Cardiovascular - February 2012 - Volume 3 Issue 10





Best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! I think February is an appropriate month for an update on heart health. Two years ago (see Newsletter, February 2010) I reviewed several risk factors for heart disease and also discussed how you can minimize or reduce your risk of heart disease. This month I’ll provide recent updates regarding heart disease and stroke.

Brief Summary of Risk Factors and Solutions for Cardiovascular Disease

  • Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke – Don’t smoke; avoid exposure to second hand smoke. 
  • Obesity – Maintain a healthy weight (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9). See Newsletter January 2010. 
  • Physical inactivity – Walk! Be physically active for at least 20 minutes most days (see Newsletter May 2010). 
  • Poor diet – Eat a healthy diet (see Newsletter March 2009) 
  • Stress – Manage your stress, get plenty of exercise and sleep. 
  • Hyerinsulinemia (syndrome X and later, type 2 diabetes) – Eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise. 
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein(a) – Eat a healthy diet, high in fibre, reduced saturated fat. 
  • High homocysteine – Eat a healthy diet, especially rich in fruits and vegetables. 
  • Inflammation – Practice good dental hygiene, maintain a healthy weight, eat a diet rich in omega-3 from fish and antioxidants. 
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) – Follow all of the advice above. 
  • Excessive alcohol consumption – Reduce or eliminate alcohol from your diet.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease and Stroke)

Reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by adhering to all four factors of a healthy lifestyle:
  • Eat right 
  • Don’t smoke 
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Avoid being overweight. 
Sudden cardiac death, defined as death occurring within one hour of symptom onset without evidence of circulatory collapse, accounts for over half of all deaths from coronary heart disease in the US. Data from the Nurses’ Health Study showed that women who adhered to all four factors were 92% less at risk of sudden cardiac death than those adhering to none.

Reduce your risk of stroke

Olive oil, a key component of the “Mediterranean diet” may help protect against strokes caused by blocked arteries. Researchers followed 7,625 people aged 65 and over without a prior stroke, living in the French cities of Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpelier. Those who were classified as “intensive” users of olive oil had a statistically significant reduction in risk of stroke. Moderate intake was associated with a 20% lower stroke incidence, but this was not statistically significant. A group of 1,245 people were tested for blood levels of oleic acid, an indirect marker for olive oil, and those with the highest levels were 73% less likely to suffer a stroke than those with the lowest levels. The researchers controlled for known stroke risk factors as well as fish, meat, cereal, fruit and vegetable consumption, but the researchers noted that it is impossible to totally separate olive oil consumption from the foods with which it is used that could also have a health-promoting potential.

Strenuous exercise has been linked with a 40% reduction in risk of “silent strokes” in seniors compared to no leisure-time physical activity. Moderate exercise did not protect against silent strokes, but it has many other benefits, so should definitely be encouraged.

Dietary antioxidants may reduce your risk of a stroke according to a new Italian study of 41,620 participants. Those with diets highest in total antioxidant capacity (a measure of several different antioxidant compounds and their interactions) were 59% less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke (involving an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying the brain). The researchers cautioned that the study was not designed to prove cause and effect. However, while they could not explain the mechanism for the protective effect they observed, they suggested it might be due to the role of antioxidants in fighting inflammation, by effects on the vascular system, or by reductions in blood pressure.

Reduce your risk of heart disease

Being active on the job can be good for your heart, much like leisure time exercise.

Omega-3 is good for the heart – but how much? You already know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (DHA and EPA) are good for your heart, but how much do you need to see a benefit? A review of eight previous studies shows that a daily intake of 250 mg seems to be the threshold where a benefit is seen. This level was associated with a 35% lower risk of sudden cardiac death and 17% fewer fatal coronary events. The researchers emphasized that 250 mg daily should be considered a minimum, not the optimum level of consumption.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – this isn’t new, but a recent study has shown that people who ate 8 servings (defined as 80 grams or 2.82 ounces) or more of produce daily had a 22% lower risk of dying of ischemic heart disease (chest pains, angina and heart attack) than those eating 2 or fewer servings. This study was conducted in 10 European countries and included over 300,000 participants.

Arginine Plus is a new supplement developed by Nature’s Sunshine, based on a recent discovery in cardiovascular health. L-arginine is a vital amino acid that plays a role in a number of physiological functions in the body, but is best known for its cardiovascular benefits. In the body, L-arginine is converted to nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels and regulates blood vessel tone and flexibility. This reduces stress on the heart, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure. (See Supplement section for more detail.)

Keeping blood vessels in good shape

Orange juice was shown to be effective in a French study of 24 overweight but otherwise healthy men aged 51 to 63, in lowering their diastolic blood pressure and improving blood-vessel function. Both 17 ounces of orange juice which contains about 300 mg of hesperidin, a key antioxidant flavonoid, and a control drink with 300 mg of hesperidin capsules showed an effect compared to a control drink with placebo capsules. The effects from orange juice were stronger than from the drink plus hesperidin capsules, indicating that other components of orange juice may also have beneficial effects. My recommendation would be freshly squeezed orange juice.

