Nitric Oxide Foods!

Nitric Oxide Molecule

The core of a good cardiovascular program is learning how to choose nitric oxide foods and supplements that will enhance your endothelium’s ability to create nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Just in this first line I introduced you to several key physiological terms that will absolutely reduce your risk for heart disease if you know how to maximize the benefits of nitric oxide foods.

Let’s start with your endothelium. This organ is now considered to be the largest secreting organ in your body.  Unfortunately, most people have never heard of it, yet your endothelium lines all of your cardiovascular system.  The inside of your heart, arteries, and veins are all lined by this one-celled thick organ.  Your capillaries are just extensions of your endothelium.  Most vascular researchers today believe that your endothelium ultimately controls most of your cardiovascular system. And one of its functions is to take nitric oxide foods and convert them into nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator. This means that it relaxes the smooth muscle of your vascular wall to properly control your blood pressure.  Nitric oxide is a short-lived gas that contains a single nitrogen and oxygen atom that, when combined together, act as a signaling molecule.  A signaling molecule is used by your body to cause something else to occur.  In addition to helping you maintain a normal blood pressure, your cardiovascular system uses nitric oxide to keep your blood platelet cells from sticking together to prevent strokes and heart attacks.  Nitric oxide is also used to heal and repair damage to the endothelium.

But it doesn’t end there. Your nervous system uses nitric oxide as a neurotransmitter to transmit impulses between nerve cells. Your immune system uses nitric oxide to destroy infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and tumors.  In fact there is not a cell, tissue, or organ in your body that is not directly or indirectly impacted by nitric oxide.  You could not live without it and the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how the endothelium produces this life-saving and live-enhancing gas called nitric oxide.

Given this information wouldn’t it make sense to learn which nitric oxide foods will nourish your endothelium for improved nitric oxide production?

Nitric Oxide Foods – What Are They?

When we look at nitric oxide foods we’re looking for foods that contain the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline.  Technically speaking your endothelium uses L-arginine to create nitric oxide.  The reason why I include L-citrulline is because this amino acid will recycle L-arginine to turbo charge your production of nitric oxide.  We’ll talk about this in just a little bit.

To help you better understand which foods are good nitric oxide foods I’ve created a popular YouTube video. Just click here to watch! For those who would prefer to read let me share the following information:

Most research indicates that for you to receive a therapeutic benefit from L-arginine you need to consume at least 5 grams of this amino acid at one time. So I selected 4 nitric oxide foods that I thought would be common food choices.  I did the math conversions to look at how much of these nitric oxide foods you would need to eat to take in 5 grams of L-arginine.  I also looked at the number of calories and grams of fat it would bring into your body.  Peanuts provide the smallest quantity of food but they pack on 70 grams of fat and 918 calories.  Beans, tuna, or chicken breasts are your better choices but you would need to consume at least:

  • one can of beans or
  • two cans of tuna or
  • almost 1 pound of chicken to get a therapeutic benefit.

The other amino acid is L-citrulline. There is not much of a choice in nitric oxide foods for this amino acid.  Watermelon is your one and only good food choice.  Unfortunately, 60% of the L-citrulline is contained in the rind portion of the watermelon which most people never eat.  You would have to eat over a pound of watermelon to get even close to the amount of L-citrulline your body would need for a therapeutic benefit.

When people realize all the food they need to eat, and the limited menu they have to choose from, they begin to ask the question:

Is it better to get these critical amino acids through nitric oxide foods or supplementation?

Comparing costs between nitric oxide foods and supplementation, your total daily food cost could range from $2.50 to $7.00 depending on whether it’s organic or processed food.  Your supplement cost is usually around $2.00 or less.

So supplementation costs you less and doesn’t have the added concern of fat grams and calories to your diet.  You just need to make sure you choose a good supplement company because the quality of the L-arginine and L-citrulline makes a huge difference.  To help you better understand this please click on my YouTube video.

How Long Will Nitric Oxide Foods Provide a Benefit?

