22 Reasons You Should Supplement With L-Arginine!

The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to 3 American researchers for their discovery of how your endothelium, which lines all of your cardiovascular system, converts the essential amino acid L-Arginine into Nitric Oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Since the discovery of this L-Arginine / Nitric Oxide connection there has been a frenzy of interest in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry. This interest is now spilling over in the general population as Dr. Oz and others begin to emphasize the need for L-Arginine supplementation for improved cardiovascular health and overall wellness. 

The effectiveness of L-Arginine as a therapeutic agent has been validated by over 10,000 scientific clinical studies and over 750,000 sites of documentation. The nitric oxide derived from L-Arginine is directly or indirectly implicated in practically every cellular response and health condition known. It specifically impacts your cardiovascular system, immune system, hormone function, and nerve function.  

The Bottom Line is That You Could Not Live Without Nitric Oxide so L-Arginine Supplementation is Critical to Your Health!  

Because of ongoing research, an exhaustive list of the possible applications of L-Arginine and Nitric Oxide is not possible at this time but the following 22 reasons have solid, scientific backing. These 22 reasons apply to both healthy individuals, as well as those whose health is compromised by cardiovascular risk factors. Because of the direct link between L-arginine and Nitric Oxide the two are interchangeable in the following list: 

  1. L-arginine is one thousand times more powerful than any naturally occurring antioxidant in the body. L-arginine’s antioxidant properties support various body systems and may protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, as well as slowing premature aging. 
  2. Nitric oxide offers wide-ranging cardiovascular support, including the control of blood pressure and plaque formation. Nitric oxide keeps arteries relaxed and pliable for normal blood pressure, preventing hypertension and angina.
  3. Nitric oxide enhances memory, particularly long-term memory, and may help to reverse the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Nitric oxide may help in the treatment and prevention of diabetes since many disease complications, including poor circulation and blindness, are vascular in nature. L-arginine is also found to regulate insulin secretion in the pancreas. 
  5. Nitric oxide enhances communication of messenger cells between nerves and the brain. 
  6. Nitric oxide may help improve immune function and fight bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. 
  7. L-Arginine, through nitric oxide production, boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which has anti-aging properties. 
  8. Nitric oxide helps with cholesterol control by lowering serum and LDL cholesterol levels. It also helps to repair damage to the endothelium caused by LDL (Bad) cholesterol. 
  9. Nitric oxide enhances male sexual performance by treating vascular erectile dysfunction or ED. 
  10. Nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to reduce the chance for blood clotting that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. 
  11. L-Arginine, through nitric oxide production, reduces pregnancy-related hypertension, a risk factor for both the expecting mother and the unborn child. 
  12. Nitric oxide can be useful in the treatment of asthma by opening pulmonary pathways for easier breathing and the treatment of lung disorders. 
  13. Nitric oxide helps to regulate the digestive process and relaxes hypertonic sphincter muscles, preventing and healing hemorrhoids. 
  14. L-arginine, through nitric oxide production, boosts lean muscle mass and preserves bone density by encouraging HGH production, which also leads to a reduction in fatty tissue. Because of this, it may be useful in weight management and strength training. 
  15. Nitric oxide can help offset cardiovascular and lung damage caused by tobacco use, since nitric oxide levels in smokers are less than half of those found in non-smokers. 
  16. Nitric oxide helps to accelerate wound healing and post surgery recovery. Research has shown it is useful in treating burn wounds and stimulates wound healing in the elderly. 
  17. L-arginine may be useful in enhancing athletic performance due to improved circulation and the ability to delivery more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles and organs. This boosts exercise tolerance, improves lung function, and can stimulate HGH levels. This all helps to build lean muscle tissue while improving training, performance, and recovery in all types of exercise programs. 
  18. Nitric oxide may prevent and possibly reverse the effects of osteoporosis by positively affecting bone mass. 
  19. L-arginine, and its ability to create nitric oxide, has been used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and to reduce the occurrence of ulcers, especially stress related, without affecting gastric acid production. 
  20. Nitric oxide may improve renal function and slow the progression of renal disease and age-related chronic renal failure. L-Arginine’s protective effect on the kidneys may also benefit those with diabetes. 
  21. Nitric oxide may be used to improve the function of the prostate. 
  22. Nitric oxide helps people with sickle cell anemia to prevent pain crises as well as recover quicker by helping to maintain proper blood flow. 

That’s an Impressive List of Benefits for L-Arginine and Nitric Oxide! 

According to Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, one of the three 1998 Nobel Laureates in Medicine, “Nitric oxide is the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.” It is nice to see that his amazing discovery is finally getting the attention it deserves.  

There’s much more that could be said about the creation of Nitric Oxide. Like the need for L-Citrulline and other antioxidants to enhance Nitric Oxide production over a long period leading to therapeutic benefits. We’ll save that for another post.  

If you’re interested in a clinically proven product that can repair and nourish the endothelium for improved nitric oxide production leading to significant cardiovascular improvements, then please check out ProArgi-9 Plus from Synergy WorldWide. I highly recommend it.

Together we can work to save a million lives by helping others understand the importance of L-Arginine for proper cardiovascular health! 

Dan Hammer 

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.  

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about 22 reasons why you should supplement with L-Arginine has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

High Altitude Training!

High Altitude Training

High Altitude Training for Mountain Biking

My friend Bert Middleton asked me to produce a series of videos on high altitude training specific to cardiovascular health and function. Why? Because he’s always looking for ways to improve his legs and lungs to get the most out of his mountain biking and powder skiing.

What I share in these videos also applies to every person because at the heart of all activity is your cardiovascular system. Foundational to your cardiovascular system is your endothelium. This one-celled organ lines all of your heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins. It ultimately determines the health of your entire circulation and plays a critical role in your overall health and wellness. 

Blood circulation and oxygenation is key to high altitude training. Bert is 52 and has seen a remarkable improvement in his high altitude sports. In his own words, 

This blue powder has made a major impact on accelerating my recovery time so that I can mountain bike day after day without the fatigue that I used to experience. I can charge a lot harder and a lot longer before I come to the end of my strength and stamina on my mountain bike.” 

Bert is also seeing that this directly applies to his powder skiing now that the ski season has opened in the mountains of Colorado. If you’re looking to maximize your performance and recovery in mountain biking, snow skiing, or any type of high altitude sport, then watch and listen to these three videos. 

