Tag: LDL

Benefits Of Eating Garlic

Recent findings on the power of garlic to fight cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, give garlic the bona fide characteristics to elevate it to Superfood status.

Throughout the history of civilization, the medicinal properties of garlic have been prized, and it’s been used to treat an array of ailments, including atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer, immune disorders, cerebral aging, arthritis, and cataract formation.
Garlic’s power as a heath promoter comes from its rich variety of sulfur containing compounds. Of the nearly one hundred nutrients in garlic, the most important in terms of health benefits seems to be the sulfur compound allicin-an amino acid. Allicin is not present in fresh garlic. It’s formed instantly when cloves are crushed, chewed, or cut. Allicin seems to be responsible for the super-biological activity of garlic as well as its odor.

In addition to allicin, a single clove of garlic offers a slew of compounds with potential health benefits, including saponins, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, polyphenols, and arginine. In addition to these compounds, garlic is a good source of vitamin B6 and also of vitamin C. As with most whole foods, garlic’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities are probably due to the sum of the whole rather than a single agent.
A number of studies have shown that garlic has an important impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It has been demonstrated that those who make garlic a regular part of their diets enjoy lowered blood pressure and decreased platelet aggregation, as well as decreased triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Garlic also may increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Consuming one half to one clove of garlic daily lowers LDL cholesterol levels by approximately 10 percent, partially by decreasing cholesterol absorption.

Garlic extracts have also been shown to decrease blood pressure. In one study, a 5.5 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure and a slight decrease in diastolic pressure were noticed. While these are modest decreases, they could still lead to a significant lessening of the risk for stroke and heart attack. The end result of all of these benefits is a lowered risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease as well as a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Garlic oil has been shown to decrease total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well.

Garlic’s primary positive effect on cardiovascular disease comes from its sulphur compounds, but the effects of vitamin C, B6, selenium, and manganese can’t be ignored. Garlic’s vitamin C-the body’s primary antioxidant defender-protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation. It’s the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that begins the process that damages blood vessel walls. Vitamin B lowers levels of homocysteine, a substance that can directly damage blood vessel walls. The selenium in garlic fights heart disease, while it also works to protect against cancer and heavy metal toxicity. Manganese works on a variety of antioxidant defences, and studies have found that adults deficient in manganese have lower levels of the “good,” or HDL, cholesterol.

A number of studies have reported on garlic’s ability to fight cancer, although further research is needed to clarify the precise role of garlic in this battle. Several population studies have shown a link between garlic in the diet and a decrease in the risk for colorectal and gastric cancer, and one clove of garlic daily may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer. Recent reviews of more than thirty-five studies report some protective effect against cancer in about 75 percent of the published articles.

Two recent studies have shown that garlic can be a potent antibiotic. Particularly impressive was that garlic was effective against strains of pathogens that have become resistant to many drugs. One study demonstrated that garlic juice showed significant antibacterial activity against a host of pathogens, even including antibiotic-resistant strains such as ciprofloxacin-resistant staphylococci.

The second study, conducted on mice, found that garlic was able to inhibit a type of staph infection that’s become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and increasingly common in hospitals. This type of staph infection has become a potential danger for health care workers, as well as for people with weakened immune systems. Sixteen hours after the mice were infected with the pathogen, garlic extract was fed to them. After twenty-four hours, garlic was found to have provided protection against the pathogen and to have significantly decreased the infection.

The Importance Of Cholesterol Ratios

Cholesterol ratios can be useful in the prediction of heart disease. Ratios show us the whole picture rather than just one number. A “total cholesterol” gives one number and doesn’t provide information about each individual type of cholesterol that makes up the total cholesterol value.

One type of cholesterol is considered to be good the HDL cholesterol (or high-density lipoprotein). This type of cholesterol transports cholesterol from the arteries and tissues back to the liver.

LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is considered to be the “bad” cholesterol as it is transported from the liver to the rest of the body, and at elevated levels it can deposit cholesterol in arteries.

Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio

The total cholesterol HDL ratio (Total / HDL) is calculated by dividing total cholesterol by HDL cholesterol. i.e.
Total cholesterol/HDL Ratio = [Total Cholesterol/HDL Cholesterol]

A desirable ratio is 5:1 or under. According to the American Heart Association the optimum total / HDL cholesterol ratio should be 3.5:1.

If the ratio is higher, then the risk of heart disease is greater. A low HDL cholesterol and high total cholesterol value increases the total/HDL cholesterol ratio. If a person is found to have a higher reading, they can then take measures to lower the ratio.

On the other hand the lower ratios are more ideal and predict a lower heart disease risk. A high HDL cholesterol will reduce the ratio. This is healthier for us because HDL cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol.

LDL/HDL ratio

The LDL/HDL Ratio is calculated by dividing the LDL cholesterol value by the HDL cholesterol value. i.e.
LDL/HDL ratio = [LDL Cholesterol / HDL Cholesterol]

The more direct ratio of LDL/HDL is considered more helpful by some healthcare professionals, who see is as more of a “pure” ratio than that of the total/HDL ratio.

Regardless of whether the LDL/HDL or total/HDL cholesterol ratio is used, cholesterol ratios as a whole provide more insight into heart disease risk than a total cholesterol value alone. Many health professionals these days are taking cholesterol ratios into account for predicting heart disease risk in patients.

Tips to improve cholesterol ratios

1. Avoid trans fat. Trans fat increase LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce HDL (good) cholesterol.
2. Minimise saturated fats. These fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol.
3. Increase dietary fibre, particularly soluble or viscous fibres which can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
4. Consider the use of plant sterol fortified food products (2-3g per day is ideal).
5. Consume omega 3 fats on a daily basis.
6. Choose poly and monounsaturated fats in place of saturated fats.
7. Obtain adequate amounts of exercise (which can increase HDL and reduce LDL cholesterol). Check with your Doctor before starting any new exercise regime, to ensure it is safe to do so.

Acai Berry With Heart Medications

Can acai berry mend a broken heart? If the broken heart pertains to a heart disease that continues to be one of the leading causes of deaths, acai may help tame it before it becomes a full blown killer.

Heart diseases encompass a variety of conditions relating to the cardiovascular system. It may involve the ability of your heart to pump out blood, its valves, your blood vessels, and more instances that compromise the function of your heart.

Below are some of the most common heart conditions that warrant urgent attention:

Myocardial Infarction or heart attack
It happens when the cells of the heart die due to the disruption of its blood supply. The formation of cholesterol plaques contributes a great deal to the blockage of the coronary blood vessels. When the blood flow is compromised, there is no delivery of oxygen to the tissues, leading to cell death.

Hypertension or high blood pressure
When it requires more force to get the blood flowing, you get a high blood pressure. It makes the heart work harder to pump blood effectively to all organs in the body. Hypertension can be due to other coexisting diseases such as diabetes, kidney problems, arteriosclerosis, etc. Genetics play a significant role in primary hypertension.

Arteriosclerosis
It involves the blood vessels, particularly the arteries, and its ability to deliver blood to the organs. The arteries in this case have hardened due to the build up of plaques from fatty substances. This makes the vessels less flexible which makes it harder for blood to flow. When the plaques break apart, they travel in the bloodstream towards smaller arteries, where they may cause a complete blockage. This is how it contributes to heart attacks, stroke, and common heart conditions.

High Cholesterol
Chlolesterol makes up a part of the bodys lipids. It is vital to the structure of cells, and in the production of hormones and energy. When the levels go up, it creates problems in the blood vessels. The arteries are hardened and blocked. In turn, the blood pressure rises just to be able to push adequate blood for delivery to the organs. When the heart doesnt receive adequate amount of blood supply, heart attack can occur.

Heart Failure
The heart functions to pump blood into the body. When it fails, it doesnt mean that it has stopped beating. It just lost its ability to function efficiently, affecting all organs in the long run. The blood goes back to the lungs instead of pushing it forward. Breathing becomes laborious. Fluid accumulates in the dependent portions of the body like the feet.