Now, I need to make one more important point about nitric oxide foods and supplements as it applies to these two amino acids.

When you bring in a therapeutic level of L-arginine, it typically results in a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production.  When you combine your L-arginine with L-citrulline, you increase this therapeutic production of nitric oxide to 24 to 36 hours.  This has huge health benefits in helping you to control your blood pressure and repairing the damage done to the endothelium.

This is so important that the 1998 Nobel Laureate Dr. Louis J. Ignarro had this to say in his 2005 bestseller NO More Heart Disease:

Any supplement program that does not contain L-citrulline and antioxidants to augment the L-arginine – and most on the market do not – is missing out on a major piece of the potential of nitric oxide to improve your cardiovascular health.”

Learning how to properly nourish, heal, and support your endothelium through proper nitric oxide foods and supplements is a much more cost effective way in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  This is especially important for those who have high blood pressure.  Since 33 percent of the American adult population has high blood pressure, and 25 percent are in the pre-hypertensive condition, choosing nitric oxide foods and supplements could be a tremendous health strategy for the prevention of heart disease.

Together we can work to save a million lives by teaching them the benefits of nitric oxide foods!

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 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 nitric oxide foods 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.

Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Health!

If you want to improve your overall health, and the health of your loved ones, then you need to understand the relationship between nitric oxide and cardiovascular health.  It’s absolutely critical because you could not live without nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system.
You’ve most likely never been counseled by your physician about the importance of nitric oxide and cardiovascular health.  Yet there is an overwhelming amount of research that validates the tremendous role nitric oxide plays in your body.  Here is just a sample of several prominent physicians and researchers with their comments about nitric oxide and cardiovascular health:

Dr. John Cooke – Director of Vascular Medicine at Stanford University and author of the book, The Cardiovascular Cure:

This book will introduce you to the magic that is inside your blood vessels.  It comes in the shape of a molecule, one of the simplest molecules found in nature. This molecule is nitric oxide, or NO, a substance so powerful that it can actually protect you from heart attack and stroke. Best of all, your body can make it on its own.  NO is your body’s own built-in, natural protection against heart disease.”

Dr. Louis J. Ignarro – 1998 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and author of the book, NO More Heart Disease:

Though NO’s structure is simple, nitric oxide is now regarded as the most significant molecule in the body, absolutely crucial to your well-being. I am convinced that nitric oxide can age-proof your cardiovascular system, keeping it much fitter than your chronological age would indicate.”

Repairing the damage wrought by cardiovascular disease without risky and often ineffective surgery had long been considered impossible.  I was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for making that thinking obsolete. Now we know we can reverse cardiovascular impairment naturally – with the body’s internally manufactured ‘wonder drug,’ nitric oxide.”

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 movement, function of blood cells, the immune system, even how fingers and arms move.”

Three of the most prominent doctors in America all talking about the importance of nitric oxide and cardiovascular health.  How this amazing molecule plays such a significant role in your overall health.  The production of nitric oxide is a vital function of your endothelium, which lines all of your cardiovascular system.  In fact, the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how the endothelial cells produce nitric oxide from the amino acid L-Arginine.  Since its discovery much has been learned about nitric oxide.  For example:

  • Nitric oxide regulates the muscle tone of blood vessels to have a major impact on controlling blood pressure.
  • Nitric oxide stops blood platelet cells from grouping together in a clot to help prevent blockages in the blood vessels.
  • Nitric oxide controls the action of almost every orifice from swallowing to defecation.
  • Nitric oxide helps the immune system fight viral, bacterial and parasitic infections as well as tumors.
  • Nitric oxide causes penile erections by dilating blood vessels to help in erectile dysfunction.
  • Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells.
  • Nitric oxide seems to be associated with the process of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and maybe even depression.
  • Nitric oxide has been shown to be a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism.
  • Nitric oxide promotes vascular reparative mechanisms when injury occurs.  It is one of the keys to reversing atherosclerosis.

To help you understand the significance of nitric oxide and cardiovascular health, let’s focus on two key cardiovascular issues.

Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Health – High Blood Pressure!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31.3 percent of the U.S. adult population has high blood pressure.  That represents almost one out of every three adults.  Add to this fact that another 25 percent of American adults have prehypertension – blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range – and you have over half the American adult population affected by this cardiovascular disease.

This represents a staggering cost in human life and a significant financial drain.  In 2006, high blood pressure was listed as the primary or contributing cause of death for 326,000 Americans.  The estimated cost in 2010 for health care services, medications, and missed days of work was $76.6 billion.

The typical treatment program for most people with high blood pressure can be a combination of diet, exercise, stress management techniques, and medication. For many who opt for the medication route, it’s estimated that 26 percent still do not have their hypertension under control. Since many medications also have some form of side effect it can be a frustrating journey trying to get your blood pressure under control.

Enhancing the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide is seldom considered yet Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine Dr. Louis Ignarro makes the following statement regarding nitric oxide and cardiovascular health:

More effective than any other factor in the body, nitric oxide can dilate the smooth muscle of the blood vessels.  With this dilation, the vessels can relax and allow blood to flow easily through them – and quite possibly lower the blood pressure.”

Nitric oxide is the body’s most powerful vasodilator and causes the smooth muscle of the vascular wall to relax.  This regulates your blood pressure and the health of your endothelium controls this process.  Properly nourishing and repairing your endothelium so that it can properly produce nitric oxide is a natural way to help maintain normal blood pressure.

Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Health – Strokes and Heart Attacks!

When you have a blood clot that causes a blockage in the brain we call it a stroke and when that blockage occurs in the heart it’s called a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association’s website 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in the bloodstream.  This blood clot then lodges within an artery of the brain causing a blockage.  This blockage reduces the necessary blood flow to that section of the brain leading to damage or death to those brain cells.  The amount of damage determines the severity of the stroke.  This same scenario applies to your heart.  Add to this the following statistics:

  • 77% of Americans treated for a first stroke had high blood pressure!
  • 69% of Americans who experienced a first heart attack had high blood pressure!

As you can see the prevention of strokes and heart attacks really centers on addressing high blood pressure and reducing the potential for the formation of blood clots.  Your body does this naturally through nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide causes two very specific events or reactions to occur.

Nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together. This helps to prevent blood clots from occurring in the vascular system, thereby reducing the risk for strokes and heart attacks.

Nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator to relax the smooth muscle of your vascular wall to properly control blood pressure. This improves blood flow and directly addresses the number one risk factor for strokes and heart attacks.  Additionally, your endothelium is a critical component in the regulation of your blood pressure by controlling the response of your vascular wall to the changing pressures within your cardiovascular system.

Nitric Oxide and Cardiovascular Health – Conclusion!

While there is much more that can be said about nitric oxide and cardiovascular health it is very evident that many of the cardiovascular issues facing the American population could be addressed through the proper production of nitric oxide.

Learning how to properly nourish, heal, and support your endothelium through proper nutritional supplementation, diet, and exercise would be a much more cost effective and life enhancing way then the current approach taken today.  As stated at the beginning of this article, nitric oxide is critical to your cardiovascular health.

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 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 nitric oxide 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.

Endothelial Health Equals Cardiovascular Health!

When was the last time anyone ever asked you about your endothelial health?

NEVER!

It’s estimated that there are approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the adult body.  These blood vessels include arteries, veins, and capillaries.  They are all protected by a microscopic inner lining of endothelial cells, which are commonly called the endothelium.  It’s important to note that these cells line the entire circulatory system from the inside of your heart all the way down to your smallest capillary.  When added up, the volume of these endothelial cells would cover the surface area of 4 to 8 tennis courts depending upon the size of the individual. That’s amazing since the endothelium is only one cell thick and can’t be seen by the human eye.

Once discovered the endothelium was classified as an inert membrane whose primary function was to keep the blood in the circulatory system and out of the body’s tissues and organs. Research over the last 25 years has shown that your endothelium is an active, multi-functional organ that plays a vital role in metabolic, immunologic, and cardiovascular health. Your endothelium is now considered to be the single largest secreting organ in the body.