The One Critical Organ That Makes ALL the Difference in High Altitude Training! 

Most high altitude athletes concentrate on improving their heart and lung function. While these two organs are important, there is another organ that most never even consider in their training program. Yet, this one critical organ can make ALL the difference in your high altitude training. This organ is your endothelium!  

By properly repairing and nourishing this organ you can experience major improvements in your circulation resulting in: 

18 times more energy with less lactic acid production for quicker recovery! 

Interested?  

Then watch this video to learn how critical your endothelium is to high altitude training:


 

Learn How Nitric Oxide Maximizes Your High Altitude Training, Performance, and Recovery! 

As we shared in the previous video, your endothelial cells produce nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. This has a major impact on improving circulation and the ability of your blood stream to deliver needed oxygen and nutrients. 

Foundational to every high altitude training program is your ability to fuel muscle tissue with the oxygen and nutrients needed to sustain your efforts. 

In this next video we’ll discuss how nitric oxide maximizes cardiovascular function to deliver needed oxygen for significant energy production while limiting the negative effects of lactic acid. This enhances your performance and recovery in high altitude training:



 

The Daily Consumption of These Two Amino Acids Makes a Significant Difference in High Altitude Training! 

As you learned from the above video, your endothelium is critical to cardiovascular health. While your heart is important, it’s your endothelial cells and their ability to produce nitric oxide that truly controls the health of your cardiovascular system.  

In this next video, we’ll discuss the two natural amino acids that must be part of your daily diet. Both are important, but when properly taken together they make a significant difference in your high altitude training, performance, and recovery:



 

Can a Clinically Proven Product Significantly Impact Your High Altitude Training? 

I believe it can. Just as ProArgi 9 Plus has benefited the cardiovascular system of thousands of patients who have cardiovascular challenges, it can also benefit the cardiovascular system of high altitude athletes. The repair and nourishment of your endothelial cells to help them properly produce nitric oxide will improve circulation. Improved circulation results in your body’s ability to work at a much higher aerobic base to create more energy for all types of high altitude training programs.  

Additionally, you will experience less lactic acid production, which is detrimental to all high altitude sports.  

Just as Bert Middleton found, this powerful blue powder called ProArgi 9 Plus can be used to enhance your high altitude training, performance, and recovery. It will also become a key factor in improving your overall health. 

As I said in the beginning, if you apply the information shared in these videos, then I guarantee you’re going to see significant improvements in all phases of your high altitude training. You’re going to experience: 

  • Accelerated Recovery Times!
  • Greater Strength and Stamina!
  • Greater Lung Function and Oxygen Delivery!
  • Significantly More Energy Production!
  • Reduced Lactic Acid Formation! 

I firmly believe the product ProArgi 9 Plus, formulated by Dr. J. Joseph Prendergast, could be a real benefit to you. It’s why I’ve chosen to endorse this product and offer it to those who want to make a significant difference in their high attitude training.

If you would like to try ProArgi 9 Plus, with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, then please Click Here! 

Together, we can help you see significant improvements in your high altitude training, performance, and recovery so that you can maximize your investment in your high altitude sport. 

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about high altitude training has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Complications of Diabetes – Part 1

 
 

Complications of Diabetes

Complications of Diabetes

Diabetes has grown to epidemic proportions. With this increase has come an increase in the complications of diabetes. Most of these complications center on poor cardiovascular health.

According to the June 26th issue of The Lancet, diabetes appears to double the risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke, or other heart conditions.

These series of videos will help you understand that it doesn’t have to be this way! Listen to this first video as I set the stage on helping you control the complications of diabetes.

 

The Complications of Diabetes Can be Dramatically Improved When You Understand This Approach!

It’s estimated that 23.5 million American adults have either Type I or Type II diabetes. High blood sugar causes damage to your cardiovascular system resulting in the complications of diabetes. These complications include poor circulation, poor kidney function, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and the increased potential for strokes and heart attacks. All are life threatening.

It doesn’t have to be this way and this video will help you begin to understand a natural approach pioneered by Dr. J. Joseph Prendergast. This approach has resulted in no strokes, no heart attacks, and less than 1% hospital admissions for cardiovascular issues in over 7,000 patients. What’s even more amazing is that 80% of these patients are diabetics. This video will introduce you to this approach:

To Reduce the Complications of Diabetes You Must Pay Attention to This Organ! 

Most people think that you must concentrate on your heart if you want to reduce the complications of diabetes. While your heart is critically important to your health, it’s not the key organ. The key organ that you must properly nourish and repair is your endothelium.

Most people have never heart of the endothelium yet this organ ultimately controls all of your cardiovascular system. It’s so important that the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was award to three American researchers who discovered how this one-celled thick organ produces the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. This video will help you better understand this critical organ:

Two Amino Acids are Key to Reducing the Complications of Diabetes! 

Before we can discuss nitric oxide we need to look at the two natural amino acids that your body needs on a daily basis. These two amino acids are L-arginine and L-citrulline. One is fairly common and one is not.

When properly repaired and nourished, your endothelial cells will convert these two amino acids into nitric oxide to help prevent the complications of diabetes. It’s important to note that by combining these two amino acids together you create a synergistic effect. This video will help you understand this process and which foods are good sources for these daily nutrients:

We’ll continue this video series on reducing the complications of diabetes in my next article. We will talk about how nitric oxide specifically addresses several health issues common to diabetics. One of the videos will examine the hidden enemy in your bloodstream that can cause additional problems for diabetes. I’ll show you a natural way to overcome this hidden enemy. Plus, we’ll look at a natural product that can make a huge difference in reducing the complications of diabetes.

If you found the above videos helpful, then please share this information on Twitter and Facebook so that others can benefit.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information and videos about the complications of diabetes has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

10 Major Risk Factors for Heart Disease!

Heart DiseaseFor the United States it is estimated that heart disease causes approximately 1.2 million heart attacks per year. More than 40 percent of those initial heart attacks will result in death. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease results in 17.5 million deaths worldwide. Heart disease is the single greatest cause of death in both the United States and the world accounting for over half of all deaths.

