Heart Disease: Silent Killer

Season 1 | Episode 34
15m | Feb 1, 2023

Welcome to the Tonic talk show and podcast, where we delve into the pressing health issues of our time. We bring you an insightful interview with Dr. Colleen Hartwick, a licensed naturopathic physician specializing in heart health and mental well-being. She is also an instructor at the Canadian School of Nutrition. Join us as we explore the impact of heart disease as we uncover the hereditary component and discuss practical steps for prevention and treatment.

Heart disease remains among the leading causes of death in Canada, affecting a significant portion of the population. Dr. Hartwick shares eye-opening statistics, revealing that one in 12 Canadians over the age of 20 have some form of diagnosable heart disease. Shockingly, one person every hour succumbs to heart disease-related complications. Moreover, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms linked to an increased risk of heart disease, affects 9 of 10 Canadians. It’s characterized by obesity, diabetes and hypertension. She notes men are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks.

Unraveling the relationship between genetics and environment, Dr. Hartwick emphasizes the importance of lifestyle choices for mitigating heart disease risk. She shares her personal journey, driven by a family history of heart disease, and how she adopted a healthier lifestyle to prevent the onset of cardiovascular issues. Through diet, exercise, and supplementation, it is possible to tip the balance in favour of a healthier heart. Jamie and Colleen discuss the dance between genetics and lifestyle for heart disease.

The interview delves into the different types of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders (arrythmia), structural heart diseases, and heart failure. Dr. Hartwick breaks down each category, helping listeners grasp their intricacies and potential implications.

When it comes to exercise, Dr. Hartwick highlights the transformative power of even moderate physical activity. She underscores that the key is to find an exercise routine which aligns with individual preferences and schedules. Whether it's walking, dancing, or engaging in other forms of movement, dedicating 20-30 minutes most days of the week can yield significant improvements in insulin sensitivity, blood markers, and general heart health. Obesity contributes to insulin resistance. She emphasizes the low barrier to entry of walking, shoes and a jacket if it’s cold. When it comes to exercise, make it something you enjoy.

Diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy heart, and Dr. Hartwick introduces the Mediterranean diet as a proven framework for heart-healthy nutrition. It emphasizes protein from lean sources, nuts, seeds, and a wide array of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. By incorporating these dietary changes, individuals can regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and enhance their metabolic profiles.

Jamie discusses a complementary approach to support heart health, particularly in regions with limited sunlight exposure like Canada. Dr. Hartwick highlights the benefits of vitamin B, vitamin D3, and omega-3 fatty acids in reducing and modulating inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity, and preventing the deposition of calcium in arteries while encouraging calcium use for bone remodeling. She suggests various sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including fish, algae-based supplements, flaxseed, hemp hearts, and chia seeds. She explains how eating fish once or twice per week may not be enough, then discusses the importance of CoQ10 supplementation for those taking cholesterol lowering statins, as a side effect is hepatic decreased production of this heart friendly enzyme can compromise cardiac health. 

They finish up with Magnesium for heart health, which helps reduce inflammation along with reducing LDL cholesterol. She recommends several types of magnesium: Magnesium citrate for constipation, Bisglycinate and threonate for their additional positive effects on the nervous system.

During the interview, Dr. Hartwick stresses the importance of personalized care and strategies which work for each individual. By embracing a holistic approach to heart health, we enhance overall well-being and reduce the risk of heart disease-related complications. Don't miss this enlightening episode as we unravel the mysteries surrounding heart disease and empower ourselves with the knowledge to lead heart-healthy lives.

Audio Player Image
Make life Better - Your Guide to Natural Health and Wellness - At New Roots Herbal, we are inspired by nature, and driven by science to make life better – Join us to discover quality natural products, remedies, and expert advice to live your best life.