Is Heart Disease Genetic?

Is heart disease hereditary?Many people mistakenly believe that if they do not have a family history of heart disease they are not at risk of experiencing cardiovascular health issues at any point in their lives. The truth is that heart disease can be caused by many different factors, and genetics is just one of them. Therefore, the answer to the question, “Is heart disease genetic?” is: “It can be.”

Possibly more important that a genetic disposition to heart disease is whether or not you consistently live a healthy lifestyle. In other words, it’s possible to have strong family history of heart disease, but you may be able to drastically reduce your propensity to develop cardiovascular problems by maintaining a low risk lifestyle and by keeping your body at a healthy weight, eating a balanced and healthy diet, refraining from smoking and significant alcohol consumption, and leading a relatively stress-free life.

A Healthy Lifestyle is the Most Important Factor
There is little doubt that heredity plays a role in the likelihood that you will develop the same type of heart disease as your mother, father or close relative(s) – if you live a similar lifestyle to that person/people. On the other hand, studies have shown that being proactive about living a healthy lifestyle has more impact on a person’s propensity to develop heart disease than genetic factors. All genetic risk factors for heart disease cannot be completely eliminated by leading a healthy lifestyle, but they can be drastically reduced.

Almost Everyone in My Family Has Suffered from a Heart Attack, a Stroke, or Another Type of Heart Disease
It’s incredibly important to be aware of your family’s health history and be educated on the most common ailments suffered by members of your family. But you should not use the information as a definitive precursor for your own future. If your family suffers from a high incidence of heart disease and stroke, that information can be used as a wake-up call that you must pay very close attention to your own lifestyle, eating habits, and exercise regimen. In other words, just because your mother, father, brother and sister suffer from heart disease does not mean you are destined to the same fate if you choose to do something about it.

Pay Attention to Your Health When You’re Young
The sooner you are aware of a genetic predisposition for heart disease, the earlier you can begin to take the necessary steps to ensure you will not follow the same path. A person is never too young to adopt a healthy lifestyle – which includes eating a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise, and not smoking. Additionally, regular cholesterol and blood pressure checks are advisable so that any indication of impending health issues can be detected early and potentially stopped or reversed before they become problematic.


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Tips on Ordering Heart Healthy Food at Restaurants

Going out to eat is meant to be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a miserable one. The thought of sticking to a heart-healthy diet while eating at a restaurant might seem not only impossible, but also uninteresting. However, there are many tactics that will help you order heart-healthy food at restaurants and allow you to enjoy the experience with just a small bit of sacrifice.

When people eat at restaurants, they often use the experience as an excuse to order and eat anything and everything that looks appealing. They adopt the “if I don’t know the exact ingredients used to make this food, it can’t hurt me” attitude. In such situations, people can inadvertently consume countless calories and enormous amounts of fat. While it’s acceptable to indulge at restaurants every so often, it’s not heart-healthy to dine out this way on a regular basis.

Many restaurants offer heart-healthy choices that are easy to spot on a menu. But some restaurants don’t have a separate menu category for healthy dishes. In such situations it’s important to know how to identify heart-healthy options so you know what to order.

Tips for Ordering Heart-Healthy Selections at Restaurants:

Skip the soda. Have you ever heard the term “empty calories?” If anything fits the definition of empty calories, it’s soda. And the diet variety isn’t necessarily heart-healthy either – even if it doesn’t have any calories. Instead, drink water, fat-free milk, or tea (without sweetener).

Ask for dressing and sauces on the side. You might think you’re being healthy by ordering a salad, but salads that are dripping in salad dressing may actually be more unhealthy than many other choices on the menu. Salad dressing can be extremely high in fat and calories. The same is true for foods that are smothered in sauces and gravies.

Avoid “all you can eat” buffet restaurants. Nobody needs to eat three plates of fried chicken, an unlimited bowl of mashed potatoes, or countless pieces of bread at one meal (not to mention all of the other food that’s ready and waiting for you on a buffet counter.) Buffet-style restaurants are fine for a special occasion, but this type of restaurant encourages overeating of unhealthy foods.

