What is Heart Arrhythmia, Symptoms, Causes And Therapy

What is a heart arrhythmia?

Heart arrhythmia is a disorder characterized by an accelerated or severely slowed heartbeat. The change in heart rate is due to an increase or decrease in electrical activity in the heart muscle.

Expansion of the heart is controlled by electrical signals or impulses from the brain. An interruption in the transmission of these electrical pulses may result in the suspension of a heartbeat. The values ​​of a normal adult heartbeat are 60 to 100 beats per minute. If you have a heartbeat outside this area, talk to your doctor about it.

Arrhythmia is often a contraindication to sports.

heart-arrhythmia

When do you have to worry?

Benign arrhythmias manifest at the level of the atria (for example, atrial fibrillation) or the atrioventricular sinus. They do not lead to the death of the person. Malignant arrhythmias that can lead to death include tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.

Causes of heart arrhythmia

Here are the main causes of irregular heartbeat and arrhythmias:

    • Coronary heart disease is a common cause of arrhythmia. It is a disorder in which the blood circulation in the coronary vessels is obstructed.
    • Stimulants such as smoking, alcohol abuse, drugs and caffeine.
    • Abnormal sodium or potassium levels in the blood.
    • Some stomach disorders, such as hiatus hernia or gastroesophageal reflux.
    • Stimulants in medicines for cough and cold.
    • They can occur during convalescence after heart surgery.
    • Hypertension or high blood pressure.
    • Thyroid dysfunction or hyperthyroidism are less common causes of arrhythmias.
    • Myocardial damage or fibrosis of the heart due to myocardial infarction.
    • Diabetes and insulin.

Symptoms of heart arrhythmia

The symptoms of an irregular heartbeat are very vague. Sometimes the patient does not feel it at all. Patients with serious arrhythmias may have few symptoms, while others with significant symptoms may present a less severe condition.

Symptoms include:

    1. Intermittent chest pain or angina, the most common symptom of an irregular heartbeat
    2. Fast and irregular frequency, strong tapping of the heart
    3. Fainting or syncope
    4. Difficult breathing, especially under stress
    5. Excessive sweating
    6. Fear and restlessness
    7. General malaise
    8. Dizziness or dizziness
    9. Fatigue

Asymptomatic arrhythmia

The asymptomatic arrhythmia is not always harmless and may cause blood clotting in the heart and / or a reduction in the amount of blood being pumped.

Heart Arrhythmia At Night

Nocturnal irregular heartbeat can have various causes. The most common are :

    • Diabetes
    • Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism)
    • high blood pressure or hypertension
    • Other heart diseases
    • Some medicines
    • Smoke
    • Stressful situations
    • Some natural remedies

Arrhythmia after eating

When we eat, a large amount of blood is diverted to the digestive tract. The body immediately responds to this situation and tries to maintain normal blood pressure by increasing the heart rate and narrowing certain arteries. If this mechanism does not work, postprandial hypotension may occur (drop in blood pressure after eating). Older people may have arrhythmias after eating. People who may experience cardiac arrhythmias after meals include those with high arterial blood pressure or Parkinson’s disease.

Causes and symptoms of the disorder can vary from person to person, possibilities are:

    1. Some people suffer from tachycardia only in certain situations, for example, at night in bed, after eating sweet foods or foods with a high sodium content, etc.
    2. Inadequate water intake, which thickens the blood and thus forces the heart to work to pump the blood.
    3. Dysfunction of an endocrine gland.
    4. Problems of the digestive system.
    5. Excessive enjoyment of coffee and other stimulants.
    6. Disorders of the vagus nerve.
    7. Hiatus hernia (diaphragmatic hernia).
    8. Gastroesophageal reflux.
    9. Liver or kidney disease.
    10. People with a rapid resting heartbeat may have arrhythmias after eating.

symptoms-of-heart-arrhythmia

Atrial fibrillation (AF)

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia. In this disease, the heart beats irregularly and too fast. AF can be chronic, persistent or paroxysmal. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation occurs occasionally and temporarily, and is short-lived, from a few seconds to a few days.

