Blog post written by Fenix Nutrition
The heart muscle is a pump, about fist-size and located slightly left of center in your chest. It is divided into two halves, left and right, and four chambers, left and right atrium and left and right ventricle. The right side of the heart collects and pumps blood to the lungs, which resupply the blood with fresh oxygen. The blood then enters the left side of the heart and is pumped through the aorta and out through the body’s vascular system to supply tissues with fresh oxygen and nutrients. Your heart beats, or pumps, about 3600 times every hour. It speeds up under stress, and can vary in cadence – beats per minute – from person to person or from one time to another within a fairly limited range of normal. If all goes well, you probably won’t even notice it working.
But all may not go well. There are multiple kinds of heart problems and heart issues, many resulting in, or threatening to result in, death.
The leading cause of heart disease is atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fatty plaque inside the arteries, sort of like little wads of chewing gum stuck to the walls of your blood vessels. It increases the effort required to pump the blood and slows the flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body. After enough time, and enough increased pressure, the walls of the arteries begin to thicken and harden. Now you have a problem. The complications are chronic, progressing, and cumulative: the soft plaque ruptures, forming a clot that quickly acts to slow or stop blood flow – which means that the tissue fed by that blood flow has about five minutes before catastrophic tissue death sets in and you experience a myocardial infarction – a heart attack. If the clot travels to the brain, you are dealing with a stroke.
Angina, or severe chest pain, is due to a lack of oxygen supply, most often because of the effects of atherosclerosis and the resulting clots that break off and travel. There can be severe pain in the heart muscle without always resulting in a heart attack; and there can be a heart attack occurring without severe pain. If angina attacks hit suddenly, get worse, and last more than a quarter of an hour, you are having a heart attack, and you urgently need medical attention.
Over six million Americans are expected to suffer the pain of angina each year, and about 5% of these will die from coronary heart disease within the next five years. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and a diet rich in fatty and fried foods. Average age of onset is 55 for men, ten years later for women. The incidence of heart attack in Western and Westernized countries is far greater than in third world countries, for the obvious reason that the risk factors for heart disease are far more common in Western cultures; you might say that one of the leading causes of heart disease is affluence.
There are other causes for heart disease, including birth defects, infections, drug and alcohol abuse, parasites, bacteria and viruses, even toxic or allergic reactions to some medications. People who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, may have an increased risk of heart disease. The good news is that medical advances can detect, diagnose, and treat heart-health issues much better now than in the past, even in the recent past.  We have less reason to fear a fatal heart attack; and if we are willing to manage our own health care issues, we have greater reason to feel confident about our present and future well-being. Supplements such as l-arginine and l-citrulline can also help overcome heart health issues.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.