doctor Was Shocked at How Much My Cholesterol Has Dropped!

After 5 months of strength training with The Perfect Workout, Doug Hansen's total cholesterol dropped from 292 to 207 and his LDL went from 196 to 135...all without medication.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make a dramatic turn in life. Doug Hansen's life was turned upside down when his wife passed away suddenly of a heart attack last November at the age of 46. She had an undiagnosed heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and a condition called arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.) It forced him to take a serious look at his own health, and he didn't like what he saw. Neither did his doctor.

"I saw the doctor on January 8," says Doug, "and he told me my cholesterol was 'astronomical'. My total cholesterol level was 292 (under 200 mg/dL is considered desirable, and a person above 240 has more than twice the risk of coronary heart disease as someone whose cholesterol level is under 200.) My LDL ('bad cholesterol') was 196, which is considered very high (under 100 is optimal.)"

On top of all that, Doug knew he was carrying some extra weight at 210 pounds. Twenty years in the Navy had kept him in shape with regular physical training, and he had always been a runner since high school, but lack of regular workouts and a less than ideal diet had taken their toll.

It was time to make a change, and shortly after that distressing doctor visit, Doug saw a newspaper ad for The Perfect Workout. He met with a personal trainer at The Perfect Workout's Mission Valley studio, and was immediately impressed. "Even though I had never heard of slow-motion strength training, it made sense to me.

After that first workout, I could really feel it for a couple days, and from that point on I was hooked."

In the seven months since he started, Doug has dropped 35 pounds, down to 175. His waist has gone from 36 inches to 32 ("just like when I joined the service", Doug says). People notice and comment on his new look, and he's feeling better than ever at age 47.

More important, Doug's doctor is truly amazed. "I went back to the doctor in June. In five months my total cholesterol was down to 207, and my LDL went from 196 to 135. My triglyceride level had dropped from 276 in January to 107 (less than 150 mg/dL is considered normal) - all without medication! My doctor was shocked!"

Besides the new exercise regimen, Doug really worked on eating a lot better, too. It's all had a tremendous overall positive effect, and he is enthusiastic about continuing at The Perfect Workout indefinitely."

I wanted to include this exactly as I got it to give The Perfect Workout a positive referral. If they have a site near you and you can afford to go even once a week, they are an effective and marvelous resource!

And, instead of using my super good readings, it give a real world picture of someone else doing what I recommend in this post. That way you can see for yourself how well these methods can work!!

Remember too that the longer he continues,the better his heart protection will get. Getting his LDL below 100 is quite possible.

And, he can do even more with the 3 supplements in this post.

Adding them can easily drop his LDL below 100 even sooner.

1:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home