Heart disease is the cause of nearly half the non-traumatic deaths in the U.S.
It occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen from the blood. This shortage of oxygen results when vessels, which nourish and oxygenate the heart muscle, become blocked. These blockages occur due to spasms in these vessels or when the inside of the vessels close off due to deposits within the vessel.
What the blockage is composed of and what factors lead to the vessel constriction or occlusion are the two aspects of heart disease that must be considered for effective therapy.
Mainstream medicine tends to focus on treating the symptoms of heart disease, such as lowering high blood pressure and lowering elevated cholesterol with medication, or replacing occluded heart vessels with heart bypass surgery or open the vessels with angioplasty. Unfortunately, this does not resolve the cause of the problem.
Treating the Cause
Treating the underlying causes of heart disease involves eliminating the risk factors that lead to the occlusion of cardiac vessels, for example: smoking, poor diet, imbalanced biochemistry, or high-levels of bad bacteria and other microbes. One of the most common sources of chronic infection is periodontal or gum disease, which continually introduces microorganisms into the blood that alter the integrity of the inner lining of coronary and cerebral arteries. When this lining is altered it creates a surface that is conducive to the deposition of oxidized cholesterol (oxysterols).
A Closer Look at Heart Disease
Oxidized cholesterol composes the plaque that occludes the cardiac and cerebral arteries. Factors that promote oxidized cholesterol include infection, consumption of processed foods and animal products, environmental toxins, several pesticides, physical trauma and stress. Exposure of dietary and cooking fats to high levels of oxygen and heat actually oxidizes these unsaturated fats, which creates the oxysterols in plaque. Fats become oxydized when, for example, they are left out on the counter or used for frying.
Methionine is another source of oxysterols. It is derived from red meat and cows milk products. Methionine is converted to homocysteine, which, in turn, is converted to cystathionine, a harmless amino acid. This conversion of homocysteine is controlled by an enzyme which if absent will lead to high levels of homocysteine, a big generator of free radicals ultimately rendering a person susceptible to heart disease and other chronic illness. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are also necessary to convert homocysteine.
Fluoride and chlorine in drinking water have been shown to elevate cholesterol and homocysteine, produce carcinogens, and oxidize cholesterol to oxysterols, while adversely affecting arteries and the thyroid. This ultimately increases the blockage of heart arteries leading to heart disease.
NOTE: Vitamin deficiencies, low antioxidant levels and stress all promote the risk of heart disease via free radicals and oxysterol production.
Promoting Heart Health
- Nutrition is very important for a healthy heart. Increase your intake of B vitamins, include B6, B12, folic acid, vitamin E and C in combination with lysine (dissolves clots), coenzyme Q10, selenium, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and potassium. These are found in vegetables and grains but shall also be supplemented. Decrease foods that result in high methionine levels and produce free radicals, such as processed and fast foods, saturated fats and sugar.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids are important because they help reduce fats which clog arteries from clumping of red blood cells thus reducing clotting within the arteries.
- Herbal medicine has effectively treated many underlying causes of heart disease. Hawthorne berry improves circulation of blood to the heart muscle. Garlic serves as an antioxidant and detoxifier while dissolving blood clots. Ginger dissolves clots and decreases red blood cell stickiness.
- Detoxify your body to reduce heavy metals, solvents and environmental pollutants that promote heart-damaging free radical production via many oral supplements plus IV chelation.
- Chelation therapy has been used for over 40 years as an alternataive to heart bypass. This therapy uses ethyldiamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) to remove calcium from plaque in arterial walls, which many CAM physicians believe unblocks teh arteris in the heart and brain. This therapy us currently under study at NIH to follow up on some studies that have documented the effectiveness of chelation therapy.
- Oxygen therapy oxygenates the heart muscle reducing the likelihood of heart disease by bringing more oxygen via the red blood cells to the heart muscle.
- Stress reduction and an appropriate exercise program in combination with diet and lifestyle changes will reduce adverse conditions that lead to heart disease. Such measures reduce excessive adrenaline production, improve tissue oxygen, decrease blood cell and platelet clumping, and improve digestion which allows greater nutrient absorption.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayervedic Medicine, in combination with all of the above, have been effective at directly improving heart circulation and metabolism while improving its function.
Costly surgeries, which treat the symptoms (e.g. pain from poorly oxygenated cardiac muscle) but not the underlying cause of heart disease, have shown limited long-term efficacy in reducing the prevalence of heart disease. And, there are many potential side effects to heart surgery. There are instances where a surgical option may be needed, but many times such operations are performed unnecessarily. If the underlying cause of the arterial blockage is not removed the health of the heart will return to the pre-surgical condition.
People serious about attaining effective, long-term heart and circulatory health will take measures and make lifestyle changes so as to prevent disease or to optimize treatment (be it natural or surgical) of an existing problem.