Endothelial health is so important that the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how the endothelium converts the amino acid L-arginine into nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system.

Endothelial Health and Its Life Enhancing Functions!

Because endothelial cells line every blood vessel they play an important role in the proper function of every organ in your body.  The following is a list of the known functions of the endothelium.  Each function plays an important role in endothelial health, cardiovascular health, and your overall wellness:

  • Angiogenesis – The formation of new capillaries is called angiogenesis and is regulated in part by the endothelium. Endothelial health is extremely important in wound healing.  It also plays a significant role in muscle creation and in the heart’s ability to develop collateral vessels.  These collateral vessels can help lessen the impact of a blood vessel blockage in the heart by providing alternative routes for blood flow.
  • Blood Flow – Your endothelium helps to facilitate blood flow. It does this by providing a smooth surface that inhibits platelet adhesion and clotting.  It also tries to inhibit foreign substances from adhering to its cellular wall, which can lead to plaque formations.  Large molecules like LDL (bad) cholesterol and/or toxic substances like nicotine damage 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 to directly impact endothelial health.

It’s these plaque formations that are at the heart of 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 following factors can damage the endothelium and increase these formations:  smoking, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension or high blood pressure, and inflammation. Elevated homocysteine levels have also been associated with premature atherosclerosis and can effect endothelial health and function.

Atherosclerosis was once thought to be irreversible but new studies clearly show that when the proper biochemical environment is provided the injured endothelium can return to its undamaged state. Proper supplementation with L-arginine, the precursor for nitric oxide, has been shown to diminish lesion formation, reverse endothelial dysfunction, and lead to improved endothelial health.

  • Blood Clotting – 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.

The endothelial cells produce a molecule called nitric oxide, which inhibits platelet adhesion, activation, secretion and aggregation, and promotes platelet disaggregation. This is extremely important in preventing blood clots in the vascular system to lessen the risk for heart attacks and strokes. It’s also a critical factor in sickle cell anemia to help prevent sickle cells from adhering to each other and clinging to the vascular walls.  This helps to prevent blockages, which cause most of the pain and tissue damage associated with sickle cell anemia.

While using nitric oxide to prevent blood clotting, it’s interesting to note that the endothelial cells are also necessary for blood to clot. They synthesize the vitally important molecule called Factor VIII or von Willibrand’s Factor, which is essential for blood clotting.  Without this molecule a person could bleed to death from a simple scratch.

  • Blood pressure – Not only do the endothelial cells provide a dynamically-controlled structural barrier between the circulating blood and surrounding tissues and organs but they also produce signaling molecules that influence vasodilation and vasoconstriction. Vasodilation causes blood vessels to relax allowing for greater blood flow.  This reduces blood pressure. Vasoconstriction causes blood vessels to tighten reducing blood flow and causing blood pressure to increase.

It’s currently believed that the endothelial cells are the controlling factor in the regulation of blood pressure. They produce both nitric oxide, which is the most potent vasodilator, and Endothelin-1 the most potent vasoconstrictor. The proper production of nitric oxide is fundamental to maintaining normal blood pressures, which means that endothelial health is critical to helping you maintain normal blood pressures.

  • Specialized barrier function – Endothelial cells act as selective filters to regulate the passage of gases, fluids, and various molecules across their membranes.  For example, in the brain and retina the endothelial cells are tightly linked together to create a barrier that only allows selective molecules to pass through it.  In the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, the endothelial cells are loosely linked allowing for cellular trafficking between their intercellular gaps.  However, in the kidneys, endocrine glands, and intestinal villi, the endothelial cells have a different type of selective permeability to allow for efficient filtering, secretion, and absorption based on that organ’s function.

Endothelial health is also critical to the proper function of your immune system. Your white blood cells or leucocytes are produced in the bone marrow.  They travel through the blood stream where the endothelial cells facilitate their passage into your body’s tissue to allow them to destroy foreign agents or antigens.  This gate-keeping role varies for each organ system but is dependent upon endothelial health and function.

Endothelial Health Is Critically Important!

It’s amazing that a simple lining of cells on the interior walls of your blood vessels could have such a profound affect on your
cardiovascular health and overall wellness.  Yet that’s exactly the case with your endothelial cells.  Endothelial health is critical to your health and your body’s ability to produce nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system.  When impaired, endothelial dysfunction has been linked to the following diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • ALS
  • Parkinson’s
  • Hypercoagulation of Blood, Thrombosis, Clotting Disorders
  • Renal Failure
  • Metabolic Syndrome including Abdominal Obesity and Insulin Resistance
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Glaucoma

That’s quite a list of diseases. Properly bringing in a good source of L-arginine, combined with good eating and lifestyle habits like those found in the Mediterranean diet, can help reverse damage to the endothelium and improve endothelial health. This means that your choices have a direct impact on endothelial health, which impacts cardiovascular health and all the diseases listed above.

It also means that you have the ability to prevent most of these diseases by focusing your attention on ways to improve your endothelial health and function. We’ll look at this in our next article especially as it applies to proper nitric oxide production.

Together we can work to save a million lives by concentrating on endothelial 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 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 endothelial health has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent and disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Cardiovascular Health for Women!

If you search cardiovascular health for women on Google you will obtain 17 million results.  Search breast health for women and you will obtain almost 41 million results.  Almost 2.5 times more results for breast health over cardiovascular health for women, yet American women are 4 to 6 times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer.

This is not to say that breast cancer information isn’t important or to discount all the work done to bring this to the attention of our society.  It’s vitally important.

But so is targeted information for cardiovascular health for women.  This information is so important that it has the potential to save even more lives than any other health education program, especially when there is a natural solution.

Cardiovascular Health for Women Could Save Millions of Lives!

So I’m on a mission to educate women in this area.  A mission that has the potential to save millions of lives from the number one cause of death for both men and women worldwide.

As I was gathering information for this article I came across the following quote from Kofi Annan, the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Winner:

When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life.”

What a profound and true statement.  Women are caregivers to their family, friends, and eventually to themselves.  I would like to educate you in this area of cardiovascular health for women so that you can take care of yourself as well as your family and friends. Together we can help save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and illness. We can help them live vibrant and healthy lives by paying attention to the core problem of most cardiovascular disease.

I’ve always found the best place to start any journey is at the beginning.  We need to see where we are at to better understand where we need to go.  Here are some startling statistics from a wide variety of experts in the area of cardiovascular health for women.

According to FamilyDoctor.org:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 65 years of age.
  • Heart disease kills more women over 65 years of age than all cancers combined.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Although heart disease is often thought of as a problem for men, more women than men die of heart disease each year.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

  • Experts estimate that one in two women will die of heart disease or stroke, compared with one in 25 women who will die of breast cancer.

Cardiovascular Health for Women Starts With The Endothelium!

The message is clear.  It is time to pay attention to cardiovascular health for women.  Most people think we need to place our attention on heart health.  While this is important, it is not the root cause of most cardiovascular disease.  According to the American Heart Association 2004 Heart and Stroke Statistical Update, arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis accounted for nearly 75% of all deaths from heart disease.

Arteriosclerosis is hardening of the arteries.  Atherosclerosis is plaque formations building up inside the vascular system.  Cardiovascular health for women really centers on your vascular system more than your heart.  The key to your vascular system is the health of your endothelium.

What!  You’ve never heard of the ENDOTHELIUM!

It doesn’t surprise me since most people have never heard of this organ.  Yet the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researches that discovered how this organ converts an amino acid called L-arginine into nitric oxide, which is the master signaling molecule for your entire cardiovascular system. You could not live without nitric oxide and it’s your endothelium that controls its production. Both are critically important if we are to achieve improvements in cardiovascular health for women.