Ventricular arrhythmia

This is a heart disorder in which the irregular rhythm of the heart and heart beats come from the heart chambers. It can be divided into: ventricular tachycardia, ventricular bradycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Tachycardia means that the heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute, while bradycardia is characterized by beats below 60 beats per minute. Ventricular fibrillation is a disease in which the heart beats quickly and irregularly. The result is a reduction of the pumped blood.

causes

    1. Drug side effects
    2. caffeine
    3. nicotine
    4. High sodium and potassium levels in the blood
    5. Necroses and fibroses of the heart muscle
    6. cardiomyopathy
    7. myocarditis
    8. Valvular heart disease
    9. Congenital heart disease

Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA)

Respiratory sinus arrhythmia refers to a change in heart rate that occurs during a natural breathing cycle. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that runs from the brain stem to the abdomen and plays an important role in the regulation of the heartbeat. It reduces the contraction force and the frequency of  the heart. During inhalation and exhalation, cells of the medulla oblongata send a signal from the parasympathetic nervous system via this cranial nerve to the heart. This causes a cyclic variation of the heart rate. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is a physiological variant and is not considered abnormal. In fact, it is the loss of this normal reflex that signals a heart problem.

RSA is common in children and adolescents and usually goes away with self-growth. However, a doctor should be consulted on:

    1. Very fast and irregular heartbeat,
    2. Very slow heartbeat,

Heart Arrhythmia in Children

What are the specific causes of heart arrhythmia in children?

    1. Congenital heart defect
    2. Side effect on medicines

Cardiac palpitations during pregnancy

What are the causes?

    1. Mental stress
    2. body changes
    3. Excessive caffeine consumption
    4. Physical stress
    5. anemia
    6. Lack of magnesium
    7. Side effects of drugs

Diagnostics and examination

Heart arrhythmia are diagnosed by listening to the stethoscope or by an electrocardiogram (ECG). For fetal arrhythmias, echocardiography is usually performed; in the 20th week of pregnancy usually a morphological ultrasound. If the gynecologist sees a congenital anomaly, he may request  chocardiography, as this examination is much more thorough.

Therapy of heart arrhythmia

In some arrhythmias, it does not require treatment, in other cases, rapid treatment must be used to prevent heart failure.

Possible treatments are:

Physical exercises

There are several physical exercises (physiokinesis therapy) that stimulate the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that affects rest, digestion, energy recovery and recovery).

The techniques that affect the vagus nerve (vagal maneuvers) affect the parasympathetic nervous system and promote the health of the heart.

With regard to nutrition, stimulating foods, such as coffee and chocolate, are not recommended as they can affect the heart rate.

Treatment of the accelerated heartbeat

Cardioversion. If the tachycardia comes from the atria (for example, atrial fibrillation), the doctor can perform a cardioversion. It is an electrical shock that serves to restore the heart to its normal rhythm.

This procedure is usually performed in a supervised environment and does not cause pain. Emergency cardioversion (defibrillation) is also used in ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Ablation therapy. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted through the blood vessels to the heart. It is placed over the place where the arrhythmias arise. The electrodes on the catheter tip are heated by radiofrequency energy.

Another method involves cooling over the catheter to freeze the tissue that is not functioning properly. Both methods destroy (ablate) a small portion of the heart tissue and create an electrical block along the pathway that causes the arrhythmia.

Implantable devices

Pacemaker. A pacemaker or pacemaker is an implantable device that helps regulate a slow heartbeat (bradycardia). A small device is placed under the skin near the collarbone. An insulated wire leads from the device to the heart where it is anchored. If the pacemaker is recording too low a heart rate or heartbeat, electrical impulses are sent to stimulate the heart to a faster heartbeat or to continue the heartbeat. Most pacemakers have a detection device that turns off when the heart rate is above a certain threshold when the frequency becomes too slow again.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

The doctor may prescribe this device to a patient at high risk for malignant and potentially fatal arrhythmias: ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. An ICD is a system with a battery implanted near the left clavicle. One or two electrodes go from the ICD via veins to the heart.The ICD continuously controls the heart rhythm. If too slow a rhythm, it stimulates the rhythm like a pacemaker. In fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, it sends low-energy pulses to restore normal heart rhythm.

Surgical treatment

In some cases, surgical intervention may be recommended for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias:

Maze procedure. The surgeon puts a series of incisions in the atria. These lesions heal in the form of fibrous scar tissue, which has an insulating effect. In this way, the electrical impulses are steered into correct paths, thereby enabling an efficient heartbeat. The surgeon can use an instrument that ices the tissue, a high-frequency probe, or a scalpel to create scars.