How Can Acai Save You From A Broken Heart?

Acai berry (Euterpe oleracea), a superfood from the Amazon, offers hope for those with heart problems.

Acai is rich in fatty acids, giving it the oily feel. It contains 2 essential fatty acids called Omega 6 (Linoleic acid) and Omega 9 (Oleic acid). The Omega 6 is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid that lowers both LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. The Omega 9, which is a monounsaturated, essential fatty acid, helps lower only the LDL, while maintaining a good level of HDL.

Acai is also unusually rich in beta-sitosterol, which is a phytosterol that competes with dietary cholesterol for absorption, hence reducing blood cholesterol. The high fiber content of acai berries may likewise reduce bad cholesterol levels.

The dark pigmentation of acai is attributed to anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants. Even in trace amounts, anthocyanins effectively protect against LDL oxidation. The anti-oxidant properties of acai help heal the cell membranes and linings of arterial wall and help protect the integrity of smaller blood vessels. This prevents the development of arteriosclerosis and the subsequent increase in blood pressure.

Free radicals can speed up the process of arteriosclerosis and aggravate ischemia (the lack of oxygen supply to an organ). With the rich anti-oxidant content of acai, the damaging effects of the free radicals are taken cared of.

Be careful when choosing among the many acai supplements available in the market. The juice form uses other ingredients and preservatives, with only little concentration of acai. It has undergone the irradiation which is something you may want to avoid. The pill form, on the other hand, contains 100% acai, without preservatives. It has not undergone any procedures known to harm your health.

Can I Take Acai Together with my Heart Medications?

With early prevention, acai can lessen your need for expensive heart medications. However, if maintenance drugs should be used, no data has been found as to the drug-drug or drug-food interactions with acai and the common heart conditions.

Be cautious when taking medications containing anti-coagulants or blood thinners because acai contains vitamin k, which exerts the opposite effect.

Potassium is abundant in acai, so you might as well be careful with drugs reacting to potassium:
ACE-inhibitors which are used for the treatment of hypertension. Examples are captopril, enalapril, lisinopril. Potassium levels may increase further with ACE inhibitors especially those with diminished kidney function.
Potassium-sparing diuretics like spironolactone, triamterene, or amiloride may increase potassium levels in the blood.
Heparin which is a blood thinner, used for the prevention of heart attacks. Potassium levels may be further increased with concomitant use of acai, aside from with the antagonistic effect of vitamin K present in acai.
Beta blockers such as metoprolol and propranolol that are used to treat high blood pressure can potentially increase blood potassium levels when mixed with acai.

The high amount of calcium in acai may create potential reactions with certain medications:
Beta-blockers. Calcium may interfere with the blood levels of beta-blockers and vice versa.
Calcium-channel blockers are a class of anti-hypertensives. Calcium may reverse the therapeutic effects of calcium-channel blockers, although studies are conflicting.
Digoxin is used to treat irregular heart rhythms. Calcium may make this drug ineffective.
Anti-cholesterol drug, particularly bile acid sequestrants such as cholestyramine, colestipol, and colesevelam, may interfere with calcium absorption and increase loss of calcium in the urine.

Anti-oxidants in general, are not advised to be taken along with most chemotherapeutic agents that act by producing free radicals to kill the tumor.

There are no documented effects of the above drugs interacting with acai berry supplements, only possible risks. Nonetheless, caution must be taken to avoid untoward reactions.

Heart Health And Clean Arteries- Part 1

One of the most important health issues I stress to my patients is creating, or maintaining, heart health. The best ways to ensure heart health and its all-important job of developing nourishing blood to every part of your body is to prevent plaque buildup and reduced blood flow in arteries. Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and certain supplements can work together to accomplish this goal!

In this first of a two-part series, I would like to explain to you a little about what coronary artery disease and blocked arteries can mean. Then well talk about the proactive things you can do to avoid these conditions naturally without drugs or surgery.

