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June, 2004 - Nr. 6


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Preventing Blocked Arteries

by Dr. Paul Jaconello
Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine

  It is a sobering fact that the first presentation of a heart attack is sudden death. Also, unstable angina and the need for urgent intervention occur in individuals with none of the obvious risk factors present. These include high blood pressure, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, adult onset diabetes and cigarette smoking. But what can a person do to reduce risk of developing problems with cardiovascular disease?

The steps that can reduce the liability of such would include the following:

  • Maintain a degree of physical fitness. Regular exercise for 20-30 minutes at least 3 days per week should help maintain normal blood pressure, a good lean body mass, efficient cardiac output and improve fat levels in the blood.

  • Avoid excessive calorie intake – don’t overeat. Calorie restriction is associated with increased life span, leanness and improved blood sugar and insulin regulation. Abdominal obesity is a major risk factor to the development of blocked arteries.

  • Stress management. This involves proper balancing of one’s life in terms of personal habits and lifestyle, family dynamics, work place environment, a good organization of one’s possessions, enhancement with pets, gardening and other life forms, individual spiritual pursuits and one’s relationship with God.

  • Proper diet, which would include a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low fat animal protein, cultured dairy products and seeds and nuts.

  • Restriction of empty calorie foods such as refined carbohydrates, corn syrup sweeteners, processed foods, hydrogenated fats, food colouring agents and chemical additives.

  • Consumption of foods rich in the omega-3-fatty acids. This would include flaxseed oil, hemp oil, non- farmed fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and herring.

  • Consumption of nutritional supplements, which reduce oxidative stress and improve antioxidant status such as vitamin E, vitamin C, mixed carotinoids, selenium.

  • Lower hemocysteine levels in the blood using vitamin B12, Folic acid and vitamin B6. Hemocysteine is a chemical substance formed in the body that if too high can injure the lining of blood vessels.

  • Reduce the coaguability of blood and thus help blood flow with fish oil supplements. Men, as a rule, should avoid iron in their supplements as iron body burden can promoted damage to the blood vessels.

  • Drink 4 ounces of wine daily as mild alcohol intake has been associated with the reduced risk to cardiovascular disease.

  • Avoid smoking cigarettes.

Temperance and common sense and courage are the key elements. Although doing all the steps above will not guarantee you won’t get heart disease and blocked arteries, they should help you live a healthier and more productive life. Also, getting guidance and assistance in implementing the above strategies by a qualified health professional could be helpful

Paul Jaconello, M.D.

Doctor Jaconello is the Medical Director of the Jaconello Health Centre for Nutritional and Preventive Medicine.


The Jaconello Health Centre and other health letters


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