The Year of the Tiger Brings Sad News – Take Care of Cardiovascular Health
As the Year of the Tiger arrives, Taiwan’s media has reported distressing news. Renowned artist Nattō was hospitalized due to a suspected cerebral hemorrhage at the beginning of the year and is yet to be discharged. Famed director Ming Jin-Cheng tragically passed away due to a heart attack, which is deeply saddening. Just last month, Jin-Cheng joyously welcomed a pair of twins, yet tragically passed away due to a heart attack, leaving the babies less than a month old. The significant temperature fluctuations in the autumn and winter increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Besides maintaining warmth in the cold, physicians recommend self-evaluating five major cardiovascular signs and ensuring the regular intake of four essential nutrients daily to keep oneself away from cardiovascular crises.
What is a Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)?
A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle cells suddenly become blocked, causing a halt in blood flow. This results in oxygen deprivation and damage or death of the heart muscle, potentially leading to instant death. To prevent heart attacks, it’s crucial to prevent the onset of atherosclerosis. While unchangeable congenital factors, like family medical history, exist, there are controllable postnatal factors such as managing hyperlipidemia, controlling ideal body weight, and maintaining good lifestyle habits.
The symptoms of a heart attack can be severe and sudden, varying in each individual. The five major signs of a heart attack include left-sided chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the left arm, shoulder, neck, or jaw. Once these symptoms occur, one should not wait; immediate hospital care and early intervention are crucial. Time is of the essence.
Studies suggest that individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to the general population. High blood pressure also increases the risk by 2.5 times. Therefore, it’s essential to control blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids. Especially when the weather changes dramatically, those with these risk factors need daily monitoring. Changing lifestyle habits such as quitting smoking, maintaining a good mood, alleviating stress, avoiding excessive fatigue, and ensuring sufficient sleep helps in better control of hyperlipidemia, thereby reducing the risk of a heart attack.
It’s important to develop a regular exercise routine, and patients with hyperlipidemia should adhere to regular check-ups and follow the doctor’s advice on medication. The occurrence of a heart attack results in a high mortality rate. Therefore, one must be attentive to their own and their loved ones’ physical condition. During seasons of substantial weather changes, extra care should be taken to prevent any unfortunate occurrences.
Besides paying attention to these risk indicators, dietary adjustments can be made, such as choosing a comfortable diet pattern or a Mediterranean diet, consuming more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and limiting red and processed meats, salt, sugar, and moderate alcohol intake. Additionally, supplementing with clinically proven nutrients like fish oil, arginine, nattō, and red yeast rice can help maintain cardiovascular health.
The American Heart Association (AHA) highlights that fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and preventing atherosclerosis. It’s recommended that those wanting to prevent cardiovascular diseases supplement daily with 800-1000 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids. Those with hyperlipidemia should take 2000-3000 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids daily.
Nattō contains the active ingredient nattokinase, which dissolves blood clots. Studies show that nattokinase stabilizes blood pressure, reduces clotting factors, and can prevent atherosclerosis. According to the Japan Nattokinase Association, the recommended daily intake is more than 2000FU of nattokinase to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice extract, particularly Monacolin K, structurally resembles cholesterol-lowering drugs, inhibiting cholesterol synthesis. This aids in controlling blood lipid levels, reducing the accumulation of high cholesterol in the blood vessel walls and preventing the hazards of vascular sclerosis.
Arginine can maintain the health of the vascular endothelium primarily because it promotes the production of nitric oxide in the vascular endothelium. This helps relax blood vessels, regulate blood pressure, and contributes to reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. It is recommended that individuals with cardiovascular issues take 2.5-5 grams of arginine daily for maintenance.
It’s important to establish a regular and moderate exercise routine. Patients with hyperlipidemia should adhere to regular check-ups and follow their doctor’s instructions regarding medication. Heart attacks have a high fatality rate when they occur, so it’s essential to be attentive to your own and your loved ones’ physical conditions. Especially during seasons with significant weather changes, it’s important to remain vigilant and take early preventive measures to avoid unfortunate incidents.