Coronary bypass surgery. In severe coronary artery disease and frequent ventricular tachycardia, the physician may recommend coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This can improve the perfusion of the heart and reduce the frequency of ventricular tachycardias. 

Medical therapy

Many medications are available to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Some of the prescribed medications are listed here.

antiarrhythmics

These medications are used to reduce the symptoms of tachycardia.

Medicines prescribed for this purpose are:

    1. Amiodarone (Cordarex)
    2. Dronedarone (Multaq)
    3. Flecainid (Tambocor)

calcium channel blockers

These medications prevent calcium from entering the heart cells and blood vessels. The result is that the blood vessels relax and the arterial blood pressure drops.

Calcium antagonists prescribed for cardiac arrhythmia include:

    1. Amlodipine (Norvasc)
    2. Diltiazem (dilemma)
    3. Nifedipine (Adalat)

Beta Blocker

These drugs block the effects of adrenaline, lowering blood pressure and cardiac output. The most commonly prescribed beta-blockers are:

  1. Metoprolol (Beloc)
  2. Nebivolol (Nebivolol Heumann)

Anticoagulants They are known as blood thinners and prevent the formation of blood clots. The use of these medications is important in preventing complications and risks of heart arrhythmia.

    1. warfarin
    2. aspirin

Natural Remedy For Arrhythmia

Herbal remedies for heart arrhythmia include hawthorn and linden, which reduce tachycardia and cardiac palsies.

What Is The Coronary Heart Disease And How Does It Arise

Definition: What is a coronary heart disease (CHD) and how does it arise? CHD is the most common heart disease of the entire world population. It is also referred to as ischemic heart disease. In Germany, approximately 6 million patients are affected. Scientists believe that the incidence of coronary heart disease will increase with increasing life expectancy.

CHD primarily affects people over the age of 50 and is one of the most frequently reported causes of death in all industrialized countries. It is a disease of the heart caused by occlusions and constrictions in the coronary arteries.

These arteries are among the blood vessels that supply the heart with energy-giving nutrients and oxygen-rich blood. Especially with physical stress, the blood transport through the body is reduced and there are typical symptoms of CHD.

How is the calcification of coronary arteries formed?

Calcification of coronary arteries is caused by deposition of arteriosclerotic plaques by :

    • cholesterol
    • saturated fatty acids
    • lime-like particles

In some cases, initial nutritional damage already exists due to :

    • high blood pressure
    • Diabetes mellitus

The human immune system does not recognize the plaques as endogenous. This is followed by inflammatory reactions and the plaques become increasingly unstable, since activated immune cells no longer fulfill their task and die in the same. Deposits begin to open by progressive increase. The contents enter the bloodstream and finally the coronary vessels, where it settles again.

Typical symptoms of CHD

Depending on the stage of development of CHD different symptoms occur. It is distinguished into three different forms of stages of coronary heart disease.

latent CHD

A latent coronary heart disease is characterized by mild to moderate constrictions of the coronary arteries. There is a coronary sclerosis.

Although this phase is asymptomatic, there is already a significant mismatch between oxygen supply and demand. Despite the absence of symptoms, it is possible to detect a reduced perfusion of the heart muscle. In diabetics often no typical symptoms are noticeable.

Stable CHD

At this stage, sufferers notice typical CHD symptoms that occur under certain conditions. In most cases, they return alone or can be treated with medication (stable angina pectoris).

Angina Pectoris is the leading symptom of coronary heart disease. Affected notice a feeling of tightness as well as pain directly behind the breastbone. Primarily, the symptoms occur in cold, but also exercise. Other factors, such as mental stress or high-fat meals, can trigger these symptoms as well.

The resulting pain often spreads to the left arm or to other body regions such as upper abdomen, jaw or neck.

Other typical symptoms of CHD are:

    • Shortness of breath (shortness of breath)
    • sweats
    • Arrhythmia

Occasionally affected people feel dread. As soon as the affected person comes to rest or stays warm again, these symptoms of angina pectoris return.

Typical symptoms of angina pectoris vary in their frequency, intensity and duration. They are closely related to the current progression of the CHD. In patients with renal insufficiency or diabetes mellitus, chest pain persists. This also applies to persons over 75 years and operated on. Here are breathlessness, dizziness, nausea and radiation of pain in the abdominal area as warning signs.

