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Unlocking Heart Health: Lifestyle and Nutraceutical Strategies for Cardiovascular Wellness

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Blended excerpts from Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment

Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7

Original post: September 11, 2010

This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.

Matters of the Heart

Unlocking Heart Health: Lifestyle and Nutraceutical Strategies for Cardiovascular Wellness

The genes that code for the excess baggage carried around on our hips might not be much different from the code thinner people possess. Similarly we might think a genetic predisposition makes us vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic inflammation—in effect, holding us prisoners for a good part of our lives—but that’s not the case at all. Our genetic programming for athletic potential probably isn’t that far off from that of athletically gifted individuals either.

This same hormonal profile is the very one that increases the risk of blood clots and requires the ongoing administration of ASA as compensation. People who require ASA daily to prevent cardiovascular disease do so because their cellular chemistry is severely imbalanced. If balance is restored, ASA isn’t necessary.

Our bodies perpetually recycle themselves with a prevalent quest for healthy restoration. From the root, for example, natural hair color will eventually grow out to replace a chemically dyed hair color. In fact, the entire body is completely recycled within a year or so. However, the new tissue can be as dysfunctional as the tissue it replaced if it’s produced with the same nutrient intake and amid the same environmental scalding.

Changing the influence on our cells changes the outcome. Changes in lifestyle create profound changes in physical and mental state. Nutrient deficiency leads to nitric-oxide misregulation.

Today we see a lot of media hype about nitric-oxide activators or supplements said to stimulate nitric-oxide production in the body. These applications stem from the fact that a nitric-oxide shortfall is a central factor in the debilitation of cardiovascular function, but the model of the chondrocyte (the cells responsible for cartilage reconstruction) represents the exact opposite— excess nitric oxide induces impairment at this site.

The point is that nitric-oxide shortages or elevations aren’t the causes of disease when relating to the entire human organism. We know now that nitric-oxide misregulation is thrown more out of line as we age. Regulation of this biologically universal system prevents and even reverses disease and also retards biological age.

The only way this complex nitric-oxide system can be rejuvenated is through the activation of nitric-oxide production, but only after the appropriate regulatory chemistry has been put in place to heighten the body’s ability to regulate this reactive substance.

When death is attributed to cardiovascular disease, for example, we don’t implicate

the lack of antioxidants as the cause. If the free radical is a primary facilitator of

certain fatal diseases, then antioxidant protection is more than prevention and more

like a cure. The antioxidant is vital for normal biological function. After all, our

own definition of an essential nutrient is as follows: ―A nutrient we must obtain

from the diet because the body cannot make it for itself in sufficient quantity to meet

physiological needs‖ (Understanding Nutrition, 8th edition, Whitney & Rolfes).

Antioxidant supplementation is essential today to combat the unnatural level of

free radical toxicity our new-age environment assaults with.

Vitamin and phytoantioxidant levels required to maintain health twenty years ago did not have to penetrate the free radical sludge of today. In order to establish functional vitamin levels today, higher doses are required to overcome oxidative stress in the body. Shortages have profound effects on health. Vitamin A deficiency results in LDL cholesterol exposure to free radicals, contributing to the progression of cardiovascular disease that can be reversed or proactively avoided by vitamin A supplementation (114).

Like vitamin E, carotenoids are important protectors of the special fats that make up cell membranes and hormone precursors. In fact, studies reveal an intimate interaction between vitamins E and A at the site of the cell membrane. This interaction is critical for the maintenance of phospholipid and membrane integrity—the very membranes that essentially hold our forms.

The synergy of these two fat-solubles has been shown to inhibit general lipid peroxidation and cholesterol oxidation, more evidence that vitamin A is vital

for membrane integrity and therefore hormone health. Not only are the fats of

these membranes employed as building blocks for autocrine hormones, the

membranes incorporate the receptors that endocrine hormones such as insulin,

estrogen, testosterone, thyroxine, and others must trigger for healthy activity.