Given this stark reality it is important to clearly know your major risk factors. According to the American Heart Association, there are 10 leading risk factors for heart disease. They are:

  • Age – According to mortuary tables, more than 83% of the people who die from heart disease are 65 or older.
  • Race – If you are African Americans, Mexican American, American Indian, native Hawaiian or Asian American then your risk is higher than the Caucasian community.
  • Sex – Men have both a greater risk of heart attack and having it at an earlier age than women. However, after menopause a woman’s death rate increases but not to the level of men.
  • Family History – There is a close association for heart disease if your parents or close relatives have some form of heart disease. The real question is whether it is genetic or lifestyle.
  • Smoking – Your risk for developing heart disease is two to four times greater than those who do not smoke.
  • High Blood Pressure – One out of every three Americans have high blood pressure. Not only does it increase your risk for heart attacks and kidney failure but it is the number one risk factor for stroke.
  • High Cholesterol – As your blood cholesterol increases so does your risk for heart disease. 
  • Diabetes – This disease seriously increases your risk for heart disease since approximately 65% of people with diabetes die from some form of cardiovascular disease. 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – The greater your inactivity the greater your risk. 
  • Overweight/Obesity – There is a direct correlation with excess body fat, especially fat around the midsection, and the increased risk for heart disease and stroke even if there are no additional risk factors.     

4 Risk Factors of Heart Disease You Have No Control Over!

Age, race, sex, and family history are considered to be risk factors that you have no control over. While you can’t change any of them, I believe you can limit their effects on heart disease. For example:

Age – There can be a significant difference between your chronological age and your biological age. You can take steps to slow down the aging process and even turn back the biological age clock. My website www.Aging-No-More.com provides practical and effective ways to age youthfully.

Race – Certain population groups, like African Americans, have a much higher risk for heart disease than other groups. Part of this is lifestyle choices and part of this is genetics. Lifestyle choices can be changed and some genetic factors can be moderated to reduce your risk.

Sex – At one time men clearly dominated the area of heart disease. Not any more. Women have caught up with men. The rate of death for women from heart disease is 12 times that of breast cancer. So, is it gender or lifestyle that contributes to the risk of heart disease?

Family History – If your family history is because of genetics, then there is not much you can do except concentrate on the 6 key risk factors that you have control over. If your family history is because of lifestyle, then you have a tremendous opportunity to change this; which brings us to the rest of this article.

6 Major Risk Factors of Heart Disease That You Can Control!

I’ve ranked these 6 major risk factors for heart disease based on what I believe are the most important to address first. They are:

High Blood Pressure This is the most important area to gain control over. If you do not know what your current blood pressure reading is or if you have not had your blood pressure taken in the last 6 months, then get to a local pharmacist, health clinic, or qualified medical professional. Have them take your blood pressure. This will be your base line and will help to determine what your next step should be.

Your blood pressure will be given to you in two numbers such as 110/70 mm Hg. Your systolic number is the first and highest number. If this number is 140 or above then you have high blood pressure! Your diastolic number is the second and lowest number. If this number is 90 or above then you have high blood pressure! And, if both numbers are above 140/90 then you have high blood pressure. The higher above this threshold the greater your health risk.

High blood pressure will damage your heart and your endothelial cells. Your endothelial cells are critical to cardiovascular health. They also play a major role in controlling your blood pressure because they produce a molecule called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide regulates the muscle tone of your blood vessels. The article 7 Natural Steps to Take the Hyper out of Hypertension! will provide you with some simple but key natural adjustments to help you control your blood pressure.

Smoking – I debated whether to place this first or second on the list. Smoking is equal to or greater than high blood pressure. But monitoring and controlling your blood pressure is certainly a lot easier for a person than to stop smoking. For this reason alone I put high blood pressure as the first and most important risk to address. Next is smoking.

Most people equate smoking with cancer. While this association is true smoking is also the number one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that 40% of all cardiovascular deaths are due to smoking.

The carcinogenic components in tobacco damage the endothelial cells that line the walls of your arteries. This affects your body’s ability to produce nitric oxide, which in turn affects your blood pressure. The carbon monoxide from the burned tobacco interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. This increases your heart rate and can raise your systolic blood pressure. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in your arms and legs. This increases the resistance to blood flow, which causes your diastolic blood pressure to increase.

I realize that this is a nasty habit that is extremely hard to break. Part of the process is having a motivation greater than the habit. If your very life isn’t motivation enough, then maybe for the men your sex life is! Your endothelial cells control your nitric oxide production. Your nitric oxide levels control an erection. No nitric oxide no sex! Every puff on your cigarette is destroying your endothelial cells, which lowers your nitric oxide level and reduces your chances of having good sex.

Overweight/Obesity – The health risks from being overweight and/or obese have now equaled, and some feel overtaken, the health risks from smoking. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 66% of adults age 20 years and over are overweight with 32% clinically obese. That means that 2 out of every 3 people you meet are going to be overweight with half of them being obese. With this dangerous rise in excess fat weight there has been a rise in high blood pressure and an epidemic increase in diabetes.

Because so many people have tried and failed at dieting, they see this category as hopeless. Diets are by their very nature restrictive and unproductive for long term weight loss. So stop trying to diet. Learn how to apply weight management techniques that can have a profound effect on your health and blood pressure. Most people are only 250 calories per day away from stopping their weight gain. That’s the difference between a can of regular soda versus a glass of water. Or, a large order of French fries versus a small order of French fries. The article The Secret to Weight Loss!” can help you in this area.

Diabetes – The greater your percent body fat, the more out of balance your hormonal level will be and the harder it will be for your body to stabilize its blood sugar levels. Most people who get a good handle on their weight and their dietary choices will see a drastic improvement in their blood sugar levels to help prevent type II diabetes. This is not to say that diabetes by itself is not a health risk that shouldn’t be addressed except through diet. What I am saying is that the majority of those with adult onset type II diabetes could prevent and/or reverse the process if they lost the fat and ate a diet that supported the health of their body rather than satisfying their cravings.

Also, high blood sugar levels cause oxidative stress or damage to the endothelial cells. This results in most of the complications associated with diabetes. I’m preparing a series of videos to help you understand this area. Learning how to properly repair and nourish your endothelial cells to improve their ability to produce nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system – is key to preventing heart disease for diabetics.

High Cholesterol – There are two main types of cholesterol that you and your doctor should be concerned about. Your total cholesterol reading is a composite of these two. They are high density cholesterol or HDL and low density cholesterol or LDL. Of the total cholesterol reading the LDL will be the higher amount. Unfortunately your LDL is what also harms your cardiovascular system. Your goal is to lower your bad cholesterol which is your LDL and raise the level of your good cholesterol which is your HDL.