Unstable CHD and acute coronary syndrome

Similar symptoms of angina pectoris also occur here. However, they are significantly stronger and unpredictable (unstable angina pectoris). This expression can not always be adjusted to medication.

As a result, coronary heart disease leads to a reduced resilience of sufferers and causes a reduction in performance. Depending on the severity, this affects the quality of life. In individual cases, patients can no longer sufficiently fulfill everyday tasks.

At the same time, the clinical picture may continue to deteriorate and become a life-threatening stage of CHD. The so-called acute coronary syndrome is characterized by three manifestations :

    1. Unstable angina pectoris
    2. is characterized by a lack of elevations of the heart enzymes (creatine kinase MB, troponin) in the blood. ECG results show no changes that indicate a heart attack.
    3. Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI, acute myocardial infarction)
    4. shows no changes in the ECG, however, heart enzymes that point to possible heart disease and an infarction, detectable in the blood.
    5. ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI, acute myocardial infarction)
    6. manifests itself by typical changes in the ECG and detectable cardiac enzyme levels in the blood

As a consequence of these features occur :

    • Heart failure due to a heart attack
    • Heart arrhythmia due to a myocardial scar or coronary circulatory disorders
    • Sudden cardiac death
Risk factors for the development of CHD

The training of CHD is favored by numerous risk factors. Women over the age of 55 and men over the age of 45 are at particular risk. The previous lifestyle plays a particularly important role here. Unhealthy, high-fat diet, lack of exercise and smoking increase the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance disorders. As a consequence of this, in turn, a CHD can arise.

Not to be ignored is the family disposition. Special caution is advised when cases of CHD to heart attack have already occurred in the family environment, if possible risk factors should be largely avoided and a special focus on a healthy, balanced lifestyle should be laid. 

what-is-coronary-heart-disease

The diagnosis of CHD

Due to the risk factors for coronary heart disease described above, the diagnosis begins with an intensive discussion. Besides the risks, complaints are also documented. In addition, an assessment of the physical capacity of the patient.

This is followed by a physical check focusing on the legs, lungs and heart. Possible signs of CHD include :

    • Cardiac malformations such as aortic valve stenosis
    • rattling breathing due to pulmonary congestion
    • heart failure

Weight, heart rate, blood pressure and vascular status are also determined in order to make a correct diagnosis. If the patient reports symptoms suggestive of possible angina pectoris, the physician also measures the heart rate.

Which laboratory values ​​are suitable for the diagnosis of CHD?

The following values ​​are recorded in case of suspected coronary heart disease during the initial examination :

    • blood count
    • Cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL)
    • electrolysis
    • total cholesterol
    • Urinary findings (because of possible albuminuria)
    • creatinine
    • Fasting blood sugar
    • triglycerides

What exactly does a further diagnosis of CHC include?

In individual cases further investigations follow, for example :

    • Stress echocardiogram
    • Computed tomography (CT)
    • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
    • Ergometry (ECG during exercise and rest)
    • coronary angiography
    • scintigraphy

Basically, the choice of possible advanced diagnostic methods depends on the likelihood of coronary heart disease. This results from various factors such as gender, age, risks as well as symptoms.

The treatment of CHD

Therapeutic measures in diagnosed CHD are based primarily on two basic elements. On the one hand, medications can support the treatment. On the other hand, specific non-pharmacological measures, especially on the part of the patient, are necessary.

Drug treatment of CHD

The primary goals of a drug therapy of CHD are the alleviation of the symptoms and the positive influence on the further course of the disease. For this purpose different groups of active ingredients are available :

    • ACE inhibitors
    • Beta-blocker (beta-receptor blocker)
    • Cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g., statins)
    • Platelet aggregation inhibitor (clopidogrel, acetylsalicylic acid)

Typical symptoms of angina pectoris can be alleviated with nitrates or calcium channel blockers (calcium antagonists). In addition, the flu vaccine is recommended for affected patients. In acute cases, bypass surgery may improve the CHD. Sometimes a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is necessary.

Treat CHD without medication

Secondary preventive measures aim to prevent further complications as well as alleviate the current symptoms of CHD. The focus is on a healthy lifestyle. The individual components are similar to the primary preventive approach, which prevents the development of coronary heart disease.

