Heart disease, like diabetes, has become a disease of our time. More and more people are finding themselves with the risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high levels of homocysteine. How has this happened, when we now have access to healthy foods on an almost unlimited scale? Perhaps it’s because generations before us spent much of their working all day out of doors, having to physically fend for their food and shelter. There wasn’t the luxury of drive-thru or delivery, and there certainly was no option to supersize a meal. In fact, many of the items sold in stores were packaged in smaller portions. For example, at the turn of the century, a chocolate bar was only one or two bites, whereas now you can buy a king-size chocolate bar.
Obviously, if you want to protect your heart, you have to be sensible about the food choices you make. Your nutritional health is very important. Consider your vitamin B6 intake, for example. Vitamin B6 has been clinically considered to help prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis. One reason is that it reduces levels of homocysteine, which can cause arteries to harden and usher in cardiovascular problems. Vitamin B6 also helps reduce the risk of blood clots and lowers blood pressure a bit. A mild deficiency of vitamin B6 is pretty common; it’s probable that well over half the population doesn’t get enough of this vitamin.
Researchers at the Verona School of Medicine in Verona, Italy, set out to investigate the link between vitamin B6 intake and cardiovascular disease. They mention that, while a significant vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon in clinical practice, increasing evidence suggests that a marginal vitamin B6 deficiency is quite common and is related to an increased risk of inflammation-related diseases.
The researchers confirmed that ample evidence substantiates the theory of atherosclerosis as an inflammatory disease, and low plasma vitamin B6 concentrations have been related to increased CVD risk. Furthermore, the researchers noted after conducting a review that the inverse association observed between inflammation markers and vitamin B6 supports the notion that inflammation may be the common link between low-vitamin-B6 status and CVD risk. They concluded that a mild vitamin B6 deficiency characterizes, in most cases, a subclinical at-risk condition in inflammatory-linked diseases such as heart disease, which should be addressed by an “individually-tailored” nutritional preventative therapy.
To build your own preventative therapy against cardiovascular disease, boost your nutritional health by adding these healing foods: tuna, bananas, chicken, and turkey. Also consider taking a B-complex vitamin supplement.