Your LDL cholesterol damages the intercellular junctions between the endothelial cells allowing deposits to build up. This causes the smooth and flexible lining of your blood vessels to become rough and hard leading to the disease commonly called arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis. As this process continues over time, the deposits or plaques become larger which narrows the interior of the blood vessel making it harder for blood to pass through. This increases resistance to blood flow, which can cause your blood pressure to increase.

The narrowing of your blood vessels also causes blood turbulence that can lead to the formation of blood clots. These blood clots, if large enough or if they pass through too narrow of an opening, can eventually lodge themselves in a blood vessel causing a blockage. When this happens in the heart we call it a heart attack. When it happens in the brain it is called a stroke.

A simple, but profound method to control your cholesterol is to make sure you consume an adequate amount of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, dry beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Soluble fiber not only lowers LDL cholesterol but also raises HDL cholesterol. One study examined this relationship between soluble fiber and the risk of heart disease. This study included 9,632 men and women over a 19 year period. It showed that consuming dry beans four times or more per week, compared with less than once a week, lowered the risk of heart disease by 22 percent.

Sedentary Lifestyle – You were designed to move and exercise. Properly applied exercise will strengthen your heart muscle, increase the diameter of the coronary arteries and improve your lung function. As the heart muscle is strengthened it usually improves the efficiency of its contraction. This results in a greater volume of blood being pushed out of the heart to improve blood flow.

Exercise can also improve capillary function and help to build additional capillary beds. This decreases resistance to blood flow to help lower your diastolic blood pressure. Most studies show that at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity done 3 to 5 days per week can have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. If you are not currently exercising then please check with a qualified health professional before starting your exercise program.

Conclusion About Your Risk Factors For Heart Disease!

Your ability to reduce your risk factors for heart disease is a lot greater than what you may have previously thought. In today’s world of pharmaceutical advertising people get the general impression that they need to see their doctor for the right kind of pill to solve their health issue. This is not to say that medication doesn’t have an important application to your overall health. However, your food and lifestyle choices have more to do with your health and the quality of your life than any other factor. It is why your lifestyle choices can have such a profound effect on restoring your health and helping you reduce your risk factors for heart disease.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about the 10 major risks factors for heart disease has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Vitamin D and Heart Disease!

Vitamin DVitamin D has long been associated with bone health. However, over the last seven years new research, especially research by Dr. Michael F. Holick, has shown that this vitamin is essential in the prevention of heart disease and a host of other illnesses. For example, research now shows that vitamin D has an active role in the following biological functions: 

  • Calcium Balance – Maintaining blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for cardiovascular function, bone growth, bone density, and functioning of the nervous system. Specific to the cardiovascular system, proper calcium levels are needed to activate the NOS enzymes used by the endothelial cells to create nitric oxide from the essential amino acid L-arginine. 
  • Cell Differentiation – The active form of vitamin D inhibits cellular proliferation and stimulates cellular differentiation. Cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing but when left unchecked it can lead to cancer. Vitamin D helps to regulate this so that cells differentiate into specialized cells for specific functions in your body.
  • Immune System Modulator – Research suggests that proper levels of vitamin D help to prevent the autoimmune diseases of diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. This vitamin also helps to boost your immune system functions. 
  • Insulin Secretion – New research suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels adversely effect insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes. 

This is just a brief look at the role vitamin D plays in your overall health. We haven’t yet touched on how it can prevent heart disease. Before we do, we need to review some basic facts about this vitamin. 

Vitamin D Basics!

There are two basic forms of vitamin D. One comes from plants in the form of ergocalciferol or vitamin D2. The other comes from humans in the form of cholecalciferol or vitamin D3. Extensive research on both D2 and D3 has shown that the D3 form is clearly better when supplementing with vitamin D.  

Supplementation has become a big factor in helping people achieve the necessary amounts of vitamin D. Why? For two basic reasons: 

First, your body is able to use the UVB of sunlight and convert 7-dehydrocholsterol, located in your skin, into vitamin D3. Unfortunately, we spend less time outdoors in the sunlight for a variety of reasons. This has dramatically reduced our exposure to UVB radiation needed to help people naturally produce their own vitamin D. This is compounded in the winter months when exposure to sunlight is further reduced. 

Second, we’ve underestimated the daily amount of vitamin D needed for good health. For a very long time, vitamin D has been categorized as a fat-soluble vitamin. New research is clearly showing that it’s not simply a fat-soluble vitamin used just for metabolic reactions. It’s also a hormone. There are receptor sites for vitamin D on the cell membranes of most cells in your body. As our understanding of the role that vitamin D plays in both metabolic and hormonal functions has increased, the blood levels needed to sustain this activity has almost doubled from what was previously thought necessary.  

Vitamin D and Heart Disease! 

Thanks to the work of Dr. Michael F. Holick and others, it is clear that vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing heart disease. It does this both directly and indirectly. However, it’s important to note that either method affects the health of the endothelial cells and their ability to properly produce nitric oxide. Let’s look at one indirect connection: 

Diabetes According to Dr. Holick, children from Finland who received 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day during the first year of life and followed for 31 years reduced their risk of developing type 1 diabetes by 88%. Dr. Holick goes on to say in a recent interview 

In terms of type 2 diabetes, the beta islet cell that makes insulin has a vitamin D receptor. Active vitamin D stimulates insulin production. There is evidence that vitamin D may be directly acting on fat cells to improve insulin sensitivity. Therefore, vitamin D plays a role in insulin production, as well as enhancing insulin sensitivity and is a likely explanation for one of the studies I cite in the book (The Vitamin D Solution) that there was a 33% reduced relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes for men and women who had the highest vitamin D intake.” 

Uncontrolled blood sugar, which is the challenge of diabetes, caused oxidative stress to the endothelial cells resulting in damage. Damaged endothelial cells affect the proper production of nitric oxide, which is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. This can lead to a host of heart disease issues like high blood pressure, poor circulation, blood platelet cells sticking together to increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes, and well as other damage to the vascular walls. 

Now let’s look at several direct connections: 

Blood Pressure Regulation Vitamin D plays a direct role in helping you maintain your blood pressure. It does this in two ways. First, it helps to maintain proper calcium levels so that NOS enzymes used by the endothelial cells can properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes the smooth muscle tone of the vascular wall. This controls blood pressure. Plus, vitamin D helps to regulate proper blood volume levels that are needed to control blood pressure. 

