coronary artery disease

  1. CoQ10 benefits can help you avoid coronary artery disease

    The easy way to boost your artery health

    Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the nation and one of the top killers on the entire planet. Avoid the disease, and you won't avoid death -- but you just might be able to put it off for a while.

    I know that's easier said than done. But there's one easy step you can take right now to get it done, and that's to boost your levels of coenzyme Q10.

    You've probably heard about how CoQ10 benecits can protect the heart, and that's certainly true. But it can also protect your arteries -- and in a new study, people with the highest blood levels of CoQ10 had a lower risk of coronary artery disease.

    You can have your own levels checked next time you have your blood work done -- but if you're on a statin, be prepared in advance for some bad news: Your levels are probably down in the dumps, since those meds can suck the CoQ10 benefits right out of you (which is one more reason to control your cholesterol naturally instead).

    In any case, shoot for bringing your CoQ10 levels above 516 nanomoles per liter of blood, since that's where the artery-clearing benefits kick in, according to the new study.

    Whether you take a statin or not, you'll probably need to add a supplement to reach those levels. It's not the cheapest vitamin in the shop, but it's well worth the extra cost -- because along with protecting your arteries, it's absolutely essential to your heart.

    I think of it as a spark plug. Without a spark plug, your car won't go. And without CoQ10 benefits, your heart won't beat.

    Yes, it really is that important.

    That's why studies have shown that higher levels of CoQ10 benefits can protect against heart disease -- and in one recent study, CoQ10 and selenium taken together actually cut the risk of death by heart disease in half.

    But don't stop there. Also make sure you're getting enough of my other favorite heart-boosters, including L-Carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.

    For a more comprehensive look at your heart as well as what nutrients you may need personally, make an appointment to see a holistic doctor like me.

    And for one more reason to add magnesium to your routine, keep reading!

  2. A wake-up call for bad sleep habits

    Judging by myself and my patients -- not to mention the bags under the eyes of many of the people I meet each day -- I'd say the biggest problem when it comes to sleep is that we don't get nearly enough of it.

    But believe it or not, it's possible to go too far in the other direction as well. Like all good things, you can get way too much sleep -- and too much sleep can be every bit as dangerous as too little.

    One new study spells out the risks I've seen before: More than eight hours of sleep a night will boost your risk of chest pain and coronary artery disease.

    Of course, the study also confirms that those of us who don't get enough should hit the hay a little earlier -- because less than six hours a night can double your risk of heart attack or stroke.

    Too little sleep can also boost the odds of congestive heart failure by 70 percent, according to the study of more than 3,000 people ages 45 and up presented at a recent American College of Cardiology conference.

    That means the sweet spot for sleep -- for most people anyway -- is between six and eight hours a night, or right around the seven nightly hours I've seen recommended from other studies.

    One of those studies found that less than six and more than eight hours can boost the risk of cognitive problems. Too little sleep leads to problems in reasoning, vocabulary, and global cognition, while too much sleep can actually hurt up to six cognitive functions, according to British researchers.

    Another study in 2010 looked at even more extreme levels of sleep, and found even more extreme results. Less than five hours a night doubles the risk of angina, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke -- while nine or more boosts the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.

    What does this mean for you? Get the right amount of sleep, of course.

    Just don't turn to meds for help. Common sleep drugs can increase the risk of a number of health problems, up to and including death itself.

  3. The hidden sign of heart disease

    While the focus should be on making the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent cardiac events, it's useful to know who's most at risk – and new technology may help us figure that out.

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