Just say no to dessert. If you absolutely must indulge in dessert because it’s your birthday or you are celebrating another special occasion, select something that contains fresh fruit or a choice that you can share with others at the table. Remember: Heart-healthy refers to items that are as low in calories, fats, and sugars as possible. If you like to drink coffee after a meal at restaurants, avoid adding excessive cream and sugar to your cup.

There is no need to deprive yourself of eating out with your family or friends simply because you want to stay on a heart-healthy diet. Similarly, it’s important to remember that eating at a restaurant is not an excuse to consume just anything you see on the menu. Sticking to a heart-healthy diet requires knowledge and will-power – both of which are entirely possible with a small amount of effort.

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Low or No-Salt Diets – Are they Healthier than High-Salt Diets?

no-saltYou’ve probably heard it a million times: “There’s too much salt in your diet!” Diets that are high in salt have been linked to an increased risk for heart attacks and/or strokes because a diet that is high in salt can cause a person’s blood pressure to rise which is a trigger for the development of various cardiovascular problems. But as surprising as it might sound, a diet that is too low in salt is not necessarily a healthy alternative. In other words, diets extremely high in salt and diets that are extremely low in salt may be equally dangerous. Consequently, a diet that includes a balanced level of salt should be the goal of healthy people.

Human beings need a certain amount of salt (or “sodium”) in their diets in order to remain healthy. However, it’s difficult to throw out a specific number of milligrams of salt that every person should include in a daily diet because everyone is different. For example, not every person’s body reacts to sodium in the same way. Individuals with hypertension and other risk factors should consume less salt on a daily basis than people in perfect health – but nobody should be eating a diet that is extremely high in salt or one that is completely salt-free.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, “Americans consume too much sodium. High sodium consumption raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the nation’s first and fourth leading causes of death.”

There is certainly considerable evidence that a diet high in salt can potentially lead to blood-pressure-related cardiovascular disease, and there is little doubt that people who consume too much salt should lower their sodium intake. However, there is also data to suggest that a diet that is devoid of salt altogether can be just as dangerous.

The bottom line is that diets too high or too low in just about anything are not optimal. It’s important to find a safe and healthy balance when it comes to salt and as well as other vitamins and minerals. In the United States, most food products that are processed and pre-packaged as well as foods that are sold in many restaurants (especially the fast food variety) contain very high levels of salt. In light of this information, it would be difficult for most people to completely eliminate salt from their diets.

If you are considering a diet that is either devoid of salt or low in salt, it’s important to discuss your ideas with a physician. Make absolutely sure the diet is considered safe, and also that it is  recommended for you and your specific circumstance.



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How Smoking Affects the Heart and Blood Vessels

Have you heard that smoking is not good for your health? Most people have heard this hundreds of times. But despite the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes, many people still choose to partake in the habit. People commonly talk about the risks of developing lung cancer and other respiratory problems as a result of smoking. But smoking can also affect the ability of the heart to function properly.

Following are a few ways in which smoking can affect the heart and blood vessels:

  • Increases the risk of heart disease
  • Increases the risk of peripheral vascular disease
  • Increases the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Increases the risk of peripheral arterial disease

Why is Smoking Bad for the Heart?
It’s easy to see why smoking is bad for the lungs. When a person breathes in smoke, the smoke is immediately brought into the respiratory system. It’s simple to see the correlation between inhaling smoke and negative respiratory consequences. But smoking cigarettes also negatively affects the heart in several ways. First, smoking increases the heart rate. It also tightens major arteries and can cause the heart to beat irregularly. All of these consequences cause the heart to work harder than it should.

Other ways in which smoking negatively affects the heart:

  • Increases the risk of stroke
  • Raises blood pressure
  • Leads to atherosclerosis
  • Increases the risk of a heart attack

No Question About it… Smoking is Dangerous
It’s important to stress the fact that smoking is dangerous for the heart and blood vessels – even for occasional or recreational smokers. It is naive to think that smoking occasionally is safe just because it’s not done on a regular basis. No matter how frequently or infrequently you smoke you still cause damage to your heart and blood vessels every time you take a puff of a cigarette.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “Cigarette smoking causes about 1 in every 5 deaths in the United States each year. It’s the main preventable cause of death and illness in the United States.” Not only does smoking directly affect the ability of your heart and blood vessels to function properly, but the chemicals that are present in tobacco also cause damage to your blood cells.

