heart health and environmental risk factors
Image: Courtesy of Darius Bashar via Unsplash

Here Is How Environmental Factors Can Impact Our Heart Health?

Chronic noise is number two on the list.

Environmental impacts on heart health are often overlooked during medical diagnosis. Nonetheless, this gap is being filled by combining environmental knowledge with medical skills. Standard medical tests usually aren’t done for toxic metals. Normally, these are only checked if you show signs of metal poisoning, which is rare. However, studies show that even low levels of some metals can have serious health effects. Heart patients have higher levels of cadmium, lead, nickel, and zinc than healthy subjects. Clinical evidence of how damage from those can be reversed came in 2017 when blocked arteries were re-opened as doctors removed toxic metals non-surgically from patients. There’s so much to learn about what factors in our own personal environment can contribute to the aging process and the ways that our bodies start to change due to this natural process but also maybe the environment around us. To find out this and more, we interviewed Douglas Mulhall, a sustainable development expert who is well-versed in health and longevity. Keep reading to learn more about how environmental factors might impact our heart health below. 

heart health and the environment
Image: Courtesy of Darius Bashar via Unsplash

Here Is How Environmental Factors Can Impact Our Heart Health?

1) Infections can contribute to cardiovascular disease

Studies also show a connection between infections and cardiovascular disease as well as dementia. Until a few years ago, the common belief was that healthy blood is free of microbes that could trigger illness, so standard lab tests weren’t designed look for them. But with the advent of advanced proteomics, researchers discovered that healthy blood contains a microbial soup. Talk about things you never knew about! There are so many different things that can contribute to our heart health and how we function as human beings on this earth. 

2) Chronic noise

Chronic noise is number two on the list. Chronic noise also contributes to heart disease, according to many studies, but when was the last time your doctor suggested checking noise levels in your home or office? Those impacts come together indoors where, according to the USEPA, most of us spend more than 85% of our lives. In 1976, sparked by an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at a Philadelphia convention, researchers started looking into sick building syndrome. They found that indoor air quality was exponentially worse than outdoors. Oddly, our own immune system is part of the problem.

3) Metals we don’t realize are entering the body

When metals, infections and chronic noise attack us, they cause a reaction known as oxidative stress. Everybody who takes vitamin supplements has heard of “anti-oxidants” designed to re-establish the balance between healthy oxidative stress and too much of it. When the immune system senses this imbalance, it responds with inflammation as a repair response. Inflammation helps to clean up damage and start the healing process, but over time it backfires. The body starts to build hard deposits in organs and arteries in a vain attempt to wall-off the damage. This vicious cycle triggers aging and this is not great for those of us who aren’t so fond of it. We can actually attempt to reverse aging in many ways and increase our “healthspan”, the number of years we’re living active and healthy lives, by doing a number of things, and we expect it will only get easier or better from here on out. 

What Are the Environmental Factors That We Might Be Overlooking

Dr. Gervais Lamas, Chief of Cardiology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Columbia University, sums it up this way; “The standard prescribed therapies for cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses have not succeeded in resolving this problem because they’re not targeted towards it.” Why is the body’s response to those environmental factors overlooked? Until advanced diagnostics were developed, it was hard to establish a cause-and-effect. Also, most healthcare professionals receive no environmental training. Finally, a huge healthcare industry has grown up around treating symptoms, making it tough to shift that inertia. Despite this, solutions are available. Everything from healthy buildings to nutrition routines, nutraceuticals, and therapies that reverse the damage is being used. Thousands are benefiting, but hundreds of millions more don’t know about those advances. It’s time to change that.

Meet the Expert: 

Douglas Mulhall’s upcoming third book, The Nature of Longevity, describes what’s being done to prevent and reverse damage triggered by the body’s response to environmental attacks. In his upcoming podcast series, he interviews the pioneers who are solving this puzzle. Douglas Mulhall is a sustainable development specialist and technology journalist. He has managed scientific institutes that pioneered adaptive technologies such as water recycling and flood prevention. 

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