Please join me for my next article as I help you discover this Nobel Prize Winning Science about an organ that actually controls most of your cardiovascular system.  It’s the key to saving a million lives.  It’s the organ that needs attention if improved cardiovascular health for women and their loved ones is to change the health of America and our world.

Together we can share how cardiovascular health for women could 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 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 cardiovascular health for women 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.

Heart Disease Costs to Skyrocket!

According to the American Heart Association (January 24, 2011) heart disease costs are expected to triple in the next 20 years. This means that heart disease costs in the United States are projected to go from 273 billion to 818 billion. To put this into perspective this cost is equivalent to the 800 billion dollar TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) legislation pushed through Congress to help bail out the banks, insurance, and auto companies.  

For many Americans, TARP was a symbol of big government at its worst. For me, this projected increase in heart disease costs is a symbol of American health care at its worst. To help you understand what I’m going to say, please listen to this NBC News video discussing this issue of skyrocketing heart disease costs: 

http://topics.healthvideo.com/m/37359428/heart-disease-costs-to-skyrocket.htm#q=Heart+Disease+Costs+to+Skyrocket 

As this video points out the projected heart disease costs could change if new treatment programs are found. To further highlight this I like to share the following quote from Dr. Paul Heidenreich, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford Medical School and chair of the American Heart Association panel who issued this policy statement on heart disease costs: 

The burden of heart disease and stroke on the U.S. Health care system will be substantial and will limit our ability to care for the U.S. population unless we can take steps now to prevent cardiovascular disease.” 

The issue that upsets me the most is this idea that we have to discover some pharmaceutical treatment program to solve this crisis. The reality is: 

We Can Prevent Heart Disease Costs NOW!  

There are preventative steps that are natural and can make a substantial difference in reducing the risk for all forms of cardiovascular disease allowing us to make a major dent in heart disease costs. These preventative steps have Nobel Prize Winning Science from Dr. Louis J. Ignarro and cutting edge vascular research from Stanford Medical School through Dr. John Cooke.  

Heart Disease Costs Could be Substantially Reduced by a Natural Treatment Program That Already Exists! 

In 1998 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how your endothelium, which lines all of your cardiovascular system, converts the amino acid L-arginine into nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Dr. Ignarro refers to nitric oxide as “the body’s natural cardiovascular wonder drug.”  

To help you understand the magnitude of the existing cardiovascular problem let me share the following statistics: 

  • Currently, 36.9 percent of Americans have some type of heart disease (high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and other conditions.)
  • By 2030 this number is expected to rise to 40.5 percent of the population.
  • The biggest increases are thought to be in heart failure (up 25 percent) and stroke (up 24.9 percent). 

You will note that in the above statistics all are affected by the health of your endothelium and its ability to properly produce nitric oxide. Here is why this is so important. Nitric oxide plays three critical roles in cardiovascular health and function. They are: 

  1. Nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to prevent blockages that can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
  2. Nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator to relax the smooth muscle of your vascular wall to properly regulate your blood pressure.
  3. Nitric oxide, when in sufficient quantities in the blood stream, repairs ongoing damage to the endothelial cells and can effectively reverse existing damage from plaque formations. 

As you can see, proper nitric oxide production achieved through the healthy function of your endothelium directly addresses most of the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease. You can directly repair and nourish your endothelium for improved nitric oxide production and do it naturally. 

Heart Disease Costs Could be Substantially Reduced With Existing Science! 

The American Heart Association continued their line of thinking with the following statement: 

Effective prevention strategies are needed if we are to limit the growing burden

of cardiovascular disease.”  

I’m here to tell you that those “effective prevention strategies” already exist. They are natural strategies that combine two amino acids in L-arginine and L-citrulline with a synergistic blend of antioxidants and nutrients that can help improve the function of the endothelium and turbo charge the effects of nitric oxide on cardiovascular health. This natural strategy can significantly reduce heart disease costs, substantially reduce cardiovascular risk factors, improve the quality of life for those with current cardiovascular issues, and prevent future generations from developing heart disease. 