Part II will deal with a controversial subject chelation therapy. Chelation methods of detoxing arteries with natural supplements have been an alternative medicine approach to arterial plaque for several years now.

First I would like to give you a little background on coronary artery disease and arterial blockages, how they develop and how you can prevent them with diet, exercise and supplements and cut your risk for heart attack, stroke, drugs and by passes!

Coronary Artery Disease and Blocked Arteries

Many people do not realize they have coronary artery disease, or arterial plaque build-up, until they wind up in an emergency room with an attack of angina (heart pain), or a heart attack! Both can be caused by the arteries of the heart not getting enough blood, usually from plaque buildup.

It was previously thought that a high saturated fat diet was the primary cause of arterial plaque. However, the French Paradox came along and taught us that oxidation has a lot more to do with cholesterol turning into those arterial plaques and blockages.

You see, the French people eat a pretty high saturated fat diet but they also drink a lot of red wine! This led to the discovery of a very important chemical in red wine called resveratrol. This is a powerful anti-oxidant which helps keep cholesterol lipids in blood from oxidizing into those arterial clogging plaques. Cholesterol undergoes oxidation first before it hardens into plaque. Ensuring that we get enough anti-oxidants in our diet to prevent oxidation, then, is key!

Who Is At Risk?

As I tell my patients, there is no hard and fast picture of the person who will develop coronary artery disease. It depends on a few factors such as:

1. Do you eat an unhealthy diet low in vitamins/antioxidants?
2. Do you smoke?
3. Do you exercise regularly?

Prevent Blocked Arteries and Heart Disease

As I advise my patients, keeping your arteries flowing freely with low risk of heart disease involves a three-fold approach on your part. However, that effort will reward you with enough heart health and stamina to live your life to the fullest into old age! Lets look at what this entails:

Diet Arterial disease is not all about how much saturated fat you eat. Although I do recommend limiting saturated animal fat to 25-30 grams a day, I think it more important to prevent these fats from oxidizing and turning into plaque. Diets rich in anti-oxidants and polyphenols help dissolve saturated fats and stop oxidation. These include red wine, green apples, olive oil, oolong/green/white teas, Omega-3 rich nuts, coconut oils, apple cider vinegar. Add high fiber foods like beans, peas, whole grains, to absorb saturated fats and remove them through elimination before they enter the bloodstream as lipids.

Exercise Interval aerobic exercise, walking, running, bicycling, elliptical, stair stepper, treadmill, jumping rope, your choice. Interval exercise is warming up slowly for 10 minutes and then going at your capacity for 1-2 minutes then slowing down to a resting pace for 3 minutes and repeating for a set of 6 intervals. If you havent done aerobic exercise for a long while, do a slower warm-up, and try for half your capacity for 1 minute for 2 weeks. Slowly increase every week and build a higher capacity. This helps your heart adjust to sudden demanding loads. It also builds good HDL and lowers LDL (bad) choleserol and burns body fat. Also, 20 minutes 3 x a week of weight training. This creates muscle and burns fat even at rest.

Supplements 1,000 mg/daily Omega-3 fish and krill oils boost HDL and lower LDL cholesterol; 1-2 gm/daily of Vitamin C builds collagen which strengthens arterial walls. CoQ-10, 100 mg, is a crucial anti-oxidant that works with Vitamin E to attach to LDL cholesterol and prevent oxidation. As we age CoQ10 levels decrease so it is important to supplement them. Other powerful anti-oxidants include resveratrol (found in red wine, dark red grapes and berries), pomegranate juice, and green tea. Niacin (and other B vitamins) is also effective at reducing LDL and boosting HDL cholesterol, 1-3 gm/day. Chelation supplements which contain EDTA, and antioxidants, which well talk about in more detail in Part II.

Smoking Quit! Smokers are at much higher risk of developing arterial plaque because of the toxins in cigarette smoke which contribute to oxidation damage in your body.

There you have the basics of what I recommend to keep your arteries free from obstructing plaques and keep your heart from suffering serious, if not life-threatening, consequences.

