Chat Transcript: Dr. Oz on Heart Health


eileen999 asks: You recommend a multivitamin daily. I cannot find a vitamin that contains all of the requirements you mention in YOU! The Owner’s Manual. Can you recommend a brand of multivitamin that contains all the nutrients you recommend?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: There is no perfect vitamin combination from our perspective, but there are reputable brands that at least give you in the pills what they say they are giving you. Consumer Reports publishes lists of the reliability of vitamin companies, and is a good place to start.

rdkel asks: Why is high-fructose corn syrup so detrimental?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Like most simple sugars, high-fructose corn syrup forces our insulin to work overtime. So, our blood sugars are bouncing up and down so rapidly that our body can’t adapt. It also stimulates changes that make us hungry more frequently, so we end up gaining weight.

Danielle asks: What about fish oil capsules? And if I take aspirin, should I also take fish oil?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: I am a big fan of fish oils, because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. I recommend that everyone get 2 grams a day of these important nutrients. I would take aspirin as well, because it is a potent anti-inflammatory, and only stop if you find that you are getting lots of bruises on your body or are having stomach pain.

lindab2 asks: I have mitral valve prolapse and was just diagnosed with arrhythmia and given a beta blocker. I feel much better. Should I be worried or take any cautions?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: A beta blocker is the right treatment if you are feeling symptoms. Often, as you get older you won’t require a beta blocker.

vickcha asks: Can the syndrome mitral valve prolapse actually make you feel so ill even if there is no infection present?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Mitral valve prolapse can give you panic attacks because it allows the blood to pound against the back of the heart, which irritates nerves that send signals to the brain that something is wrong. Sufferers will often have rapid heartbeats, cold sweats, and claustrophobia.

Danielle asks: How much activity should I be doing each day to reduce my risk of having a heart attack?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: One hour a week of sweating is essential. This means that you will keep your heart rate greater than 75% of your maximum, which is 220 minus your age. Remember that in order to reach this heart rate and sweat, you need to do some exercise. So, the true amount of sports we’re asking for is 1 hour and 20 minutes per week.

dandoun asks: Does the body become immune to blood pressure medication? How does this affect your heart?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Generally your body does not become immune, but, as you grow older and put on weight, your body will develop naturally high blood pressure, which means you will need more medications.

Danielle asks: Does salt really affect blood pressure? And how important is blood pressure when it comes to risk of heart disease?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Blood pressure is the #1 predictor of heart disease and aging in this country. Nothing is more important. The salt, for a small percentage of people, is a huge determinant of blood pressure. For most people, it should be minimized in order to maintain low blood pressure.

Danielle asks: What abut sex and heart disease? Can a regular roll in the hay make me healthier?

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Having sex 160 times a year will help promote your longevity, and as far as we can tell, the more the better, at least when it comes to men. For women, it’s not the quantity but the quality that appears to be more important.

vickcha asks: I have been very ill on and off for several years and just found out I have mitral valve prolapse. I have been running fevers as well. I am only 37 and feel 70. What tests can I request to help find what is wrong? I have been to the lab 7 times this month.

Dr. Mehmet Oz: You should have surveillance blood cultures, and if an echocardiogram is not revealing, an MRI might be helpful to ensure that there is no infection of the valve.

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