Our website contains a comprehensive list of heart disease risk factors. Some are uncontrollable but some are controllable. Smoking is one of the factors that is CONTROLLABLE. Find out your potential heart attack risk rate by contacting Boone Heart Institute today and scheduling an appointment for a Carotid-IMT test.

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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

HeartAttack_WarningSigns-with-shadow1Some heart attacks come suddenly and without any obvious warning signs. But in a large number of cases, there are signs that something is wrong long before a heart attack occurs. Many people who experience the symptoms of an impending heart attack do not recognize the signs as overly dangerous, and they either ignore them or chalk them up to simply not feeling well. Some people have described the early warning signs of a looming heart attack as a feeling similar to indigestion. Sometimes people report that the early symptoms of a heart attack resemble how they’ve felt when they’ve been in a stressful situation.

Heart attacks are the top killer of both men and women in the United States. More than 1 million people in the United States alone suffer from heart attacks each year. Almost half of those heart attacks are deadly. While these numbers are staggering, there is a bit of positive news about heart attacks: people who recognize the early warning signs of a heart attack stand a much greater chance of survival. In fact, if a heart attack is looming and it is caught before it actually happens, the chances of survival are very positive.

What’s Happening? Why Do I Feel This Way?

The early symptoms of an approaching heart attack may vary slightly in different people. Additionally, a person who experienced a heart attack previously might not experience the same exact symptoms when a second or third heart attack is imminent.

Following are examples of common pre-heart attack symptoms:

  • Chest pain and chest pressure
  • A feeling in the chest that is painful or feels as if something is squeezing it
  • A painful jaw, tooth or head
  • Unable to take a full breath
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Pain in either arm
  • Pain in the upper back
  • Feeling like you are getting sick

In some situations, you may not feel any symptoms ahead of the onset of a heart attack. And, some of the above mentioned symptoms can seem quite mild, which is why many people ignore the early signs that a heart attack might occur. However, it is important to recognize that even mild symptoms should cause you to seek medical attention. Mild symptoms do not necessarily equate to a mild heart attack. If you experience any early signs of an impending heart attack, it’s essential that you get yourself evaluated. If you are able to detect a looming heart attack early, you may be able to completely avert it by obtaining proper medical treatment. If you have any doubts whatsoever, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment. If your symptoms are sudden and/or severe, it’s essential that you get to a hospital immediately. Call 9-1-1. Acting quickly may save your life.

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Multimmunity Gets An Upgrade

Why are the new Multimmunity pills clear? The answer behind the change!

We are happy to explain this important change.  First of all, the Multimmunity Formula, which has been developed and researched for over a decade, is exactly the same in these new capsules.  Rest assured that you and your loved ones are getting the same complete cellular protection you have come to count on from Multimmunity.

The new clear capsules are a significant upgrade over the previous delivery system.  We liked the red capsules because of our focus on heart health, but ultimately we decided to move on to the clear veggie capsule in order to stay on the cutting edge.

The new clear caps are 100% vegetable-based and are proven to disintegrate in the stomach in less than 2 minutes.  They use zero additives, colorings, or animal-based ingredients.  Quite simply, they are the best capsule used in the industry right now.  Also, our customers find the new pills to be a bit less “sticky” and therefore easier to swallow.

We are committed to keeping Multimmunity on the cutting edge of the micronutrient world in order to provide you with the best protection available. Click here to learn more about Multimmunity and all of it’s benefits!


