Heart Disease: The Facts, Myths and Causes

Heart Disease: The Facts, Myths and Causes

In this radio interview, Dr. Aarush Manchanda discusses some of the most common questions surrounding heart disease, including whether a glass of wine a day will keep the doctor away.

Dr. Manchanda starts by discussing how there are many aspects that affect heart health, especially nutrition. Even in traditional medicine, the belief was that the health of our hearts was related to our diets, this fact hasn’t changed in modern times. The phrase, “you are what you eat” is apt here because the cardiovascular epidemic we are witnessing today is largely caused by bad dietary habits and a lack of exercise.

Can Alcohol Improve Your Heart Health?

When Dr. Manchanda is asked the million-dollar question, “Does a glass of wine a day keep the doctor away?” he refers to the Copenhagen study that found this to be true. However, he doesn’t give all of us a ticket to start guzzling wine every evening.

Comparing the heart to a house, Dr. Manchanda advises that our hearts have plumbing and electricity, just like our homes do. The protective antioxidants in alcohol can help with the plumbing but if you have an electrical problem with your heart (e.g. atrial fibrillation) than alcohol in any form is, unfortunately, a huge no-no. Even one sip of alcohol can trigger something like an atrial fibrillation, which could also result in a $10k bill.

As with everything, one size doesn’t fit all, which is what Dr. Manchanda has tried to tackle in his book, Your Heart House : An Artisan's Approach™ to Understanding Heart Health.

Can Exercise Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease?

Dr. Manchanda recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week because this will help to keep us in balance. Not only does it provide beneficial physical and cardiac effects, but hormonal and mental (e.g. stress release) as well. Exercise offers a solution for mind, body, and medicine.

Are Women Less Likely to Suffer from Heart Disease?

Even though it seems that heart attacks have increased in women, Dr. Manchanda advises that this is due to the increased awareness about heart attacks in women. In days gone by, the premise was that women were protected from heart disease, which to some extent they are, until they hit menopause.

Because the hormones that protect women in their earlier years change during menopause, by the time women are 65 to 70, they’re at just as much risk of heart attacks as men. But women can also present more atypical symptoms, e.g. fatigue or shoulder / back pain. Researchers haven’t been able to completely understand this but Dr. Manchanda just puts this down to the fact that men are from Mars women are from Venus.

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