The American Heart Association recently published a report saying 48% of American adults have cardiovascular disease.
They define cardiovascular disease as having any of the following:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Heart Failure
- High Blood Pressure
In this episode we talk about the REAL reasons why half the adult population have cardiovascular disease.
We also share THREE ways you can lower your risk of heart disease.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: You’re listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical and, in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It’s strictly for informational purposes. So enjoy.
Hello. I’m Dr. Martin Jr.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I’m Dr. Martin Sr.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And this is The Doctor Is In Podcast, and this is episode [00:00:30] 174. And today, we want to talk about heart disease. Specifically, the American Heart Association made some noise not too long ago where they put out a new report saying that almost half of US adults have cardiovascular disease. Half. We’re recording this up in Canada, but the statistics would be the same.
They say this, here’s the highlights, so this is right from the American Heart Association. 48% of all adults [00:01:00] have some form of cardiovascular disease, and we’ll talk about how they defined cardiovascular disease. They’re saying this. Much of the prevalence is driven by an increase in the number of people classified as having high blood pressure.
You got to remember, back in 2017 they reclassified high blood pressure. More people fell into the group of high blood pressure. It was the same thing with cholesterol. Years ago, they changed the definition or the numbers of-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:01:30] Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: They lowered the bar, right? So they didn’t raise the bar, they lowered it. And that’s to put more people into … Again, I’m a little facetious, but I say this, that they want to put more people on medication. But anyway, even if it’s a lot less than that, it’s still way too high in terms of … Can you imagine? I mean, 48%.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Here’s how they’ve defined cardiovascular disease. You either have coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, [00:02:00] or high blood pressure. And so half the adults in the United States, and I mean, like I said, we can extrapolate that to Canada, have cardiovascular disease or a form of cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes, they’ve done this, they’ve come up with a classification called pre-diabetes, right? It’s when you have elevated glucose levels, but they’re not elevated enough yet to be diabetic, and there’s a few other things going on. And it’s almost like they should do the same [00:02:30] thing with heart disease. Have a pre-heart disease, which is when your blood pressure is just elevated, but it’s not … They’ve changed it. I used to be 140/90 was hypertension. Now it’s 130/80, so they’ve changed the numbers a little bit, right?
It doesn’t matter. If you’ve got consistently higher than even normal blood pressure … Because I remember we’ve talked about this when we talked about age proofing your brain, and I did a video and a newsletter [00:03:00] about six brain killers, six middle-age brain killers, so things that can happen in middle age that kills your brain later on. And one of them was high normal blood pressure. So you can be classified as normal, but it could be on the high end of normal, and research has tied that into faster brain shrinkage. So it can lead to back end brain problems at the end of your life.
But here’s the [inaudible 00:03:24] talk about today. Half the people have some form of cardiovascular disease [00:03:30] and-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s an epidemic.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s an epidemic. And again, it made a lot of news. It was a big story. They were shocked. But I think anybody who was in practice at all wouldn’t be shocked by that at all. I mean, it’s not shocking. Every other person out there, do they have some form of high blood pressure or some form of heart … Yeah. It’s not shocking.
But what we want to do today is we want to, like we do with everything else, we want to kind of reverse engineer heart disease just [00:04:00] so that we can actually talk about the root causes of heart disease, where it all begins. And then we’ll talk a little bit at the end about some natural things that you can do to help keep your heart healthy. Let’s say “heart healthy.” We won’t use the word “prevent,” but we’ll talk about heart healthy.
If you end up with heart disease, right? One step removed from heart disease is inflammation. Right? [00:04:30] Inflammation … And we do this with everything, right? One step removed from Alzheimer’s, dementia, is inflammation. One step removed from pretty much everything, which is why when inflammation was being heavily studied, a lot of people were saying inflammation is the root of all disease, and that’s a partial truth.
And the reason why it’s a partial truth is that yes, everybody with heart disease has elevated inflammation. But inflammation is, we say this all time, is not Houdini. It’s just not magic. [00:05:00] It doesn’t just spontaneously appear. Something has to cause an elevation of inflammation. Right? So we want to go step and talk about the two biggest … Again, I mean, it’s not the only two causes. There’s other causes in there. But the two-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Main.
Dr. Martin Jr.: … main causes of inflammation that leads or can lead to heart disease or high blood pressure or a stroke, heart failure, coronary heart disease. So [00:05:30] the two main causes, right?
