Category Archives: Heart Health

Aspirin: Cure that’s Worse than the Disease

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

November 12, 2018

I’ve never agreed with the idea of prescribing low-dose aspirin in an attempt to ward off heart disease.

The idea behind the concept is simple. Aspirin works as a blood-thinner. This means it helps reduce the risk of blood clots that could block an artery and cause a heart attack.

I’ll admit. It sounds great in theory. And all of those TV commercial ads make aspirin sound like a wonder drug.

It’s no wonder my patients often ask me if they should be taking low-dose aspirin every day! Continue reading

7 Ways to Slash Your Risk of Stroke

Man having stroke

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

September 28, 2018

  • Strokes aren’t restricted to the elderly
  • Top seven causes of stroke
  • 4 ways to identify stroke symptoms

One of the most alarming events that can happen in your life is to suffer a stroke. These “brain attacks” are a leading cause of death here in the U.S. And for people who survive a stroke, their risk of vascular dementia more than doubles.

Now, you might think only “old” people have to worry about a stroke. But sadly enough, a stroke can occur any time and at any age. In fact, about a quarter of them occur in people who under the age of 65.

But here’s the thing. Somewhere around 90% of all strokes are preventable! Continue reading

Best Coffee Brewing Method for Your Cholesterol

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

September 21, 2018

  • Is coffee messing with your cardiovascular health?
  • The dark side of coffee
  • Espresso? French press? Which coffee is best for your heart?

There are a lot of health benefits associated with drinking coffee. People who drink it regularly often have a greatly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and even stroke.

When you consider the fact that coffee contains more than 1000 compounds, this actually makes a great deal of sense. It’s chock-full of all sorts of antioxidants, polyphenols and other phytonutrients that exert protective benefits.

But it turns out that, if you brew your coffee the wrong way, it has a very a dark side. One that could send your cardiovascular health into a downward spiral.

The Dark Side of Coffee

Believe it or not, how your coffee is brewed can make a huge difference to your heart health.

You see, the oils produced by coffee contain two decidedly unhealthy substances, cafestol and kahweol. Both of these compounds tend to wreak havoc on your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

However, when you prepare coffee with a filter, the filter traps and removes them. But if drink espresso, French press or boiled coffee – all of which are unfiltered – these destructive chemicals remain intact.

When you ingest them, they immediately go to work to…

  • Raise your LDL cholesterol levels
  • Boost levels of apolipoprotein B (apoB)
  • Trigger the production of homocysteine
  • Send your triglycerides soaring

Now, if you read the September 12, 2018 issue of Advanced Natural Wellness, you know that apoB is the protein associated with small, dense LDL particles that clog your arteries. It also tends to damage LDL particles via oxidation, which makes matters even worse.

Homocysteine is another threat to your arteries. When levels of this amino acid get too high, it irritates the lining of your arteries. It also cause your blood to clot more easily and may increase your blood pressure. This can be disastrous if your blood vessels are already stiff and narrow.

High triglycerides also contribute to blocked arteries and interfere with normal blood clotting. Plus, excess levels may slow blood flow and lead to more small, dense low-density lipoproteins. That’s more bad news for your heart health.

But don’t despair!

Remember, it’s only unfiltered coffee that produces these horrible, heart-threatening side effects. So it doesn’t mean you have to give up the java.

Espresso? French Press? Which is the Best for Your Health?

These days coffee connoisseurs are purchasing their own espresso machines and French press coffee makers. Some are buying fresh coffee beans and boiling them to create their own special brews.

And while I hate to throw a damper on the java party, if you want to protect your cardiovascular health, a filtered pot of coffee is the best way to go.

Personally, I use a glass coffee maker. It’s not a machine. In fact, it’s pretty old school. It’s simply a glass carafe with a paper filter. I measure out my own organic coffee blend, and then just pour boiling water through the filtered grounds.

I prefer this over standard coffee makers, and for good reason. Most of today’s drip coffee makers are made of plastic. And the newer, fancier brewers use plastic coffee pods. All of these plastics leach into your coffee when they’re exposed to heat.

This contributes to estrogen dominance in men, breast cancer in women, reproductive disorders in both sexes and a whole host of other problems that are only now being explored in depth. So it’s always best to avoid them.

I also lean towards darker roasts. Due to the roasting process, these darker preparations have the lowest yields of cafestol, while lighter roasts have the highest.

And don’t forget to select a blend made from organic coffee beans. It’s the only way to avoid exposure to heavy pesticide residue.

SOURCES:

Bhupathiraju SN, et al. Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women. Diabetologia. 2014 Jul;57(7):1346-54.

Eskelinen MH, et al. Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: a population-based CAIDE study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;16(1):85-91.

Larsson SC, et al. Coffee consumption and risk of stroke: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Nov 1;174(9):993-1001.