Heart Muscle Function – Vitamin D plays a very important role in preventing muscle weakness. It also plays a significant role in nerve firing and nerve triggering of the heart muscle contraction. This means that vitamin D plays a vital role in both nerve stimulation for heart muscle contraction and the strength of that contraction. 

ArteriosclerosisVitamin D inhibits vascular calcification by blocking the release of inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules that can damage the endothelial cells. This is extremely important since the American Heart Association attributes 75% of all cardiovascular disease to arteriosclerosis.  

Vitamin D Daily Recommendations! 

In a recent study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, vitamin D deficiencies are more wide-spread than previously thought, by as much as 50% or higher. This is especially true for older adults. The current recommendations for adults 18 years and older are 2000 IU per day. If you are overweight or obese then you most likely need even more.  

To learn more about how vitamin D can be a critical factor in improving your overall health and lowering your risk for heart disease, I would recommend The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD who is considered by many to be The Pioneer of Vitamin D Research. Also, the following link on vitamin D would be helpful: 

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=110  

Together we can work to save a million lives! 

Dan Hammer 

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.  

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about vitamin D and heart disease has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Atherosclerosis and Osteoporosis Link!

atherosclerosisAtherosclerosis involves the calcification of your vascular tissue. Osteoporosis involves the decalcification of bone tissue. Could there be a link between the two?

Here is a medical fact that few physicians know and even fewer in the general population have ever heard about. As you age your endothelial cells, which line all of your cardiovascular system, can turn into bone cells. They are known as osteoblasts and they normally regulate bone formation.

This discovery was originally made in 1993. Since this discovery research has shown a link between atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. Those with atherosclerosis typically also have weaker, more brittle bone with an increased risk for fracture. Those with osteoporosis typically exhibit hardening of the arteries or atherosclerotic calcification leading to atherosclerosis.

To date the precise biological mechanisms behind the transformation of endothelial cells into osteoblasts, or bone-forming cells, is not fully understood. What is understood is the key role Vitamins D and K play in ensuring that calcium is properly used in bone formation while at the same time preventing the pathological calcification of your arteries.

These two nutrients operate synergistically to combat osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.

Vitamin D and Its Role in Atherosclerosis!

Most people know about the role Vitamin D plays in healthy bone structure and function. What most people do not know is how important Vitamin D is to cardiovascular health. Here is a short list:

  • Vitamin D inhibits vascular calcification, which can lead to atherosclerosis.
  • Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with hypertension, diabetes, increased thickness of the carotid artery, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Below normal levels of vitamin D is also implicated in congestive heart failure.

We’ll examine the function of Vitamin D and cardiovascular health in a future article.

Vitamin K and Its Role in Atherosclerosis!

Most people have never heard of Vitamin K yet it plays a critical role in stimulating new bone formation. Without the proper amount of Vitamin K in your system, your body cannot properly bind calcium and phosphorus to form the matrix necessary to produce and maintain solid, well-mineralized bone.

While the presence of Vitamin K is critical for bone formation, it is also necessary to protect against the calcification of the vascular system.

We’ll examine this function of Vitamin K and cardiovascular health in a future article.

Atherosclerosis and Osteoporosis!

Two age-related diseases are atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. While there are many contributing factors to the progression of each of these two diseases, medical science has now been able to establish a direct link between them. That direct link points to deficiencies of both Vitamin D and Vitamin K. Research has clearly shown that these two vitamins work synergistically to facilitate bone mineralization leading to strong and healthy bones. At the same time they work synergistically to prevent calcium deposits from accumulating in your vascular system leading to atherosclerosis.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about atherosclerosis and osteoporosis has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis – Treatment Programs!

ArteriosclerosisAccording to the American Heart Association, arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis account for nearly 75% of all deaths from heart disease! To have a significant impact on reducing the number one killer of people worldwide, it would make sense to focus on treatment programs that address these cardiovascular diseases.

As I gathered data for this article many of the websites made the following comment – “The exact cause of arteriosclerosis is not known.”

This author would like to disagree with that statement.


The exact cause of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis is known!

It is damage to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system, which reduces their ability to properly produce nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is key to cardiovascular health. According to Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Medicine,

NO – as it is known by chemists – is produced by the body specifically to help keep arteries and veins free of the plaque that causes stroke and to maintain normal blood pressure by relaxing the arteries, thereby regulating the rate of blood flow and preventing coronaries. Nitric oxide is the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.”

If you look closely at Dr. Ignarro’s statement you will notice the following significant phrase: “. . . specifically to help keep arteries and veins free of the plaque that causes stroke. . .” Plaque formation is at the heart of atherosclerosis. Calcification of these plaque formations lead to arteriosclerosis.

The “natural cardiovascular wonder drug” Dr. Ignarro was referring to is nitric oxide, which is produced by the endothelial cells from two important amino acids: L-arginine and L-citrulline. Nitric oxide can specifically prevent both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. Many researchers would also suggest that the proper production of nitric oxide, by your endothelial cells, can reverse both of these cardiovascular diseases.

The following is a review of many of the treatment programs for arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. These treatment programs can be broken down into two major categories: self-care at home and medical treatment. The overall goals of these treatment programs are to reduce symptoms and prevent the progression of the disease so that potential blockages can be prevented. But, the question remains:

Is there a better treatment program and can it actually reverse arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis?”

We’ll examine this after we look at the standard treatment programs usually recommended to patients diagnosed with arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

Self-Care at Home Treatment Programs!

Self-care treatment programs typically mean lifestyle changes. Let’s look at each of these lifestyle changes in relationship to their effects on the endothelial cells and the production of nitric oxide:

  1. Eat food that is low in saturated fats and low in cholesterol. This is a big topic but in its simplest terms LDL cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol) can damage your endothelial cells leading to plaque formations.

  2. Restrict salt intake especially if you have high blood pressure. Again this is a big topic because it only focuses on one mineral: sodium. Also important to this equation is potassium, magnesium, and calcium for proper cardiovascular metabolism.

  3. Increase the consumption of high fiber foods especially vegetables and fruits. High fiber foods help to absorb bile salts that your body uses in digestion. Your liver manufactures bile from cholesterol. Thus, high fiber foods are a natural way to reduce LDL cholesterol, which reduces the potential damage they can cause to your endothelial cells. Also, vegetables and fruits have little sodium but are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which helps maintain proper cardiovascular metabolism.