Part II of this series on heart health deals with the pros and cons of removing existing arterial plaque from your arteries called chelation therapy which uses ingredients so safe theyre even in baby food! Meet me here next issue and learn about this drugless, surgery-free way to clean arteries and protect your heart!

Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Institute For Healthy Aging

How Does Nutrition Affect Heart Disease

Can nutrition play a role in heart health? How does nutrition affect heart disease? These are really good questions and some of the answers might really surprise you. So if you have a few minutes to spare why dont we jump right into our article about how does nutrition affect heart disease.

Nutrition has been much maligned in recent years due to the so called advances in cholesterol lowering medications. The most prominent of these are the statins which work by blocking the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme which is needed for the body to produce cholesterol. Because of their effectiveness it is my belief that a certain amount of complacency has crept into many medical professional. After all, why worry about something as arcane as nutrition when statin medications can lower cholesterol faster than a cowboy can say gettie up.

But what if there were other factors at work that contributed to heart disease besides cholesterol. What if I told you that there were over 15 studies linking a destructive amino acid called homocysteine to heart disease, and nutrition can play an important role in eliminating this risk.

No one would argue that managing cholesterol is an important piece of the puzzle but we might be looking at a disease which attacks our bodies on multiple fronts.

In order for cholesterol deposits to form in our arteries the surface of the arterial wall must be torn, damaged, or roughed up in some way otherwise dangerous LDL cholesterol would float right by and eventually be disposed of in the form of solid waste. What the latest studies suggest is that homocysteine amino acids chew up cells in the lining of your blood vessels creating a rough pitted surface conducive to triggering blood clots, and/or plaque deposits consisting of cholesterol, dead cells, and calcium.

The question as to how does nutrition affect heart disease is central to managing these harmful amino acids. There are currently three B vitamins which have been shown to reduce the risk of damage for homocysteines. They are folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. When taken together recent research suggests they work to protect and heal the lining of the arteries, thus minimizing the damage of these hazardous homocysteine amino acids. While this may be the case, researchers have yet to prove that lowering homocysteine levels alone can actually reduce the incidence of heart disease. Nevertheless, until this risk factor can be discounted it should not be ignored. Lets take each one of these nutrients individually and see what foods contain high quantities of these B vitamins.

*Folic acid: beans, whole grain, fortified wheat flower, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables.

*Vitamin B6: Asparagus, bananas, beans, bok choy, cauliflower, grains, tuna, turkey, mustard greens, and turnip greens.

*Vitamin B12: Fish, milk, poultry, eggs, and red meat

As you can see B12 may prove to be the most problematic for those striving for a heart healthy nutrition due to the high cholesterol content in many of the best natural sources, with fish being the exception due to its high omega 3 fatty acid content. The good news is that B12 nutritional supplements are both affordable and readily available at your local supermarket or drugstore.

What else? Certainly we have answered many of the questions surrounding how does nutrition affect heart disease. While this may be the case homocysteine management alone will not carry the day prompting many to enlist the help of a natural cholesterol reduction supplement. Natural cholesterol supplements are very safe and have been found to be an excellent tool for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels.

Using Pomegranate In The Fight Against Heart Disease

Heart disease claims the lives of nearly 900,000 Americans each year, caused largely by a diet of processed junk food, excess calories, obesity and smoking. Many people are under the false impression that heart disease is inevitable and once diagnosed can only be controlled by a low fat diet and a cocktail of prescription drugs.

This belief has been fostered by a medical profession that makes large profits by perpetuating patients in a never ending cycle of disease progression. Nature has provided powerful tools that can effectively prevent and treat heart disease by correcting the root cause of the affliction.

Inflammation Initiates Heart Disease
Systemic inflammation is one of the primary metabolic processes underlying heart disease as it causes instability in the delicate inner endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. Chronic inflammation causes elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein and studies have shown that the protein is an important marker for heart disease risk.

The flames of inflammation are fanned by a processed diet high in hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates. This in turn generates excess triglycerides and oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood and promotes fat storage in the adipocytes around the abdomen. Metabolically active fat cells secrete chemical messengers known as cytokines, C-reactive protein and the hormone cortisol. This is a protective action evolved by our body to handle short term damage and stress that becomes destructive when levels are chronically elevated.

