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Many Risk Factors in Cardiovascular Disease

A recent article in the journal “Circulation”talks about persons in the Framingham study begun in 1948. If men have more than 2 risk factors by age 50 they had a 69% chance of a heart attack. Women had a 50% chance. Those with only one factor had 5% and 8% chances respectively.

Factors include high blood pressure and diabetes but the head of the study has always implied that cholesterol levels were most important, even though a third of fatal heart attacks were in men with normal or low cholesterol.

William Faloon in the Sept. 2010 issue of “Life Extension” says there are 17 risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These can be measured by blood tests. He says that diet and high potency supplements can counteract these factors. You don’t have to take possibly dangerous drugs or have surgery to prevent possible heart attacks.

I see that several risk factors are interrelated. High blood glucose and high insulin are present in adult onset diabetes. High LDL-cholesterol especially when oxidized can clog arteries. Fifty years ago, the doctors Shutes found that vitamin E could prevent the oxidation that makes cholesterol sticky.

Many scientists now agree that elevated C-Reactive Protein is the best indicator of the risk of a heart attack. It shows that inflammation is present in the body. It might indicate micro-injuries in blood vessel walls. Since the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oils help the immune system and block inflammation, eating fish can help prevent heart disease.

An independent risk factor is high levels of homocysteine as shown by Dr. McCully. This can be corrected by folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.

Newer research shows the importance of vitamin D and vitamin K to prevent deposits of calcium in blood vessel walls when micro-injuries are being patched with cholesterol. Use of sun-screens prevents your skin making vitamin D and no longer drinking vitamin D rich whole milk cuts out that source. Hardly anyone now eats organ meats that are a rich source of vitamin K. Most Americans now need supplements.

Note that vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol Cholesterol is also the starting molecule for sex hormones and adrenal hormones. Cholesterol is a major component of brain tissue and is in all cell membranes. It is necessary for life.  LDL-cholesterol is dangerous only when made in excess by your liver from high-fructose corn syrup. A heart-healthy diet would eliminate soft drinks not egg yolks.

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