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How To Be Healthy: Coronary Disease - Leading Killer
( Published 1962 )
As one grows older, the body uses. less oxygen, and consequently there is a tendency for poisons to accumulate, especially in the intestinal tract. These poisons ravage the body, hardening the arteries, inhibiting breathing and blood circulation, and causing other characteristics of old age. The mental stress and anxiety brought about by these conditions places an additional strain on the unprotected cardiovascular system.
Pneumonia was formerly the greatest cause of death among older people, but nowadays coronary artery disease is the top killer of persons over the age of fifty. Over 17 million Americans are affected to some degree, and more than half of all deaths in this country can be traced to this malady. In addition, 40 percent of all persons seventy-five or over are troubled with high blood pressure, a condition brought about by narrowing of the arterial walls.
There are many determining circumstances that contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and it appears that no one particular factor can be charged with the blame. Among foods, however, white flour products are regarded as substances that specifically encourage this disease.
Arteriosclerosis can result from an abnormal thickening and hardening of the arterial walls due to calcium precipitation, which generally occurs in the later years of life. Another contributory factor is believed to be cholesterol, a constituent of animal fat, which produces a solid, waxlike substance that adheres to the walls of the arteries. And yet, as we have mentioned earlier, the Eskimos living at the Arctic Circle, who eat extraordinary amounts of animal fat, are widely known to be exempt from arteriosclerosis and heart conditions.
Another form of this disease is cerebral arteriosclerosis, an inelasticity of the blood vessels in the brain, which ultimately brings about mental decline, lapse of memory, and sometimes paralysis. It is of rather frequent occurrence.
If you suffer from hardening of the arteries, a diet including fat meat without salt, baked or boiled potatoes with butter, and fresh fruit will help to rebuild them. In addition, moderate exercise in the open air will bring back elasticity to the arteries, at least to some degree. Remember, poor circulation constantly puts additional stress on the heart.
Then, too, an insufficient supply of the B vitamins biotin, choline, and inositol appears to be a significant factor in the onset of this malady. Investigation has shown that many cases of hardened arteries are being successfully treated with these vitamins. Further improvement is obtained by adding daily three hundred to five hundred milligrams of vitamin C, with the bioflavonoids, which help to oxygenate the heart. When these vitamins are generously combined with the proper diet, arteriosclerosis may be gradually corrected.
Serious heart conditions, such as coronary occlusion and coronary thrombosis, as well as impaired circulation and stroke, can result from atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries), a type of arteriosclerosis generally attributed to an accumulation of excess cholesterol in these blood vessels. However, it has never been proved that such deposits of cholesterol actually bring about this disorder. In fact, a study made at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine indicated that cholesterol is not the primary cause.'
Sunflower seeds and sunflower seed oil are extensively used in some of the European countries, notably Russia, Tests made on a considerable number of people in those countries indicated that sunflower seed oil was exceptionally beneficial in cases of atherosclerosis and heart disease. All were given proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins, plus sunflower seed oil. It was reported that after the oil was used for thirty days, there was a marked improvement in the chemistry of the blood and a lower cholesterol count. Heart symptoms also abated and were noticed less often. Improved bowel activity was also recorded.
Atherosclerosis is the most prevalent form of cardiovascular disease in the United States, and 25 percent of all deaths in this country are now attributed to it. Healthy persons well along in years may escape atherosclerosis by the regular use of natural vitamin C, lecithin, salad oils, and wheat germ in goodly quantities.
One of the more prevalent forms of cardiovascular disorder, caused by impaired blood. circulation, is varicose veins. This disease is especially common in persons past middle age. Oddly, however, this very distressing and painful degenerative disorder is becoming much more frequent among young people. The veins most often affected are the ones closest to the skin, which receive a limited degree of support from the muscles and bones.
This is one ailment, however, that you can prevent by giving up certain injurious habits that you may now have.
For example, one of the more detrimental things you can do for the good health of the veins is to stand in one spot for long periods, as when ironing, washing dishes, or cooking. Whenever possible, sit down while you work, or else you will be inviting the possibility of varicose veins.
Another practice that leads to varicose veins is wearing tight garters, corsets, or girdles. These slow down blood circulation, even if they are not irksome. Crossing your legs does the same thing. Varicose veins can develop into more serious complications if disregarded.
After every possible effort has been made to eliminate whatever has contributed to the onset of varicose veinslong hours of standing, insufficient exercise, and tight clothing-an examination of your diet is in order. Since the food you take into your body will largely determine the health of the veins and arteries, a high-protein, lowcarbohydrate diet is indicated. In addition, supplements of the following concentrated nutrients are suggested:
This vitamin is extremely valuable for the health of the linings of all body organs.
This substance is absolutely necessary for the durability of blood-vessel walls. A deficiency of vitamin C, not critical enough to cause bleeding, can bring on deterioration of the veins, which give way and twist into various distorted shapes visible on the surface of the skin.
VITAMIN P (THE BIOFLAVONOIDS)
This nutrient is associated with vitamin C and always occurs with it in natural foods. Since it provides effective protection against varicosed conditions, be sure to use a vitamin C product that incorporates the bioflavonoids.
Another substance that is essential for the health of the blood vessels, vitamin E has been used successfully in the treatment of varicose veins, as it prevents blood clots from forming It also opens up areas of venous obstruction and reduces the strain on overworked veins. It helps shrink the swollen vein: to normal size, thus relieving congestion and pain. Its curative power is second to none.
