Keeping your heart healthy the natural way
December 30, 2013
The Best of Natural Health from optimal-heart-health.com
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How Important Is Your Digestive Health?
Most of us don't give it any thought. However, the health of your digestive tract has everything to do with your overall health.
Also in this issue: Did you know that without systemic inflammation, heart disease will not develop? That is the current findings of many researchers. Read on to learn more.
How Important - Really - Is Your Digestive Health?
People who suffer from indigestion and lower stomach pain are keenly aware that good digestion is important. But for most other people the topic rarely gets on their radar screen. In such cases the old saying, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you”, really isn’t true.
A number of other symptoms like depression, allergies, and anxiety can be due to poor digestion. And of course we assume that gas, constipation, bloating, headaches, and irritable bowl syndrome are connected to the body’s inability to digest food well.
For the folks in the first group – the ones who experience frequent pain such as indigestion – the solution is often to reach for antacids. Antacids can provide some temporary relief. But they do not solve the real problem. And long-term use of antacids can cause other problems such as limiting the body’s ability to produce acid… exposing it to bacterial infections.
The people in the second group – the ones without obvious symptoms – well, they normally ignore the problem altogether.
A better approach to digestive health is to populate the gut with a healthy culture of probiotics. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that do so much – not only for digestion – but for overall health as well.
Why is this so important? In the first place probiotics keep harmful bacteria in check. An abundance of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract can overwhelm the system and severely decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Probiotics also lower pH in the colon killing off disease causing microbes. This helps to prevent disease as well as decreasing your likelihood of contracting colon cancer, active colitis, or inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Other benefits of probiotics are:
Part of the problem is, as we age our bodies lose their ability to produce digestive enzymes. Another part of the problem is we do damage to our digestive tracts by consuming such foods as processed sugar, pasteurized milk, and other processed foods. Prolonged stress can also damage the gut wall.
- Enhancing the immune system. 70% of our immune cells exist in the digestive tract. By protecting the digestive tract we support our immune system.
- Treating chronic diarrhea
- Relieve Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
- Help prevent Crohn’s Disease
- Protect against cancer growth
- Prevent eczema in children
- Treat vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections
- Help in weight reduction
- Help prevent food and other allergies
By reintroducing probiotics on a regular basis we can support our digestive – and therefore overall – health. Damage to the gut wall can be repaired. And the digestive environment can be greatly improved allowing for proper nutrient absorption.
But the problem with introducing probiotics through diet is that a relatively low number of probiotic cells actually survive on their way to the intestines where they are so desperately needed. That is why some people say that we need to consume 5 million active cultures to see any positive effect. However, there are special probiotic strands that are formulated to be safely delivered to the intestinal tract. Make sure you take a probiotic supplement with these special strands.
For more information there is a great video by a PhD in nutrition. Don’t miss it. The link is below.
The particular product that she recommends in the video can be found at:
Simply go to the ‘Shop Online’ page and search for the words: Digestion Plus. But before you buy, remember, we can help you save money. Just use the ‘Contact Me By Email’ link or use the ‘Free Consultation’ form accessible using the link below:
Stuck In The Traditional
View of Heart Disease
Traditions are a part of our lives. Many can be of great value to us. But when tradition gives way to traditionalism a lot of potentially bad things can happen.
Traditionalism is not the same as tradition. Traditionalism is holding on to traditions for the sake of the traditions themselves. And when it comes to cardiovascular disease, traditionalism is not a good thing.
When you think of cardiovascular disease, what comes to mind? Maybe something like this…
Eating foods high in cholesterol causes some of the cholesterol to form on the walls of our arteries. After many years of this, the buildup gets bad enough so that blood flow becomes restricted.
Restricted blood flow deprives important tissues – like heart muscle – of needed oxygen, etc. leading to a heart attack or stroke.
What’s wrong with that view? For starters it is so ‘80s. Let the experts say it. The following statement comes from a paper entitled… ‘Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease Mechanisms.’
The traditional view of atherosclerosis as a lipid storage disease crumbles in the face of extensive and growing evidence that inflammation participates centrally in all stages of this disease, from the initial lesion to the end-stage thrombotic complications.
The statement has a couple of difficult points but essentially it means that the old view that atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease) is a lipid (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) storage problem simply does not hold up to the evidence.
What does the evidence say? That inflammation is involved in every stage of CVD, from its beginning to its often fatal end.
Traditionally science - like most of us – has viewed heart disease as analogous to a rusty pipe. When the buildup gets bad enough nothing can move through the pipe.
The problem with that view is blood vessels are not pipes. They are highly organized organs comprised of living cells.
Another problem with that view is that the accumulation of lipid-containing plaques does not occur on artery walls. Instead they accumulate inside the innermost layer of these walls.
Why is that important? Because – according to the ‘Mechanisms’ paper – cardiovascular events rarely result from excessive plaque buildup.
Let that statement sink in for a moment. It just doesn’t sound right. It challenges everything most of us have believed for years about heart disease. It is like being told for the first time that the earth is not flat.
That is not to say that plaque on the artery walls is a good thing. On the contrary, plaque is involved in serious cardiovascular events. But it is not the buildup of the plaque that causes the problem. It is the rupture of the plaque that leads to serious problems.
As important as that statement is, it is not the main point we are trying to make. Here is the take home lesson…
The old model of cardiovascular disease is no longer good enough. Therefore the old approaches to prevention and treatment are also outdated.
The point is – and this is important – atherosclerosis (the essence of coronary heart disease) does not have to be an inevitable fact of aging. It isn’t as if advancing years necessarily means more plaque, and more plaque necessarily means higher risk of heart disease.
It does mean that plaque formation is not the primary focus of preventing heart disease. What should the focus be?
If – as is stated above in the ‘Mechanisms’ paper – the growing scientific evidence supports the belief that…
Inflammation participates centrally in all stages of this disease, from the initial lesion to the end-stage thrombotic complications.
Then it is inflammation – or rather the causes of inflammation – that should be our prime focus in the prevention of heart disease. And not just heart disease. But also cancer and other chronic diseases.
So, as responsible people, we can either take seriously our opportunities to avoid and reduce systemic inflammation… or – along with Tevye – we can sing ‘Tradition’ as we stroll together upon the face of our flat world.
Inflammation and Heart Disease:
Heart disease - and other chronic diseases - are always associated with systemic inflammation. If you have not downloaded the free essay: "Inflammation and Heart Disease: A New Awareness", then you need to get it. Simply use the following link:
http://www.optimal-heart-health.com/ Inflammation_And_Heart_ Disease_Guide.html
The 30-Day Challenge:
The 30-Day Challenge is the push you need to get on the right road to nutritional health and healing. It is an anti-inflammatory, pro-detox approach to diet and health. If you have not read it then please get it here. If you have then please read it again. For losing weight, feeling better, improving energy, or just getting back your health, this is the place to start. Here is the link:
30 Days to Fit:
If you are interested in following through on the 30-Day Challenge, or at least want to see more detail on the daily process and products of going through the Challenge, then we have a companion guide for you. The guide is chock full of information on the meal by meal approach to the 30-Day Challenge and how you use every product that goes with the Challenge. This is a must have. You can get your copy of the guide (or/and your free consultation) by using the link that follows. Simply tell us you want the guide, and any other comments or questions you have.
There is a place you can go to read about the products we recommend for the 30-Day Challenge as well as other top quality products for health. For optimal health you need to fuel your body with the best there is. We can help you save money on these products if you simply contact us. But please use the link below to do more research on the products you need.