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Heart Healthy Foods – Look for the Heart Check Grocery Stores

You’ve probably heard of “Heart Healthy” foods, but you may not be exactly sure which food items are considered heart healthy and which ones are not. The American Heart Association implements a Heart-Check Food Certification Program which places a “Heart Check” symbol on many foods in grocery stores to help shoppers make smarter choices about the foods they purchase and eat. But it’s not possible for the American Heart Association to label all food items that are sold in stores. Also, it’s  not possible to label all foods that are unhealthy for your heart with a warning label. Therefore, it’s important to memorize the specific foods and/or ingredients that are considered unhealthy for your heart – and then do your best to avoid them at all costs.

Food that is Fried: Sure, they might taste yummy, but fried foods usually contain  large amounts of saturated fat, and this type of fat is very unhealthy for your heart. Not only does saturated fat raise cholesterol levels, but also it contributes to heart disease. Fried foods are often found in the prepared foods section at grocery stores, and they are commonly found on menus at restaurants. You should  be diligent in avoiding food that is fried.

Salty Foods: Most Americans consume a high level of salt on a daily basis. Pre-packaged foods  purchased at grocery stores and most foods from restaurants contain more sodium than your body needs. Foods that are high in salt may taste good while you are eating them, but the excess salt can cause high blood pressure and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. In other words, it’s important to stay away from foods that are high in salt.

Red Meat. You know what they say, “Everything is fine in moderation.” This adage can sometimes be true for red meat. Red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you eat red meat frequently, your chances of developing heart disease go up significantly. It’s smart to seriously limit your intake of red meat, substituting fish whenever possible.

Trans Fat. This type of fat is especially dangerous. It’s commonly found in foods that are considered “junk” – which are not good for you in any way. Take time to look at the labels on the food you are about to consume. If you see the words “Trans Fat” anywhere in the nutritional label on an item, put it down and replace it with something else that does not contain Trans Fat!

Sweet Foods: If you drink soda or juice on a regular basis, it might be time to stop! Sugar comes in many forms, such as corn syrup and cane sugar. But no matter the type, a diet high in sugar can lead to heart disease and an increased risk for  heart attacks in both men and women. Other sugary items to avoid include sweet desserts and syrups.

For extensive advice on heart healthy diets visit the American Heart Association’s online Nutrition Center, where you will find Heart Healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips, secrets to heart-smart shopping, and much more!

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7 Heart Healthy Breakfast Recipes

You know what they say… “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” Is it true? Many people believe so. But regardless of the statement’s validity, it’s important that you eat heart healthy foods first thing in the morning.

Following are several quick and easy heart healthy breakfast recipes taken from some of our favorite websites that reliably feature heart healthy tips and excellent wholesome recipes:

  1. – Citrus Berry Smoothie
  2. – Muesli
  3. – Power Granola
  4. – Heart Healthy Apple Coffee Cake
  5. – Cereal Sundae
  6. – Fresh Vegetable Omelet
  7. – Creamy Wheat Berry Hot Cereal

A Healthy Breakfast for Kids is Important!

Children should start each day with a healthy breakfast, just as adults should. It’s a known fact that kids who skip breakfast don’t shutterstock_88217671function as well at school or during their daily activities. In fact, kids’ behavior can even be affected when they don’t eat a healthy meal first thing in the morning. Even when mornings are rushed because kids have to get to school at an early hour, make sure they spend a couple of minutes eating something healthy before they head out the door.

Skipping Breakfast Will NOT Help You Lose Weight
People who are overweight are notorious for skipping breakfast intentionally because they believe avoiding a morning meal will help them lose weight. But this is hardly ever the case. When you do not eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, your body becomes hungrier for lunch. Your hunger pains usually start earlier in the day than they would  if you had eaten breakfast.

When extreme hunger occurs mid-morning, you will probably be absolutely famished  in time for lunch. This often causes binge eating and also gorging on unhealthy foods. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea. The idea of preparing a healthy breakfast in the morning might seem daunting. But getting a healthy breakfast into your system should not take any longer than a few minutes.

Heart healthy breakfast recipes are easy to find and easy to prepare. You have no excuses! Eat a healthy meal every morning and you will look and feel fit and strong! You will also be doing your body a big favor in the long run.

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Why is Heart Health becoming an increasing health topic in recent decades?

