Monday, November 22, 2010

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease – Part 5

Three More Important Factors
Homocysteine is an amino acid that promotes clotting and increases arterial damage. Studies have shown that individuals with high levels of homocysteine are three times more likely to have a heart attack . For each three units that homocysteine increases, there is a 35% increase in heart attack risk.
Lifestyle changes you can make.
  • Take folic acid, B6, B12 and (TMG).
  • The level of folate (folic acid) in you blood in an important factor in reducing homocysteine. Low levels of folate have been correlated with high levels of homocysteine.
  • Most individuals who take a multivitamin will have an adequate level of folate in their system.

High levels of fibrinogen are linked to both heart disease and stroke. Fibrinogen causes damage to arteries and restricts the blood flow. Factors associated with fibrinogen levels include smoking, stress, obesity, and the aging process .
Lifestyle changes you can make.
  • Take antioxidants and fish oil.
  • Antioxidant capacity is important in reducing the effect and risk associated with fibrinogen and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, both fish and olive oil have been shown to lower fibrinogen in women who have elevated fibrinogen levels. The minimum daily amount of fish oil required to produce a fibrinogen-lowering effect is 6 grams .
Cardiovascular Disease and Insulin
Decreased insulin sensitivity can be a primary trigger for early endothelial dysfunction. When insulin sensitivity decreases there is reduction in dilation ability of the lining of a blood vessel. Decreased dilation ability is often one of the hallmark warning signals of future atherosclerosis.
Insulin resistance is also associated with increased triglycerides, elevated LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, and oxidative stress--the potentially damaging combination of stimuli that typically drive the process of atherosclerosis .
Lifestyle changes you can make.
  • Exercise (Aerobic activity, strength training) – This will have a direct effect on increasing your cells sensitivity to insulin.
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates – Refined carbohydrates increase insulin production substantially. Individuals with lack of insulin sensitivity already have high levels of insulin in their blood stream. Refined carbohydrates will only make the problem worse.
  • Loss weight – decreasing the amount of extra weight you are carrying will substantially increase your insulin sensitivity.
  • Avoid monounsaturated fats
  • Reduce your stress – Stress increase a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases the production of insulin. Take up Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, start taking more time for yourself, the benefits are well worth it.

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