An ironic paradox today is the fact that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and while it is a vital organ we need it to live a productive life and experience longevity. What’s even more disturbing is the majority of cases of heart disease and related deaths are self-induced by poor diet and exercise practices.
Check out these amazing facts about your heart and circulatory system provided by The Cleveland Clinic:
The heart beats about 100,000 times each day
In a 70-year lifetime, the average human heart beats more than 2.5 billion times
Your system of blood vessels -- arteries, veins and capillaries -- is over 60,000 miles long. That's long enough to go around the world more than twice!
The adult heart pumps about 5 quarts of blood each minute - approximately 2,000 gallons of blood each day - throughout the body.
Blood is about 78 percent water.
Blood takes about 20 seconds to circulate throughout the entire vascular system
So what causes heart disease? There is no one right answer to that question but in recent year’s cholesterol has been tagged as the major cause of heart disease. According to Dr. Barry Sears in The Anti-Inflammation Zone, many cases of heart disease are rooted in what he calls chronic “silent” inflammation that can negatively affect the entire body without the individual being aware.
One of the great physicians of the nineteenth century was Rudolf Virchow. Nearly 150 years ago he stated that atherosclerosis in an inflammatory disease based on his observations of autopsies of the very rare number of people who actually died from heart disease.
At the turn of the century, according to Dr, Sears, the greatest physician in America was Sir William Osler. Osler was the author of a classic textbook on medicine and when asked why he didn't include a chapter on heart disease, he replied that the disease is so rare that most physicians would never see it! Today it’s the number one killer in America.
So why the increase in heart disease related illness? According to Sears, while cholesterol plays a role in heart disease, it is not the catalyst. His view is the major issue with most research is cause vs. correlation. While you may have correlation between something in the blood and heart disease, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same clinical marker is the actual cause of heart disease.
This is analogous to a correlation by being struck by lightning and the phase of the moon. However this does not mean that the phase of the moon caused you to get struck by lightning.
Dr. Sears’s states there are over 200 risk factors that are associated with heart disease. His assertion is that silent inflammation in the body and circulatory system in particular is a major factor in heat disease. Next week I will share Dr. Sears’s thoughts on how silent inflammation negatively affects many aspects of our health including heart disease.
HERE’S TO BEING FIT FOR LIFE! Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, exercise and endurance enthusiast. He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events. He is a member of the 2015 QT2 Systems Advanced Team.