Air pollution has been linked to many conditions – cancer, autism, birth defects, asthma, kidney and liver damage, and a whole host of other health issues. It wasn’t until recently that researchers began looking at the connection between air pollution and heart disease. Cardiologists have always suspected that pollution has a negative effect on the heart, particularly for those who are already living with cardiovascular conditions. Pollution can increase inflammation and has been shown to potentially cause rupturing in blood vessels.
But even with all those cardiologists pointing towards heart health and pollution, it has been left to the researchers to find the true connection, and they now believe that they have:
A new study by California scientists has linked chronic exposure to microscopic air pollutants in vehicle exhaust to deaths from heart disease. The finding bolsters evidence that ultrafine particles, which are not regulated by state or federal environmental agencies, are a key contributor to health problems among people living near traffic. – LATimes.com
Scientists analyzed health data from 2001 to 2007 on a cohort of more than 100,000 middle-aged women across California who had worked as school teachers or administrators. They used a computer model to estimate the levels of ultrafine particles the women breathed.
It’s interesting to note that in California, pollution is highly regulated. In fact, California is one of the most regulated states when it comes to pollution. And yet these ultra fine particles are not regulated at all.
The study identified some components of ultrafine particle pollution, including soot-laden exhaust from diesel engines and specks of copper from vehicle brake pads, that were more strongly associated with heart disease deaths than others.
What You Can Do
What can you do if you live a city with excessive pollution, like Los Angeles or Phoenix? Here are some tips to keeping your heart healthy even if you live in these high pollution areas:
- Get Outdoors! Yes, you need to breathe some fresh air, so hit the mountains and the hiking trails! If you live in LA, head up to the Sierra Nevada. Even a brisk walk on the beach would be beneficial for your heart. If you live here in Phoenix, consider Sedona or Flagstaff for some fresh air and healthy hiking!
- Diet and Exercise! If you read our blog often, this probably sounds like a broken record, but you need to be all over your diet and your activity level throughout the day. Be strong!
- Stress! In the big city, stress is just another fact of life, like pollution. But you can control your stress levels and improve your heart health! Take a yoga class, get into meditation, go for more walks with the dog, read a book or take a long bath.
- Arginine Supplements! There are supplements that you can take daily that will work to improve your overall heart health. Arginine has been shown in clinical studies to improve circulation by wiening the arteries and facilitating healthy blood flow. For our many clients, our arginine supplement has improved lives, lowered blood pressure and lowered cholesterol.
We invite you try our arginine supplement – Cardio Juvenate – for yourself!