Talking About The Heart With Rossco

Dr Sandra Cabot talks with Rossco about symptoms of heart disease and the importance of having tests done to check your heart health. She also shares some key dietary tips for keeping your heart healthy.

Listen to my podcast and leave a comment below if you have any questions.

ROSSCO: There she is. She’s on the phone. The beautiful Dr Sandra Cabot. Good morning, my legend.

DR CABOT: Good morning, Rossco!

ROSSCO: It’s a lovely day in paradise. It’s Wellness Wednesday and more joy will we give the world today. I would believe heart. We need to talk about the heart.

DR CABOT: We do. And hopefully you don’t have a broken heart because we want everyone to be happy. Life can break your heart. It can be very tragic, but need to be strong. And so many people out there have a heart problem, particularly as they get older and they don’t realize it. And we were talking about symptoms of heart disease, and they can be quite insidious. Perhaps, you just can’t exercise as much as you use to. You get tired after you’ve played tennis or you go for a walk. You think, “I’m getting older. I just can’t do what I used to do.” And that could be a sign of blocked coronary arteries. So, definitely good to go and have some heart test, if you find your exercise tolerance is not what it used to be.

And also, you may be a bit short of breath. You may get a bit of tightness in the chest or a pressure feeling. It may not be pain, but it could just be a tightness or a heaviness. Heart disease can present as indigestion, but it’s not really indigestion, if you know what I mean.

ROSSCO: Yes, yes.

DR CABOT: Also, a bit of puffiness around the ankles. And so… or just fatigue, general fatigue. So, it’s very important to have a heart check, have an ECG. Also, keep your blood pressure controlled. Have that checked regularly. And also have a blood test, just to check. Well, do you have inflammation in your blood? We call that test the CRP – stands for C-reactive protein. If that’s elevated, that means you’ve got excessive inflammation, which could be damaging the arteries or the muscle in your heart. And that is probably more significant in the genesis of heart disease, than this so-called cholesterol problem that people talk about.

Also, if you have elevated blood sugar level, very bad for the heart. Also, if you have elevated homocysteine. Homocysteine is a waste product of metabolism, and that goes up and can damage the heart. And in people who don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit, the folic acid very, very important for the heart. So, diets are very important. Don’t eat too much sugar. Also make sure you’re getting those fresh fruits and vegetables. Avocado is very good for the heart, Rossco. High in vitamin E. It’s fabulous for the heart. Do you eat avocados?

ROSSCO: I love it. I get cravings. I’ve been known to get up and circle the city trying to find anybody open that would sell an avocado. I love avocado.

DR CABOT: It’s a heart tonic, that’s for sure. And just green leafy stuff and citrus. Your heart needs a lot of vitamin C. And Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize, wonderful scientist, proved categorically that vitamin C could greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.

And then of course, the mighty mineral, magnesium.


DR CABOT: Yes! Magnesium is super mineral because it strengthens the heart muscle. It stabilizes blood sugar. It stabilizes blood pressure. Very important for people with blood pressure that is out of control. And also strengthens the valves in the heart. So, it really improves all aspects of the heart function and its structural integrity. And many people alone, magnesium… a blood test isn’t going to tell you accurately whether you have optimal total levels of magnesium in your body. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Most people don’t get enough magnesium. Magnesium is so important for strengthening the heart. So, you can get magnesium tablets or powder.

And the other mineral that can help your heart is selenium. And we always talk about selenium in the context of reducing the severity of viral infections. But it’s also very important for the heart muscle. And a wonderful scientist called Professor Gerhard Schrauzer, he’s not with us anymore, but he published many articles and journals on the importance of selenium and heart health. And there’s a type of heart disease caused by viruses. We call it cardiomyopathy. And if you give these people selenium, often they get cured. So, once again, those basic, simple things that we talk about all the time. And people don’t get enough selenium in their diet. If you have a heart problem, should take a supplement.

So, all those wonderful things can help your heart. And of course, if you do have any heart symptoms, ask your GP for a referral to a cardiologist. Or at least get your GP to do a CAT scan to check the calcium score in your coronary arteries because that could be too high. And that means you’ve got the hardening of the arteries in the heart.

So, all those things we’ve talked about, your vitamin C, your magnesium, your selenium, your avocados, getting the folic acid up in your diet, that can reverse a lot of those problems.

ROSSCO: Right! Doctor, you make it sound… Well, you put it all within our own raft of our own self, be our own doctors ourselves. But you almost go to your GP for confirmation, for anything that may be a problem. But knowing that we can actually do things for ourselves, not only with the viruses that we’ve got around. You mentioned your vitamin C. We also talk about the zinc and we also talk about all these other beautiful things, but simple things also, like avocado! All these things that make a difference, where we can, not self-medicate but self-rehabilitate ourselves.

DR CABOT: That’s right. Well, just to give you an example. My mother, who is nearly 93, she was told 6 years ago that she needed open heart surgery for a floppy valve in her heart. She had a very loud murmur, which I picked up. She didn’t know she had, because she didn’t have a lot of symptoms. And she was told that she needed open heart surgery or she would be in a wheelchair and very short of breath within 6 months. However, I thought, “Well, she’s a little old lady and I didn’t think she’d do well with open heart surgery.” So, I just gave her magnesium and selenium and she’s got a good diet, anyway. But just the simple things of magnesium, selenium and guess what?

ROSSCO: Well, I’ve seen your mother.

DR CABOT: She hasn’t changed!

ROSSCO: I know your mother.

DR CABOT: She’s still the same!

ROSSCO: She’s a character. I know where you get your sparkle from.

DR CABOT: Yeah. Oh, she is a character. Yeah, she’s fabulous at 93. So, even at that age, it works Rossco!

ROSSCO: Wow! Love it! Alright, at all ages, it’s going to work. Dr Sandra Cabot, you’re just so wonderful. Thanks again, wellness Wednesday.

DR CABOT: Pleasure! Lovely to talk to you guys. Keep your heart healthy and don’t let it be broken.