Can a CHD be prevented?

In order to prevent a possible development of CHD, primary preventive measures can be taken to improve general heart health. A healthy lifestyle, sufficient exercise and a balanced diet are the basic requirements for this.

Sports that have a positive effect on heart health include swimming, running or cycling. Ideally, stress should be avoided, which is not completely possible for most people, so stress should be adequately processed or broken down through yoga, relaxation exercises or autogenic training.

In case of overweight, a weight reduction should be targeted. In addition, smoking cessation is recommended, which can minimize or even prevent numerous health problems. In addition, persons over the age of 35 should take the health check at the family doctor every two years. Here, typical risks, such as Diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, to be diagnosed for CHD.

The Best Diet For Heart Healthy

More and more people today are suffering from cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and heart problems of various kinds. The cost of treatment for patients with atherosclerotic diseases is increasing rapidly. Experts predict that they will triple by the year 2030. This raises the question: Who should pay for it and why are not these illnesses declining, despite today’s medical possibilities?

The cause of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases are typical diseases of civilization, which are now in the list of the most common causes of death in the first place. Actually, this development is completely incomprehensible, because it is well known that diseases such as hypertension and arteriosclerosis, which are causally responsible for the development of stroke and heart attack, are so-called affluent diseases. And this prosperity goes hand in hand with a widespread over- and malnutrition. Since it would be logical, already preventive, but at the latest in the treatment of existing diseases to set exactly at this point. At this point, we would like to inform you about how you can prevent arteriosclerotic diseases – ranging from increased blood pressure to stroke or heart attack – through targeted nutrition.

Does a modern lifestyle require modern food?

Nowadays time is passing us by. Everything is always faster and everything should be bigger, better and more functional. Unfortunately, this development does not stop at our food. Our food today no longer deserves this name, which describes a living means of life. The word food is certainly more appropriate, because it is now predominantly about products that are full, but especially sick. We need to come back to those healthy foods that provide our body with all the nutrients and vital nutrients to withstand the tremendous demands of today.

heart-healthy

The quality of our food

Most of the food consumed by us in the form of canned, bagged or other prepared meals consists largely of heavily processed raw materials of inferior quality. Through the processing process, nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins are denatured and vital nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients, etc. are no longer present, or only in traces. Our body suffers a severe deficiency, which manifests itself in different diseases. Of course, the cardiovascular system also reacts to the nutrient and vital substance deficit with corresponding symptoms.

Excessive consumption of refined salt, refined sugar, white flour products and foods contaminated with a wide variety of preservatives, colorants, flavor enhancers, etc. also has negative effects on heart healthy.

Tips for the best diet for heart healthy

Of course, the following tips will not only help protect your heart and keep you healthy. Your entire organism will benefit:

    • Do not use finished products as far as possible.
    • Instead, buy seasonal Regon food such as fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables.
    • If you eat animal products, pay attention to biological, animal welfare or buy products from grazing.
    • Use unprocessed stone or Ursalz salt and season your meals as often as possible with fresh herbs.
    • When using fats, always ensure first-class organic quality and avoid consistently hydrogenated fats such as margarine, hardened palm or coconut fat. In finished products, almost exclusively hardened fats are used.
    • Exchange the unhealthy snacks (chips, pretzel sticks, biscuits, etc.) for healthy alternatives such as nuts, almonds, spelled sticks, rice waffles, chocolate with a high cocoa content, etc.
    • Drink as many as 2 liters of still water per day, so that your body can excrete already existing pollutants as quickly as possible.
Good fats protect the heart

“Eat rich in fat instead of low fat”. This recommendation completely contradicts what the vernacular usually holds to be correct, because so far was that a low-fat diet, the health of the heart would benefit. However, it has long been recognized that fat is a very important component of a functioning nutrient exchange and that a lack of healthy fats can contribute to chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to vascular damage and thus to heart disease. Especially important in this context is the quality of the fats. Healthy fats, which include primarily high-quality vegetable oils that are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, provide good protection against heart disease. In particular, fats with a high proportion of omega 3 (linseed oil, hemp oil, etc.) are of great benefit to the heart and should therefore be consumed daily.

