The biggest heart risk factor no one is talking about
It's the single biggest risk factor for heart problems -- one shared by 95 percent of all heart attack patients.
And it's being completely ignored by mainstream medicine.
It's arterial calcification, or the calcium deposits that build up in the arteries and cause them to stiffen -- and new research shows that in the rush to drug people for cholesterol, this critical risk factor isn't being considered at all.
As a result, more than a third of all patients on statins have no signs of calcification, according to the study. That means most of them don't need to be treated for potential heart problems at all, let alone given a dangerous drug such as a statin.
Meanwhile, 15 percent of patients not taking statins -- patients told they're perfectly healthy -- actually have those calcium deposits. They're facing a high risk of a heart attack, but may be doing nothing about it because they've been mistakenly given a clean bill of health.
If that's not a sure sign the mainstream is barking up the wrong tree, I don't know what is.
The researchers behind the new study suggest scanning the arteries for calcium deposits in potentially at-risk patients and giving statins only to those who have signs of calcification, but I think that's the wrong approach for two reasons.
First, the artery scans use CT radiation, and I don't think they're necessary most of the time.
And second, statins can actually cause artery calcification (along with diabetes, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, muscle pain and more).
The best way to prevent calcification -- or reverse it if you already have it -- is with vitamin K. It's like a traffic cop for calcium, sending it where it needs to go. When your K levels drop, you get a calcium traffic jam.
And that's when it gets backed up in your arteries.
You'll find vitamin K1 in leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce, but the best form is vitamin K2 -- and that's a little tougher to find. One great source is natto, a Japanese dish made of fermented soybeans. It's an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring.
You'll find it in Asian supermarkets.
If you're on blood thinners, don't boost your K levels without speaking to a doctor first.
And remember: Good heart health isn't about a single nutrient. It's about a lifestyle -- and the one lifestyle proven to prevent heart attack and stroke better than any other is the Mediterranean diet.
Read this free report from the House Calls archives to learn more.
I'm not done with heart health yet. Keep reading for the one easy change you can make to your diet that can slash your risk of heart disease.