The Real Causes of Heart Disease
Sure, you've heard about high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyle. Anyone who reads magazines or newspapers, or watches TV knows about those.
Are there other causes? What about people who don't have high cholesterol, don't smoke, don't have diabetes and are physically active? They can still develop heart disease-but why?
Here's a list of conditions that have been clearly shown to cause heart disease (or at least be associated with marked increase in risk for heart disease):
- Small LDL particles
- Oxidized LDL
- Low HDL
- Postprandial (after-eating) abnormalities
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency
- High fibrinogen
- Vitamin K2 deficiency
I'll bet that, even if you already have heart disease, you've never heard about the majority of causes of heart disease listed above.
But what if one or more of the above conditions contributed to causing your heart disease, yet you've only been told to cut the fat in your diet and take a statin cholesterol drug?
Easy: You will fail. You will fail to prevent the heart attack that is destined for your future.
That's why I tell everyone that it is important to identify not just one, but all the causes of heart disease that apply to you as an individual. While one person might develop heart disease because of low HDL cholesterol and small LDL particles, another can develop it because of longstanding low thyroid function and vitamin D deficiency. Yet another might have oxidized LDL with lipoprotein(a). No high cholesterol values in sight!
If you have lipoprotein(a), for instance, an inherited pattern that delivers high-risk for heart disease, then a treatment program to address lipoprotein(a) is in order. Following standard advice to reduce heart disease risk will do virtually nothing to correct this unique condition.
What if inflammation in your body, the sort that increases likelihood for heart attack, was triggered by deficiency of vitamin D? Again, no drugs address this, nor any change in diet. Vitamin D is the solution, whether it's from exposure to a hot, tropical sun over a large skin surface area, or from vitamin D3 supplements at a dose sufficient to fully restore healthy blood levels. Vitamin D deficiency is the cause; vitamin D restoration is the solution.
Likewise, if deficiency of the omega-3 fatty acids is present, no drug or diet change will correct this, short of eating fatty fish once a day. Omega-3 fatty acids taken as fish oil supplements are the solution.
Thus, a program of heart disease prevention, or a program to stop or reverse heart disease once it's started, cannot involve just reducing cholesterol and cutting dietary fat. That's a recipe for disaster.
A recipe for success? Identify all the causes for heart disease, then correct them.