Specific Nutrients Can Help Save a Woman’s Heart

Posted On Friday, 30 September 2016
Specific Nutrients Can Help Save a Woman’s Heart

Two new studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirm that women under the age of 55 are often left in the dark when it comes to knowing the risk factors of heart disease.

And, these women are less likely to receive life-saving procedures to open clogged heart arteries compared to their male counterparts.

Researchers are perplexed about this trend, noting that it’s possible that heart disease awareness and prevention efforts are more focused on men because of the belief that heart disease is more of a men’s issue.

Another possibility is that prevention methods are not being communicated effectively to women, or that women may describe their symptoms in a way that is being misinterpreted by doctors and nurses.

Chest pain is often not the primary symptom of heart attacks for women. They more commonly experience these signs and symptoms before a heart attack:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Discomfort in the jaw, neck, abdomen, shoulder or upper back
  • Sweating
  • Pain in the right arm
Heart disease risk factors for women can also differ from a man’s and include:

  • Little or no physical activity
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Diabetes
  • Depression and stress
  • Low estrogen
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Smoking
One of my biggest concerns about heart disease prevention for women is that doctors are not making the connection between a woman’s bone and heart health. There are certain nutrition protocols that women should specifically follow for heart attack prevention that can also improve bone health, including:

Take Calcium + Vitamin K2
A recent study published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis shows the beneficial effect that long-term use of vitamin K2 supplementation (specifically MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7, or MK-7). It not only stopped age-related arterial stiffening, but also improved the flexibility of the arteries. Studies show that 97 percent of Western populations are deficient in vitamin K2, as it is void from many of our diets.

Check Vitamin D Levels
Deficiency of vitamin D is a global epidemic. An estimated one billion individuals lack adequate levels, and 64 percent of Americans lack the vitamin D needed to keep all their tissues operating at peak capacity. Vitamin D is known to strengthen bones by helping the body properly absorb calcium, but also plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. In fact, vitamin D is now recognized as an independent predictor for diseases of the heart and blood vessels including heart attacks and strokes.

Supplementing with vitamin D has shown to relax blood vessels, helping reduce blood pressure and improving blood flow. Grassroots Health has an at-home vitamin D testing kit, which is available to order on its website by linking though Organic & Natural Health’s “Power of D” website. After signing up, patients simply take the at-home test, mail it in and receive results via email within 7-10 days. Review and discuss the results with your physician for proper vitamin D supplementation dosage recommendations.

Incorporate More Magnesium into Your Diet
Magnesium can make bones stronger but also has an important role with the heart by maintaining a steady heartbeat and normal blood pressure. Studies show that low levels of magnesium in the blood are linked to risks for heart disease, especially heart attacks. You can get magnesium from nutritional supplements, and foods such as bananas, avocado, cashews, soymilk, black beans and green vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard and broccoli.

The four keys to good health for everyone are nutrition (including supplements), exercise, stress management and sleep. Be proactive with your health and make your doctor an active partner in your pursuit of well-being.

Dennis Goodman, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP

Dr. Dennis Goodman, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP, is Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, where he also serves as Clinical Associate Professor and Cardiologist in the Department of Cardiology and Preventative Medicine.

Dr. Goodman graduated Cum Laude with distinction from the University of Cape Town Medical School in Cape Town, South Africa. He did his internship at Grootte Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (where the first heart transplant was performed by Professor Christian Barnard in 1969). Dr. Goodman is Board Certified in internal medicine, cardiology, interventional cardiology, critical care, clinical lipidology, integrative medicine and Cardiac CT imaging. He also serves on the scientific advisory board for Organic & Natural Health Association.

Dr. Goodman’s books, Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health and Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to A Healthy Heart and More, can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Website: www.dennisgoodmanmd.com/

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