Annually, the American Heart Association (AHA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) publish the latest statistics for heart disease and stroke. The most recent updates found deaths due to cardiovascular disease actually decreased by 33% over the past 10 years and deaths due to stroke were reduced 37%.
This goes to show that a significant amount of progress has been made to improve outcomes for those who suffer heart attacks and strokes. Great news!
What’s not so good news are the increasing risk factors of US adults making them more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Did you know 68% of US adults are overweight or obese? Did you know 32% of children are overweight and 17% of children obese? And according to the AHA, CDC, and NIH, 33% of US adults do no engage in any aerobic leisure time physical activity. If you look around, it’s not so hard to believe that a majority of US adults are overweight and sedentary. Where do you fall?
Continue reading ‘What Bad Habits Are Increasing Your Heart Disease Risk?’ »
I was able to interview Sherry Torkos on the concerns regarding stoke and women and what you can do if you are at risk.
Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. Sherry is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad on health matters. Sherry has authored 16 books and booklets, including Saving Women’s Hearts, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.
Lisa Nelson RD #1: Why should women learn more about their risk for stroke?
Continue reading ‘Stroke: Did you know stroke is a major health risk for women?’ »
Milk is good for the bones – right? Because milk is a good source of calcium and calcium promotes bone strength. Which means you may think a calcium supplement is an even better way to protect your bones – right?
A new report in the journal Heart, has determined calcium supplements are putting people at greater risk for heart attacks.
Researchers followed 23,980 individuals ranging in age from 35 to 64 years-old over an 11 year period. They saw an 86% increased risk of heart attack for those regularly supplementing calcium. Participants supplementing calcium only were twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those not taking any vitamin supplements.
Continue reading ‘Is Your Calcium Supplement Increasing Your Heart Attack Risk?’ »
Ginkgo is an herbal extract available in supplement form. If comes from the leaves of the ginkgo tree and is believed to improve circulation and cognitive abilities.
Some of the functions associated with Ginkgo include:
Decreased platelet aggregation (blood clotting)
Improved memory and brain function
Increased serotonin receptors
Increased glucose uptake
Increased oxygen supplied to the brain
The recommended daily dose of Ginkgo may vary between 60 to 120 mg/day.
There are potential side effects associated with the herbal remedy, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. If you take blood thinners, such as Coumadin, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) ginkgo is not recommended. MAOIs are a class of antidepressant drugs. Discuss any supplements you take or are considering with your doctor. There is potential for a drug-nutrient interaction.
There has been some evidence to indicate that Ginkgo can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. A few of the health conditions include:
Continue reading ‘Ginkgo to Treat Peripheral Vascular Disease’ »
For quite awhile now, I’ve been encouraging you to look at more than just your standard cholesterol panel to assess your risk for heart disease. I’m going to share the findings of an expert panel that supports this need.
In the Journal of Clinical Lipidology a panel of specialists concluded that patients considered at intermediate risk for heart disease be tested for C-reactive protein. It’s likely this applies to a majority of the U.S. population since overweight and obesity is rampant. Family history, diet, exercise, and tobacco use also factor into determining if you are at intermediate risk.
Just evaluating total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol does not work well for predicting heart attack and stroke risk, especially for patients with metabolic syndrome or diabetes. It’s even more difficult to evaluate risk if a patient is using cholesterol lowering statin medications.
C-Reactive protein is a marker for inflammation and is associated with plaque build up in blood vessel walls. The plaque build up in coronary arteries leads to narrow arteries, which can cause chest pain. If these arteries rupture you are dealing with a heart attack or stroke.
Continue reading ‘C-Reactive Protein Good Heart Attack Predictor’ »
Earlier this month (February 2012), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing that nine out of ten adults eat too much salt daily.
This excess salt is not the salt you are adding with the salt shaker. The high salt diet comes from processed foods and restaurant meals.
A diet high in sodium (salt) leads to high blood pressure. This equals an increased risk for developing heart disease and having a stroke.
According to CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden, heart disease and strokes are responsible for the deaths of more than 800,000 Americans annually and add approximately $273 BILLION dollars to health care costs.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend salt be limited to no more than 2300 milligrams per day. This recommendation may be even lower (no more than 1500 milligrams per day) depending on your ethnicity, age, and medical history.
The average adult in the U.S. consumes more than 3300 milligrams of salt each day.
10 Foods Contributing the Most Sodium
Continue reading ‘High Dietary Salt Equals High Blood Pressure’ »
It’s well known high blood pressure increases your risk for stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is blocked and brain cells become deprived of oxygen and die. Individuals with high blood pressure are 4-6 times more likely to have a stroke. An individual’s risk of having a stroke is directly related to how elevated their blood pressure is.
Now there is evidence linking high blood pressure with dementia and the risk is also directly related to how high your blood pressure is.
Continue reading ‘High Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia’ »
If you eat fish three or more times a week, studies find your risk of developing dementia and stroke to be reduced.
The Cardiovascular Health Study examined over 3600 participants over the age of 65. The study focused on “silent brain death”. Silent brain death occurs when small areas within the brain die due to lack of oxygen, but the individual shows no symptoms of this occurring. Individuals who eat fish regularly had a 26% reduction in silent brain death.
The protective benefit may be related to omega 3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA. The results were seen when fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon. There was no positive benefit from eating fried fish, such as fish sticks made from fish low in omega 3’s.
On the plus side for those who dislike fish or won’t prepare it three times a week. Eating fish once a week reduced silent brain death 7%. Also, using a supplement to increase omega 3 fatty acids in your diet is an option.
Be sure to discuss all supplements with your MD!
All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD