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Love, Romance, and Heart Health

By February 10, 2011September 23rd, 2015Healthy Living, Recipes

Love, Romance, and Heart Health


In keeping with the February themes of Love, Romance and Heart Health I have included a second blog contribution about Cardiovascular Prevention. February is American Heart Month and here is some of the latest research on preventative medicine and heart disease.

Want to decrease your cardiovascular risk factors? Try moving around…

Results from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed an increase in all cardio metabolic risk factors from sitting and being sedentary. In essence, the more we sit the more our inflammatory markers go up. Participants were noted to have worsening markers of waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and C-reactive protein. Subjects who spent their eight hour day periodically getting up and moving about for as little as one minute showed improvement in waist circumference and c-reactive protein.

Dr. Purcell Note:

Hear Yee, Hear Yee, all of you glued to your laptops surfing the Internet and face book for hours on end must get up and walk around. Set an alarm, this is serious! If you have a sedentary job, stand up and do 10 toe touches, a few stretches, every hour.

Blood Inflammatory Markers:

Both C-reactive protein and homocysteine are blood markers that measure the amount of inflammation inside the blood vessels.

The higher the laboratory values, the more inflammation inside the artery wall.

Elevated homocysteine causes free radical damage to the blood vessel wall. This stimulates an inflammatory cascade of platelets. Platelets assist with blood clotting to repair the damage to the vessel wall. This results in “pro-coagulation” and thicker blood. This occurring minute after minute, day after day repeatedly triggers this cascade and results in a “thick blood” environment.

Thick blood is not desirable and increases our risk of a significant cardiovascular event.

One of the easiest ways to reduce homocysteine levels is to supplement with B-vitamins and folic acid. Folic Acid is a member of the B-vitamin family. More specifically the key B-vitamins to reduce homocysteine are B-6, B-12 and Folic Acid. In October 2010 a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that folic acid supplementation effectively reduced homocysteine levels.

Current standards by the American Heart Association do not require supplementation of B-vitamins and Folic Acid for elevated homocysteine levels despite recognizing it as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends a diet high in whole grains fruits and vegetables from which consumers should extract 400mcg/day the current RDA for folic acid.

Dr. Purcell Note:

We all know that RDA values are the minimum acceptable level of nutrients to prevent us from developing serious disease.

In essence the RDA is focused on disease prevention not health promotion.

If you have elevated homocysteine and other cardio metabolic risk factors it is a good idea to supplement with extra B-vitamins and folic acid. B-vitamins and folic acid are an integral part of healthy cell replication and division and provide much needed co-factors for many chemical reactions in the body. If your homocysteine is elevated, chances are you are deficient. Remember that supplementing with good quality vitamins does not produce side effects only side benefits.

How about some anti-inflammatory foods to help boost heart health?

*Greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, radicchio, broccoli.)

*Whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, barley, wild rice)

*Extra virgin olive Oil – Monounsaturated fat that reduces LDL cholesterol.

*Darkly colored fruits (Berries, cherries, pomegranates, figs, plums)

*Walnuts & Flax seeds – provide fiber and beneficial omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats.

*Lentils, Peas, & Beans – Low fat, high fiber to help lower cholesterol and filled with vitamins & Minerals.

Get used to feeling good, we all should!

-Be Healthy, Happy & Holistic

Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.

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