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10 fascinating facts about your heart

Fact #1

heart beat, heart diagram and stethoscope

Your heart beats about 100 000 times in one day. 1 In an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2,5 billion times. 1

Fact #2

hands placed in heart shape

The adult heart is the same size as your hands clasped together. 2

Fact #3

blue dumbbells on a orange background

The heart does the most physical work of any muscle during a lifetime. 4

Fact #4

blood cells flowing through body

Your heart pumps about 7 200 litres of blood per day3 Enough to fill about 50 bathtubs5

Fact #5

black stethscope on blue background

The heart begins beating at 4 weeks after conception. 2

Fact #6

pink stethoscope on pink bench with with pink ribbon

Heart cancer is very rare, because heart cells stop dividing early in life. 6

Fact #7

woman holding heart shaped ballons

A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s2 The average heart rate of a man is 70 beats per minute and a woman is 78 beats per minute. 4

Fact #8

man playing tennis

Regular exercise is the single most important key to heart health. And it is free! 2

Fact #9

heart shaped pillow with mobile device "listening" to the beat

The beating sound is the clap of the heart valves opening and closing. 2

Fact #10

black road with yellow lines

The heart pumps the blood in your body 19 000 km per day3 The same distance as flying from Johannesburg to London and back again! 6

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

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The Heart’s Responsibilities

our heart is responsible for pumping blood through your body, carrying nutrients in and removing waste. 2,4 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 you to experience any of the following conditions: 4

  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol plaques in your blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • 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.

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 7
  • Modifiable – these risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medication. 7 In fact, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South African, 80 % of heart disease and strokes can be prevented. 8

Awesome Foursome

Four ingredients that can boost your heart health:

Co-enzyme Q10

orange caplets arranged in a heart shape

An antioxidant that supports heart health and plays a key role in energy production in the heart muscle 9


capsules labelled with magnesium

A mineral that is essential to heart health as it “drives” 600 chemical reactions in the body, including energy production 10,11


white powder being measured out - d ribose

A naturally occurring sugar that improves heart energy utilisation and recovery after injury 12,13


capsule labelled with "l-carnitine"

An amino acid that plays a role in energy production in heart muscle 14

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 4

  1. Get enough exercise
  2. Eat a well-balanced diet
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Avoid smoking
  5. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  6. Manage your stress

References: 1. Dr Mercola. 11 Fascinating Facts About the Human Heart Infographic. [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: 2. American Heart Association. Heart, How It Works. [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: 3. Cleveland Clinic. 21 Facts About Your Heart. [Online] 2015 Nov 17 [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: 4. Heart Research UK. About your heart. [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: 5. Cape Town Green Map. Baths, showers, geysers, taps and washing machines. . [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: 6. The flight distance from Johannesburg, South Africa to London, United Kingdom. . [Online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from:,+South+Africa/to/London,+United+Kingdom. 7. Li YQ, Wright SCD. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the Ga-Rankuwa community. Curationis 2007;30(4):79-87. 8. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa. Home page. [online] [cited 2017 Dec 18]. Available from: URL: 9. 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. 10. University of Maryland. Magnesium. [online] 2015 Jun 8. [cited 2018 Feb 2]. Available online: URL: 11. De Baaij JHF, Hoenderop JGJ, Bindels RJM. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev 2015;95:1-46. 12. 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. 13. Pauly DF, Pepine CJ. D-Ribose as a Supplement for Cardiac Energy Metabolism. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Therapeut 2000;5(4):249-258. 14. 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.

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