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Nutrition and Heart Disease
Can a vitamin make a difference?

(NC)-Though some risk factors for heart disease such as gender, age, and family history can't be changed, others are directly tied to lifestyle and habits. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and being overweight; all factors within your power to manage and control.

Many people know that eating healthy food is a smart lifestyle choice, however, it is lesser known that strategically choosing foods with certain vitamins and nutrients can help ward off illnesses like heart disease, or help to improve quality of life for those already afflicted with a disease. These needs vary from individual to individual depending on genetically inherited strengths and weaknesses and the interaction of our genetics with the environment.

"We can positively affect our well-being by carefully choosing what we eat based on our body's individual makeup and risk factors," says Orthomolecular Medicine practitioner and Naturopathic Doctor, Jonathan Prousky. "Many illnesses are caused by a deficiency of vitamins or minerals, and eating foods rich in that vitamin or taking dietary supplements can help restore the body's balance and good health. When it comes to heart disease niacin, vitamin C and antioxidants are key."

As explained by Orthomolecular pioneer, Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D, niacin (vitamin B3) is a critical vitamin in managing risk factors for heart disease by helping to reduce harmful cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) and elevating good cholesterol levels (HDL). "If patients were routinely placed on the proper diet and if necessary niacin long before they developed any coronary problems, most if not all the coronary bypass operations could be avoided."

Dr. Hoffer goes further to say, "If every patient requiring this operation were placed upon the diet and niacin following surgery, the progress of arteriosclerosis (formation of deposits) would be markedly decreased."

Major sources of niacin are whole-grain cereals, nuts, legumes, poultry, fish and eggs. An orthomolecular practitioner will craft a personalized plan and likely prescribe a high-fiber, low sugar and salt diet, in addition to niacin and potentially other supplements such as folic acid, magnesium, vitamins E and C among others.

An orthomolecular lifestyle is not intended to replace conventional medicine, but rather to complement traditional treatments or proactively reduce the chances of developing an illness. To find out more about how an orthomolecular practitioner can prescribe a diet and dietary supplements customized to your health needs visit

- News Canada

Article courtesy of:

Toronto, ON, Canada
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