Dr. Michael A. Smith from Life Extension has written a great article on Heart Disease Risk Factors that your doctor does not tell you about. So let's examine them, and hopefully, these will save your life or that of your loved ones.
Modifying traditional heart disease risk factors is not enough to protect your heart. Many Americans continue to suffer from heart attacks and stroke despite receiving a clean bill of health from their doctors. So what are we missing?
Traditional medicine modifies just 6 risk factors — obesity, smoking, high LDL-cholesterol, low HDL-cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar. However, Life Extension® recognizes 11 additional risk factors.
Here are two additional risk factors to consider if you want to keep your heart healthy …
1. Low Vitamin K2
In nature, vitamin K is found in two forms: K1, which occurs in leafy green vegetables; and K2, which exists in organ meats, egg yolks, dairy products, and particularly in fermented products such as cheese and curd. While some ingested K1 is converted to K2 in the body, significant benefits occur when vitamin K2 itself is supplemented. The absorption of K2 into the bloodstream is relatively efficient, whereas relatively little K1 is absorbed from plant foods. The kinds of food rich in K2 (organ meats, eggs, and dairy) should not be eaten in excess. This is why supplementation is so important.
The Japanese, who eat large quantities of a fermented soybean food, have lower rates of heart disease because of K2. In one study, rats given vitamin K1 plus warfarin (a blood thinner) were not protected against arterial calcification. The scientists fed rats a diet containing warfarin plus K1, vitamin K2, or both forms. None of the rats that received K2 developed arterial calcification, while 100% of the rats that received K1 without vitamin K2 displayed calcification in the aorta and carotid arteries.A more recent study showed that higher doses of K2 decreased arterial calcium content by 50% in rats. What makes this finding so remarkable is that most people over age 30–40 already have some degree of arterial calcification and up until now have had no means to reverse it.
Life Extension suggests 1100 mcg/day of vitamin K2 — 1000 mcg from MK-4 and 100 mcg from MK-7. MK-4 and 7 are sub-forms of vitamin K2. Try Super K with Advanced K2 Complex by Life Extension.
2. Low PON-1
Paraoxanase-1 or PON-1 is the enzymatic engine for HDL-cholesterol. People with higher levels of PON-1 have a lower risk of cardiovascular outcomes.
The enzyme performs three critical functions:
1. Prevents Oxidation of Fats & Cholesterol
2. Eases Inflammation within Arterial Plaques
3. Supports Optimal Reverse Cholesterol Transport
Enhancing PON-1 effects is an important step to protecting yourself from heart disease. Here are 4 key nutrients to consider:
1. Pomegranate – Consider supplementing with an extract that includes nutrients from the fruit, seeds, and flower.
2. Resveratrol – Supplementing with 250 mg/day of the “trans” form is best.
3. Quercetin – A potent polyphenol antioxidant found in citrus fruits.
4. Black Tea Theaflavins – Black is the new green tea! An antioxidant found in black tea, called theaflavin, helps to ease inflammation within the arterial wall.
Consider these options as you manage your health. Please have all of the necessary tests to determine your status as it relates to heart disease. Always talk with your physician when it comes to adding anything to your health regimen. Take these articles I reference to your physicians, they have multiple citations from medical peer reviewed journals that your doctor more than likely consults.
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