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Preventing Heart Failure

New research shows it may be possible to delay or even prevent heart failure.

A recent study done in Japan demonstrated the ability to modify a specific gene that regulates how long cells live. By suppressing this gene, heart muscle remained healthy longer and there were fewer biological markers of aging. These markers include decreased cardiac function and increased stiffness of the heart muscle (fibrosis).

But short of being able somehow to suppress specific genes in our bodies, how can we use this information now to be healthier and live longer?

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The Critical Factor
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Here’s the part of that report that’s especially important (my emphasis):

“This study showed that aging of the heart can be prevented by modifying the function of insulin and paves the way to preventing age-associated susceptibility to heart failure.”

~ Tetsuo Shioi
Lead researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto.

In other words, the results of this study demonstrate that insulin, or more accurately, our response to insulin, has a powerful effect on aging and heart health.

Long-time readers of Balance Point will not be surprised by this. Chronically elevated insulin levels directly damage the entire body, including heart muscle.

This is important because congestive heart failure is the 4th leading cause of hospitalization in Western nations. The majority of these cases occur in people 65 years old and up. The disease is difficult to treat once it occurs and the five-year survival rate is less than 50%. That’s why preventing the problem in the first place is crucial.

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Modifying the Function of Insulin
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These results indicate how important it is to deal effectively with insulin resistance before heart damage occurs. Fortunately, you can begin supporting healthy insulin response right now.

Here are the most important things to pay attention to:

  • Eat only whole, fresh foods as close as possible to their natural state. The corollary to this is to avoid processed and artificial foods & drinks and food additives, especially avoid sugar, packaged & fast foods and refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, deserts, etc.)
  • Eat foods indicated for your Metabolic Type®.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Identify and reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
  • Practice stress management techniques.

We needn’t wait for some miracle drug from big pharmaceutical companies to avoid the negative aspects of aging. By taking a few steps now, we will head off problems before they happen. In addition, we’ll enjoy our lives today even more!


References:

Hyperhealth Pro Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.

Tetsuo Shioi, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; American Heart Association, news release, Oct. 12, 2009; Oct. 12, 2009, Circulation

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