Integrative Cardiology

The power of prevention in action

By Karolyn A. Gazella

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are highly preventable, and yet they continue to take the lives of more people worldwide than any other disease. In January 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that CVDs represented 31% of all global deaths. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States can be attributed to CVDs. About 720,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, and the American Heart Association (AHA) says that 1 in 3 adults have some form of CVD. What’s more, AHA reports that 80% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented through a combination of diet and lifestyle.
 
The 5 primary population-wide interventions recommended by WHO to reduce CVD all revolve around diet and lifestyle: tobacco cessation; reducing intake of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt; increasing physical activity; reducing alcohol consumption; and encouraging healthy meals in schools. Looking at diet and lifestyle is a foundational strategy of integrative cardiology. That’s why this topic fits so perfectly into the Natural Medicine Journal’s special issue series.
 
In this issue, we focus on diet by featuring a peer-reviewed article that takes a closer look at the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea study. There is also an Abstract and Commentary on a recent study looking at the effects of the Mediterranean diet. Also included is a study looking at dark chocolate and cardiovascular health. And our guest editor, Daniel Chong, ND, comments on a systematic review and meta-analysis involving vitamin C and endothelial function. We’d like to thank Dr Chong for his hard work on this special issue. His contribution is greatly appreciated by the entire Natural Medicine Journal team.
 
Primum non nocere is embraced by integrative cardiologists as they uphold their Hippocratic Oath to first, do no harm. Their focus on prevention and the use of diet, lifestyle, and dietary supplements to help treat and reverse heart disease will surely help their patients from becoming one of the staggering statistics.
 
We hope you enjoy this special issue, and we thank our advertisers for their support.
 
In good health!

About the Author

Karolyn A. Gazella has been writing and publishing integrative health information since 1992. She is the publisher of the Natural Medicine Journal and the author or coauthor of hundreds of articles and several booklets and books including her latest book The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer that she wrote with Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO. Gazella is the co-creator and Chief Executive Officer of the iTHRIVE Plan, an innovative online wellness program specifically for cancer survivors.