Tag Archives: Vessel Care by Metagenics

Successful Aging – Part 1

agingBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

As the average life span continues to increase, a good thing to remember is that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean the absence of disease.  What most of us would hope for is to be able to physically and mentally enjoy all the years of our lives.  Investing in your health includes regular physical exams and careful screening for potential illnesses.  With the exception of genetic factors, many chronic diseases can be avoided given good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and the adoption of other health maintenance and disease prevention strategies.  In other words, we all have the ability to influence the state of our health by taking action to reduce the risks of developing age-related chronic disease. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death among American adults are heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease.  Lack of awareness and reluctance to take action when faced with health issues are two of the reasons for poor states of health in men.  Although women tend to be more vigilant when it comes to their health, more often women have less access to health care for financial reasons. 

Heart disease – Heart attacks are the major cause of sudden, unexpected death among both men and women.  The major risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and genetics.  While genetic factors cannot be controlled, there are life-long strategies that can help minimize risks.  For starters, focus on taming stress, spending less time on the couch, and maintaining a healthy weight.  With age comes an increased risk for heart disease, so if you want to live longer and better, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels need to be watched and managed.  Taking a few extra steps such as exercising regularly, consuming a diet of nutrient-rich foods, and not smoking can all help to lower your risks. 

Stroke – According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80% of all strokes can be prevented by working to reduce personal risk. High blood pressure, often labeled “the silent killer” because it can be asymptomatic, is the most common cause of stroke.  Untreated high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke as it puts unnecessary stress on blood vessel walls, weakening the vessels and damaging major organs.  Smoking doubles the risk, as it contributes to clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and damaged artery walls.  High cholesterol, diabetes, excess weight and excessive alcohol consumption are all contributing factors in measuring stroke risk. 

Cancer –  The first line of defense against cancer is diet, exercise and avoidance of tobacco products.  According to Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, as many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable and related to lifestyle.  The National Cancer Institute states that cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases that are influenced by our genes, our lifestyles and our environment.  Scientists believe that cancer preventative factors include a diet high in cancer-protective fruits and vegetables, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, second hand smoke and chemicals. 

Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – CLRD, which includes chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.  COPD causes serious long-term disability and the death of 120,000 Americans each year.  Smoking is the primary risk factor along with repeated exposure to harsh chemicals or fumes, air pollution, allergens or other lung irritants, and lack of nutrition.  With no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment can make a measurable difference in slowing the progression of the disease and improving the quality of life.  As with all chronic disease, prevention should be the goal. 

These life threatening chronic diseases are connected by their common intermediate, preventable risk factors, including obesity, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and higher than normal blood sugar.  In summation, if you want to age in the healthiest possible way, reduce your risk factors with these six basic steps: 

  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Do not use tobacco products and avoid second hand smoke
  • Eat whole foods, high in nutrients and low in sugar
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all
  • Reduce stress and get sufficient rest

Products to support successful aging include:

Pycnogenol (7041)

Pycnogenol® (7041) by Douglas Laboratories provides one of the most powerful natural free- radical scavengers available.  Pycnogenol® is a useful aid in preventing oxidative damage,  provides support for arterial health, and plays an important role in lung and cardiac health. 

Vessel Care (New Formulation)
Vessel Care by Metagenics aids in the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels, supporting overall cardiovascular health. 
L-Arginine Capsules 750 mg
L-Arginine 750 mg by Designs for Health supports healthy coronary microcirculation in those with high cholesterol levels and prevents the creation of blood clots that can lead to heart attack or strokes. 
Maxi Fiber Powder
Maxi Fiber Powder by Bio-Design provides water soluble dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber that keeps bowels functioning well may help to prevent bowel cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. 

The Mysterious Human Heart

WebBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Metaphorically, the heart is the center of our emotional being.  Literally, the heart is a fascinating fist shaped, blood-filled pump that is central to life itself.  The human heart beats approximately 72 beats per minute, 100,000 times a day, 40 million beats per year and clocks in up to 3 billion beats in an average lifetime without ever stopping to rest.  The heart works ceaselessly, pumping life-sustaining blood through a 60,000 mile long network of vessels to keep every cell supplied with fresh nutrients and oxygen, while clearing away harmful waste matter.  The heart is made of cardiac muscle, which works involuntarily, and as we go about our day, we may just take our heartbeats for granted.   

Given the heart’s many life sustaining functions, it seems wise to take care of it.  Yet, heart disease has risen steadily over the last century largely due to changes in diet and lifestyle.  Some changes in the heart and blood vessels are normal as we age, but over time disease can cause serious damage.  Heart disease causes nearly 700,000 deaths of American men and women each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, has established the factors that increase your risk of developing heart disease.  The more factors you have, the greater your risks.  However, the effort you put into controlling one factor will have a positive impact on other risk factors.  For example, losing weight helps to lower blood pressure.  Here’s a closer look at which factors are uncontrollable and which you can change. 

Risk factors you can’t change:

  • Your age – Over age 45 for men and over age 55 for women
  • Family history of heart disease

Risk factors you can change:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity

Let’s take a closer look:

Smoking – Cigarette smokers are four times as likely to develop congestive heart disease than non-smokers, are twice as likely to have a stroke, and ten times more likely to have peripheral vascular disease.  If you are a man and you continue to smoke, your life may be shortened by more than 13 years and if you are a woman who smokes, your life may be reduced by nearly 15 years.  If you want to increase your life span, make the choice to stop smoking. 

High blood pressureHigh blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke and  is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure.  You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle. 

High blood cholesterol – The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.  High blood cholesterol does not cause symptoms, so it’s important to know what your numbers are, as reducing high levels lessens your risks of dying of heart disease. 

ObesityObesity not only increases your risk of heart disease, it also causes changes in the structure and function of the heart.  The more you weigh, the harder your heart has to pump, causing the heart muscle to stretch and thicken.  This thickening of the heart muscle makes it more difficult for the heart to squeeze and relax with each heartbeat.  Over time, heart failure may result.  To lower these risks, lose weight if you need to and then maintain a healthy weight. 

Diabetes –  Type 2 diabetes mellitus substantially increases the lifetime risk of developing and dying from heart failure.  With diabetes, the linings of the blood vessels thicken making it more difficult for blood to flow.  When blood flow is impaired, heart problems or stroke can occur.  If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, paying close attention to your diet, exercising, and controlling your weight, blood pressure and blood sugar can often slow down or prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease

Physical inactivity – Regular exercise has a favorable effect on many of the established risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  Exercise promotes weight reduction, can help reduce blood pressure, and can favorably affect cholesterol levels.  In diabetics, exercise positively affects the body’s ability to use insulin and control blood glucose levels.  The effect of continued moderate exercise on overall cardiovascular risk when combined with other lifestyle modifications such as proper nutrition and smoking cessation can be very significant. 

Vessel Care by MetagenicsThis comprehensive formula helps to maintain healthy homocysteine levels and supports overall cardiovascular health. 

Perfusia Plus (SA526) by Thorne ResearchThis product contains sustained-release L-arginine plus nutrient and botanical co-factors that support optimal blood flow and vascular health. 

CoQ-Zyme 30 by Biotics Research –  This significantly bioavailable CoQ 10 supports heart and skeletal muscles and immune function.  This product supports increased oxygenation required for cardiac stress, high blood pressure and diabetes.