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Dr. Oz's Rules to Live By

By: Christina Yonzon, Marilyn.ca

Emmy-winning talk show host Dr. Oz is in the studio to chat with Marilyn about life in and out of the spotlight. ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ is distributed in 112 countries around the world and has more than 3 million daily viewers. His ultimate goal is to help people control what’s happening in their bodies so that they can essentially gain more control over their lives.

“What I love the most about the show is I get to tell people what I used to tell them in my office,” he explains. “I get to tell them those things before they get sick.”

A typical day in the life of Dr. Oz must always start off with a quick and easy yoga routine – a healthier “wake-me-up” alternative to drinking a cup of coffee. But with a busy schedule that includes show tapings, a private practice and downtime with his family, how does he manage to avoid the stress of it all?

“The reason why I don’t give up heart surgery is because it grounds me,” says Dr. Oz. “It reminds me why I engaged in this whole practice of medicine years ago.”

While not all news he shares with his patients are on the positive side, he notes that one good thing that bad news sparks is hope. In a world where bonds between doctors and patients has significantly declined, Dr. Oz reverts back to older, traditional times when doctors did all they could to be present every step of the way to recovery.

“People don’t come to me for autographs. They come to me for help,” he tells Marilyn.

‘The Dr. Oz Show’ airs at 4pm EST on CTV.

Are you heart healthy? Take this quiz to find out if are treating your heart right, and learn some simple ways to improve your heart health!

1.    How often do you floss?
a.    Never (0 pts)
b.    Once a week (1 pt)
c.    Once a day (2 pts)

Answer: Flossing daily prevents gum diseases.  Studies show that patients with gum disease have nearly twice the risk of heart disease. It also decreases inflammation in the body that can increase your risk of a heart attack. The American Dental Association recommends flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles that contribute to gum disease.

Desvarieux M, Demmer RT, Rundek T, et al. Periodontal microbiota and carotid intima-media thickness: the Oral Infections and Vascular Disease Epidemiology Study (INVEST). Circulation. 2005;111(5):576-82.

"Flossing - American Dental Association - ADA.org." Flossing. American Dental Association. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <http://www.ada.org/5625.aspx?currentTab=1>.

2.    Bend over and touch your toes. How far can you get?
a.    The floor (2 pts)
b.    Your shins (1 pt)
c.    Your knees  (0 pts)

Answer: The further you can reach, the more flexible your arteries tend to be.  Deep stretching can improve your arteries’ elasticity.  Try to stretch for 30 minutes three times a week to improve your arterial flexibility and decrease arterial stiffness!

Yamamoto K, Kawano H, Gando Y, Iemitsu M, Murakami H, Sanada K, Tanimoto M, Ohmori Y, Higuchi M, Tabata I, Miyachi M. Poor truck flexibility is associated with arterial stiffening. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009; 297: H1314-H1318.

3.    How many minutes of exercise do you get every day?
a.    None (0 pts)
b.    I get 30 minutes but not necessarily every day (1 pt)
c.    30 minutes or more (2 pts)

Answer: While getting your 10,000 steps might take you longer than 30 minutes, once you hit that magic number you've reached your goal for fighting heart disease. Anything over that is fat-melting bonus. Regular exercise reduces dangerous inflammation of artery walls and recent research indicates that exercise triggers a healthy hormone called irisin that may stimulate weight loss.

Powell HE, Thomson PD, Caspersen CJ, et al. Physical activity and incidence of coronary heart disease. Ann Rev Public Health. 1987; 8: 253–287.

4.    What is your BMI?  (Calculate your BMI)
a.    Less than 18.5 (0 pt)
b.    Between 18.5 and 24.9 (2 pts)
c.    Between 25 and 29.9 (0 pts)
d.    Greater than 30 (0 pts)

Answer: Between 18.5 and 24.9.  This is a normal BMI.  Being overweight, or having a BMI of 25 or over, increases your risk of heart disease.  It also increases your risk of cancers such as colon, kidney, breast, and especially uterus.

Kromhout D, Menotti A, Kesteloot H, Sans S. Prevention of coronary heart disease by diet and lifestyle: evidence from prospective cross-cultural, cohort, and intervention studies. Circulation. 2002;105(7):893-

5.    How much alcohol do you drink each night?
a.    2 or more drinks of beer (1 pt)
b.    1 glass of red wine each night (2 pts)
c.    3 or more drinks each night (0 pts)
d.    I don’t drink (1 pt)

Answer: 1 glass of red wine is the best for your health.  More than one drink a day for women or two drinks for men is associated with increased risk of heart disease.  Red wine in particular contains a substance known as resveratrol that increase levels of good cholesterol and protect against damage to your arteries.  Non-drinkers shouldn’t start drinking to protect against heart disease, but switching to a moderate amount of red wine from other types of alcohol can certainly be protective.