Whayne TF Jr. Coffee: A Selected Overview of Beneficial or Harmful Effects on the Cardiovascular System? Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2015;13(5):637-48.

Zhang C, et al. Cafestol extraction yield from different coffee brew mechanisms. Food Research International. 2012;49(1):27-31

2 Overlooked Cholesterol Tests You Must Get

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

September 12, 2018

  • Why do people with normal cholesterol levels have heart attacks?
  • It’s not the cholesterol, it’s the lipoproteins!
  • Two urgent “cholesterol” tests most doctors never perform

You hear about it all the time. The friend or co-worker with perfect cholesterol readings and normal blood pressure… who appears to be in the greatest of health… then lands in the hospital with chest pain.

The next thing you know, they’ve been operated on for one or more blockages and are suddenly considered a “heart patient”.

This type of thing isn’t all that unusual. In fact, somewhere around 75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack have normal levels of cholesterol.

Why are so many people with normal cholesterol levels having heart attacks? And, could you be next? Continue reading

Is High Blood Pressure Messing with Your Brain?

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

August 10, 2018

  • Hypertension damages more than your heart
  • Is high blood pressure messing with your brain?
  • 3 simple ways to lower your blood pressure

You already know that uncontrolled high blood pressure is bad for your heart.

It creates microscopic tears in the walls of your arteries. These tears eventually turn into rough scar tissue where sticky fats, plaques and cholesterol tend to accumulate. This, in turn, leads to blockages, narrowing of the arteries and arterial stiffness.

Once this occurs blood flow is reduced even further. And your heart has to pump harder and harder to get blood to all of your organs.

This means high blood pressure doesn’t just place your heart at risk. Continue reading

Scary Reason You May Not Be Flexible

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

July 11, 2018

  • Do you have stiff arteries?
  • Weird test may reveal arterial stiffness
  • 4 ways to improve elasticity of your arteries

As we grow older, a strange thing happens to our arteries. They start stiffening up. The older we get, the stiffer they seem to become.

And oddly enough, age – in and of itself – is by far the major force behind this phenomena. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other contributing factors.

Continue reading

Is it Time to put Eggs Back on Your Menu?

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

July 9, 2018

  • It’s time to put eggs back on the menu
  • 3 more reasons you should eat more eggs
  • Cooking up the perfect egg

Are you still avoiding eggs because you’re afraid they might be bad for you? If so, you’re likely suffering from the lingering effect of what I often refer to as “the great cholesterol hoax.”

So let me be very clear on this.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence showing that eating eggs increase blood levels of LDL cholesterol. There is also nothing that links eating eggs to a greater risk of stroke or heart disease. Continue reading

3 Foods that Raise Your Blood Pressure

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

April 18, 2018

  • Are you grilling your way to high blood pressure?
  • The “other” white crystals that contribute to hypertension
  • 4 nutrients to improve your blood pressure readings

If you are trying to maintain a healthy blood pressure, you probably analyze labels very carefully for salt content. But did you know that there are other foods and beverages – ones that aren’t high in salt – that can affect your blood pressure too?

For example, most folks don’t realize that something as simple as the way you cook your meat can raise your chances of high blood pressure by as much as 17%.

You see, when you cook meat, poultry and fish at high temperatures, they create cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic aromatic amines. The more charred the meat, the more of these compounds are produced. A similar unintended consequence occurs forming acrylamides (a DNA mutagen) while cooking high starch content foods in high temperature, think  French fries or potato chips.

Well, here’s the thing. Continue reading

64% Increased Heart Attack Risk With This Deficiency

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

February 26, 2018

  • You must screen for this to protect your heart
  • Deficiency increases heart attack risk by 64%
  • Getting tested is as easy as this

When you go to the doctor, certain testing generally happens without fail. Most doctors will automatically do a CBC to measure things like your red and white blood cell count.

They also test for lipid counts (cholesterol, triglycerides) and blood sugar. These days a lot of docs are even testing for homocysteine and C-reactive protein. These are both inflammatory markers for heart disease and other degenerative diseases.

But one of the most important tests you can get is one that many health experts say is unnecessary: Continue reading

How Much Meat Should You Eat?

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

January 29, 2018

  • There’s nothing wrong with including meat in your diet
  • How much meat should you eat?
  • 6 ways to slash meat intake without sacrifice

There is no doubt that fruits and vegetables are good for you. I just wrote about all of the great health benefits they offer in the January 26th issue of Advanced Natural Wellness.

But that has left a few meat-lovers grumbling at me. “Doc! What do you have against meat!” they exclaim. Most people who don’t eat animal protein do so because of personal issues surrounding the ethics of it as well personal health issues, for example their cardiovascular health a la the Ornish diet.

The truth is (and despite popular belief) I don’t actually have a problem with meat. I’m just as likely to enjoy a sensible sized portion of juicy steak as the next guy. However, I do have an issue with meat that comes from 

Continue reading