Commenting on the American Heart Association’s policy statement, Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California (Los Angles) had this to say: 

Population-based strategies are urgently needed to improve cardiovascular health, prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular disease, and help to address the projected rise in expenditures. Implementing effective health promotion and cardiovascular disease prevention needs to become a national priority.” 

I need your help to spread the word. I need your help to make this a national priority. I need your help to promote this information on Twitter and Facebook and other social platforms so that we can partner in this process to drastically reduce heart disease costs.  

Together we can work to save a million lives by helping to educate others about natural and clinically proven methods to repair and nourish the endothelium for improved nitric oxide production. Please join me by subscribing to my newsletter and sharing this vital information. Please click on this link for a clinically proven product that addresses endothelial cell health, which enables the endothelium to properly produce nitric oxide.  

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 heart disease costs 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.

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 Blood Pressure and Endothelium Part 2!

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

Learning how to properly repair and nourish your endothelium is foundational to helping you gain better control over your high blood pressure issues. The following statistics will help you understand why this is so critically important: 

  • 77% of Americans treated for a first stroke had high blood pressure!
  • 69% of Americans who experienced a first heart attack had high blood pressure!
  • 74% of Americans with congestive heart failure have high blood pressure!
  • 66% of Americans with diabetes have high blood pressure! 

As you can see, high blood pressure needs to be paid attention to. It is why it’s so critically important to repair and nourish your endothelium to help it properly product nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system.  

Nitric oxide helps regulate blood pressure, keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to form clots, and repairs the endothelium to reverse and prevent plaque formations and calcification of the vascular walls. It’s why Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, one of the three 1998 Nobel Laureates in Medicine, had this to say about nitric oxide, 

Nitric oxide can prevent, even reverse, heart disease and stroke!” 

These two video will help you learn how to naturally repair your endothelium so that it can properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can aid you in maintaining normal blood pressure without medication or with significantly less medication. 

These Key Nutrients Can Naturally Prevent High Blood Pressure! 

Proper nutrition is key to nourishing your endothelium and aid it in the proper production of nitric oxide. In Dr. Ignarro’s 2005 bestselling book, NO More Heart Disease!, he outlined six key nutrients. They are:  

  • L-arginine
  • L-citrulline
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 

In addition to these six nutrients, the following video also examines 5 additional nutrients that can have an impact on endothelial cell health and function. Together these 11 nutrients can help you naturally reduce your high blood pressure concerns.  

Our third educational video will help you understand how several key nutrients can help you get a better handle on your high blood pressure issues:

High Blood Pressure and Endothelium Video 3 

How ProArgi-9 Plus Can Help Those With High Blood Pressure!

Most vascular researchers will tell you that your endothelium plays a vital role in determining your blood pressure. In our last video we looked at eleven different nutrients that can provide a natural pathway towards reducing high blood pressure. Specific nutrients that have been shown to help repair and nourish the endothelium and improve its ability to properly produce nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system and your body’s most potent vasodilator.  

Many people try a piece meal approach by taking multiple supplements. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one supplement that incorporates most of the nutrients? This video discusses ProArgi-9 Plus which contains many of these nutrients and has been clinically proven to repair and nourish the endothelium for improved nitric oxide production.  

Our fourth video will help you understand how  ProArgi-9 Plus addresses high blood pressure:

High Blood Pressure and Endothelium Video 4

You Can Repair and Nourish Your Endothelium to Help Reduce the Risks for High Blood Pressure! 

Over the course of these four videos we’ve given you a lot of information about how your endothelium and nitric oxide play a critical role in high blood pressure. If you or a loved one are experiencing the challenges of high blood pressure, then please share this information with your physician. Together you can implement a natural approach to help repair this critical organ and enhance your body’s ability to create nitric oxide. Work with your physician to monitor your progress and make adjustments in medications. Over time you can reduce, maybe even eliminate, many of your high blood pressure prescriptions. 

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 about high blood pressure 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.

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.