Cranberry juice has been found to reduce artery stiffness in heart patients (as well as fight urinary tract infections). The study compared 44 patients who drank double-strength cranberry juice or a placebo for four weeks each with a two week period in between. The cranberry juice contained 54% juice with a total of 835 mg of polyphenol antioxidants; both beverages were about 16 ounces of liquid. Patients refrained from drinking any other beverages high in polyphenols during the trial. Testing immediately before and after drinking the juice or placebo and 12 hours later resulted in a decrease in arterial stiffness associated with the cranberry juice, while stiffness increased after the placebo drink. Note: When shopping for cranberry juice, you need to read the fine print. Some juice is actually a blend of multiple fruit juices and may not have a high cranberry content. These juices also contain a lot of added sugar, so to get best results, drink pure cranberry juice – even if you dilute it, at least you’ll know what’s in it!

Take a walk regularly to reduce your risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). According to the Genetic Determinants of Peripheral Artery Disease Study of 1,381 patients who were at high risk of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries, most commonly of the legs), sedentary participants were 46% more likely to have PAD than those engaging in any activity at all. The greatest reduction in risk came from being moderately active.


Arginine Plus Mixed Berry was formulated in collaboration with leading L-arginine researchers and cardiovascular specialists who have conducted pioneering research in the proper application of L-arginine in promoting cardiovascular health. Each dose contains 6,000 mg (6 grams) of the highest quality L-arginine, which has been validated as a therapeutic agent by thousands of scientific clinical studies. Often referred to as the “miracle molecule,” L-arginine has potent health enhancing properties. This is a cardiovascular health supplement in a unique formula bulk powder, containing key supporting ingredients and with a delicious mixed berry flavour.

Blood Pressurex contains a blend of natural ingredients that can help your body maintain blood pressure levels already within the normal range. Many supplements for hypertension target only one or two underlying functions. Blood Pressurex targets many underlying functions to provide maximum support and efficient control.

Capiscum, Garlic and Parsley: This combination contains three classic herbs to nutritionally support the circulatory system. Each is also an excellent cooking spice—next time you have your favorite stew or dish, open and sprinkle several capsule-fulls into it.

Co-Q10 (Coenzyme Q10) is a vitamin-like nutrient that fuels the body’s cells with special benefits to the circulatory system. Much like a car engine burns fuel to produce energy, the body’s cells burn nutrients to produce body energy. Co-Q10 is the catalyzing agent the body needs to convert raw nutrients into useable fuel.

Flax Seed Oil: Our bodies do need fat, but not just any fat. What they need most of all are essential fatty acids (EFAs) found in high concentration in the brain where they aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for the normal development and functioning of the brain. Flax Seed Oil contains twice as much omega-3 EFA’s (essential fatty acids) as fish oil products. Scientific studies show that omega-3 EFA’s play a role in cardiovascular and circulatory health.

Ginko Slow Release: Ginkgo is the most widely prescribed medication in Europe, often for problems related to poor circulation. Widely known as the "smart herb" of our time, it aids in mental functioning. Ginkgo increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, heart and all parts of the body by promoting optimal blood circulation. Slow Release Ginkgo provides long-lasting protection to the brain by releasing standardized ginkgo flavone glycosides and terpene lactones gradually over a one day period.

Ginko / Hawthorn Herb Combination is known as a heart tonic. Ginkgo biloba enhances circulation by opening capillaries and reducing swelling. Hawthorn is famous for nutritionally supporting the heart and helping regulate its beating action.

Grapine High Potency contains proanthocyanidins (PACs), a highly bioavailable, water-soluble class of flavonoids with strong antioxidant activity. This combination is derived from the bark of pine trees and from grape seed. PACs can cross the blood-brain barrier helping to protect the brain and central nervous system against free radical damage. High Potency GrapPine provides nutritional support to the circulatory system, particularly the capillaries.

Green Tea Extract contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that are 200 times stronger than vitamin E at neutralizing free radicals—molecules that attack lipids in the brain and other tissues. Green tea also possesses antimicrobial properties (immune system support), helps normalize vascular blood clotting and total cholesterol, and supports healthy kidney function.

Hawthorn: Hawthorn Berries [Circulatory] have long been used around the world for many different purposes, including jellies and flours. They come from a small, spiny tree indigenous to the Mediterranean region. Throughout history, hawthorn has had a reputation both as a symbol of hope and as a symbol of evil. At one time Christianity regarded the plant as sacred, due to the belief that it furnished Christ’s crown of thorns. Hawthorn is especially popular in Europe, where it is used in a number of herbal tinctures, herbal combinations and teas. The berries’ effects on the circulatory system have been researched in Europe. Certain chemical constituents in the berries seem to enhance enzyme metabolism and oxygen utilization in the heart muscle.

HS-C: According to Chinese tradition this is a nerve and heart tonic.

Iron with Vitamin C (Circulatory system): It is estimated that iron deficiencies are the most prevalent deficiencies affecting human populations today. Many Western health authorities encourage their female population to take iron supplements. Iron’s presence is essential for the distribution of oxygen molecules and overall health. However, the average Westerner’s diet provides less than 10% of the iron needed.

