Heart Disease Facts & How to Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease
Even though Ben was about 30 pounds overweight and didn’t always get the exercise he should, he felt better than ever at his 40th birthday party. Surrounded by family and friends, he helped himself to a big piece of birthday cake, drank some champagne, smoked his favorite cigars and sat around a bonfire enjoying roasted marshmallows.
Later, Ben awoke in the middle of the night feeling nauseous, anxious and short of breath. Unfamiliar sharp pains in his chest and back made him wonder if he was suffering a bad case of indigestion. He got up, chewed a couple antacid tablets and went back to bed. Eventually, the pain and nausea subsided. He felt better in the morning, just a little weak. “I must be getting old”, he joked with his wife. “I can’t handle a simple birthday party anymore!”
Six months later, Ben suffered a heart attack. He survived but discovered what he thought was acid indigestion had been a mild heart attack. Unfortunately, Ben is just one of millions of men with heart disease aggravated by smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and not paying attention to what his body is telling him.
Heart disease facts reveal just how pervasive cardiovascular disease is among males over 35. More than one in three men suffer from cardiovascular disease1 (CVD). In addition:
- Since men typically develop heart disease 10-15 years earlier than women, they are more likely to die from heart disease in their life. 2
- In 2010, over three million men leaving short-stay hospitals were diagnosed with CVD.
- In 2010, 74 percent of heart bypass surgery patients were men.
- In 2011, 68 percent of all heart transplant patients were men.
- In 2010, over 800,000 men discharged from hospitals were diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD).
If Ben had visited his physician for a complete check-up that morning, he would have found out about his “silent” heart attack. Along with implementing a weight management program, Ben could have started eating healthier foods, stopped smoking and minimized his alcohol intake. Although a lifestyle change does not guarantee you won’t be diagnosed with heart disease at some point, it could potentially reduce your risk for suffering high cholesterol, coronary heart disease or even cardiac arrest.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Among smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the CDC lists the following as heart disease risk factors in men: 2
- Type I and Type II diabetes
- Obesity (defined by being 80-100 pounds over normal weight)
- Poor dietary choices
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Being a moderate to heavy alcohol drinker
- Experiencing chronic stress
Congenital heart defects or structural heart defects present at birth can also put younger men at risk for suffering heart disease, heart attacks and cardiac arrest. Common types of heart defects involve heart valves, interior walls of the heart and problems affecting veins and arteries carrying blood to the body or heart. Men with more serious congenital heart defects are especially at risk for heart disease if they do not pay attention to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 3
Can Prebiotics Contribute to a Healthy Heart?
If you haven’t heard of prebiotics for men’s heart health, you’re not alone. Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients promoting activity and growth of certain beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria, especially bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Prebiotics may help men fight against the growth of inflammatory bacteria populations in their GI tract. In fact, you could be improving your resistance against “bad” gut bacteria by taking prebiotics to increase production of important chemicals called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).4
Since heart disease is essentially inflammation of the heart and its various structures, prebiotics may reduce your risk for heart disease by suppressing “bad” bacteria growth and allowing your “good” gut bacteria to party like there’s no tomorrow!
Need proof about the benefits of prebiotics for a man’s heart health? Here are just a few of the hundreds of clinical research findings regarding prebiotics and heart health, including several validating results:
- Atherosclerotic plaque reduction is critical to improving heart disease in men diagnosed with high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. A study using male mice with atherosclerotic plaque formations found that inhibiting plaque formation is “more potent” when long-chain inulin5 is present. Researchers suggest this effect stems from the ability of prebiotics to increase metabolism of lipids in the body.6
- Another study involving 12 men found that consuming a specific food containing 18 percent inulin “significantly reduced triacyglycerols and total cholesterol” compared to the control group. 7
- In a double-blind, randomized study using men diagnosed with high cholesterol, researchers found that when these subjects were given inulin for three weeks, their levels of serum triglycerides reduced significantly. High triglycerides are known to be a major factor in the development of heart disease in men.8
In fact, famed Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered to everyone’s surprise that having healthy gut bacteria may be inextricably linked to heart disease and atherosclerosis.9 Taking prebiotics may be one way for men to help reduce their risk of heart disease when combined with healthy lifestyle choices.
Like most men, Ben did not like to take pills or go to the doctor. But, if he had known how simple it was to take prebiotics to change his gut microbiota from bad to awesome, he may have avoided having a heart attack at age 40.
If you are male and over 35, don’t be a Ben. Visit Prebiotin today to order one of the most medically researched and trusted physician-recommended prebiotic formulas available online.
For a Lifetime of Great Gut Health—Just Feed It!
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