Thun MJ, Peto R, Lopez AD, et al. Alcohol consumption and mortality among middle-aged and elderly US adults. N Engl J Med. 1997; 337: 1705–1714.

6.    Do you have a relative who suffered a heart attack?
a.    Yes, and I know how old he or she was at the time of the attack (2 pts)
b.    Yes, but I don’t know how old he or she was at the time of the attack (1 pt)
c.    No, I don’t know my family history (0 pts)
d.    No, I know there is no family history of heart attack (2 pts)

Answer: Anyone with a close relative who suffered from a heart attack, especially if that person had the attack before the age of 65, has a higher risk of heart disease.  It’s important to know your risk so that you can modify it through lifestyle changes and possibly medication.

"Heart Disease Risk Factors." Your Disease Risk. Siteman Cancer Center. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <http://www.yourdiseaserisk.wustl.edu/hccpquiz.pl?lang=english>.

7.     How often do you eat a fatty fish such as salmon or herring ?
a.    Once a week (1 pt)
b.    Twice a week (2 pts)
c.    Never (0 pts)

Answer: Dr. Oz recommends eating heart-healthy fish twice a week to get the omega-3s. These healthy fats reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and help repair damage from bad fats.  Other good sources of omega-3s include avocados, fish oil capsules, and flax seeds.

Strøm M, Halldorsson TI, Mortensen EL, Torp-pedersen C, Olsen SF. Fish, n-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Diseases in Women of Reproductive Age: A Prospective Study in a Large National Cohort. Hypertension. 2012;59(1):36-43.

8.    How much sleep do you get each night?
a.    More than 8 hours (0 pts)
b.    7 to 8 hours (2 pt)
c.    Less than 7 Hours (0 pts)

Answer: Studies have shown that the amount of sleep you get can influence your risk factors for heart disease.  Adults who had no calcifications in their blood vessels at the beginning of the study, an important risk factor for heart disease, had fewer calcifications 5 years afterward if they slept longer than their short-sleeping counterparts. 

King CR, Knutson KL, Rathouz PJ, Sidney S, Liu K, Lauderdale DS. Short sleep duration and incident coronary artery calcification. JAMA. 2008;300(24):2859-66.

9.    Do you smoke?
a.    Yes, I smoke today (0 pts)
b.    No, I quit a year ago (1 pt)
c.    No, but I smoked more than 15 years ago (2 pts)
d.    Never (2 pts)

Answer: Smoking is an important risk factor for heart disease that’s in your control.  Risk of heart disease is cut in half after quitting for one year.  After 15 years, the risk is same as a never smoker.  Other studies have shown not only decrease in cardiovascular disease risk, but an increase in exercise capacity following smoking cessation.

Asthana A, Piper ME, Mcbride PE, et al. Long-term effects of smoking and smoking cessation on exercise stress testing: Three-year outcomes from a randomized clinical trial. Am Heart J. 2012;163(1):81-87.e1.

Kromhout D, Menotti A, Kesteloot H, Sans S. Prevention of coronary heart disease by diet and lifestyle: evidence from prospective cross-cultural, cohort, and intervention studies. Circulation. 2002;105(7):893-

10. How would you rate your stress level?
a.    High (0 pts)
b.    Moderate (1 pts)
c.    Low (2 pts)

Answer: Stress has been shown to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.  This can due to a variety of factors, but experts recommend psychological interventions to reduce stress.  Use of the anti-depressant medications known as SSRIs were shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and this effect is greater with therapy and regular exercise.

Von K. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular risk - current opinion. Swiss Med Wkly. 2012;142

0-7 Pts:  Your heart could use some help!  You practice a few healthy tips here and there, but can certainly kick up your heart health with a few extra habits.  Take a look at the answers provided here and talk to your doctor about additional ways you can keep your heart healthy.  Remember, quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health, so don’t delay efforts to quit today.

8-13 Pts:  Nicely done.  You know your way around heart-healthy tips and are well on your way to reducing your heart disease risk.  There are certainly some more ways you can protect your heart, so keep learning and incorporating new habits for heart health!

14-20 Pts:  Congratulations! You’re taking terrific action to protect your heart and to ensure it keeps beating for a long time.  Continue to incorporate all of our heart healthy suggestions and keep up the good work!


Monday, February 13, 2012


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