California Center of Longevity Medicine
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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

Heart Attack and Stroke
Prevention Center of Southern California

Health Tips Blog

Causes and Prevention of Heart Disease

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on January 29, 2014

I want to share a common scenario that is played out in your doctor's office every day:

Your doctor says: "Your total cholesterol is 250, which is high. Your bad cholesterol, LDL, is 135, which is high. And your good cholesterol is 35, which is low."
Your doctor then prescribes a statin that lowers your total cholesterol and LDL, and slightly raises your HDL.
You leave your appointment feeling confident that your heart is ok.

Five years later you are start experiencing chest pressure that radiates into your left arm. You are slightly short of breath and sweaty. So you are rushed to the hospital. And you are diagnosed with a heart attack.


The 5 major risk factors of heart disease are:
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Most heart attacks are due to plaque formation, which is a sticky substance that is made up of fatty material, cholesterol and fats, with inflammatory cells that build up along the coronary arteries.
The plaque ruptures, blocking the flow of blood to the heart muscle, causing a heart attack.
But the big question is why do people with NORMAL cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure have heart disease?
The answer is that coronary heart disease is not due to cholesterol, but it is the result of inflammation, oxidative stress (free radical damage), and autoimmune damage to your coronary arteries.

Treatment should be geared towards correcting these abnormalities in the arteries so as to prevent plaque rupturing. Taking medication for high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol will NOT control these issues.
We can lower our risk of heart disease through proper nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, and relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga.


I want to share an eight-step approach to prevent cardiovascular disease, from Dr. Mark Houston's book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease:
  • Get a thorough check up by a physician who goes beyond the traditional five risk factors for heart disease.
  • Reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction with nutritional supplements, proper nutrition, weight loss and exercise.
  • Counteract problems with cholesterol, normalize blood pressure, and correct abnormalities in glucose and insulin levels, with proper nutrition, exercise, weight loss, nutritional supplements, and medication
  • Exercise
  • Attend to any other disease that may be contributing to inflammation, oxidation, and autoimmune dysfunction
  • Make lifestyle changes to achieve ideal body weight, reduce stress, and stop smoking, sleep.
  • Use medication as appropriate along with scientifically proven nutritional supplements.
  • Stop using all tobacco products.

It is never too late to start this program to slowly prevent and even reverse heart disease.