Heart disease has been the #1 cause of death worldwide for the last century.  Medicine has been battling this disease for decades, and has made great advances, like bypass surgeries, stents, and a whole industry of medications.  But despite all this, we are still losing the battle against heart disease.

On January 24, 2011, the American Heart Association completed a report on heart disease prevalence and cost projections over the next two decades.  In 2010, 80 million American adults (30% of the adult population) were found to have heart disease.  The cost of treating these individuals was $272.5 billion.  The American Heart Association went on to project that, in 2030, 116 million American adults (40% of adults) would have heart disease, with treatment costing $818.1 billion per year.

According to this projection, in 20 years, we will be spending three times as much to fight heart disease, yet more people than ever will suffer from the disease.  Something is clearly wrong with this picture.  Heart disease continues to be a frequent topic of debate because our flawed approach to treating the disease is putting a stop to it.

Below are a few questions that Dr. Boone was recently asked about heart health, etc. Read what he has to say…

Q – How does the heart relate to overall well being?

Dr. Boone’s Answer – “Heart disease is a unique disease in that you don’t necessarily feel bad as it develops and worsens.  Often, the first sign of heart disease in an individual is heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.  However, the heart is central to all of the body’s many complex systems.  Therefore, good diet, frequent exercise, and stress management are all crucial to maintaining good cardiovascular health, and are also contributors to overall well being.”

Q – What are some key things to pay attention to when it comes to individual Heart Health?

All of the standard indicators are still quite important, such as family history, lifestyle, diet, history of smoking, alcohol use, and cholesterol level.

Dr. Boone’s Answer – “However, we now have more advanced tools to identify an individual’s risk for heart disease.  Advanced blood tests now give us sophisticated measurements of cholesterol particle size and number, searching for underlying genetic issues unique to each individual.  Advanced imaging techniques can identify the “breeding ground” for dangerous plaque that could eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.  With these issues identified, we can aggressively treat the inflammation before it ever leads to an adverse event.

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Boone Health Institute’s BraveHeart Program

Boone Heart Institute’s BraveHeart Program was started in 2005 in response to Dr. Jeffrey L. Boone’s startling discovery that the heart attack rate among firefighters is astoundingly high. So for those of you who have never before heard of our BraveHeart Program, following is information that will tell you all about it.

First, a few statistical facts about firefighters that you may not already know:

• 47.5% of all on-duty firefighter deaths are due to heart attack and stroke*

• 58.7% of these deaths are due to stress/overexertion*

• 100% of these on-duty fatalities are preventable

 *2009 National Firefighter Fatality Summary, U.S. Fire Administration, November 2009 Report

BraveHeart was developed and custom tailored specifically for firefighters – because of their high-intensity and high-stress work environment. Essentially, Dr. Boone wants to make sure our firefighters are going to be available (and healthy!) when we need them the most!

What Does the BraveHeart Program Do?

The BraveHeart program is mobile and it screens firefighters on-site. The program can accommodate up to 50 participants each day. During each evaluation, firefighters are screened for their risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the BraveHeart program goes beyond screening only firefighters. Screenings are also available to all employees of fire houses. Firefighters’ spouses,  friends, and  relatives are also welcome to undergo a cardiovascular examination.

Dr. Boone is a recognized expert on how the heart is affected by physical and mental stress. He has not only works with firefighters, but he has also assists others with extremely high-stress professions, such as those working in all areas of law enforcement as well as individuals who are professional athletes. He believes that the BraveHeart program is an essential tool that will not only ensure these individuals are aware of their risks of developing cardiovascular disease, but also to help them halt any cardiovascular problems that may have already started.

Words from Actual Firefighters About the BraveHeart Program:

Boone Heart Institute’s website contains many published testimonials from actual firefighters whose lives were positively affected by the BraveHeart program. Cardiovascular screenings take place regularly around the Denver Metro area as well as other areas in Colorado. Please contact Boone Heart Institute by calling (303) 762-0710 for more information. We are on a mission to eradicate cardiovascular disease among firefighters!


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