Do you strive to maintain a healthy heart? Are you proactive as you work along with your doctor and follow preventative measures for your heart’s particular needs? Keeping ahead of the game will empower you to feel confident and always know that you are doing your best when it comes to your sense of well being! This article will provide you with the latest heart-health information and real-life tips on how to maintain a healthy heart, whether you have heart-disease or are among the 1 out of 2 women who will develop heart and vascular disease, according to Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.
For instance, you might be amazed to learn studies show eating blueberries weekly may help you reduce your risk of heart attack! There have also been some promising studies on blueberry antioxidants for heart-health.
“The blueberry antioxidant is shaping up to be not only the latest, but also one of the greatest antioxidant power houses to support health!”
This incredible blueberry antioxidant is called pterostilbene (pronounced-”tero-STILL-bean”). For some time now, blueberries have been acknowledged for their healthy benefits. And now more “evidence” is indicating that pterostilbene is helpful for not only heart health, but, (Quote)“cognitive function, anti-aging, weight loss, and other metabolic disorders.”
What’s even more encouraging are the study results from the University of Mississippi Medical Center indicating a “nature-identical” form of pterostilbene (pTeroPure®), is (Quote) “showing significant results for blood pressure in adults."
A friend of mine who is a doctor eats blueberries every morning, and I’ve been trying to do the same. My last lab work at the doctor showed a nice decrease in my triglycerides and rise in my HDL (good cholesterol). I’ve also added the recommended 2-3 servings of fish per week to my diet. You’ll find more healthy heart dietary information in my interview with Dr. Lisa Young Ph.D.,R.D.,C.D.N., later in this article, along with a website link I’ll also list here that will give you some great information about incorporating fish into your menu and the heart healthy benefits fish provides. It’s worth repeating, so be sure to visit: http://www.GetRealAboutSeafood.com
You are what you eat, and blueberries and fish are a great start to head you in a Heart Healthy direction!
Now here are some interesting facts about heart-health and an aspirin regimen. We’ve all heard the saying that during a heart attack you should call 911 and then chew an aspirin. In fact, in recent commercials they have had heart attack survivors talk about their daily aspirin regimen, which according to studies is (Quote)“one of the simplest ways, doctors agree, to prevent reoccurring heart attacks or stroke.”
Why aspirin? (Quote) “Aspirin, a type of antiplatelet medication, has been shown to help prevent blood clots, the cause of 90% of all heart attacks.”
Here is another statistic! (Quote) “An estimated 50 million Americans are on a chronic aspirin therapy and over 30 million take other medications (e.g., drugs like clopidogrel) that help prevent blood clots.”
A baby aspirin (81mg) is often prescribed as a “preventative measure”! The USPFTF (United States Preventative Services Task Force), (Quote) “encourages aspirin intake for men aged 45−79 years to help prevent myocardial infarctions (also known as heart attacks) and women aged 55−79 years because of a potential benefit of stroke prevention.”
It’s quite obvious that aspirin has been touted as one of the tools for use in heart attack prevention and post care after a heart attack. My husband had a heart attack resulting in quadruple bypass surgery, and has successfully been on aspirin therapy for almost five years.
You may be as surprised as I was, to learn about aspirin resistance. Medical studies have indicated that 1 in 3 Americans may be resistant to an aspirin therapy. (Quote) “They do not receive the full benefit of the drug and as a result, may be at a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and death.”
The good news is, there is a simple blood test called the “VerifyNow System”. This test allows a doctor to determine whether a patient is metabolizing their prescribed therapy appropriately, and enable them to determine a patient’s response to aspirin. (Quote) “More and more doctors are doing platelet blood tests to help assess how a patient’s platelets are responding to the therapy.”
Remember! Only your doctor can determine if an aspirin therapy is right for you. If you have any questions be sure to contact your physician before starting any type of aspirin regimen on your own, and if you are on aspirin therapy, you may want to inquire about platelet blood testing. Find out more information about platelet blood testing here: http://www.accumetrics.com/patients
In conclusion, Dr.Lori Mosca and Dr.Lisa R.Young , two very qualified doctors in the field of nutrition and heart-health, were kind enough to take time from their busy schedules to provide their professional input in addressing some of the questions I felt would enhance the topical information presented, as well as other interesting data pertaining to the subject of Women’s Heart Health!
Enjoy the following interviews with Dr. Lori Mosca , (Quote) Lori Mosca, MD, M.P.H., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Dr. Lisa R. Young, (Quote) "Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D, C.D.N., nationally recognized nutritionist in New York City. an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University (NYU), and author of “The Portion Teller Plan” published by Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc."
My interview with Lori Mosca, MD, M.P.H., Ph.D.
VICKI: Dr. Mosca, What do women need to be proactive about with their doctors, regarding preventative healt care for their heart?
DR.MOSCA: Women need to be proactive about taking a role in their health to prevent heart disease. More than 200,000 women die each year from heart disease; however, research has shown that many women are still unaware of their risk for developing heart disease. This starts with opening up conversation with your doctor about your personal risk factors and ways to take action to prevent heart disease early on. Every woman should also know her numbers – cholesterol, blood sugar and waist size – to be aware of and manage her risk for heart disease. It’s also important to know that there are lifestyle and diet changes that every woman should be proactively making in their everyday lives to reduce their risk of heart disease now. This includes regular exercise and eating healthy.
