The cardiovascular system
The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels. Through
this system, blood circulates throughout the body. All body organs and tissues
need a supply of blood to receive nutrition and to remove waste products.
When things go wrong
Heart disease is the biggest killer in North America. It manifests itself in
a number of ways: atherosclerosis (blocked arteries), angina (pain from insufficient
oxygen reaching the heart), arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat rhythms), aneurysms
(swelling of the arterial wall with risk of rupture), high blood pressure, heart
attack, and stroke. Cold hands and feet and varicose veins are also circulatory
Why things go wrong
Lifestyle is a major factor in heart disease. A diet high in fats and low in
fiber, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking all contribute to making heart
disease an epidemic in North America. Other risk factors include stress, high
homocysteine levels (resulting from B vitamin deficiency), high cholesterol
levels, and deficiencies in antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
To maintain cardiovascular health
Many cardiovascular problems can be eliminated or managed through
lifestyle, and this takes us back to the Healthy Cell Concept™. More specifically,
try to eat foods containing vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid (to reduce homocysteine
levels); calcium, magnesium, and potassium; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and
E, and beta carotene. Helpful supplements include ginkgo biloba, green tea,
coenzyme Q10, fish oil, tocotrienols, and garlic.