(Natural News) Having a heart attack is a primary risk factor for the development of worse diseases and death. It reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, promotes the abnormal enlargement of the heart muscle (cardiac hypertrophy), and causes endothelial dysfunction. In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that the after-effects of a heart attack, such as coronary heart disease and myocarditis, can be treated with the help of a Chinese herbal formula called Xin-ji-er-kang.
Xin-ji-er-kang is composed of 14 herbal medicines, including Chinese ginseng, milk vetch, mondo grass, etc. For the study, the researchers, who were from Anhui Medical University in China, assessed the cardioprotective effects of Xin-ji-er-kang on mice that had experienced a heart attack.
The researchers orally gave mice Xin-ji-er-kang for four weeks. As the researchers conducted various tests and analyses, they discovered that the administration of Xin-ji-er-kang improved the cardiovascular problems caused by a heart attack.
Xin-ji-er-kang treatment improved the mice’ endothelial dysfunction, cardiac hypertrophy, and collagen deposition caused by heart attack. It also reduced oxidative stress, which plays a role in cardiovascular diseases, and decreased inflammation by reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
The researchers explained that the cardioprotective effects of Xin-ji-er-kang may be attributed to its role in improving endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and retaining the immune balance. The researchers concluded that Xin-ji-er-kang may potentially be used in treating heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Ways to keep the heart healthy for every age
In the U.S. alone, more than 600,000 people die of heart disease every year — that’s one in every four deaths. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease, which kills more than 370,000 people every year. In addition, around 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year. These numbers are alarming.
Fortunately, it is never too late to take care of one’s health, especially heart health. Make smart choices today to prevent heart disease and all cardiovascular diseases in the future. Here are several tips anyone of any age can follow to keep their heart healthy:
- Follow a healthy diet: The food that you eat will determine the status of your health. To keep your heart healthy, eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. Moreover, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fatty fish, nuts, legumes, and seeds. Also, try to limit meat in some meals; if you choose to eat meat in some meals, pick lean cuts. In addition, choose skinless poultry and organic dairy products and limit consumption of sweetened beverages and red meat. Heart attack survivors are advised to make long-term lifestyle changes right away in order to prevent another cardiac event. They can start by eating nutritious foods and avoiding fast foods.
- Get moving: Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. Children should at least get one hour of physical activity every day; while adults should get at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise or a combination of both every week. In addition, adults need to do muscle-strengthening activities that work all primary muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulder, and arms – on two or more days a week.
These tips may be common, however, they are often neglected as people continue to eat unhealthy foods and live sedentary lives.
Read more news stories and studies on treating cardiovascular problems with natural alternatives by going to Heart.news.