So the first one, it’s something that we talk about all the time, which is high circulating insulin. High insulin. But rather than just talk about high circulating insulin, and we want to talk about two heart killers. So these two things, when consumed in abundance over a long period of time, can kill your heart. It can lead to heart disease. And of course that’s sugar and vegetable oils. High-processed omega-6 fatty acids-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Boy, [00:06:00] vegetable oil sounds good, doesn’t it? But you were saying the other day, I don’t know if it was in the newsletter or whatever, but have you ever looked on YouTube or whatever and seen … I said, “You know what? I never did it. Let me go look on a how they make canola oil.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh, it’s insane. The heat involved and the chemicals. And I mean it’s-
Dr. Martin Sr.: I think I could run my car on canola oil. Have they thought about it?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Again, it was great marketing, right? Vegetable oils.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s a vegetable oil, wow.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It sounds healthy until you see how it’s made, until you [00:06:30] see the effect, the oxidation effect of … until you look at all that stuff. It’s absolutely-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It is an inflammation driver.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes. And here’s the thing. Omega-6s are found in vegetable oils, but a lot of … I mean, a lot of processed foods and ultra-processed foods are made with vegetable oils. Processed or ultra-processed foods aren’t made with olive oil. They’re not made with coconut oil. They’re made with canola [00:07:00] oils and vegetable oils and all the bad ones. And that causes a ton of inflammation. It irritates the gut.
You and I talked about this at lunch today. You and I were talking about this. Even the effect that vegetable oils have on skin cancer. Now, this is something we should do an episode, especially as it’s coming close to summer because I think it was the Florida Keys that their beaches banned suntan lotion, and [00:07:30] people were freaking out. Cancer. You’ve got to protect, but the suntan lotion was killing the coral reefs. And we talked about a study showing what happens if you put suntan lotion on, you add heat, which is the sun and yet another chemical which is chlorine in a pool, and the reaction that that causes, that’s an unhealthy combination.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. You almost explode.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I mean, suntan lotion, heat, and chlorine is a bad mix. But anyways, people were freaking [00:08:00] out because suntan lotions were banned, and they’re like, “How are we going to protect ourself from skin cancer? And sunblock and suntan lotion is the saviour of skin cancer.” That’s the message that’s behind that.
But what’s interesting is there was a study done looking at the effect of consuming vegetable oils like omega-6 fatty acids prior to going into the sun. And basically, we’ll talk about this at a later date, but even consuming vegetable [00:08:30] oils increased your risk of getting all types of skin cancer because it affects the oxidization. All that stuff, it affects how the skin reacts to the sun. And your skin is your largest organ. So if the skin is a biomarker or it’s a window into health for a lot of things, it’s a window into health of your gut. There’s a lot of things there. But even your skin doesn’t react well to vegetable oils consumption, and then you go into the sun, you’re more likely to get … Right?
[00:09:00] So vegetable oils, ultra-processed food is a bad idea all around. And there was another big study that just came out, and it looked at the effect of eating a processed versus an ultra-processed diet. And a ultra high processed diet, they just … It stimulated hunger. They ate more calories. It was just … It’s not good. And if you look at … A lot has been blamed on sugar and rightly so. There’s a chart that’s going around and it’s like, “Oh, see, sugar consumption is decreasing, and yet obesity is still increasing.” Well, first of all, it’s still [00:09:30] way too high. I don’t care if it’s decreasing. It’s still way higher than it should be. But we also consume a high level of sugar and a high level of vegetable oils.
When you combine sugar and fat, especially sugar and processed crappy fats, that’s bad news. And the combination of those two things, in my opinion, is the biggest cause of heart disease in the future. So it’s high circulating insulin and vegetable oils, right? Terrible [00:10:00] combination. And increased production of vegetable oils, because typically you eat that around carbs anyways, so you’re consuming carbs and fat, and that causes a surge of energy storage, fat storage. Right? Nothing will store fat faster than combining vegetable oils and sugar. It’s terrible.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. It’s the perfect storm.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s the perfect storm. A lot of people, if they evaluate their heart disease or their high blood pressure, it’s because they consume too many [00:10:30] carbohydrates or too much processed food. That’s the bottom line for most people. Or high processed carbs, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Oh, yeah. I mean, again, I see metabolic syndrome on a daily basis in the office.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Just define metabolic syndrome for people that might be [crosstalk 00:10:47].
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, metabolic syndrome is … They coined that years ago. Actually, one of our colleagues, I think, had come up with that term, one of the first guys ever to to hear this. Metabolic syndrome is [00:11:00] when you got belly fat, high blood pressure, fatty liver, and uric acid. That’s called metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And I think they’ve added kind of like triglycerides to the mix.
