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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


Treating Cardiovascular Disease

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on July 9, 2014, 9:43 am


Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.
 
Coronary Heart Disease and myocardial infarction are the leading cause of death.
 
The five major risk factors for coronary heart disease are:
·         Hypertension
·         Diabetes Mellitus
·         Dyslipidemia
·         Smoking
·         Obesity
 
Pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions can improve all of these risk factors and decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Many patients prefer non-drug treatments, because of side effects from lipid lowering medications.
 
Recent guidelines by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), recommend more aggressive control of serum lipids to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease.
 
Nutrition, diet, weight loss, exercise and scientifically proven nutritional supplements can be used initially in selected patients to manage dyslipidemia – one of the risk factors for coronary heart disease. Optimal nutrition and proper aerobic and resistance exercise are the most important factors for managing dyslipidemia.
 
Dietary studies suggest the following, which promote cardiovascular health, and which are essential to the Mediterranean diet:
1.      The substitution of non-hydrogenated unsaturated fats for saturated and trans-fats;
2.      Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from marine and plant sources;
3.      Increase consumption of low glycemic fruits and vegetables, and reduce consumption of refined grain products.
 
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease fatal coronary heart disease in multiple studies. The primary benefit is reduction of sudden cardiac death.
 
The preponderance of evidence suggests regular exercise prevents development and progression of atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular disease. Exercise has shown to be the single best therapy to prevent diabetes mellitus. Exercise decreases the rate of cardiovascular events, and improves all parameters of dyslipidemia. The recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine, recommends 30 minutes, of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week.
 
The following nutritional supplements have been shown to improve serum lipid profile:
 
Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  • Studies have shown a reverse relationship between the consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and sudden death.
  • American Heart Association , recommends 1 gram to prevent CVD, and 2-4 grams for patients with hypertriglyceridemia.
Niacin
  • Niacin has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events. 
  • Reduces triglyceride by 20-50%
  • Reduces LDL levels by 10-25%
  • Increases HDL 10-30%
  • Reduces Lp(a) by 10-30 %
It is well documented that a Mediterranean diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements are an excellent start to lowering your lipids, and decreasing your incidence of heart disease and death.
 
Dr. Kurtz's recommendations to reduce Cardiovascular disease:
  1. Mediterranean Diet
  2. Exercising 30 minutes a day, doing moderate aerobic and resistance training
  3. Omega-3 Fatty acids, 1-4 grams day
  4. Niacin 1-2 grams a day.