Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. Itís the most common form of heart disease, affecting some seven million Americans.
Coronary Heart Disease is also the number-one cause of the premature loss of our loved ones, both men and women. Every year more than 500,000 Americans are lost due to heart attacks.
What Causes Coronary Heart Disease?
Like our other muscles, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to remain healthy. These elements are carried to the heart by the blood through the coronary arteries. When these coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged, they can't supply enough blood to the heart.
Arteriosclerosis is the thickening that occurs on the inside walls of the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis usually occurs when a person has high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
We hear a lot of talk about the different types of cholesterol, and a number of abbreviations are tossed around, such as HDL (high-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and HDL/LDL (which is simply the ratio of the two).
This jargon is all a lot simpler than it sounds. Whatís important for you to remember is that HDL is the good cholesterol and LDL is the bad cholesterol that will clog up your arteries, causing them to become hard and constricted.
Once the arteries lose flexibility, the blood pressure goes up, and the optimal levels of blood and other nutrients are unable to reach the various parts of the body, including the hardest working muscle in the entire body, the heart.
Lifestyle Changes for combating Coronary Heart Disease
Most people are aware that changing their diet to low-cholesterol and low-fat, especially saturated fat, helps reduce blood cholesterol which is a primary cause of arteriosclerosis.
Eating less fat also helps you lose weight, which is important because losing weight is the most effective lifestyle change you can make to reduce high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease.
Recent research has also indicated that even moderate amounts of physical activity is associated with fewer problems with heart disease.
These are not the only lifestyle changes that have a
significant impact on heart health.
Although many people are unaware of this "essential" nutrient, probiotics are good bacteria that naturally live in our digestive systems and help promote good health. They also offer powerful protection from heart disease.
Author: Dr. Mark A. Brudnak
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of this website. You should consult your physician for all of your medical advice.
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