  4. Quit smoking. This habit has major effects on your cardiovascular system, especially your endothelial cells. Nicotine damages endothelial cells. Cigarette smoking decreases “Good” cholesterol that helps to protect your endothelial cells and increases the “Bad” cholesterol that damages your endothelial cells. The carbon monoxide produced from cigarette smoking also damages endothelial cells and can facilitate plaque formation. Plus, smoking constricts arteries leading to an increased risk of blockages.

  5. Lose weight if overweight or obese. Fat cells absorb and store Vitamin D. Vitamin D inhibits vascular calcification. Vascular calcification is at the heart of arteriosclerosis. Thus, losing weight releases needed Vitamin D back into your system and improves your body’s ability to utilize Vitamin D to reduce multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

  6. Mild to moderate exercise under the supervision of a health care provider. Exercise increases blood flow. Increased blood flow stimulates the endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide.

  7. Maintain normal blood glucose (sugar) levels. When blood glucose is above the normal range it causes oxidative stress to the endothelial cells resulting in damage and a reduction in nitric oxide production.

Medical Treatment Programs

Medical treatment programs usually center on prescription drugs, surgical procedures, or a combination of both to either reduce the risk or repair existing damage to the vascular system. While this list is not exhaustive it does include many of the more prominent treatment programs. Let’s look at each in relationship to the endothelial cells and nitric oxide production.

  1. Taking drugs to normalize blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the endothelial cells. Yet, learning how to naturally nourish your endothelial cells to improve their ability to produce nitric oxide can also normalize blood pressure but without the side effects of medications.

  2. Taking drugs to normalize blood sugar levels. This is especially important for those with diabetes. But, equally important is having in place a nutritional program that will help to repair the damage high blood sugar can cause the endothelial cells.

  3. Taking drugs to lower lipid levels. Statin drugs are the most commonly used lipid-lowering drugs because they effectively interfere with the production of cholesterol by your liver. Unfortunately, they also interfere with the creation of Co-Q10 which is extremely important for heart health and overall energy production. The main purpose of statin drugs is to keep LDL Cholesterol or Bad Cholesterol from damaging the endothelial cells. The proper production of nitric oxide can also repair this damage and keep the “Bad” cholesterol from creating damage in the first place.

  4. Aspirin inhibits sticky platelets cells from forming a blood clot. Nitric oxide also keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together but without the potential risk for bleeding.

  5. Balloon angioplasty. To open blocked or narrowed vascular vessels a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the body. When the narrowed vascular area is reached the balloon is inflated to press the plaque deposit against the vascular wall. This procedure is designed to increase the diameter of the affected area to improve blood flow. The concern is that the balloon procedure will damage the endothelial cells creating a stimulus for additional scarring and plaque formation. This procedure treats a symptom but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

  6. Stenting. Following angioplasty a metal tube called a stent will be placed in the vascular area to help keep it open. The stent acts as a scaffold to support the vascular wall. To prevent additional complications from the endothelium and blood clotting on the metal surface, patient are asked to take specific drugs. Again, this procedure treats a symptom but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

  7. Bypass surgery. This surgical procedure uses arteries or veins from other areas of the person’s body to bypass the blocked vascular area to improve blood flow. Again, this procedure treats the life-threatening event but doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

All of these treatment programs are important. Most of the self-care at home treatment programs help to protect and nourish the endothelial cells. Most of the medical treatment programs limit additional damage to the endothelial cells or are used to correct a problematic area of the vascular system. No one is questioning the proper use in helping to reduce risk and/or save a person’s life from the arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

But, the question still remains is:

Is there a better treatment program and can it actually reverse arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis?”

The answer is “YES!”

It all centers on nourishing and repairing the endothelial cells to improve their ability to properly product nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system or what Dr. Ignarro refers to as “the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.” We’ll explore this in future articles.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan@agingnomore.com

630-936-8079

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis contained in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Strength Training Part 2

Strength TrainingAddressing the One Critical Factor That Makes ALL the Difference for Enhanced Strength Training!

In Part 1 of Strength Training we discovered how little attention is paid to the health of your endothelial cells and their importance to athletic performance. It doesn’t surprise me because most physicians and health care professionals don’t even talk about this subject with their patients.

Yet this organ called the endothelium and all its endothelial cells play a critical role in the health of your cardiovascular system. Every component of athletic performance centers on the health of your endothelial cells and their ability to properly produce nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system.

In Part 2 we’re going to look at sports science and strength training and why you need to pay attention to your endothelial cells and their ability to produce nitric oxide.

Sports Science and Strength Training!

Sports science has come a long way in helping all levels of athletes improve their strength training. From teaching us the importance of developing your core muscles which provide a stable base for all your movements; to different strength training programs which improve muscle strength, tone, and endurance allowing you to stave off muscle fatigue and help to limit injury; to the importance of proper nutrition to both fuel and repair. Yet, there is still one factor that most leave out and that is the health of your endothelial cells and their ability to produce nitric oxide (NO).

According to Darryn Willoughby, PhD, CSCS, FISSN at Baylor University:

Arginine has been well researched and has many beneficial effects, especially in terms of cardiovascular health. Its main mechanism of action lies in boosting NO. NO is a signaling molecule within muscle cells that may have many anabolic effects, including increased nutrient transport and vasodilation. Arginine boosts nitric oxide by stimulating nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that makes NO. Research suggests it may help improve exercise performance, support protein synthesis, boost growth hormone levels at higher doses, and even help replenish postworkout glycogen stores.

What Dr. Willoughby is pointing out is that nitric oxide plays a significant role in all phases of strength training. And, the organ of the body that is key to producing it is your endothelial cells that make up your endothelium. It is foundational to the cardiovascular system’s ability to deliver the necessary oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular contraction and relaxation. Additionally, that same cardiovascular system is needed to remove the waste products created during energy production so that the muscle and organ systems can work optimally or as close to optimally as possible.

Many serious strength training athletes spend a lot of time, money, and effort on training, nutrition, and equipment. Equally important is spending time making sure your endothelial cells are properly repaired and supplied with the amino acids they need for improved nitric oxide production.

Why Pay Attention to the Endothelial Cells and Nitric Oxide Production for Strength Training?

