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Heart Health

The human body is truly an amazing thing and no other organ works as hard in your lifetime as your heart. Did you know that the heart has its own electrical impulse and can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen? 1

Discover 10 Fascinating Facts About Your Heart

The Heart’s Responsibilities

Your heart is responsible for pumping blood through your body, carrying nutrients in and taking waste out. When your heart and other parts of your cardiovascular system, are not properly cared for, they don’t function as effectively as they should. This may lead to you experiencing any of the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol plaques in your blood vessels
  • A heart attack
  • A stroke
  • Heart failure

It is important that you know the health of your heart and to check if you have any risk factors for heart disease.

Book your heart health assessment at your nearest Medicare branch:
Clinic-based assessments help determine your heart health by screening for risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) can be:

  • Non-modifiable – these risk factors can’t be changed and include age, gender, race and family history 8
  • Modifiable – these risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medication. 8 In fact, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South African, 80 % of heart disease and strokes can be prevented. 9

Awesome Foursome

Four ingredients that can boost your heart health:

Co-enzyme Q10

An antioxidant that supports heart health and plays a key role in energy production in the heart muscle 2

Magnesium

A mineral that is essential to heart health as it “drives” 600 chemical reactions in the body, including energy production 3,4

D-Ribose

A naturally occurring sugar that improves heart energy utilisation and recovery after injury 5,6

L-Carnitine

An amino acid that plays a role in energy production in heart muscle 7

How healthy is your heart?

To better understand how healthy your heart is, you need to know your numbers.  These include the following:

  1. Body mass index (i.e. your weight in relation to how tall you are)
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Blood sugar levels
  4. Cholesterol levels

Know your numbers

Even if you have one or more risks for heart disease, there is a lot that you can do to prevent ever having a heart attack or stroke. The most effective way of preventing heart disease is to live a healthy lifestyle, including correcting bad habits and improving poor diets. Read about 6 steps you can take to improve your heart health.

6 Steps to improved heart health:

References: 1. Dr Mercola. 11 Fascinating Facts About the Human Heart Infographic. [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: http://www.mercola.com/infographics/human-heart-facts.htm. 2. DiNicolantonio JJ, Bhutani J, McCarty MF, O’Keefe JH. Coenzyme Q10 for the treatment of heart failure: a review of the literature. Open Heart 2015;2:e000326. 3. University of Maryland. Magnesium. [online] 2015 Jun 8. [cited 2018 Feb 2]. Available online: URL: https://goo.gl/qgJmQx. 4. De Baaij JHF, Hoenderop JGJ, Bindels RJM. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev 2015;95:1-46. 5. Omran H, Illien S, MacCarter D, St. Cyr J, Lüderitz B. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. Eur J Heart Failure 2003;5:615-619. 6. Pauly DF, Pepine CJ. D-Ribose as a Supplement for Cardiac Energy Metabolism. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Therapeut 2000;5(4):249-258. 7. DiNicolantonio JJ. Lavie CJ, Fares H, Menezes AR, O’Keefe JH. L-Carnitine in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Mayo Clin Proc 2013;88(6):544-551. 8. Li YQ, Wright SCD. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the Ga-Rankuwa community. Curationis 2007;30(4):79-87. 9. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa. Home page. [online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: http://www.heartfoundation.co.za/

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