High blood pressure is implicated in three fourths of the deaths resulting from heart and kidney disease that occur annually in the United States, and it is becoming an increasingly important health problem in its own right.
Too much salt is believed to have a definite negative influence on blood pressure and the condition of the arteries, because salt encourages an abnormal accumulation of fluids in the body. The most reasonable course for those troubled with high blood pressure, it seems, would be for them to limit their salt intake-or, better still, to give up salt and very salty foods entirely. There is enough natural salt already present in food to satisfy the body's needs.
Another method of coping with high blood pressure is to step up the amount of acid taken daily through the use of apple cider vinegar or ascorbic acid (vitamin C), cranberries, or grapes, or their juices. Garlic, which is a blood purifier, has also been used successfully in treating this disorder; it is available in capsule form. Additional calcium should also be taken to help maintain relaxation.
On the other hand, I think that many people worry too much about their blood pressure, thus causing themselves needless anxiety and unhappiness.
When one reflects upon the universal refinement of popular foods, it is not surprising that the number of people afflicted with arteriosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure has risen so alarmingly since the time when grains were first processed, and vitamin E and all the B-complex vitamins began to be thrown out in the process. If not with reference to these practices, how can one explain the extraordinary increase in these degenerative diseases?
Nature replenishes all the cells of the body as they wear out (with a few exceptions, such as the cells of the heart and brain, which must last a lifetime); and, unless interrupted by disease or injury, this cell activity should continue indefinitely. Owing to some elusive factor, however, the replacement procedure is hampered, and the body begins to age. This phenomenon is now being thoroughly studied, and it is possible that the aging process may eventually be controlled. Therefore, it is more important than ever that the untimely heart attacks that have begun to strike down young and middle-aged people be prevented. To do this, however, a rearrangement of food habits will be necessary for most people, as well as more careful attention to their mode of living.
Degenerative disorders are five times as prevalent today as they were seventy years ago. In the United States, in the era prior to 1920, coronary heart disease was uncommon in people over fifty, and until 1896 it was practically unknown. Today heart disease affects about five million people and takes over a half million lives annually in America-that is, nearly fourteen hundred deaths every twenty-four hours! According to Adelle Davis, a leading nutritionist, this disease, which is caused by faulty eating, "is responsible for more invalids than any other sickness." As a result of the increased incidence of this malady, Americans sixty years of age or over now have a life expectancy lower than that of a hundred years ago.
Heart disease deals a death blow to one man in five among those over fifty.
The heart is one of the most resilient and powerful organs of the body. For this reason, there is a great deal of debate as to the cause of the widespread heart degeneration among our people. Some authorities hold that cholesterol, which clings to arterial walls and hinders the flow of blood to the heart, is the principal cause. Others dispute this theory, because there are still many vexing problems in connection with this matter.
The fact is that cholesterol is of the highest significance to the body, in that it actually preserves the arteries. Cholesterol is also an essential part of certain specific tissues, such as those of the kidney, liver, and nerves. Consequently, there is serious doubt concerning the entire theory that fat in the diet causes heart disease. Moreover, there is no convincing scientific evidence to establish as a certainty that eating fat brings about obstruction of the arteries. Actually, fat is indispensable for good nutrition because it supplies a concentrated source of energy. Further, some fats contribute the essential vitamins A and D, as well as highly important fatty acids.
Dr. Benjamin P. Sandler, a well-known physician who specializes in this field, contends that starch and carbohydrates tend to lower blood-sugar levels, and this in turn gives rise to heart disease and polio. He does not believe that fat in the diet causes arteriosclerosis, which is assumed to be responsible for the recent rise in heart disease. The low-carbohydrate diet he devised has been effective in many cases in relieving heart pain and in warding off its recurrence.
Other authorities agree that sugar is more closely related to the incidence of heart attacks than is fat. It is believed that refined sugar causes an inordinate quantity of fat molecules to be deposited in the bloodstream.
It has been found that a deficiency of vitamin E also has a great deal to do with bringing on heart distress. In recent years, Dr. E. V. Shute and his associates in London, Ontario, Canada, have conclusively demonstrated that thousands of patients with all types of heart ailmentsangina pectoris, coronary occlusion, coronary thrombosis, heart injury caused by rheumatic fever, and other variations-repeatedly made striking improvement when vitamin E was included in the diet. In many cases of angina pectoris, pain was eliminated and patients were able to return to profitable activity. Building a better heart also yields an unexpected bonus of serenity and well-being difficult to express in words.
The heart pumps several tons of blood every day, and practically no type of physical exertion can overtax a healthy heart, let alone injure it. But to have a strong heart and excellent blood, one must have a sound digestive system and eat the best possible food. If you wish to avoid heart and circulatory ailments, put yourself on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet for life.
Meat, fish, and eggs were once considered objectionable in heart cases involving high blood pressure. Today, however, these foods are recognized as high-class proteins, which are both desirable and appropriate for inclusion in the diet.
Here are some additional suggestions:
Take daily as a food supplement, preferably at breakfast, 2 to 4 tablespoons of lecithin granules. Add B complex in its potent form to your diet-brewer's yeast. Add daily 25,000 units of vitamin A and 150 milligrams of vitamin C. Take 2 tablespoons of soy, corn, or safflower oil daily. Include 2 to 4 tablespoons of wheat germ.
Finally, make use of kelp, which provides that allimportant food, iodine, and other mineral factors so essential to good heart tone.