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Heart Healthy Advice

Nashville’s Dr. Mark Houston: “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease”

Not long ago we had a customer tell us about a doctor in Nashville who specializes in hypertension and heart disease. Bless her. She may have saved a person’s life.

We knew of a man with chronic hypertension who local docs had on a bevy of medications that barely kept it controlled. When we shared what we’d heard about Dr. Mark Houston, the man decided to schedule an appointment. We’re so glad he did! Within a month his blood pressure was returned to normal!

That got us interested in Dr. Houston’s writings, especially his book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease.”

Here’s just a few of the things he covers:


Most heart disease starts with inflammation, from any cause, that becomes chronic. That gives it the opportunity to damage blood vessels and increase inflammation even more. Houston says one of the most prominent indicators of inflammation is high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HS CRP), which can be measured by a blood test.

What increases your risk for chronic inflammation? According to Houston, increased intake of refined carbohydrates, increased intake of trans-fatty acids, smoking, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, chronic infections, heavy metals, and chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

What can you do to improve your inflammation score? Obviously, improve the above situations where you can. He also recommends choosing from several anti-inflammatory/antioxidant supplements: Omega-3 oils, curcumin, CoQ10, vitamins C/D/E, N-acetyl cysteine, selenium, zinc and more.


According to Houston, most cholesterol testing is out of date. He says if you are not getting an advanced cholesterol test, one that measures the size of your cholesterol particles not just the numbers, it’s virtually worthless. Not all the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) is bad; the big fluffy particles are not the problem. It’s the small ones that are more apt cause damage to the lining of the arteries.

What to do if you get an advanced cholesterol test and you find too many small particles? Or your triglycerides are too high? Houston recommends: cutting back on refined carbohydrates, eliminating all trans-fats (found in processed and deep fried foods), taking omega-3 oils from fish or algae, drinking green tea or taking an EGCG supplement, along with taking resveratrol.


Not surprisingly, Houston recommends an anti-inflammatory diet. The Hypertension Institute diet is based on a Mediterranean diet with a few adjustments. He recommends lots of vegetables and olive oil, with lean meat and fish, but a maximum of 1 serving of grain daily. You can learn more here.


Houston looks at exercise not as a way to burn calories, but as a way to talk to your genes and turn on healthy hormones. “Higher intensity exercise gets the muscles talking most. Exercise using full body movements, incorporating great amounts of muscles, requiring a combination of strength and endurance, and forcing the muscles to shout out a unique message that sets in motion a powerful muscle-building, fat burning, anti-inflammatory, and brain-stimulating effect.” He recommends exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, doing weight-training followed by aerobic training intervals.

This is just the briefest overview of all the healthy gems found in this book. There’s a lot more detail on what to eat, what to supplement and how to exercise. We thought you might be interested, so we’ve got plenty of these books in stock.

Here’s to making February a truly heart healthy month!