By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
People usually consult with a cardiologist when their primary physician refers them following an event, the appearance of symptoms, or an abnormal test indicates a cardiovascular problem. Many times, a cardiologist has first contact with a patient in a hospital emergency room or intensive care unit.
Typically, people don’t come to a cardiologist for prevention, other than to get on a therapeutic program to prevent a second heart attack. Rarely do they come for a primary prevention program.
In my own cardiology practice, my primary interest has been , and that included not just preventing a second heart attack but the first one as well. Remember that in half the cases, a first heart attack can be the very first symptom of a cardiovascular condition and can be fatal.
Nutritional supplementation has always been part of my prevention program, developed from years of research and clinical practice. It is a powerful way to deter and head off arterial inflammation, a primary factor in heart disease. And because I view inflammation as a marker of premature aging, cardiovascular prevention can also double as a strategy against accelerated aging in general.
I constantly drilled into the heads of my patients the importance of taking responsibility for their own health. That’s what prevention is all about: what YOU do to make yourself healthier.
We doctors can prescribe pills and fancy tests, dole out advice, hold your hand when you come to see us, send you to surgery if you need it, but what you do 24/7 makes the biggest difference.
After treating thousands of patients with the gravest of conditions we can tell you unequivocally that prevention is a whole lot easier on you (and us) than treatment.
The research suggests that many people already have plaque formation brewing by the time they reach adulthood. That’s why I believe it makes good sense to adopt a prevention attitude as early as possible.
Financial planners tell you to start investing for your retirement early. Obviously, retirement based on financial security is wonderful. But if you don’t have the good health to go along with it, you are not going to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you want a retirement with good health, you need to start working early on your health, just as you do on your finances. Don’t wait until you get sick.
The Sinatra Solution: Make Prevention a Lifestyle
Refer to my five pillars of health. Those are the strategies you need to follow for solid prevention.
As far as supplements for prevention are concerned, my basic recommendations are presented in the chart below:
Your Daily Dosage
|High potency multi vitamin/mineral with B vitamins and antioxidants||Follow label instructions||Avoid one-a-day formulas. The most effective formulas have you taking several or more capsules/tablets a day. That’s what it takes to include the many elements necessary to help protect your arteries and heart from inflammation.|
|Omega 3 fatty acids|
(fish or squid oil)
|1-2 g||Be sure that the product you take is free of contaminants. Read the label.|
|Magnesium||400 mg if not present in your multi||Helps prevent the ravages of everyday stress. Keeps your artery walls relaxed.|
|Vitamin C||At least 500 mg if not present in your multi||An important antioxidant and keeps your tissues strong, including your artery walls.|
|CoQ10||50 mg||For maximum bioavailability, choose a hydrosoluble softgel form.|
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