Heart Health: Keep Up With the Beat

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Methylation & Homocysteine: Their Vital Roles in Heart Health

A subject that is gaining much attention in many circles of medicine these days is methylation, as it pertains to our body’s functions and in particular the management of homocysteine. Thus, in looking at a preventative approach and management strategy for heart health, the investigation of the process of methylation and specifically homocysteine is an interesting exploration. Methylation (see Figure 1) is defined as the addition of a methyl group (one carbon atom bound to three hydrogen atoms) to a substrate (molecule upon which enzymes act). This process is used to transport nutrients throughout the body as well as to

What You Need to Know About Mitchondrial Dysfunction and the Heart

The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging The mitochondrial theory of aging (MTA) and the free-radical theory of aging (FRTA) are closely related, and were in fact proposed by the same researcher about 20 years apart. Both theories suggest that free-radicals damage DNA over time, causing one to age, while the MTA just adds the mitochondria and its production of free radicals into the equation. These theories and the understanding we now have of free radicals are the reason that antioxidants are such popular supplements and topics of discussion today. The Paradox Mitochondria are like little cells within our cells (see Figure

Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Disease Revisited: Myth or Merit

Many people have the perception that all dietary fat is bad for your health. For years we have been trained and taught by the media, health professionals and even our friends and family that one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy and disease free is to avoid dietary fats. As we get older, often the first warning sign of cardiovascular disease that is flagged by our family doctor is elevated cholesterol. There is little disputing that cholesterol, particularly low density lipoprotein (LDL), has been called the driving force of atherosclerosis.1 However, there is emerging research

Importance of Nitrates in Reducing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

In the late 1960’s researchers discovered a naturally produced “factor” that would relax the blood vessels. They named it endothelium derived relaxing factor (EDRF). After considerable research, it was later discovered that EDRF was a simple molecule containing one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen produced locally by the blood vessels, and was more correctly called nitric oxide (NO). This discovery eventually culminated in three researchers winning the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1998; sadly one of the key researchers, Salvador Moncada, was overlooked by the Nobel Committee. Who says there are no politics in science?Cardiovascular Disease (CVD),

Vitamin K2’s Vital Role in the Maintenance of Healthy Arteries

Having healthy arteries certainly has something in common with having healthy bones; both organs depend on vitamin K2 to regulate the deposition of calcium in them. Relatively recent research has revealed more about how vitamin K2 level can be an indicator of the health of both your arteries and bones. Clinical studies have demonstrated that low levels of vitamin K2 are associated with an increased risk of having heart disease and atherosclerotic plaque development.1 Vitamin K Basics Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plants including green leafy vegetables; it has less bioavailability than vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is present

Curcumin Protects Against Heart Disease: New Research

Curcumin is the bright orange colored major active compound extracted from the spice turmeric. Turmeric is a widely used condiment in South East Asia and is a favoured component of Indian curries. The spice has been used for centuries in both Indian and Chinese cuisine as a flavoring and coloring agent and as a food preservative. Turmeric in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Turmeric is a key ingredient in many frequently used Ayurvedic and TCM formulas. In fact, turmeric is the main ingredient used by almost every Indian household for ailments such as digestive disorders, liver complaints, parasites, diabetes,

The Many Faces of Magnesium: The Secret Agent of Health

Magnesium is one of those supplements that is very well known for its benefits throughout the natural health community. However, one of the problems with magnesium’s almost celebrity status is that the details of the multiple benefits that it has to offer are often overlooked and underappreciated. This article explores the key role that magnesium plays in a number of disease processes. Additionally, it will highlight the benefits of certain often overlooked magnesium compounds (chelates), which complement magnesium by exerting their own beneficial effects. Magnesium is Vital Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. One of

Heart Structure and Function 101:

The Plumbing and Wiring Systems of Your Heart The heart is the most important muscle in the body. Yes, it is a striated muscle that functions and contracts similarly to an arm muscle, or a leg muscle. However, as we know, it has the very unique ability to contract tirelessly at a constant beat, pushing blood, oxygen and nutrients to the rest of our muscles, tissues and cells so that the body can function as a whole unit. The heart is made up of two very important systems: these can be thought of as an electrical system and a plumbing