Membrane integrity is critical for endocrine activity to ensue with precision.

Lycopene, another important antioxidant, defends against cardiovascular disease

and prostate cancer (115, 116, 117); tomatoes, a great source of lycopene, deliver

potent cardiovascular protection. However, recent studies have revealed that the

tomato’s lycopene content is only one component of this protective activity. The yellowish fluid around the seeds of the tomato contain the active protective compounds adenosine and cytidine, which promote anti-thrombin activity (118).

Whole foods provide formidable tools for the body to use in daily health

maintenance. Nutraceutical supplements are to be used as adjuncts to a healthy

diet. CoQ10 protects ―free-flowing‖ serum cholesterol from oxidation (137, 138).

Understand that serum cholesterol is most harmful or contributory to cardiovascular disease after it’s been oxidized. Upon being oxidized, LDL cholesterol becomes the dreaded blood-vessel choker we all fear so much. Before then it doesn’t pose the same danger.

Therefore, antioxidant protection is just as important as reducing serum LDL levels for optimal cardiovascular health. Once oxidized this cholesterol interferes with nitric oxide enzymes in the endothelial tissues of the blood vessel walls to additionally contribute to hypertension. Statin-type drugs to reduce cholesterol present some potential dangers which can be alleviated if cholesterol anomalies were to be addressed through natural means or at least if the drug were to be used in complement with nutraceutical support to help correct the problem and combat the side-effects of statin drug. Statins lower both LDL and the good cholesterol, HDL. The drug also depletes the heart of CoQ10 to create a dangerous outcome on other cardiovascular fronts.

CoQ10 is also recognized as an important factor in protecting us from photoaging or skin damage due to ultraviolet irradiation (139), CoQ10 has just recently been identified as an obligatory constituent in thermogenesis or fat loss (140). However, CoQ10 isn’t exactly a fat-loss substance; more to the point, a deficiency of it results in general metabolic impairment, which induces less-efficient thermogenesis at reduced incineration capacity (140). If you’re using statin drugs for cholesterol regulation, CoQ10 supplementation is essential as these drugs—pravastatin (Pravachol) and simvatatin (Zocor)—can deplete CoQ10 to the point of cardiac arrest.

In addition phytosterols must be used with cold water fish oils such as wild salmon,

mackerel, or sardine to support healthy HDL. The goal will be to eventually wean

off the statin drug as the body is empowered to regain control of this system using the

nutraceutical support. One of the most powerful additions to the holistic approach is to

ensure that the gut microflora – acidophilus and bifidus bacteria are at functional levels. Supplement fiber such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) with the probiotics – gut friendly bacteria. Eat lots of whole foods. The short chain fatty acids produced by these organisms from the fiber enter the body to deliver potent cholesterol regulation.

Exercise is probably the most powerful cure to cardiovascular disease.

The old adage, ―Use it or lose it‖, definitely applies here. Consider a program that involves regular training – three to four times weekly for thirty minutes each time. Incorporate a combination of cardio- and resistance training for maximum benefit.

A refined, sugary diet has multiple negative influences on the body which defuses the body’s immune system. Hyperglycemia increases the rate of hepatic-lipid (liver-produced fat) synthesis and raises serum-lipid levels (fat in the blood), multiplying the risk of cardiovascular disease. The elevated blood fat also contributes to the development of diabetes (40, 41). Diet plays a huge role in health and disease management. Healthy diet and exercise must be major components of a cardiovascular health program. It’s the only way to completely alleviate the need for drug therapy.

Statin and other cardiovascular pharmaceuticals may be required as power-punch therapies to avoid morbidity but they must be considered tools which produce temporary windows of opportunity for recovery. The healthier diet and exercise correct the problem to allow for long-term, drug free health. Add the nutraceutical program to this natural therapy and you’ll be back in control with good health. The right program produces fast, potent results to restore youth.


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