Heart Disease Myths

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Friday, February 4, 2011 - 11:43am

Aromatherapy won't prevent the nation's top killer.

Aromatherapy might be a great way to unwind the mind, but it's unclear whether essential oils actually do anything to prevent heart disease.

"Some of my patients enjoy aromatherapy and thinks it relaxes them, but there has been no study that looks at the role of aromatherapy and reducing risk for heart attack or stroke," warns Dr. Nieca Goldberg.

That may be surprising news to nearly 30-percent of women who in a 2009 American Heart Association survey cited aromatherapy as a preventive strategy.

"I'm always amazed that people will put more credence in what a neighbor says or a website that's not well researched," says cardiologist Dr. Thomas Barringer.

More than two-thirds of surveyed women thought over-the-counter vitamins could prevent cardiovascular disease.

"It's never as simple as popping a pill - people really need to know that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is," says Dr. Goldberg.

While they may do no harm, doctors say there's not enough scientific evidence multivitamins will reduce your heart risk.

"To treat them just like they're a panacea - if I take this vitamin or this supplement then this will protect me from heart disease - is wrong," says Dr. Barringer.

Proven heart-healthy strategies include a diet full of vegetables, fruits and whole grains along with good old fashioned exercise.

Friday is "National Wear Red Day", part of the American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women" movement created to raise awareness about women and heart disease.
 

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