Vitamin C Lowers Inflammation Markers
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient known to prevent scurvy. Evolutionary scientists know that in our distant past, we were able to synthesize the vitamin internally but lost the capability likely due to plentiful supply from our diet. The importance of vitamin C to our health was highlighted by the work of Nobel Prize winning researcher Linus Pauling who showed the nutrient could be combined with the amino acids lysine and proline to create a powerful agent capable of removing arterial plaque.

The results of a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley and published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine demonstrate the power of vitamin C to lower inflammation by moderating levels of C-reactive protein. Study participants supplemented with 1000 mg a day of vitamin C and were able to reduce C-reactive protein levels by 34%. Vitamin C provides a significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels that translate to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

Pomegranate Improves Blood Flow to the Heart
Blood flow to the heart becomes slowly constricted over time as our arteries stiffen and become thicker due to increased blood pressure and metabolic imbalance from high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Arterial hardening is recognized as a significant cause of heart disease as the muscles that line the endothelial wall constrict meaning the heart has to pump harder to force blood to all parts of the body. Eventually hardened arteries lead to heart failure and death.

Pomegranate has been shown to reverse the signs of arterial stiffening as it relaxes the endothelial muscles that control blood flow to the heart. The results of a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition shows that after 3 months of supplementation with pomegranate extract, arterial wall thickness decreased by 35% and dangerous LDL cholesterol oxidation was reduced by 90%.

Nature has provided us with powerful nutrients which we can use to prevent the ravages of heart disease. Combined with proper diet and physical activity, vitamin C and pomegranate can help us to live long and productive lives.

Heart Disease remedies

Black strap Molasses has long been revered for it’s ability to strengthen heart muscles. It has a considerable amount of chromium which is good for reversing heart disease, and for a high blood pressure remedy as well.The major causes of heart failure, according to cardiologist, are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and valvular heart disease. There are many other various risk factors- smoking, high serum cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, family history of heart disease, low HDl cholesterol, and inactivity.

The tendency of the heart to adjust to changes in the mode of living of its owner, known as compensation, is one of the vital factors, which prolong life in spite of maladies to which this king of organs is susceptible. This adjustment sometimes enables a person to go through life without suspecting the disease, which invade the heart. The answer is the same as it is for everything in life, YOU. Use your God given intelligence to find out and incorporate as many naturally healthful heart solutions as you can possibly stomach, into your life. You already have a good idea of what you need to focus on and the first place I would recommend, is on the readout that comes with the medication your taking.

The danger of poisoning with lily of the valley does not exist as its glycosides have a unique chemical structure that ensures they are easily excreted and do not build up in the body – but there is still the possibility of some toxicity. Diet does matter but it doesn’t have to be all fish and salads. The Mediterranean diet is one of the best and while it includes fish you can enjoy low-fat recipes with chicken, veal, and even red meat.

Although the herb is considered safe and may be useful in the handling of heart failure, angina, and cardiac arrhythmias, these are serious, potentially life-threatening circumstances require professional medical care. Olive oil also boosts heart health by keeping a lid on cholesterol levels. It lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Overall, no herbs or supplements have clearly been shown to be better than prescription meds in preventing heart attacks. And the best prevention is from diet and exercise, which is twice as good as any herb or supplement, or prescription drug for that matter. If you are suffering from rhythmic disturbance heart disease, you are recommended to consume fish oils. In this type of cardiovascular condition, you may experience an array of things, such as palpitation, flutter, and fibrillation.

Nattokinase is an enzyme found in a cheese like food, natto, made from fermented soybeans. There are strong claims made for its properties. Apparently it quickly lowers blood pressure, controls cholesterol levels, and prevents and even breaks up blood clots. The heart is a four chambered, hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs. Heart diseases caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. Complementary and alternative medicine includes a variety of medical systems. Eastern cultures have used traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and acupuncture for centuries.