5 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Heart Scan Score

CT heart scans are booming in popularity. With over 300 scanners nationwide,
over one million Americans have now been scanned since the introduction of this
technology 10 years ago.

In some cases, lives have been saved. People with high scores (e.g., over
1000) can end up with lifesaving procedures like bypass surgery or stents.

But what about the majority of people who don't have a life-threatening

Too often, people in this very large group are prescribed a cholesterol drug
and patted on the back with advice to cut the fat in their diet. According to
several recent studies, that's a recipe for failure. Do nothing, and you can
expect your score to increase 30% per year. Take a cholesterol drug and cut your
fat, and you can still expect your score to grow 30% per year!

Surely there's a lot more you could do to gain control over your score.

Here's our list of 5 easy yet crucial steps you can take that tip the odds in
your favor that you will not just stop your score from increasing, but perhaps
even reduce it.

1. Take fish oil

Fish oil is among the few breakthrough discoveries of the past 20 years that
has altered the course of cardiovascular illness, slashing risk of death, heart
attack, and stroke. The mis-guided advice of the 1980s that polyunsaturated oils
were healthy has left us appallingly overloaded with omega-6 fatty acids, and
omega-3 supplementation from fish oil has become increasingly important.

The 11,000-participant GISSI-Prevenzione trial brought any remaining
naysayers to their knees. Participants taking fish oil experienced 30% reduction
in cardiovascular death and an astounding 45% reduction in sudden death.

Fish oil provides anti-inflammatory benefits, plaque-stabilizing effects, and
corrects many genetic and acquired causes for heart attack. Fish oil helps
correct the triglyceride and small LDL abnormalities triggered by metabolic
syndrome, the collection of pre-diabetic abnormalities now afflicting 59 million
Americans. Fish oil also accelerates clearance of abnormal fat particles in the
blood that persist after eating. All of this adds up to a dramatic reduction in
cardiovascular "events" and greater control over coronary plaque. In our heart
disease reversal program, we start with 4000 mg of standard fish oil capsules
per day provide 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA + DHA.

2. Take vitamin D

Imagine over half the adults in the U.S. were toothless and had open skin
sores covering their bodies from vitamin C deficiency, or "scurvy. Well, that's
the situation, though less graphic, with vitamin D. Deficiency is rampant in the
U.S., particularly in northern climates where sun exposure is in short supply
for long periods. It's not uncommon even in southern climates, given indoor
workplaces and lifestyles. Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in
osteoporosis, prostate and colon cancer, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and
heart disease.

The higher your heart scan score, the more likely you are deficient in
vitamin D. Consider taking a minimum of vitamin D 1000 units per day. Even
better, have your doctor check a blood level (25-OH-vitamin D3) and the dose can
be adjusted accordingly. In our heart disease reversal program, most women
require 2000 units per day, most men 3000 units per day to achieve the desirable
blood level of >50 ng/ml.

3) Boost your HDL cholesterol to 60 mg/dl

Raise this simple value to 60 mg/dl or greater, and you will have
accomplished a huge improvement in a whole constellation of health effects.

This is because HDL is a gauge of many things: body weight, your body's
ability to respond to insulin, potential for hypertension, and the presence of
hidden causes of heart disease, especially the dreaded small LDL. The higher
your HDL, the less likely other undesirable phenomena are present. HDL is the
blood particle that is responsible for regression, or shrinkage, of plaque. The
more, the better.

Boost HDL by losing excess weight, reducing processed carbohydrates like
breads and breakfast cereals, exercise, 4-8 oz of red wine per day, and fish
oil. Raise it even further by considering niacin (vitamin B3), 500-1000 mg.
(Discuss niacin use with your doctor.)

4) Have a colorful lifestyle

Deeply colored foods are rich in flavonoids, naturally-occurring substances
that pack broad, powerful health effects and include blood pressure-reducing and
anti-inflammatory benefits.

Add more deeply colored foods to your day, especially blueberries,
pomegranates, plums, black grapes, spinach, green peppers, and red wine. Drink
green tea whenever possible. Use cocoa powder (unsweetened) in your protein
shakes or add a daily two-inch square of dark chocolate. Add capers, fresh basil
and other herbs to your salads and dinner dishes. All are rich in
naturally-occurring flavonoids, destined to become health champions of the 21st
century. Among their myriad benefits, flavonoids are natural artery relaxing
agents and add another healthy dimension to your heart scan control program.

5) Substitute raw nuts for unhealthy snacks

Dump the chips, pretzels, and crackers. Replace them with raw almonds,
walnuts, and pecans. (Not "party mix", "honey-roasted", mixed nuts, etc., all no
better than other unhealthy snacks.) Raw and whole (unshelled) are the keys,
bought bulk in most supermarkets or health food stores. This simple substitution
reduces LDL cholesterol 20 points, reduces blood sugar, reduces small LDL,
raises HDL, and boosts your energy level. Don't sweat the fats--the
monounsaturated fat in raw nuts are the source of much of the benefit.
One-quarter to one-half cup per day provides maximum benefit.

Stopping your heart scan score from increasing may be among the most powerful
ways to sharply reduce, perhaps even eliminate, risk for heart disease in your
lifetime. There's no single strategy that guarantees you stop your heart scan
score from increasing―it's all your efforts combined, followed consistently over

Dr. William Davis is a cardiologist and expert in
reversal of heart disease. He is author of “Track Your Plaque: The only heart
disease prevention program that shows you how to detect, track, and control
coronary plaque.” Dr. Davis also makes his book, “What Does My Heart Scan Show?”
available for free at www.trackyourplaque.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=William_Davis,MD


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