Category: Preventive Cardio

  • Posted By:

    Steve ParcellSteve Parcell

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    Preventive Cardio

Dr. Stephen Parcell wrote an article for Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that dives into vascular health and aging, diet and lifestyle measures, arterial stiffening, testing and treatment. Learn about extensive diagnostic and treatment options for patients seeking advanced age management. Too often, patients seeking age-management medicine tend to be most interested in their appearance. Because of this demand, medical professionals tend to also focus on cosmetic interventions, including testosterone for big muscles, hair implants, skin peels, laser treatments, dermabrasion, hormone replacement, and endless supplements – all toward the goal of hopefully looking better. I believe more emphasis should be placed on disease prevention. Though dermatologic improvements have obvious merit, prevention of serious diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and cancer often get sidelined because they hold less sex appeal. “Anti-aging medicine” will not do us any good if we die of a stroke or heart attack next week. Real optimal aging occurs from the inside out. While it will take no convincing of a naturopathic doctor that sleep, exercise, diet, and lifestyle factors promoting healthy adaptation to stress are the underpinnings of health and age management, this concept is often underemphasized by conventional anti-aging providers. Read the Full Article in Naturopathic Doctor News & Review

  • Posted By:

    Steve ParcellSteve Parcell

  • Category:

    Preventive Cardio

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    cardiovascular health

Conventionally recognized dietary factors known to promote atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries) and that involve animal products include saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, low fiber intake, and excess iron. Bioaccumulation of environmental toxins such as herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones are excluded in this article and another matter entirely. There is an interesting fact though; not all people who have higher cholesterol and consume animal products get heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis. Despite similar cholesterol levels, physical activity and lifestyle, some get it and some are spared–why is this? There are many reasons we get atherosclerosis and the role of animal foods in human disease is much more complex than previously thought. The Link Between Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO) and Heart Disease In 2011, researchers discovered a substance called trimethylamine-N-oxide also known as TMAO. TMAO is a byproduct of egg, meat, fish (yes fish), and milk consumption. Researchers found that people with higher levels of TMAO may have more than twice the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems, compared with people who have normal levels. TMAO can cause damage to your kidneys, heart, liver and blood vessels through different mechanisms. TMAO causes changes in cholesterol levels, activation of inflammatory pathways...

  • Posted By:

    Steve ParcellSteve Parcell

  • Category:

    Preventive Cardio

It’s intuitive that being out of shape increases the risk of a heart attack and exercise decreases this risk.  However I also think many of us wonder about how much is too much. I have been practicing preventive cardiology for 20 years and, being based in Boulder, CO have had the privilege of seeing a large number of elite masters age athletes in my practice.  In this blog post I would like to talk about why extreme endurance exercisers (mainly runners) can have more arterial plaque and whether or not this increases the risk of a heart attack.¹ I say mainly runners because we have the most data on them compared to cyclists, rowers or cross-country skiers. Many of us in the field of cardiology have been trying to figure out why some athletes get plaque and if this increases the risk of heart attack. Exercise is supposed to be good for you but does extreme exercise increase risk and at what level? Too little physical activity is the problem for the majority of Americans, however in the last 10 years there have been increased reports of increased arterial plaque in experienced male endurance athletes.  Women are not typically studied...

  • Posted By:

    Steve ParcellSteve Parcell

  • Category:

    Preventive Cardio

White coat hypertension may more than double your risk of a heart attack. About 1 in 5 American adults have white coat hypertension (high blood pressure in the doctor’s office but not at home) In a recent review researchers analyzed  27 studies involving more than 64,000 patients in the United States, Europe and Asia. Findings revealed that compared with people with normal blood pressure readings (both at home and at the doctor’s office), patients with white coat hypertension were at elevated risk for heart attack and death. White Coat Hypertension Might be Happening Outside the Doctor's Office The data showed that those patients with untreated white coat hypertension had a 36% increased risk of getting heart disease, 33% increased risk of death due to any cause and 109% increased risk of death from heart disease. This study did not find a strong association with stroke but other studies did. I think it can increase risk. This finding was most significant for people 55 years or older. White coat is caused by anxiety. With anxiety excitatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and nor-epinephrine increase. These are short acting stress neurohormones that cause constriction of the vessels, driving pressure up. When the stressor...

  • Posted By:

    Steve ParcellSteve Parcell

  • Category:

    Preventive Cardio

Most of you know that ginger is a medicinal herb but its uses in preventive cardiology are not well known. Ginger is a member of a plant family that includes cardamom and turmeric. Its familiar aroma is mainly due to compounds called gingerols. At least 30 gingerol-related compounds are contained in the fresh ginger root (rhizome). The proportion gingerols depends on where it is from and how it is processed. Ginger has been used as a medicine for over 5000 years to treat many ailments. India is the largest producer. Ginger was a highly sought-after commodity back in the day and was exported from India to the Roman Empire for its medicinal properties. Recently Ginger has gained interest among the scientific community for its potential to treat various aspects of cardiovascular disease, in part due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiplatelet, hypotensive, and hypolipidemic effects.These effects have all been scientifically proven although exact doses are tricky to determine in humans. Antiplatelet therapy is an effective approach for preventing coronary heart disease because this prevents clots, the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. Ginger represents a new class of platelet-activation inhibitors without the potential side effects of aspirin which can cause...