But also high quality saturated fats are beneficial to the heart health, such as. Native and cold pressed organic coconut oil (not to be confused with hardened coconut fat, which is found in many finished products). Natural coconut oil contains the so-called lauric acid, which increases the proportion of “good” cholesterol in the body and thus supports the health of the heart.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Cold-pressed organic vegetable oils with a high omega-3 content are regarded as extremely valuable oils, especially with regard to heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are able to keep the walls of the vessels flexible, promote blood circulation, inhibit the formation of blood clots and reduce inflammatory processes in the body. Of course, the cardiovascular system benefits first and foremost from these wonderful properties. Therefore, the use of an omega-3-rich vegetable oil, especially for already existing heart problems is strongly recommended. Since the positive properties of omega-3 fatty acids also affect other body areas, use of these oils is generally indicated.

Omega 3-rich oils should not be used exclusively, but always in combination or in alternation with other high-quality oils and fats.

Omega 6 fatty acids

People with a predisposition to cardiovascular disease should avoid vegetable oils with a high omega-6 fatty acid content. The reason for this is due to the linoleic acid also contained in these oils in large quantities. It can be enjoyed in excess inflammatory processes in the body trigger or reinforce existing inflammation.

Linoleic acid-containing foods should also be avoided. These include in particular meat and dairy products. Sunflower oil, thistle oil, soybean oil and corn oil have particularly high omega-6 levels in the case of Pflenzenölen.

Also in ready meals, sweets, pastries etc. these oils are contained there they are declared as “vegetable fats”.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are converted into sugar (glucose) during the digestive process. So that this sugar finally reaches our cells and can be converted into energy there, the body needs insulin as a means of transport. The more sugar is available, the more insulin the pancreas needs to provide for transport.

Normally, the insulin level rises slowly in the glucose arrival and also drops off slowly as it is transported to the cells. However, as we nowadays consume predominantly simple carbohydrates that can be used very rapidly from extracted flours or pure sugar, and consume them excessively, the pancreas constantly produces high levels of insulin. This abnormally high insulin level leads to an increase in cholesterol levels and triggers inflammation in the area of ​​the arterial walls. The strains that result for the cardiovascular system are obvious. Therefore, the recommendation was: Do not use any fast-acting sugars such as white flour products (bread, cakes, biscuits, etc.), refined sugar and all products made from them. Use wholesome flours, eat fiber-rich foods, and look for alternative sugar products (stevia, xylitol, dried fruit).

Also read in our sugar dictionary which sugar is healthy. 

best-diet-for-heart-healthy

Recommended heart healthy foods

Below is an overview of the most important foods for your heart :

    • Blueberries and redcurrants

Blueberries and currants contain substances (anthocyanins) that protect blood vessels from deposits and thus counter dreaded arteriosclerosis.

    • Water and honey melons

These sweet fruits have a very positive influence on the fluidity of the blood. They prevent the platelets from sticking together, thus preventing the formation of blood clots.

    • Carrots

The cholesterol level can be influenced very positively by the consumption of raw carrots. So eat about 200g of fresh grated carrots daily (add a few drops of a good oil).

    • Oats and barley

Oats and barley have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Oat, in particular, is known to be an effective tonic for the heart and blood vessels.

    • Walnuts

They contain a balanced nutrient composition, which together with their good fatty acid ratio have a very favorable influence on the cholesterol level. The heart-protecting effect of walnut has been proven in many clinical studies. The walnut shows a blood-thinning effect, which has a particularly positive effect on the supply of the heart with vital substances. A handful of walnuts a day is enough to do something really good for your heart.

    • Chinamorchel

Even small amounts of this mushroom, as they are usually used in cooking recipes are sufficient to prevent the sticking together of the platelets. Since these mushrooms keep the blood fluid, they represent a very good preventive measure against heart attack and stroke.

    • Ginger

In scientific studies, ginger root has proven to be a particularly effective anticoagulant. This blood thinning substance can reduce the formation of blood clots. Therefore, drink ginger water daily, which should be made from 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger.

    • Garlic

Raw garlic is known for its blood-thinning and cholesterol-lowering effect and is therefore an important food for your heart health. Daily 2 to 3 tablespoons (depending on the weight of the person) should be consumed. Because of the unpleasant odor of garlic can be used on correspondingly high quality garlic capsules.