VICKI: Do you believe that statin drug risks outweigh the long-term benefits of controlling cholesterol?
DR.MOSCA: Only in certain high risk populations, like those who already have diagnosed cardiovascular disease.
VICKI: Once you start taking statins, do they help keep additional plaque from forming in the arteries?
DR.MOSCA: It's important to know that statins have the ability to prevent the progression of heart disease; however, they are unlikely to reverse plaque formation. The key is to take steps to prevent heart disease early on – which is why I have dedicated 25 years of my career to helping people understand their role in preventing heart disease.
VICKI: Thank you Dr. Mosca. That’s great advice for our readers, and very interesting information regarding statins.
My interview with Dr. Lisa Young Ph.D., R.D., C.D.N.
VICKI: What approach regarding self care should women take to keep their risks in check if they have hereditary heart problems in their family, and would this be the same approach for women who do not have a history of family heart disease?
DR.YOUNG : All Americans should eat healthy and exercise regularly, regardless of whether or not they have a family history of heart disease. I counsel my patients to incorporate fish into their diets 2-3 times per week and to eat plenty fruits, vegetables and fiber. For women with a family history of heart disease, I would advise that they limit saturated fat intake, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease. You can easily decrease the saturated fats in your diet by swapping fish for red meats.
VICKI: Would you agree that two good food staples to incorporate into a health conscious diet would be blueberries and fish? If so, explain why… (The question regarding blueberries was promoted by a recent study published by the American Heart Association which found that eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries a week might reduce the risk of heart attacks in young and middle-aged women by one-third.)
DR.YOUNG: I definitely agree that blueberries and fish are good food staples for a health conscious diet. First of all, blueberries are full of antioxidants, high in fiber and contain flavonoids that help protect against diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer. Similarly, fish is a lean protein that’s low in saturated fat and rich in omega-3s. Research has shown that eating a variety of fish 2-3 times per week can help prevent heart disease. Fish really plays a dual role in developing healthy eating habits because when you’re replacing other meals with fish, you’re eliminating a lot of unhealthy foods.
VICKI: What should people know about fish consumption and their health.
DR. YOUNG: First and foremost, consume 2-3 servings of fish per week. The simple truth is, as Americans, we’re just not eating enough fish and we need to make a conscious effort to eat more. It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, either. I tell my clients to carry canned or pouch tuna with them because it’s so easy to throw on top of salad or make a quick snack. It’s an affordable, accessible and easy way to get more fish into your diet. For more information and easy recipes visit: http://www.GetRealAboutSeafood.com
VICKI: Thank you, Dr. Young for all your nutritional advice and the great website for our readers to visit! There are many reasons and ways to incorporate these healthy food choices into a one’s lifestyle, and I encourage our readers to visit the above link. The recipes look terrific!
Much gratitude, once again to Dr. Lori Mosca , and Dr. Lisa R.Young for sharing their expertise about Women’s Heart Health.
Knowledge is the key to help you make choices that enable you to initiate new habits and proper modifications in your daily life with the support and advice from your personal physician.
The greatest gift you can give yourself and your family is the ongoing endeavor to care for your health and cultivate an ongoing “Healthy ❤ Heart” attitude!
(Quotes and paraphrased information in this article was obtained from interviews with Dr.Mosca & Dr. Young, PR fact sheets, & study data.)
credits including :[i] Riche DM, Deschamp D, Griswold ME, McEwen CL Riche KD, Sherman JJ, Wofford MR. Impact of pterostilbene on metabolic parameters in humans. Poster presentation at: American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research. [ii] Joseph JA, Fisher DR, Cheng V, Rimando AM, and Shukitt-Hale B. Cellular and behavioral effects of stilbene resveratrol analogues: implications for reducing the deleterious effects of aging. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56, 10544 (2008). [iii] Kapetanovic IM, Muzzio M, Huang Z, Thompson TN, McCormick DL. Pharmacokinetics, oral bioavailability, and metabolic profile of resveratrol and its dimethylether analog, pterostilbene, in rats; Cancer ChemotherPharmacol. 68, 593 (2011). [iv] Inhibitory Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on Human Colon Cancer Cells: A Side-by-Side Comparison: W Nutakul et al.; J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print] [v] Rimando AM, Nagmani R, Feller DR, and Yokoyama W. Pterostilbene, a new agonist for the peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor alpha-isoform, lowers plasma lipoproteins and cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 3403 (2005) [vi] Satheesh AM, and Pari L. Effect of pterostilbene on lipids and lipid profiles in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced type 2 diabetes mellitus. J. Appli. Biomed. 6, 31 (2008) [vii] Rimando AM, Nagmani R, Feller DR, and Yokoyama W. Pterostilbene, a new agonist for the peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor alpha-isoform, lowers plasma lipoproteins and cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 3403 (2005). [viii] Joseph JA, Fisher DR, Cheng V, Rimando AM, and Shukitt-Hale B. Cellular and behavioral effects of stilbene resveratrol analogues: implications for reducing the deleterious effects of aging. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56, 10544 (2008).Aspirin Resistance Tied to Larger, More Severe Stroke-Megan Brooks(Nov 20, 2012)