Heart Disease Prevention
Written by Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
The leading cause of death in Australia in 2016 was ischaemic heart disease, although on a positive note the number of such deaths has been declining for several years. Natural therapists have a key role to play in heart disease prevention, thereby helping ensure the continuation of this decline – but more than that, ensuring fewer people develop heart disease in the first place.
The Naturally Good Expo Practitioner Theatre includes several programs designed to enhance practitioners’ skills in this heart disease prevention.
The first is Tocotrienols: Better than Tocopherols at Improving Cardio, Liver and Metabolic Function (Sunday 29 April 2.30-3.00pm). Presenter Lindsay Brown from the University of Southern Queensland details how tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) – especially the γ- and δ-isomers – have positive and unique benefits in supporting healthy functioning of:
- The heart, to reduce cholesterol concentrations, support arterial compliance, attenuate oxidative stress and improve endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation; and
- The brain, to reduce stroke-induced injuries and attenuation of white matter lesions.
Inflammation has been implicated in many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. In New Research: How the Powerful Combination of Two Novel Plant Extracts Helps Balance Chronic and Acute Inflammation (Monday 30 April 1.30-2.00pm), Eric Anderson, Senior Vice President of NattoPharma, presents the findings of a human double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in the development of this combination.
Tamarindus indica (tamarind) and Curcuma longa (turmeric) are the extracts that comprise TamaFlex®, which was developed to target the mediation of the COX-2 enzyme. This enzyme is the target of most NSAIDS, anti-inflammatory drugs that provide fast relief, but wear off equally quickly.
TamaFlex® also targets the newly recognised 5-LOX enzyme for systemic support. 5-LOX inhibitors have slower onset, but sustain relief over time, reducing break-through discomfort.
Craig Fullshaw, CEO of Complementary Medicines Group, will talk about vitamin K2 deficiency and the risk it poses for cardiovascular disease in his presentation New Research: The Role of Vitamin K in Modulating Calcification to Support Bone and Heart Health (Monday 30 April 3.30-4.00pm).
Research conducted in the development of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 indicates the effect of this deficiency is on a par with tobacco use, as an absence of vitamin K2 can cause arterial calcification.
Coronary artery calcification, a 2017 study found, was most effective indicator of patients at increased risk for heart disease – and most ischaemic heart disease is caused by artherosclerosis. Another 2017 study found vitamin K2 protects against arterial calcification and even improves arterial flexibility by helping the body properly utilise calcium.