    • Onions

Onions have always been considered a remedy for many diseases. However, they are almost essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. In addition to blood thinning, lowering cholesterol, increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing clots, onions can also regulate blood sugar levels. By eating a large onion every day, you are already contributing to your heart health.

Freshly squeezed juices protect and strengthen your heart

“Living” foods, ie those that have not been cooked and thus still have an intact enzymatic structure, are extremely important for your heart health. Therefore, you should drink freshly squeezed juices and / or green smoothies daily. Both food preparations provide your body with a wealth of easily usable nutrients and nutrients. Your body thanks you with improved physical and mental health.

One of the best juice combinations for a strong heart is carrots and celery. Beets contain certain nutrients that naturally lower blood pressure, while carrots benefit your body’s regeneration of skin and body tissues. Celery, in turn, also helps lower blood pressure. In addition, it stimulates the relaxation of the arterial muscles and thus improves vascular dilation. This minimizes the risk of blood clots, which ultimately contribute to the development of heart and stroke.

The conventional diet is pronounced high in carbohydrates. Just think of the many breads, cakes, noodles, pizzas, etc., which are consumed not “just” every day, but also in absolute excess. These amounts of carbohydrates burden the entire organism in addition to the cardiovascular system. Therefore, a carbohydrate-rich diet makes every person ill – one sooner and the other a little later.

Instead of carbohydrates, your main focus should be on the consumption of high-quality vegetable proteins and fats. For the health of your heart, there is no better diet than that which has a high nutrient density on a plant basis. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and sprouts are particularly noteworthy here. In addition to the nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins, plant foods contain a variety of easily bioavailable vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, enzymes and phytochemicals. Especially when consumed in raw form, these valuable nutrients are fully available to your body. If you do not want to give up meat, you should make sure that it comes from grazing or organically grown and should be consumed only rarely and in small quantities. The same applies to the fish consumption. The fish should be of the highest quality.

Does Beta-Carotene Cause Lung Cancer?

Many years ago, a study was published in which smokers were given beta-carotene – for the prevention of lung cancer. But then they did not get sick less often, but even more often with lung cancer. Once this unpleasant side effect was noticed, the study was stopped immediately and smokers were advised to stop taking beta-carotene. Meanwhile, however, it has come to the point where some people believe that dietary beta carotene (such as carrots) is harmful and can cause lung cancer. We explain how it behaves.

What is beta-carotene?

Beta carotene is a phytochemical in the carotenoid family. Carotenoids in turn are fat-soluble plant substances with yellow to red coloring. A diet rich in carotenoids is therefore used when the diet contains a high proportion of yellow and orange or even red vegetables.

Beta carotene is the best known carotenoid. Hardly any other food is as rich as it is in carrots and kale. Although green cabbage is green and not yellow or orange, the green of chlorophyll covers the orange tones of beta-carotene.

Which carotenoids are there?

Other carotenoids are, for example

    • the alpha carotene (eg in pumpkin and carrots),
    • Lycopene (especially in tomatoes),
    • the betacryptoxanthin (eg in pumpkin and red pepper),
    • lutein (eg in savoy cabbage, parsley and kale),
    • Astaxanthin (produced by algae) and
    • the zeaxanthin (eg in red pepper).

All of them are considered to be powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and oxidative stress and can thus prevent many diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic diseases, eye diseases, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and cancer.

does-beta-carotene-cause-lung-cancer

Does beta carotene protect against lung cancer?

As late as the 1980s, beta carotene was considered very healthy by all people – whether they were smokers or not. In 1986, even a study on this topic appeared (1,266 participants). They found that smokers who did not eat carrots had a three-fold higher risk of lung cancer than smokers who ate carrots at least once a week. A significantly increased risk of lung cancer also existed for those who only liked a little green leafy vegetables. Liver and cheese (vitamin A) did not appear to have a protective effect because those who did not have either had no increased risk of ever developing lung cancer.

Another study (1,663 participants) in the same year showed similar, namely that a carotenoid-rich diet, in particular smokers protected against lung cancer.

But who wants to bother with all the vegetables? So at least the thought of many smokers, who on the whole rather seldom eat health-conscious. However, since lung cancer is a desirable target for her and smoking cessation is rarely up for debate, the obvious solution was: why not simply take a beta-carotene pill every day? Because it was known that a high level of beta-carotene in the blood reduced the risk of lung cancer. So you could safely take the beta carotene in pill form.