As promised I’m going to open your eyes and mind to information that can take you to a whole new level of strength training. But first a little background.

Your endothelium is a thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of your entire cardiovascular system including your heart. These cells are called the endothelial cells. When added up, the volume of these endothelial cells would cover the surface area of 8 tennis courts and weigh as much as the liver. That’s amazing since the endothelium is only one cell thick and can’t be seen by the human eye.

Once thought to be just an inert membrane, research over the last 25 years has shown that the endothelium is an active, multi-functional organ that plays a vital role in metabolic, immunologic, and cardiovascular health. Most researchers today would tell you that your endothelial cells ultimately determine the health of your blood vessels. It’s these blood vessels that are delivering the needed oxygen and nutrients for your athletic performance as well as removing the waste products that help determine the speed of your recovery. All key to strength training.

One critical function of the endothelial cells is facilitating the formation of new capillaries. While this is important in wound healing, it also plays a significant role in muscle creation and in the heart’s ability to develop collateral vessels to improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients. This collateral vessel formation is also key to improving your ability to fuel your muscles with oxygen and nutrients as well as effectively removing waste products.

Another critical function of the endothelial cells is the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. It regulates the muscle tone of your blood vessels allowing them to dilate for improved blood flow into the working muscles, tissues, and organs. Nitric oxide stops blood platelet cells from grouping together to enhance blood flow. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells. Nitric oxide is associated with the process of learning and memory for improved cognitive function so that your head is clear and focused in the gym. According to Dr. Jonathan S. Stamler – Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center:

It does everything, everywhere. You cannot name a major cellular response or physiological effect in which [nitric oxide] is not implicated today. It’s involved in complex behavioral changes in the brain, airway relaxation, beating of the heart, dilation of blood vessels, regulation of intestinal movements, function of blood cells, the immune system, even how fingers and arms move.”

From airway relaxation for improved lung function to dilation of the blood vessels for improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, tissues, and organs, nitric oxide plays a critical role in strength training.

In Part 3 we are going to examine how your endothelial cells and their ability to properly produce nitric oxide impacts your training, performance, and recovery in strength training. This final part will help you understand how you can experience substantial and significant improvements in your overall strength and fitness; but only if you nourish your endothelial cells properly.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about Strength Training contained in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Oxygen, Free Radicals, and Antioxidants!

AntioxidantsI’d like to share with you some information about the power of antioxidants.

In my last post Energy Production and Cardiovascular Health! we talked about how aerobic respiration produces 18 times more energy than anaerobic respiration. How the proper use of oxygen by your cells’ mitochondria is a powerful tool for creating energy. However, when oxygen is used it also creates free radicals which can damage your cells. To prevent this damage you need antioxidants. This post will examine the need for antioxidants to fight free radical damage.

What’s A Free Radical?

No, it’s not a 1960s hippie from Berkeley. Rather, it is an unstable atom or molecule. In very simple terms a free radical is an atom or molecule that is missing an electron in its outer orbit. Because of this unbalanced state the free radical will try to steal an electron from a different atom or molecule to stabilize itself. This process causes the affected atom or molecule to become unstable resulting in a new free radical. The result is a chain reaction that can continue until the final free radical steals an electron from a cell wall resulting in the disruption of a living cell. This constant process of free radicals stealing electrons from living tissue results in the aging process we all experience. It’s also a major cause of damage to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that freely gives away their outer electrons. Thus, they will give the free radical its needed electron to return it back to a stable compound. Now, you might be thinking that these antioxidants will become free radicals. Here is the really impressive aspect of this process. They do not become free radicals because they are stable in either form (with or without an even number of electrons in their outer orbit). This stability allows them to act as free radical scavengers to help prevent cell and tissue damage.

3 Most Common Antioxidants

If it weren’t for the remarkable stability of these compounds, as they freely give their electrons to stabilize free radicals, we would age quite rapidly. The three most commonly known antioxidants are:

  • Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body. It may protect against cardiovascular disease and is commonly found in nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains, and certain fruits.

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in the body. It has the unique ability to return Vitamin E to its active form. It is commonly found in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.

  • Beta-carotene (precursor to Vitamin A) is the most misunderstood of all these compounds. It’s commonly found in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains. Beta-carotene is water-soluble and has no set RDA requirements. However, it’s the precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, has no antioxidant properties, and can be quite toxic when taken in excess. Because of this, most physicians warn against Beta-carotene. However, they forget that the body controls the conversion of Beta-carotene to Vitamin A on a “needs only” basis. Thus, your body will only make as much Vitamin A from Beta-carotene as it needs. This usually prevents any toxicity.

It’s extremely important to note that these compounds are all critical for proper health. The body cannot manufacture them. They must be supplied in the diet. That’s why nutritionists encourage us to eat a balanced diet consisting of 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Additional Protection!

As nutritional scientists continue to explore this realm of antioxidants, and their ability to offset free radical damage, some amazing compounds are being discovered like:

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid – This powerful compound does double duty. Not only can it neutralize free radicals but it can also restore the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E. Alpha-Lipoic Acid stimulates the body’s production of glutathione and assists in the absorption of coenzyme Q10. It helps to detoxify the liver, prevent cataract formation, protect nerve tissue, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and aid cells in metabolizing sugar.

  • Anthocyanidins – This is a phytochemical that helps to lower blood pressure, inhibit clot formation, enhance vision, strengthen collagen, and enhance the blood supply to the nervous system. It can provide up to fifty times the protection of vitamin E and ten times the protection of vitamin C.

  • Coenzyme Q10 – This compound has a structure similar to vitamin E. It’s critically important for cellular energy because it aids in metabolizing fats and carbohydrates. Since most free radicals are created in the oxidative process of creating energy, coenzyme Q10 plays a significant role in stopping free radical damage.
  • Flavonoids – Flavonoids are chemical compounds that plants produce to protect themselves. They have very powerful antioxidant properties. There are more than 4,000 chemically unique flavonoids with many of them having greater effectiveness than vitamins C and E or beta-carotene. Science is just beginning to discover this amazing world of flavoniods.

  • Glutathione Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in the liver from the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Glutathione neutralizes the oxygen molecule before it can harm the cell. Additionally, it can combine with other molecules like selenium to create other powerful antioxidants. Glutathione is critically important to your health. It protects individual cells as well as the tissues of the arteries, brain, heart, immune system, kidneys, eyes, liver, lungs, and skin.

