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Heart Health

fiber-rich diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease

Coronary Vascular Disease (CVD) is responsible for 41 percent of all deaths in the U.S. It is estimated that over 70 million Americans will suffer from some sort of heart disease this year.

What conditions can lead up to heart disease?

Several conditions can result in heart disease, however the most common include:

Hypertension Toxicity Chronic inflammation Atherosclerosis Medication complications

When the pumping mechanism of the heart becomes defective, it can cause shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, chronic cough, weight loss and extreme fatigue.

Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

*Congenital heart disease *Mercury exposure *Defective heart valves
*Viral cardiomyopathy *Repeated heart attacks *Vitamin D deficiency
*Chronic vascular inflammation *Advanced age *Poor diet

Even with the causes and signs known, how can we predict who will get heart disease?

Studies have shown that inflammatory markers such as CRP, interleukins, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, are capable of predicting who will have heart disease and the pace at which it will develop. It is clear that lowering inflammation is the most effective method of avoiding the destruction in heart failure.

Hormones and Heart Failure

Improving hormone levels and reducing vascular inflammation is crucial in treating congestive heart failure. Correcting hormones levels using natural hormones has been shown to considerably decrease heart disease mortality rates. An impressive study (in men) revealed the relationship of natural hormones (free testosterone, DHEA, and IGF-1) to death rates suffering from chronic heart disease/failure (CHF). The results of the study (summarized below) demonstrated that as hormone levels decreased in CHF patients, mortality rates increase when two or more of these hormones.

Hormone Status

Three-Year Survival Rate

High Levels: DHEA, Testosterone and IGF-1 (HGH marker)


Deficiency in one hormone: DHEA, testosterone, or IGF-1


Deficiency in two hormones: DHEA, testosterone or IGF-1


Deficiency in all three hormones: DHEA, testosterone and IGF-1


Digestion and Heart Disease

Heart disease is directly linked to inflammation.What is causing this immune-inflammatory reaction? It has been shown in numerous studies that as heart disease progresses, blood engorges the lining of the colon and intestine causing swelling and Leaky Gut Syndrome . Leaky Gut Syndrome allows bacteria from the colon to enter the bloodstream triggering an immune response that worsens over time. As the gut becomes more porous, larger particles, such as undigested proteins from food, leak through the gut wall eliciting an immune response (IgG release) to the food and more vascular inflammation ensues. Therefore, repairing damage to the intestines caused by congestive heart failure and then addressing food allergies will improve the digestion and potentially lower the progression of heart disease.

Did you know?

— Cholesterol is only part of the puzzle as to what puts people at risk for heart disease

–1/2 of all heart attacks suffered occur in people who have “NORMAL” cholesterol levels.

Therefore, the real question is- what can we do to protect ourselves against heart attacks?

The Role of Oxidative Stress in Heart Attacks and Stroke

The formation of plaque that build up in the artery walls begins with LDL cholesterol. Once inside the artery walls, LDL cholesterol associates with free radicals, causing the cholesterol to become oxidized. Once oxidized, the body will initiate a potentially dangerous immune response to defeat this “foreign invader” cholesterol. The first steps to beating heart disease starts with:

Address Cholesterol levels Detox
Address free radical production Reduce blood vessel inflammation

What are the Heart Health lab tests to measure?

  1. CRP: This test represents the inflammation that causes plaques to rupture leading to heart attacks. Many research studies have demonstrated that high CRP levels increase the risk of heart attack three fold, even if your LDL cholesterol levels remain low.
  2. Fibrinogen: If there are greater levels of fibrinogen in the blood, then it becomes easier to form a blood clot- i.e. at the site of a ruptured plaque in a heart attack.
  3. Lipoproteins: Almost 20% of people with heart disease or heart attacks have increased lipoprotein (especially age 40-50). Lipoprotein magnifies almost all of the dangerous risk factors associated with heart attacks.
  4. Homocysteine: Elevated Homocysteine causes arterial injury, can increase oxidation of LDL particles which makes them more dangerous, constricts arterial walls and stimulates the formation of blood clots. All of these factors increase the risk for heart attack and coronary disease threefold.


Conventional medical approaches rely on prescription medications to treat heart disease which often come with harmful side effects. Fortunately, there are many natural and effective options to aid heart disease. Merge Medical Center customizes your heart health regimen and continues to lab test your blood for CRP, lipoproteins, homocysteine, and fibrinogen to monitor your progress on your diet, supplement, herbal, and hormone replacement therapy regimen.