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Heart Health

What is the Cardiovascular System and why is it so important? The Cardiovascular System consists of your heart and a complex network of capillaries, arteries and veins (also known as blood vessels) that spread from the very tip of your head, all the way throughout your body down to the soles of your feet.

It’s extremely important to have free flowing blood vessels to keep your blood pressure at normal rates, which puts less strain on the heart while it pumps blood around your body. Your blood carries oxygen, vital minerals and nutrients, hormones and white blood cells to your body tissues. It then collects waste products and takes them to your kidneys and liver to be filtered and removed from the body.

If this whole system is not working optimally, you may experience reduced athletic performance, reduced flow of key nutrients to your extremities (often leading to cold hands and feet), slower immune response and wound healing, excessive tiredness, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, fatigue, hair loss, muscle stiffness, weakness, pain or numbness and more!

Medically, if your Cardiovascular System is suboptimal it can cause High Blood Pressure, putting tremendous strain on your Heart Health, which can lead to Cardiovascular Problems such as heart attacks, strokes, poor circulation and more. The insidious nature of Cardiovascular Health Problems is that, without doing certain tests, you often don’t know you have one until it’s too late, because there are no major noticeable symptoms.

Cardiovascular Warning Signs

There are a few different things that may have piqued your interest in Cardiovascular Health and how you can support it. First of all, you may have had something show up on a test, such as Artery Hardening, Low HDL Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, High LDL Cholesterol, too high Total Cholesterol, too high Triglycerides or abnormal blood results for Platelets (sticky blood).

Any and all of these issues can be an early warning signal of a Cardiovascular Issue, and should be taken seriously. Your chance of having an abnormal reading on any of these variables will depend on several different factors. While lifestyle is a very important factor, genetics also play an important role and we highly encourage you to do a Genetic Insights test (if you haven’t already), to see if you have a natural tendency towards any of these issues.

Another reason you might be interested in Cardiovascular Health is because you have some kind of issue with your blood, such as Anemia, Hemoglobin abnormalities (related to Anemia), abnormal levels of Red Blood Cells or, you might suffer from Low Blood Pressure (in which case you may have an issue with Stress and your Adrenal system - you can find out how to support those problems here).

You may have suffered from Palpitations which, although a sign of Stress, can also reveal an issue with your Cardiovascular System and so it could be a sign to support both your Adrenal and Cardiovascular System. Lastly you may be suffering with Varicose Veins.

How to Support and Increase the Health of Your Cardiovascular System

Although each of these issues have different treatments, the commonality is that it’s a good idea to support your Cardiovascular System on the whole if you experience any of them. There are a few different factors that you need to be aware of in order to support the health of your Cardiovascular System:

Exercise. Around 150 minutes a week is recommended to promote healthy blood flow around your body, while helping to lessen the chance of dangerous plaque build-up on your artery walls [1].

Diet. Eating an Organic, clean and nutrient dense diet will help prevent Atherosclerosis (the thickening/hardening inside the arteries due to plaque build-up caused by poor diet [2]. Staying hydrated is also important, as when you are dehydrated your blood volume decreases which leads to a faster heartbeat and higher blood pressure.

Inflammation caused by an immune system imbalance (too much pro-inflammatory and not enough anti-inflammatory constituents). Your immune system creates Inflammation as a first line, generalized defense for what it perceives as an attack… usually pathogenic organisms inside the body.

When you have an immune system imbalance where the pro-inflammatory components are excessive, your immune system is more likely to mistake your own tissues for an outside invader, as well as overreacting to actual outside invaders, which creates chronic and excessive Inflammation, a well known risk factor for Cardiovascular Issues [3].

Chronic Stress. One of the main hormones that supports Stress reduction and Heart Health is Oxytocin [4]. Those people that naturally genetically have lower levels of Oxytocin are more likely to have higher Cortisol (Stress) levels, and those with higher Cortisol levels run a higher risk of developing Cardiovascular problems. It’s a good idea to find out if you have a tendency towards lower Oxytocin and/or higher Cortisol, so you can make changes to improve your levels if you do. You can read more about Stress here.