  • Melatonin – This hormone has the ability to penetrate the cell’s mitochondria and protect it from free radical damage. Most of the cell’s energy is produced by the mitochondria. Since energy production creates free radicals, compounds specific to the mitochondria play a huge role in protecting cell function.

  • OPCs – Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins are unique flavonoids that can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain and spinal nerves against free radical damage. OPCs are found in plant life. The two main sources are pine bark extract (commonly called Pycnogenol) and grape seed extract.

  • Polyphenols – This is a phytochemical produced by plants. They have antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and other health-enhancing properties.

  • Selenium – This is an essential trace mineral which partners with vitamin E to provide oxidative protection. Use caution when taking supplemental selenium. The recommended maximum safe dosage is 400 micrograms daily.

  • Superoxide Dismutase – This is an enzyme that helps to revitalize cells and reduce the rate of cell destruction. It’s particular important in neutralizing the most dangerous free radicals called superoxide radicals. These free radicals breakdown the synovial fluid which lubricates the body’s joints leading to joint friction and inflammation.

  • Zinc – This mineral’s main function is in the prevention of fat oxidation.

Final Notes

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding antioxidants. This post doesn’t even cover some of the newly discovered super foods like Brazilian Acai which have tremendous anti aging properties and heart health benefits. It’s important to note that antioxidants work synergistically in providing their protection against free radical damage. Thus, it’s better to take smaller doses of a variety of these compounds than just a large amount of only one type. For most fruits and vegetables the majority of the beneficial properties are contained in the skin.

Since free radical damage is the leading cause of many cardiovascular health issues it makes perfect sense to consume foods and products that contain antioxidants. This reduces free radical damage to help slow down the oxidative damage done to your endothelial cells. Cells that are critically important to the proper production of nitric oxide, your body’s master signaling molecule for the cardiovascular system..

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer is a Wellness Educator who has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicago area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about Antioxidants contained in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Energy Production and Cardiovascular Health!

EnergyI was going through some storage bins over the weekend and came across this crazy drawing of energy production you see on the left. It’s from my biochemistry class in college, and it has a direct application to cardiovascular health. In fact, once you understand it you will realize how important good circulation is to your health and your ability to produce energy.

It looks pretty confusing but let me help you understand it by asking you a very simple question:

If You Had a Stock Option That Paid You a Return of 2% or 36% Which Would You Choose?

Every person I’ve ever asked this question to always chooses 36%. Why? Because it returns a higher yield. Well, this is the difference in energy production between anaerobic respiration and aerobic respiration.

Anaerobic Respiration – Energy Production Without Oxygen!

The top half of this drawing represents the energy production achieved by anaerobic respiration. As your blood filters through the liver, glucose (blood sugar) is added to your blood stream. This is carried to your cells to be converted into energy. When your cell lacks oxygen it uses a chemical process called anaerobic respiration to convert the glucose into energy. It’s extremely inefficient and the net result is just 2 units of energy.

Plus it produces a byproduct called pyruvic acid. If oxygen is not present then the cell converts this pyruvic acid to lactic acid. This allows the cell to continue to produce a small quantity of energy. However, lactic acid is an irritant. It causes that burning sensation you feel when you’ve overused a muscle and it interferes with proper cell function.

The net result of anaerobic respiration is poor energy production and a large amount of waste material that disrupts the proper function of the cells, tissues, and organs.

Aerobic Respiration – Energy Production With Oxygen!

When oxygen is present the pyruvic acid will enter the mitochondria of your cells to be used in the Kreb’s cycle. (If you think this drawing is confusing and crazy you should see the drawing for the Kreb’s cycle.) Think of your mitochondria as an energy producing factory.

This process will take that one unit of glucose and convert it into 36 units of energy. This is 18 times more productive than anaerobic respiration. Plus, the waste products are carbon dioxide and water. You breath out carbon dioxide and you eliminate any excess water. Neither of these two waste products damage your cells, tissues, and organs.

While aerobic respiration can cause oxidative stress to cells, the net result is large energy production with waste material that is not disruptive to the proper functioning of your cells, tissues, and organs.

Government versus Private Sector

Some have even compared this process of energy production to the difference between government run programs and private sector programs. Anaerobic respiration, like the government, is very inefficient and produces only a small return on investment; 1 unit of glucose yields 2 units of energy with bureaucratic red tape that can clog and slow down the system.

Aerobic respiration, like the private sector, is very efficient and produces a large return on investment; 1 unit of glucose yields 36 units of energy with an assembly line that is highly productive but also needs proper maintenance to continue its accelerated production.

What Does All This Have To Do With Cardiovascular Health?

Your red blood cells carry oxygen to your tissues and cells. If your cardiovascular system is damaged by cholesterol, excess sugar that causes oxidative stress, plaque formations, and other contributing factors, then you begin to limit blood flow. This damage limits the delivery of oxygen and causes your cells to depend more on anaerobic respiration for their energy needs.

Because anaerobic respiration can’t keep up with the needs of the cells, the cells have to slow down. They become less efficient and sluggish in their job. Compound this with the waste products produced from anaerobic respiration and you have a cycle that leads to poor organ health and poor overall wellness.

The Key to Reversing This Cycle!

The key to reversing this degenerating cycle is to improve blood circulation by repairing the damage caused to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system. As you improve the health of your endothelial cells they are able to properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. This means that nitric oxide is needed to properly regulate blood flow to the cells, tissues, and organs.

This dramatically improves blood flow, which then delivers more oxygen. More oxygen produces more energy and waste products that are easily transported away from the cells, tissues, and organs. The net result is improved organ function, improved energy, and a higher level of overall wellness.

By properly combining the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline with key antioxidants you can repair your endothelial cells and improve their ability to create nitric oxide. This has been clinically shown to improve circulation and reverse many cardiovascular health issues. It’s what makes the ProArgi-9 Plus product so effective in helping people improve their energy production and cardiovascular health.

It’s pretty amazing how improved blood flow to all your cells, tissues, and organs can make such a significant difference in your overall health. But, there is still one other factor we need to address. That factor is the need for antioxidants to help protect your cells when oxygen is used to create all this wonderful energy. We’ll talk about this in my next post.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer is a Wellness Educator who has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicago area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about energy production and cardiovascular health has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.