I-X (Circulatory system): This formula combines herbs that are a source of natural iron with additional elements needed to enhance the absorption of iron. Also a good source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, silicon and zinc.

Lecithin is a fat-like substance produced daily by the liver when receiving a balanced diet. It is needed by every cell in the body and makes up the greater part of cell membranes. Without it, the cells would harden. Lecithin also protects cells from oxidation, and helps make up the protective sheaths that surround the brain. It is composed largely of B vitamins, phosphoric acid, choline, linoleic acid and inositol. Although it is a fatty substance, it is also a fat emulsifier and thus it is part of many weight management systems. It also supports the circulatory system.

MC (Vitamin and Mineral Supplement): This is one of the most exciting synergistic supplements on the market today. This combination of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, lipotropic factors, and its specially formulated base is designed to strengthen the arteries, veins and capillaries, and to rid the circulatory system of debris.

Oregon Grape Extract: Native to the west coast of North America and cultivated elsewhere for ornamental purposes, the Oregon grape is also known as mountain grape or holly-leaved barberry. The plant grows quickly and reaches a height of six feet, producing yellowish-green flowers and purple berries. The roots are used in herbology as a nutritional aid to the digestive and circulatory systems. The plant contains the alkaloid, berbine, which is also found in golden seal. It also contains oxycanthine and columbine. Oregon Grape Liquid Herb is suspended in an all-natural glycerin base, which adds its nutritional properties. Liquid herbs are highly concentrated and easily assimilated. Pantothenic Acid: This B vitamin is known as the anti-stress vitamin.

Panthothenic acid can improve mental processes and help treat anxiety and depression. It can lower both cholesterol and triglycerides. Because the brain contains one of the highest concentrations of pantothenic acid, mental symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue and depression can be the result of a deficiency.

Red Clover nutritionally support the circulatory system. A good source of magnesium, copper, calcium, chromium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B-complex and C.

Super Omega 3: Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. (The other three are cholesterol, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat). Some of the other fats, especially too much saturated fat, can be harmful to the body, but Omega-3s are good for the body and especially good for the heart and brain. Helps maintain/support cardiovascular health and helps to reduce serum triglycerides/triacylglycerols in adults and adolescents.

Vitamin D3 is vital to the health of your skeletal and immune systems. The body manufactures this essential vitamin through sun exposure, making it difficult to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D during the cloudy winter months or when sunscreen is used. Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. Of the two, D3 is more bioactive. The body synthesizes vitamin D3 from sunlight; it cannot be obtained through foods. In the body, vitamin D is responsible for maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, helping to build strong bones. Vitamin D may also contribute to the overall health of the cardiovascular system. Vitamin D works with other vitamins, minerals and hormones to promote bone mineralization.

Vitamin E with Selenium: Vitamin E and selenium have an affinity to each other. When the two are combined, their antioxidant activity of scavenging for free radicals is enhanced. The two work synergistically particularly in the production of antibodies and to help maintain a healthy liver and circulatory system.

Zambroza is a blend of the most healthful fruits and nutritional supplements from all over the world. Zambroza is replete with xanthones, bioflavonoids and powerful antioxidants. Bioflavonoids give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. In the body, bioflavonoids enhance vitamin C absorption and help maintain collagen and capillary walls. They also aid in the body’s immune–defense system. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that the body accumulates as a byproduct of energy production as well as through pollution, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet light and radiation. Antioxidants benefit virtually every organ and body system because they mop up damaging free radicals. Zambroza delivers a punch of antioxidant protection with a very high ORAC value. (ORAC is a measure of a product’s antioxidant strength).

Among Zambroza’s key ingredients is mangosteen, a tasty fruit found in eastern tropical nations, such as Thailand. Mangosteen contains the greatest known supply of compounds called xanthones. Xanthones offer powerful immune and cardiovascular support. Other ingredients in this nutritious juice include wolfberry, sea buckthorn, red grapes, grape seeds, grape skins, raspberries, blueberries, apple extract and green tea.

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue sharing our newsletters with friends and family. Visit our web site at for back issues of this newsletter, for additional information about products and to order products, and for information about our Clinic.


  1. Four keys to reducing your risk of SCD (sudden cardiac death). Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(8):6. 
  2. Olive-oil lovers at lower risk of strokes. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(7):8. 
  3. Strenuous exercise linked to fewer “silent strokes” in elderly. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(7):8. 
  4. Can dietary antioxidants reduce your risk of a stroke? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(2):6. 
  5. Active workers at lower risk of heart failure. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2010;28(10):8. 
  6. How much omega-3s does your heart need? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(6):3. 
  7. People who eat more produce less likely to die of heart disease. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(2):8. 
  8. Arginine Plus: Comparing the incomparable. Nature’s Sunshine Canada Year in Review 2011; 11-13. 
  9. Orange juice lowers BP, improves blood-vessel activity. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(2):1-2. 
  10. Cranberry juice reduces artery stiffness in heart patients. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(7):6. 
  11. Take a walk to reduce your risk of peripheral artery disease. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(9):6.




The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.




These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity. Sincerely, Ramila Padiachy Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic