Dr. Mark Hyman is a popular voice in the medical field and author of eight New York Times bestsellers. Through his work as medical director of The UltraWellness Center, and regular appearances on TV shows including The Today Show and The Dr. Oz Show, Hyman is respected on many issues, notably heart disease and blood pressure.
In 2010, Dr. Hyman wrote a blog detailing his reasons why cholesterol may not be the cause of heart disease
, then followed that up five years later with one titled, "How to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease Without Using Drugs."
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Simply, Dr. Hyman advocates personal responsibility and full-scale lifestyle change, rather than plying people with stronger medications.
"Our current thinking about how to treat and prevent heart disease is at best misguided, and at worst harmful," Dr. Hyman wrote last month
. "We believe we are treating the causes of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar with medication. But the real question is what causes high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar in the first place. It is certainly not a medication deficiency!"
Dr. Hyman went on to challenge those who blame genetics. "It is the environment working on your genes that determines your risk. In other words, it is the way you eat, how much you exercise, how you deal with stress and the effects of environmental toxins that are the underlying causes of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. That is what determines your risk of heart disease, not a lack of medication."
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Citing numerous studies, Dr. Hyman related that test subjects who don't smoke, exercise at least 3.5 hours per week, eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables were far less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and other conditions related to obesity.
He went on to suggest numerous ways of fostering a healthy lifestyle, beyond his list of 18 "Dietary Recommendations to Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease," Hyman reminds readers that supplements, exercise, low-stress activities and certain heart medications can be game-changers when it comes to improving heart health.
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