Cardiovascular disease encompasses a broad spectrum including stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and cardiac arrest.  The majority of cardiovascular-related disease is not restricted to the heart, but rather is of the vascular system. This ultimately leads to the development of clinical cardiovascular disease.

Several dietary patterns, foods, bioactive food components, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements are purported to have protective cardiovascular effects. The dash pattern and Mediterranean pattern are examples. They also improve body weight and composition, blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin resistance, blood lipids and chronic inflammation.

The take-home message is to be proactive and implement lifestyle strategies, diet, nutrition strategies and physical activity, to reduce cardiovascular risk.


Heart disease is a woman’s disease:  1 in 4 will die in the U.S. from heart disease this year that is half a million deaths each year – yet the perception that heart disease is primarily a man’s disease persist. The reality is that coronary heart disease (CHD) is the #1 killer of both men and women in this country.  Coronary heart disease occurs when plaque builds upon the inner walls of coronary arteries, preventing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.  This buildup of plaque is called atherosclerosis and it can trigger a heart attack.

While the basic process of coronary heart disease is the same for men and women, the disease, its symptoms and outcomes differ between the sexes:

Women with diabetes have twice the risk of CHD compared with men.

Heart attacks among women with diabetes are more deadly.

Women tend to develop CHD 10 years later than men.

When women have symptoms, they tend to differ from those of men:  they are more likely to have pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen or back rather than in the chest.

Women may experience lightheadedness, an upset stomach and sweating when having a heart attack.

While it is important to pay attentions to the signs of a heart attack it is equally important to take preventive measures.  Research has found that diet, a healthy weight and exercise reduce risk.  Put your emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.


“Calcium supplements could increase risk of heart disease, new study finds” said a Washington Post headline in October. “Calcium supplements could give you a heart attack,” wrote the New York Daily News.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and other universities analyzed data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Study, which was conducted from 2000 to 2012. The 5,458 study participants came from Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Minnesota and North Carolina. At the start of the study, the calcium content of their diets and of their dietary supplements and the amount of calcification in their coronary arteries was recorded. Ten years later, the coronary calcification of the 2,742 remaining participants was again measured.

The results: for those who had some calcification to start with, how much calcium they consumed, whether from food or supplements, didn’t matter. For them, calcium supplements clearly did not increase their risk of heart disease.

Among the participants who had no calcification at the beginning of the study, those who consumed the most calcium from food and supplements – an average of about 2,150 mg – significantly lowered their risk of developing calcification by 27 percent. That means the risk of heart disease was lower, not higher.

Among the participants who began the study with no calcification, those who consumed the least amount of calcium from supplements – an average of 90 mg a day – had the highest risk of developing calcifications. And those who consumed more calcium from supplements than that – an average of 165 mg to 1,125 mg – had no greater risk of developing calcification. Somehow this got translated by the media into “calcium supplements could give you a heart attack”. Bizarre to say the least!

Two weeks after this study appeared, reason prevailed. The American Society for Preventive Cardiology and the National Osteoporosis Foundation assured the public that calcium supplements have no impact on heart attacks, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease. These two organizations based this advice on a new review of 31 studies – four clinical trials and 27 observational studies – by an expert panel which found no increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people who consumed up 2,500 mg of calcium in supplements a day.

As a medical nutrition consultant, I continue to tell my patients is if they don’t get 1,000 to 1200mg of calcium a day from food they should take a supplement, so between their diet and supplements calcium intake is adequate.

Learn more about me, Nancy Mazarin, medical nutritional therapy and weight management at

Are you ready to become the best you possible? Nutritional Consultant Nancy Mazarin can help! Whether you are facing a medical challenge, weight management issues or just want to improve your healthy, eating right and completing proper, regular exercise will result in overall better health. Here are some reasons why you should find a physical activity you enjoy today:

It Makes You Happy

Studies confirm there is a direct relationship between exercise and an increased release of feel-good hormones. In fact, people who exercise regularly also have a lower risk of depression. Although our culture tends to emphasize medical interventions for almost every problem, exercise is a behavioral treatment that can naturally improve your health over time.

Improve Life in Bed

Regular exercise can boost your active activity in bed – keeping your muscles active promotes hormone production, and more muscle mass means more stimulation and hormone production, which helps both men and women maintain their sexual functioning. Additionally, exercise can help with your not so active bed activity – sleep.

Boost Your Brain, Fight Dementia

Both your intellectual skills and your memory benefit from regular physical activity. Free flowing, increased oxygen to the brain boosts intelligence and your ability to carry out everyday activities. Although we don’t know for certain that exercise can slow or prevent Alzheimer’s, signs point to that it helps, and regular activity helps preserve the neurons in your brain which is an advantage should you ever develop the disease.