Category Archives: Heart Health

Could 3 Missing Minerals be Behind Cardiac Arrest?

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

February 22, 2019

Patients concerned about their heart health usually want to know just three or four things.

Is my cholesterol okay? How are my triglycerides? And what’s my blood pressure? Is my homocysteine normal?

All of these are certainly considerations when it comes to your arterial health. (Pretty much everyone knows that if an artery gets clogged it can trigger a stroke or heart attack.)

But how often do you wonder what it is that actually makes your heart beat… how it can contract and relax more than 100,000 times a day with out getting tired? And how can you make sure it keeps beating? Continue reading

5 Healthy Options to a Mediterranean Diet

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

February 15, 2019

One of the first things I recommend to all of my new patients is that they transition into a Mediterranean way of eating. But not everyone is sold on the idea.

Many of my first-time patients fall into this category. These are the people who come to me because they are sick, tired and run down.

The biggest problem I find with most of these patients is that they honestly think they’re already eating a relatively wholesome diet. They’re convinced that sugar free beverages, whole wheat breads and cereals, reduced-salt foods and low-fat dairy are good for them. No wonder they don’t feel good! Continue reading

Forget Cholesterol. There’s a New Player in Heart Disease

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

February 13, 2019

The other day I saw R.B. for the first time. The reason she ended up at my clinic was one of those stories I hear all too often.

It turns out her older sister recently suffered a heart attack. No high cholesterol. No high blood pressure or other warning signs. Boom! A heart attack right out of the blue.

Like anyone else would, R.B. decided to do a little internet investigating on her own. That’s where she discovered a large amount of information on a cardiovascular risk factor she had never heard of before. Trimethylamine- N-oxide (TMAO).

She suspected that this might be the cause of her sister’s heart attack. And she wanted to find out if she might be at risk, too. But when she asked to be tested for it, her cardiologist told her the test was worthless. Continue reading

Weird Signs of Heart Disease

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

December 19, 2018

My patients are a curious group. They bring me all kinds of weird health tidbits they find online.

“Is this really true?” asks one patient.

“I’ll bet this is just a bunch of baloney,” says another.

Most of the time, they’re right to question what they’ve found. But every now and then, one of those “too weird to be true” concepts actually has merit. Continue reading

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