Betacarotin in pill form increases the risk of lung cancer

In 1996, a study on beta-carotene pills, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was quickly launched. More than 29,000 men between the ages of 50 and 69 who smoked more than 5 cigarettes a day took 50 mg of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol ), 20 mg beta carotene, or both, or a placebo supplement for an average of 6 years.

Regarding vitamin E, there was no effect on lung cancer risk. Beta-carotene, however, appeared to increase lung cancer risk (but only slightly), especially in heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes per day) compared to smokers who smoked less. Even in men who also indulged in a higher alcohol consumption, was due to the beta carotene intake an increased risk of lung cancer.

Study stop because of frequent lung cancer cases

Similar results were obtained by the so-called CARET study, which was published in the same year. Here, over 18,000 participants were given 30 mg beta-carotene daily and 25,000 IU vitamin A or placebo. The study had to be stopped after just 21 months, as the beta carotene group had 28 percent more lung cancers and 17 percent more deaths. The participants of the study were smokers, former smokers or asbestos workers, ie all those with a high risk of lung cancer.

At the same time there were also studies that did not show any disadvantages after taking beta-carotene, such as the study that also appeared in 1996 (in the New England Journal of Medicine) and found that:

Beta-carotene in pill form does not always harm

More than 22,000 healthy men between the ages of 40 and 84 took 50 mg beta-carotene or placebo every other day for 12 years. These included smokers as well as former smokers and non-smokers. At the end of the 12 years, however, no significant differences in cancer risk, cardiovascular or mortality risk could be identified. In the beta-nicotine group even fewer men had lung cancer than the placebo group (82 versus 88), which was not statistically significant.

Three years later (1999), a study of nearly 40,000 healthy women – whether smokers or non-smokers – found that dietary supplementation with 50 mg beta-carotene every other day for an average of 2.1 years does not affect the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease even the mortality had.

Problematic: The long-term use of carotenoids in pill form

But in 2009, another study with a negative outcome emerged: researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the long-term use (up to 10 years) of beta-carotene supplements and other carotenoids or vitamins was based on data from more than 77,000 participants -A-containing supplements (retinol and lutein) may increase lung cancer risk, especially in smokers. The study knowledge appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

 

The scientists were able to observe that the longer they took the supplements, the higher the risk of lung cancer from smokers. The dose of supplements was secondary, even mediocre doses increased the risk of long-term supplementation.

Whether taking these supplements increases the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers was not apparent, since hardly any of the non-smokers became ill with lung cancer.

Dr. Jessie Satia, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health said:

“We believe that the antioxidant beta-carotene at too high a dose has oxidative effects, which then increases the risk of cancer.”

High-carotenoids from carotenoids reduce the risk of lung cancer

More recently, it has been sensible to focus increasingly on the effects of a carotenoid-rich diet rich in vegetables. For example, in Cancer Science in 2014, a study of over 10,000 participants found that high carotenoid levels in the blood (alpha carotene and betacryptoxanthin) were significantly associated with a lower risk of lung cancer death.

Smokers’ lung cancer risk also decreased significantly by 46 percent for high levels of alpha carotene and 61 percent for high levels of beta-cryptoxanthin.

Even more recent is the study from the University of Montreal / Canada Research Center in 2017. Here, too, increased intake of carotenoid-rich vegetables has been shown to protect against lung cancer (squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma) – including heavy smokers.

Conclusion: Vegetables protect against lung cancer, carotenoid pills do not do this

Isolated beta-carotene and vitamin A supplements should not be taken by smokers for an extended period of time. In non-smokers, however, they have no harmful effect.

A carotenoid-rich diet consisting of plenty of carrots, squash, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, herbs (parsley, dill, etc.), kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables should be practiced by everyone, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer although both non-smokers and smokers (including heavy smokers).

Note: For the sake of completeness, we would like to point out that in a carotenoid-rich diet no vitamin A overdose is to be feared, no matter how many carrots you like to eat. Although some carotenoids can be converted to vitamin A in the body, they can only be produced in the amount required by the body.

It would be quite different if you take cod liver oil or like to eat liver, both of which are very rich in vitamin A. Here, a vitamin A overdose is possible, which should be avoided at all costs – especially in pregnancy, as it can lead to malformations and brain damage in the embryo.