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February is Heart Health Month. With Valentine’s Day in the middle of the month it may sound a little cliché, but it is a great reminder to all of us to take care of our heart, to not take it for granted, and to give it some love. February is also “Bike to Work Month,” but I think we Minnesotans will be skipping that one! So then let’s focus on our hearts. Heart and cardiovascular disease are the number one killer in the U.S., and with the comorbidity aspect of Covid drawing our attention to heart health, it becomes very important to remind ourselves to give our heart a little more love.

Fun fact: your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. Men should average between 50-80 beats per minute while a woman’s average is a little higher. Typically, a lower beats per minute average means your heart is working more efficiently and is healthier. Each beat requires a symphony of orchestrated signals and feedback to keep things going well. Your heart rate should actually have variability in how often it beats. This is measured as something called heart rate variability (HRV). Low HRV is a bad thing. Things like exercise, massage, and chiropractic have been proven through research to increase HRV. A lot of smart watches measure HRV for you and can keep track.

Two huge factors that contribute to heart health are diet and exercise. Hopefully, if you have been told you have heart issues, your care provider has recommended changes in your diet and exercise to strengthen your heart. There is no pill that can medicate you out of a bad diet or lack of exercise. You know those commercials, the ones that say, “When diet and exercise fail, use our drug”?   Please understand that diet and exercise rarely fail; the hard truth is that it is usually the patient who fails to do these things, and often the doctor fails to even try suggesting these, opting to go right to drugs to manage heart health. That is the failure!

It helps to get good dietary advice. Back in the 1970s we began the “low fat” era, in which doctors told us to switch to margarine, cut back on ALL saturated fats, and avoid oils of all kinds. Today we know that that was really bad advice.   Our nation is sicker and fatter than ever thanks to a generation following this advice.   We know that margarine is horrible for your heart, and that butter is actually good for you. We know that there are some saturated fats that are really good for you and that some oils — olive, avocado, and coconut, in particular — have astounding positive effects on your health. If your health care provider ever recommends the old advice, find a new provider!

There are a number of natural supplements that can assist you on your journey to a healthier heart. Niacin improves blood vessel opening (vasodilation), red yeast rice can help lower cholesterol naturally, vitamin E is an antioxidant that also helps control cholesterol, and CoQ10 is a vital supplement especially if you are taking any statin drugs. If you are over 40 years old make sure your CoQ10 is the reduced kind (ubiquinol, not ubiquinone); it actually makes your heart muscles stronger! Lowering your overall inflammation is vital to heart health as well. Fish oil and high-quality curcumin are supplements that can help with that. We have all of these and more available in our office at Burtis Chiropractic Center.

Finally, chiropractic has been shown in research studies to lower blood pressure naturally. As said before, it also raises HRV, proving it is indeed good for your heart. So have a great Heart Health Month. Get back to your chiropractor, stop in to Burtis Chiropractic and buy some high-quality pharmaceutical grade supplements, and give your heart the love it deserves!


The Bottom Line

  1. Heart and cardiovascular disease are the number one killer in the U.S.
  2. Diet and exercise are major contributors to heart health. There is no pill that can medicate you out of a poor diet and lack of exercise. Make sure your provider has current, relevant dietary advice.
  3. There are many ways functional medicine can help your heart health including chiropractic adjustments and a variety of natural supplements.


Dr. Burtis, MS, DC, CFMP, has been providing natural healthcare to the Fairmont area at Burtis Chiropractic Center for over 30 years. He uses a combination of chiropractic, nutrition, and functional medicine to help individuals restore and maintain health and healing through individualized care plans. The mission of Burtis Chiropractic Center is to provide transformational healthcare that takes an individual’s life to the next level. We strive to be a solution for families to experience transformational healthcare and help create vibrant and resilient lifestyles that can be passed to future generations.

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