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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Planning ahead

There is new snow on the ground since last night. That means I'll have to bundle up to go fill the bird feeders and sweep or shovel the snow from the decks, sidewalks and the driveway. I could have a snow blower I guess but that is just one more gadget.

I looked out my front window this morning and saw what looks like a random act of kindness because the walk in front of my house looks like a mini snow plow has gone and done the work for me. How nice!

Shoveling snow is a good exercise. Pacing the work is the key to doing it without tiring or excessive stress from all that food from the previous day. Many people do suffer heart problems if this seasonal work gets too strenuous.

Heart health is also a big topic these days, maybe it is just to make sure that the Baby Boomers - and even children - line up for toxic drugs.

If you want a few tips on non-drug help, here's a list from an MD I know who seems to have thought more than most -

A new report shows the number of kids taking statin drugs shot up 68% in just 5 years.1

It’s great that younger people are focusing on heart health. And it’s certainly alarming that health problems related to heart disease are showing up at younger ages than ever before. But statin drugs aren’t the answer. As I’ve pointed out before, they pose serious health risks, including

* Inability to concentrate
* Depression
* Confusion
* Impotence
* Amnesia
* Lowered sex drive
* Disorientation
* Weakened immune system
* Shortness of breath
* Liver damage
* Fatigue
* Kidney failure
* Nerve pain
* Death
* Muscle weakness
* Rhabdomyolysis (painful bursting of muscle cells)
Study after study has demonstrated the potentially debilitating effects of statin drugs. They can produce confused states similar to Alzheimer’s disease. They may increase the risk of cancer death. And putting the blame on LDL cholesterol, they don’t even help solve the underlying problems that cause heart disease.

Cholesterol is the great red herring of mainstream medicine’s take on heart health. Despite twenty years of propaganda from the heart health industry, the fact is that LDL cholesterol levels are still a terribly poor predictor of whether or not you’re going to have a heart attack. It may surprise you to learn that 75% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels.

And this is old news. The myth of cholesterol’s role in heart disease has been thoroughly debunked. Cholesterol isn't the problem but somehow, this still hasn’t gotten through to mainstream medical establishment or the media.

My advice is to forget about cholesterol and statin drugs and focus instead on the true indicators of heart health. Here’s what you should really be looking out for if you want to know whether you’re at risk:

* Triglycerides
* Insulin
* HDL Cholesterol
* Blood Pressure
* Fasting Blood Glucose
* Waist Size

Triglycerides are the kind of fat in your bloodstream that clogs your arteries. You can lower them safely and naturally by getting more omega-3 and vitamin D. Cod liver oil’s a great source of both. Lean meats, fish, and eggs are also rich in omega-3s. You can also get your vitamin D from supplements – 1,000 IEUs per day will do the trick.

Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. And high blood sugar levels lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. If your insulin levels are high, you may be developing insulin resistance, the cause of diabetes. Cut carbs out of your diet and replace them with protein.

HDL Cholesterol is the heart of the matter when it comes to heart disease. Your total cholesterol doesn’t matter if your HDL levels are high. If your HDL’s above 85, you’re at no greater risk for heart disease if your total cholesterol is 150 or 350. A combination of exercise and dietary changes are all you need to boost your HDL. Eating more lean meats (either red or white) is a great way to raise your HDL naturally.

Blood Pressure is another indicator of heart disease risk. You can easily lower it through exercise, diet, and supplements. CoQ10, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C have all been shown to benefit people with high blood pressure. Garlic and cayenne pepper also contain natural ingredients that reduce hypertension.

Just remember that statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs interfere with COQ10 in your body so you absolutely must supplement it with at least 100 mg daily. Statins also interfere with some B complex vitamins necessary to health.

You might also want to order a copy of our book, Blood Pressure Care Naturally

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