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There is little reason for an early heart attack.  The same is true for many other diseases like osteoporosis, mental decline and several cancers.

Over 50% of U.S. women (more than men) dying today do so from heart and blood vessel diseases and one American dies every 5 minutes from 'properly' prescribed drugs.

On the supplement side of the picture however, no one has ever died from their indicated use and there's zero research showing that avoiding a multi makes you healthier.  As luck has it, they are the only easy part of health maintenance.

Follow some of these easy tips to prevent heart problems and promote health.  If you do only one thing: take a good multivitamin and get your omega-3's.  Incorporate some of the other changes and prevent, help, or postpone most of the slow-building diseases common after mid-life:

1.  START WITH a single multivitamin with most B's near the 25 mg level, B3 at 100 mg, folic acid at minimum 400 mcg and B12 at 100 mcg.  The Where page has several sources, including some single multis with all that stuff for about 11¢US per day.  Super important: use omega-3 oils like fatty fish (or 1 - 2 pills), flax(lin) seed (oil), and start using canola (rapeseed/colza) or in India: mustard oil.  Refrigerate all omega-3 oils!  Olive has zero omega-3.

2. STEP TWO --increase unprocessed and unrefined fresh foods: "above-the-ground" veggies and fruits, whole kernel (little ground) grains, bran, wheatgerm, beans, brown rice and, yes, fresh eggs. If you like liver .., good!

3.  STEP THREE --reduce sugar, white flour (if it says enriched, it ain't whole), white rice, ordinary white noodles and foods that are deep fried, have shortening and anything 'hydrogenated.  Potato (starchy or fried) is also a high "glycemic load" food with few health benefits.  Avoid all high linoleic omega-6 oils, like soy, corn, sunflower, safflower and cottonseed.  Never use polyunsaturates for frying for which only saturates are totally safe. 

  Separately consider 200 IU "mixed" natural (type d) vitamin E (best not type 'dl'), at least 1 gram vitamin C (not Ester-C).  Get 200 mcg selenium.

  Make sure to get in the order of 500-700 mg magnesium (most people will need a supplement) and 800 IU [- 2000 IU = 50 mcg] of vitamin D to make calcium actually build bone (get sun, and from fall to spring: cod liver oil is an okay source).

  Don't take iron unless you are in your child bearing years and/or have a medically established reason.  Easy on the copper (1 - 2 mg max.) but include 15 mg zinc.  These plus the selenium and good "D" can be found in the same single multi; see [Nuts & Bolts].

For omega-3's, use 1 teaspoon of cold pressed lin(flax) oil or 2 tablespoons of canola = rapeseed or (if you can't find canola/rape or mustard oil) un-hydrogenated soy.  Crushed Lin(flax) seeds and walnuts are great sources.  Regularly eat fatty fish (or, to save the oceans, 1 g/d fish oil pill); extremely important [see Comments].  Olive oil is healthy but it has zero omega-3 (so spike it with flax oil for omega-3).  Butter is better than margarine except those based on un-hydrogenated canola.

   Lack of potassium (celery, fruits, veggies & imitation salt --but not in flour, sugar or fats; also in high starch banana and potato) and magnesium (full kernel grains, nuts, greens -or as part of a calcium/magnesium + vitamin D pill; any brand will do) are main causes of heart attacks.  Sweating and most diuretics flush out these spark plugs for the heart.  Magnesium is likely The Most Important of the minerals most Westeners are low in.

4.  ABOUT CHOLESTEROL [see picture at end], I wouldn't pay too much attention unless the "good" HDL is considerably below say "45" (1.1) --also, see [cholesterol], or unless you have a special (genetic) reason -and are not taking omega-3s and a B vitamin supplement.  Realize, 'low cholesterol' people on average tend to live shorter while higher cholesterol people when older tend to be 'smarter' and have better aging brains.

   If your doctor proposes you have a 'cholesterol problem' (which is not an illness), at all costs try to avoid the statin drugs by taking niacin instead (vitamin B3, about 2 g/day).  Generic niacin is 10 - 20 times cheaper and uniquely beneficial in its action on blood fats.  It lowers, if you also take a multi, all that could be bad and raises most that is good, and more.  It also makes doctors happy.  The scrary 'flush' soon disappears if taken 15-30 minutres after meals.

   NOTE:  If you have a (congestive) heart condition (CHF) or take statin drugs (Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, etc), strongly consider at least 60 mg coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as statins dramatically lower this energy producing agent.  Let no doctor put you on a statin drug without knowing your Lp(a) and homocysteine first: for Lp(a) high-dose niacin + vitamin C work better while for homocysteine [which also runs in families -and "family history" is often a reason to put you on a statin-] it takes B-vitamin "therapy" instead.  Statin drugs DO NOT EXTEND LIVES of women, or of men over age about 70 years, and in virtually any other group tested, including those with 'heart failure'!!!

Each of the above steps is important for heart and blood vessels as well as for the entire body and mind --yes, there is a mental health and Alzheimer's link!  Don't smoke, get some exercise & don't sweat the small stuff.

Chances are that long-term use of these foods, supplements and omega-3s will reduce your risk of sudden heart death by up to 80%.  Not bad for stuff you can buy in a market or health food store!  June 1, 2012.  

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