Read the lables and avoid nitrates that can cause heart attack.

Read the Labels and Stay Away from Nitrates

By the way, doctors often prescribe nitrates at the first sign of chest pain. This common medication for chest pain actually increases your risk of having a fatal heart attack.

Instead, you should check your C-reactive protein and homocysteine levels. As their levels rise, your chance of having a heart attack does too.

Here is a list of the most common nitrates:

• Nitroglycerin

• Isordil

• Nitrostat

• Ismo

• Nitro-Dur

• Imdur

• Nito-Bid

• Dilatrate

• Nitrolingual

• Minitran

• Isosorbide

• Monoket

People take nitrates to relieve heart symptoms. Angina is chest pain caused by a temporary lack of blood flow to the heart. Nitrates will temporarily open blood vessels to allow blood to flow back into the heart.

However, as they do this they damage the sensitive lining of your heart’s blood vessels called the endothelium. This eventually makes the endothelium stop its normal functioning (endothelial dysfunction). People with endothelial dysfunction suffer from more heart attacks.

People who took nitrates on a regular basis were 2.4 times more likely to have a major cardiac event than those who didn't take nitrate drugs. And the nitrate accelerated any damage already present in the heart.

So, controlling these inflammatory factors can have the opposite effect of the nitrate drugs and keep you heart blood vessels supple and responsive.

What You Need is Nitric Oxide

Nitrates temporarily dilate blood vessels by helping to produce nitric-oxide molecules. Nitric oxide (NO2) naturally opens blood vessels.

Fortunately, nitrates aren’t the only substances that cause the release of NO2. Several naturally occurring nutrients can also release NO2 without harming the heart.

a) L-arginine:

The most important of these supplements is l-arginine. L-arginine is the building block of nitric oxide and a remarkable nutrient. This means that it has a hand in the production of NO2. L-arginine gently causes blood vessels to dilate and improves endothelial dysfunction.

And by helping blood vessels to expand, it keeps your arteries from hardening and prevents heart disease. But it can also improve your cholesterol level, control blood pressure and even relieve heart-related chest pains.

L-arginine can also help you to build muscle. Dr.Sears frequently give it to athletes to boost performance. One study measured a significant increase in muscle strength and lean muscle mass in men taking l-arginine after only five weeks over men who took a placebo.

One other little-know action of l-arginine is that it lowers levels of the potent enzyme endothelin that constricts your blood vessels. That means that at the same time l-arginine is relaxing your arteries for improved blood flow, it’s gently lowering levels of the enzyme that causes your arteries to constrict.

Here is the list of foods that contain l-arginine:

• Red meat

• Chicken

• Chocolate

• Nuts

• Fish

• Beans

• Raisins

• Sesame Seeds

• Sunflower Seeds

You can also take l-arginine as a supplement. Start with 2 grams a day, but you can take as much as 6. You can find it in most nutrition stores. Capsules are fine, but for larger doses, you may prefer the powder. And remember; only take the natural L-form of this amino acid.

b) Citrulline is recycled into arginine inside your cells. When they did an animal study on citrulline, both arginine and markers for nitric oxide production increased by 300 percent!

When researchers from East Carolina University gave men citrulline for four weeks, the men had a “significant” increase in their blood levels of arginine. The average level of arginine increased by 65 percent.

One study even showed that citrulline improved blood arginine levels more than actually taking arginine itself.

It probably won’t surprise you that the foods high in arginine also have citrulline, since they work together. But the best food source of citrulline is watermelon. To supplement your intake of citrulline, you can take as much as 1 gram per day.

Besides these two important amino acids, there are other nutrients Dr.Sears use in his practice to improve nitric oxide production.

c) alpha-ketoglutartate (or AKG):

This nutrient is well known for improving the health of severely malnourished and traumatized hospital patients. One of the reasons is that your body uses it to improve protein retention, and stimulate wound repair and immune function. AKG increases growth-promoting hormones like insulin and human-growth hormone.

Part of the way AKG does this is by partnering with the amino acid ornithine. But AKG is also used by your body to make arginine, and therefore nitric oxide.

Red meat, chicken and fish and other protein-rich foods have the amino acids used to make AKG, but the only way to get AKG into your body is to supplement. Like citrulline, you can take up to 1 gram a day.

d) Korean Red Ginseng (or panax ginseng):

It is widely taken to help your body deal with stress. Ginseng, also increases endurance and energy and has even shown to increase testosterone levels. It also has a positive effect on blood flow.

Studies show that Korean red ginseng can also help stop free radicals from scavenging nitric oxide. You can take anywhere from 2 to 3 grams a day.

e) Finally, there’s the humble beet root. When you eat it, the beet root is mixed with your saliva and bacteria on your tongue. This combo turns into nitric oxide.

When it gets to your stomach, another reaction occurs, and the natural nitrate is recirculated throughout your body. This helps your blood vessels relax and eases your blood pressure. You see the biggest drop 3-4 hours after eating beet root. But the effects last for up to 24 hours.

You can get the most out of beet roots by either chewing them raw or throwing them in your juicer. You can also get the root extract in powder or capsule form. Take up to 1 gram of it each day.

f) Taurine:

Taurine is an amino acid that protects against endothelial dysfunction and endothelial cell death. Taurine also causes vessel dilation. Scientists have seen the benefits of taurine in the lab. As a powerful antioxidant taurine protects the heart lining. Taurine can actually prevent endothelial cells from dying.3

g) Folic Acid:

Folic acid lowers levels of toxic substances that irritate the heart’s lining. Less irritation means a reduction in cardiac events.

In one well-done study, researchers found “folic acid supplementation significantly improved endothelial dysfunction.

h) Vitamins E:

Vitamin E has antioxidant effects on the lining of you blood vessels. The vitamins protect the lining from damage. They do this by blocking the oxidative stress caused by irritants like nitrates. Take a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols (the two kinds of vitamin E) for the best protection.

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