Dr. Martin Sr.: High triglycerides, sorry, that’s another one. So I think it is five things, right? High triglycerides. And by the way, how do you get triglycerides? Triglycerides are bad fats. I mean, they’re circulating fats from carbohydrates, right? High blood pressure, belly fat, [00:11:30] and circumference of over 40 inches in the United States. Inches, we don’t use that in Canada so much anymore. I can’t remember what the equivalent is in … It doesn’t matter. And uric acid. Isn’t that interesting to see uric acid and the damage it does inside the blood vessels? Because it’s literally crystal that’s formed from, again, fructose. It doesn’t matter good, bad, or ugly. High fructose corn syrup today is the [00:12:00] sugar of choice for most food companies because it’s cheap. It’s very, very sweet.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and it’s a subsidized industry, so it’s very cheap. And it’s metabolized a little different. A lot of people listening, if they have high blood pressure or they have some form of heart or cardiovascular disease, there’s a good chance it came from high circulating insulin, too much sugar, and too much processed or vegetable oils. The combination of those two especially. That covers a lot of people, [00:12:30] right? I mean, it just, it does.
And then when we throw the second biggest cause … We talked about the first, which is high insulin, and that high insulin is caused by high sugar, high vegetable oils, high carb diet. That’s the first big cause of heart disease. And then the second big cause of heart disease, when you throw this into the mix, it just accelerates it, and we talk about this all time, which is cortisol, right? And here’s the thing.
Cortisol is your stress hormone. It’s secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress. [00:13:00] Your body, I mean, listen, it could be if you’re startled, your body will make adrenaline quickly, fight or flight, and then you’ll secrete some cortisol as well. But cortisol is a normal hormone. It’s essential. We need it. Your body relies on cortisol. But like anything else, when it’s too involved, when it’s there too much, it causes a whole bunch of problems.
But Cortisol, one of the things that cortisol does is that you have a few hormones that will [00:13:30] raise blood sugar, and you have one that will lower it, right? So insulin, it lowers blood sugar, and you have a few hormones that will elevate blood sugar, right? So first thing in the morning, we talked about this concept of dawn phenomenon, why people have higher blood sugar levels in the morning.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s normal.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s normal.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You’re waking up, body’s getting going.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Cortisol is a hormone. One of the primary functions of cortisol is to increase glucose production, so it raises your blood sugars because that’s where your energy comes from. [00:14:00] So your body thinks it’s stress, it thinks it has to fight or flight, it needs energy, so you just raise your blood sugar levels up. So your cortisol levels are highest in the morning. Makes sense. Your body’s getting ready to wake up, it’s bracing your glucose levels so that you can have the energy.
And then there’s a few other hormones that do that as well. Epinephrin is another one, which is adrenaline, and even human growth hormone to a certain extent. And then glucagon, which is another big one. But you have a few hormones that raise blood sugar levels up, and cortisol does [00:14:30] that.
Think about it. Your raise your blood sugar levels up, cortisol, so then you need insulin to lower it again. But cortisol’s also highly inflammatory. If you have too much cortisol, it just creates a havoc of inflammation. It can cause inflammation of the gut, inflammation of the skin, inflammation of the brain, inflammation of the joints. So at the end of the day, stress …
When we talk about stress, a lot of people will associate stress and heart disease, and it’s true because stress increases your heart rate. But again, [00:15:00] so does cortisol. Cortisol increases your heart rate. It makes your breathing shallow. Right? I have a Apple Watch, and it’s funny, if I get stressed about something, my Apple Watch will tell me to breathe because it detects my heart rate, right? But again, that’s cortisol. I mean, that’s the cortisol effect.
Cortisol increases your heart rate. It makes you breathe more shallow, creates a ton of inflammation, but that’s stress. So stress kills [00:15:30] your heart. So you combine stress, and you combine that with high circulating insulin, and man, that is a absolute recipe for heart disease. And that is so common today. So many people have elevated cortisol levels and elevated insulin levels. It kills the heart.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. And that’s why we haven’t really, when you think about it, and the AHA comes out with, the American Heart Association has given us a big thing. 50% right? [00:16:00] Headlines, news. It’s not fake news. That’s one thing it’s not. It’s not fake news. We agree a million percent that heart diseases is on the rise. But yet with all the money, with all the medication, with all the new drugs that have been come out to bring your blood pressure down, to bring your cholesterol down, to help with heart disease, you know what? Hasn’t even made a dent. As a matter of fact, the rates are up.
And the thing is, it’s because at the end of the [00:16:30] day, they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. They’re not thinking of what the diet has to do with heart disease. Right? They’re looking at cholesterol when cholesterol is … I love your expression. It’s like they’re blaming the good guys for what the bad guy is doing. They’re blaming the police there at the crime scene. They’re blaming the firemen because they’re trying to put out a fire.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s funny, in the [00:17:00] world of nutrition there are some strong camps on either side, right? You got vegans, you got vegetarians, you got carnivores on one end, then you have … I mean, we’re all defined in camps, right? No question. But it’s funny, there are certain topics in the nutrition world that divides us from mainstream medicine. Our view on cholesterol is one.
