♥ LOVE YOUR HEART ♥
Just as we are recovering from the Christmas and New Years’ holidays, we shower our loved ones every February with roses and restaurant reservations. Appropriately, February is also Heart Health Month, a time when we should focus on our body’s most essential organ.
The heart beats about 72 times a minute and pumps up to 3,600 gallons of blood a day, making it one of the hardest working organs in our bodies. The health of our other organs depends on the efficiency of our hearts, so the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to make sure the heart you’re giving is a healthy one.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People of all ages and backgrounds can get the condition. In fact, it has become so common that prescription medications can now be purchased over the counter!
What you can do to keep your heart as healthy as possible:
WATCH YOUR CHOLESTEROL — Statin drugs are primarily used to lower cholesterol levels. These statins are known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, so named because they interfere with the creation of cholesterol at a point that requires the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. The statin drugs inhibit the action of this enzyme (HMG-CoA), which is unfortunately the same enzyme needed for the production of coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 for short.
CoQ10 is a naturally produced enzyme that is compulsory for the production of cellular energy. Heart cells in particular are dependent on CoQ10 because it prevents blood clot formation. Ironically, statin drugs are being used to avert or treat heart disease when they may actually contribute to heart problems by reducing the levels of CoQ10 in the body and shockingly, in the heart.
If you are taking a statin drug, it is important to take at least 300 mg of a good quality CoQ10 supplement to boost whatever may have been depleted or even suppressed by your cholesterol medication.
MONITOR YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE – High blood pressure is another major risk factor for heart disease. Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic disease that affects one in four Americans. It causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body and leads to not only heart disease, but also heart attacks and strokes.
Most blood pressure medications are used alone or in conjunction with diuretic medications. These diuretic medications increase the output of urine, thereby reducing the amount of fluid in the blood. This can cause an imbalance in minerals or electrolytes. Some doctors prescribe potassium-sparing diuretics, but this does not solve the problem of other depletions, such as phosphorus, sodium, zinc, magnesium, and CoQ10.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT MAGNESIUM – This essential mineral is a vital catalyst in enzyme activity, especially the activity of those enzymes involved in energy production. It protects the heart and the arterial linings from stress caused by sudden blood pressure changes. Once again, you see medications depleting this important nutrient needed for heart function.
It is extremely beneficial to work with a nutritionist who can help you with your overall health goals for diet and exercise, and to make sure you are taking the right nutrients that your body needs.
Have a great heart month and a wonderful Valentine’s Day!