Healthy Q & A: Heart Disease


Heart disease runs in my family.  I think I’m reasonably healthy, but wondered what I can do to prevent it.


Family history is definitely something to be aware of, but by no means is it an absolute.  In fact, in cases like this, knowing your family history can be of great benefit, since you can take steps to ensure that your cardiovascular system stays in top shape.


One of the most important things to consider is exercise.  Exercise helps to maintain a strong heart, fights obesity, and helps with everything from depression to osteoporosis.  The most difficult thing about beginning an exercise program is actually starting, but once you get into the habit, and see the positive changes it can cause, it makes it easier to stick with it.


A number of supplements can be helpful as well.  The first I’d mention is omega 3 fish oil.  Fish oil has been proven to help with cardiovascular health and in treating high blood pressure.  Solgar’s Omega 950is a wonderful, high potency formula that we highly recommend.  Fish oil can also help with everything from brain function to joint pain, so it’s something I think everyone would benefit from.


The next I’d most recommend is supplementing with CoQ10.  CoQ10 is a substance found in every cell in the body.  The body manufactures it on its own, but as we age, the body’s production of the nutrient is greatly lowered (and some prescriptions, like statins, further deplete the body of CoQ10).  CoQ10 literally gives the cells the energy required to function, and is found in the highest concentrations in the heart.  Research has found benefit of supplementing with CoQ10 for preventing heart attacks, particularly a second heart attack, as well as for people with congestive heart failure (there’s a good article on CoQ10 and heart failure here).  CoQ10 has been researched extensively; here’s a nice overview of more of its benefits.  Another thing to mention is that most people with heart problems would benefit from the ubiquinol form of CoQ10, which is much better absorbed than the more common ubiquinone.


High blood pressure is another problem which goes hand in hand with heart disease.  One easy way to help lower it is to drink 3 cups of hibiscus tea daily (Republic of Tea has several flavored varieties which are particularly delicious).  Something else that can be of great benefit is garlic extract- the brand Kyolichas odorless garlic capsules.  Garlic can also help with boosting the immune system, so it’s a great supplement to take in the winter.


Heart health is an extensive topic, so be sure to stop in the store so we can help you more thoroughly.