Category Archives: Heart Health

The Promise of Pomegranate

Pomegranate for atherosclerosis fixitplanPowerful Protection for our Arteries

The prevalence of heart disease and heart attacks has most people thinking arterial plaque, also known as atherosclerosis,  is inevitable.  But now we’re seeing proof that a lifestyle of exercise, a healthy diet, and managing stress can go a long way to prevent and reverse heart disease and can even shrink arterial plaque.

Enter the pomegranate!
A powerful fruit that helps us do just that.
pomegranate for heart health fixitplan
By Anton Croos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Digging into the research and studies from around the globe, I was surprised and encouraged to learn how the pomegranate fruit reverses some of our body’s underlying behavior that leads to heart disease.   It seems our ruby red friend has potent abilities to Continue reading The Promise of Pomegranate

Probiotic for your Heart?

fixitplan newsL. Reuteri – A probiotic that targets cardiovascular disease

As promised in the Progress Report I posted a few weeks ago, I want to tell you about something new we’ve learned.   It all started during Bill’s checkup in April last year when Dr. Crandall encouraged us to look into a probiotic for heart health.  Well.. you don’t have to ask me twice!  I researched it as soon as I got home, and Bill started taking it that very week.  It’s called Lactobacillus Reuteri 30242, or more commonly known as L. Reuteri.  It’s a specific strain of Lactobacillus–a friendly bacteria that lives in our bodies and is found in some fermented foods like yogurt. These friendly bacteria are also called probiotics.

fixitplan L. Reuteri for heart health
By Reyesangel3 (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0

The American Heart Association reported this probiotic lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.  In the study, a dosage of 100 mg taken twice daily was used, and after only 9 weeks total cholesterol dropped an average of 9.1% and LDL dropped 11.6% as compared to the study participants taking the placebo.

And so did Bill’s!  He began taking L. Reuteri in April in a dose of 2.5 Billion CFU (colony forming units) twice daily with food.  At the end of September his new lipid profile showed his total cholesterol had dropped 6.9% Continue reading Probiotic for your Heart?

Book Review~The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up

fixitplan.com book_review
FIX IT PLAN
BOOK REVIEW

 

It’s good to re-fuel with a fresh dose of motivation and guidance, and with that in mind I want to tell you about Steven Masley, MD’s “The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up”. I talked about it in an earlier post and linked to it on the Fix It! Plan Book Review The 30-Day Heart Tune-UpBooks & Links page, and (ta-da!) I’ve just finished reading it cover to cover.

Masley sums up the book’s purpose quite nicely in the very beginning: “What is the 30-Day Heart Tune-up? It’s all about shrinking arterial plaque, improving circulation, and strengthening your heart-beat.”

An important message I got from this book is that medicine may help us live longer, but it doesn’t stop the underlying cause of elevated blood pressure or cholesterol that leads to being prescribed medication in the first place.  So if we rely on medications alone, our bodies will very likely still be forming deadly arterial plaque. Continue reading Book Review~The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up

Nuclear Stress Test

Bill Goes Nuclear

It’s time to go beyond lab work and see how Bill  is doing with the lifestyle changes we put in place two years ago.  So here we are at the nuclear stress test lab, preparing for a followup with Dr. Crandall.

Nuclear Stress Test MonitorNuclear Stress Test… sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it?  It goes by a number of different names but this one’s called nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), and it will be done to assess the health of his heart as well as blood flow to the heart. After injecting a radioactive liquid called a tracer into his bloodstream, a series of heart pictures (32 in Bill’s case) will be taken with a special camera before and then again after exercise while his vessels are dilated to assess blood flow. As Bill’s nurse explained, “blockages don’t dilate.”  In his book, The Simple Heart Cure, Dr. Crandall writes, “the heart lights up like a lantern wherever there’s good blood profusion.  If an area of the heart remains dark, we know that blood isn’t flowing as it should.” Continue reading Nuclear Stress Test

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART HEALTH

We receive a lot of emails with questions on this subject so let’s talk about it.
Bowl of Pills, Photo by rselph, CC BY 2.0
Bowl of Pills, Photo by rselph, CC BY 2.0

Bill and I for quite a while have been big believers in the benefits of supplements as natural alternative therapies.  Years ago when he was diagnosed with Rosacea, he didn’t want to go on the life-long regimen of antibiotics as prescribed, so we turned to supplements for help.  And it worked!  Another time I struggled with debilitating pain behind my left ear that progressed to a chronic level, sending me to various doctors which led to a possible prognosis of a brain tumor and a CT scan, which fortunately found nothing.  Then by chance we went out sailing for the day with friends and I took ginger every 3 hours to manage motion sickness (yes it works), only to be amazed at the end of the day that I had been pain free!  Apparently there was inflammation somewhere inside me (ah ha!) so I began a regimen of ginger for a period of time and the problem went away.  And on another occasion we reversed a serious eye condition with supplements, to the amazement of Bill’s eye doctor.  I’m a believer!

But think about this.  By definition, a supplement is:

“Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.”

So the key word here is supplement–they are not a panacea.  Continue reading SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART HEALTH