Although controversial, it is believed that high levels of Saturated Fat in your diet can adversely affect Cardiovascular Health. This is contested by some health authorities, but our understanding is that it really depends on your Genetics - some people can handle Saturated Fat in their diet better than others, so it really is a good idea to see how well your body tolerates Saturated Fat. Blood Sugar Imbalance. Chronically High Blood Sugar levels can increase Inflammation and damage the Cardiovascular System [5].

Nutritional Building Blocks and Herbs to Lower Triglycerides & Inflammation

Firstly, we recommend taking Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. There’s an abundance of research on how these nutrients can benefit Heart Health [6], mainly by decreasing Triglycerides, lowering blood pressure, lowering Inflammation, reducing irregular heartbeats, decreasing the chance of heart problems and reducing blood clotting.

Our second recommendation is Vitamins D3. It’s necessary to have adequate levels Vitamins D3 to reduce the pro-inflammatory and promote the anti-inflammatory constituents of your immune system, which is very important for Cardiovascular Health [7]. A study showed Vitamins D3 was also able to repair damage that High Blood Pressure inflicted on the heart and blood vessels [8].

It’s also vital to take Vitamin K2 alongside Vitamin D3 for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that it's much safer to take higher doses of D3 with K2, because too much D3 by itself will pull calcium out of your bones, leading to lower bone density. Excessive Vitamin D3, without K2, may also lead to calcium being deposited in your arteries, leading to hardening of the arteries.

Vitamin K2 works to put calcium back into your bones [9], as well as helping to keep your arteries clear. A balanced formula with both allows you to reap the anti-inflammatory and immune supporting benefits of Vitamin D3, while minimizing bone calcium loss and the potential for Cardiovascular Problems. We recommend our Vitamin D3 and K2 formula for its perfect balance of these 2 nutrients.

Resveratrol and Moringa are 2 herbs that have also been shown to support the heart due to their anti- inflammatory effects [10] [11], as well as containing flavonoids and other plant constituents that act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative Stress in the Cardiovascular System [12].

Could this one Nutrient be Causing Your Cardiovascular Problems?

Next we have Magnesium which helps to lower Stress, and relax your body. Magnesium is extremely important because it's involved in transporting electrolytes into cells [13], and electrolytes are crucial for the muscle contractions of your heart. When you’re stressed, your heart beats faster and uses up more Magnesium, which in turn makes you more stressed… a vicious cycle! [14] Magnesium has also been shown to lower the risk of developing some Cardiovascular Problems [15].

Improve Circulation with Nitric Oxide

L-Arginine and L-Citrulline are two amino acids in our Nitric Oxide Circulation Support Formula that help to boost Nitric Oxide - a very important molecule that is made in your body. It is responsible for the promotion of proper blood flow around your body by widening (dilating) blood vessels [16]. It’s extremely important to have free flowing blood vessels to keep your blood pressure at normal rates, which puts less strain on your heart while it pumps blood around your body and allows efficient delivery of nutrients to your muscles, organs and tissues [17].

Do you need extra CoQ10?

Co Enzyme Q10 is important for energy production in general [18]. Although your body can make it, your levels decrease with age and most people over the age of 40-50 would benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. The reason we mention it here is because the most popular Blood Pressure lowering medications deplete your body of CoQ10… So if you’re taking these meds, ask your doctor if supplementing with CoQ10 would be beneficial.

We also recommend the plant compound Berberine because of its ability to lower and stabilize blood sugar, which as we mentioned earlier, helps to improve Cardiovascular Health.

Often Overlooked Blood Building Nutrients

Lastly, If you’re suffering with Anemia or low Hemoglobin levels, your doctor has probably already got you supplementing with Iron and eating high Iron foods, which is great. We also recommend you take a complete Multivitamin and Mineral that contains the full spectrum of nutrients, especially Vitamin C which helps your body to absorb Iron, and Copper which helps your body to utilize Iron.
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Scientific References