I mean, the average medical doctor versus our thoughts [00:17:30] on cholesterol is so different. It’s so different, right? It’s amazing how we can live in the same world and have two such different opinions. It’s the same thing with saturated fat. Saturated fat. Our opinion on saturated fat compared to modern medicine’s opinion of saturated fat is nuts. In fact, we say this all the time, they are blaming saturated fat rather than blaming carbohydrates.
And we’re not saying all carbs are bad. It’s funny, one of the things that [00:18:00] happens because we talk so much about carbs is that people will assume that we’re anti-carbs, and we’re not. The thing is is that you’ve got-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Hey, your mother’s Italian.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And you got to remember, we are in the world of metabolic disorders, and they’re usually caused by that. So the easiest solution is to cut down carbs. But at the end of the day, we’re not anti-carb or anti-sugar, and we’re anti-processed fats. Crappy fats. Right? Fat is good for you, but not processed crappy fats.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Your body don’t [00:18:30] even know what that is, and that’s why they see it as an invasion. Go back into the 1970s when you were a little boy, you know what was huge? Margarine. It replaced the butter. Right? For heart. It literally had … They were the first companies to come out with … They had a little heart on the plastic shell that they used to sell margarine in.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I remember that. Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You know what? That a bug won’t go near margarine.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, I’ve seen pictures of that online, and it always catches my attention that they [00:19:00] just-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Put butter out, put margarine, and the ants know which one to go to.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it’s interesting.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They’re smarter than we are.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And then the whole I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! phase. Yeah, we should be eating butter.
Dr. Martin Sr.: So there’d been a whole industry, including the cereal industry, that had profited hugely on, in our opinion-
Dr. Martin Jr.: And they funded studies. They were behind-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. Misconception. Right? In our opinion, and I think we’re right.
Dr. Martin Jr.: And I think another [00:19:30] study came out recently again talking about how, obviously, we know this, marketing is powerful, right? And breakfast cereals and that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And you know, that was hammered in. You can’t miss breakfast, you can’t miss breakfast. And now of course we know that that’s not necessarily true in any way whatsoever, that it’s not the most important meal of the day. You can eat breakfast, and it could be a yogurt, cereal, pancake. Is that the most important meal of the day? Come [00:20:00] on. I mean, it-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah. With a glass of orange juice.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. I mean, that’s idiotic. But yes, at the end of the day, the two biggest causes, and we’re kind of running at a time here, so let’s just wrap this up by talking about what a person can do to protect their heart for heart healthy, right? Real heart healthy. Not like low fat, high sugar foods that get the stamp, that used to get the check mark, which is gone. They’ve gotten rid of that, which is too bad in a way because it was a good way to help people not pick that food if it had that … But anyways. At the [00:20:30] end of the day, sugar, I mean, listen-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Cut her back.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Cut back on sugar. There’s no question, right? Added sugars, start with cutting out added sugars, and then you can cut out … Some people say, “I can’t go cold turkey.” Cut out the added sugars.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Start there.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Start there, and then work your way down. So processed foods, no question, right? High processed foods, cut those out.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Cookies and crackers and potato chips.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Exercise, right? Let’s talk exercise.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, exercise.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Now, here’s the thing. [00:21:00] We Love weight training and the effect it has on the brain, the effect it has on anti-aging and sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and there’s studies showing strong muscles, strong heart, right? So you definitely want to do resistance exercises. Plus, the more muscle you have, the better metabolism you have, the more you can control insulin. So that’s one.
Also, man, let me tell you the power of walking. Walking is magic when it comes [00:21:30] to cortisol, when it comes to blood sugar levels, when it comes to stress.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Oh, yeah. Really helps insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s magic, right? So walking, moving around, walking is massive for that. Then you want to do things that improve blood flow, like boost your nitric oxide, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: That’s why we love our Navitol.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s why we love pine bark extract. That’s why we love B-12. That’s why there’s a lot of things that way you can do.
Dr. Martin Sr.: We love omega-3.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Love omega-3. Love DHA. I mean, there’s so many things you could do to keep your heart healthy, but it has [00:22:00] to start with controlling insulin, has to start with controlling sugar and vegetable oils, and it has to start with stress cortisol management. Cortisol will kill you. Add that to the high insulin, and it’s going to double kill you. And that’s why half the people have some form of coronary or cardiovascular disease. It makes sense.
All right, so we gave a ton of information. Again, we want to thank you for listening, and have a great day.
Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:22:30] Thanks for listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast from martinclinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It’s a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook Live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.