There has never been any doubt that “The Biggest Loser” host and top trainer Bob Harper eats right and gets plenty of exercise. Yet even following a healthy lifestyle did not protect the self-proclaimed health nut from suffering a major heart attack that left him unconscious for 2-days.
According to a report on TMZ, Harper, 51, he was working out in a New York City gym 2 weeks ago when he collapsed, and ended up in the hospital for 8-days after EMTs used paddles and CPR to keep him alive.
Although he is doing much better now, doctors have ordered Harper to limit his personal exercise to walking, and have not yet cleared him to fly home to LA at this time. Although no reason for the attack has been announced, Harper has conjectured that it was probably a “genetic” thing, after admitting his mother had died from a heart attack.
While genetics can play a major role in one’s predisposition for cardiac disease, poor diet (especially one consisting of mainly fatty and fried foods), as well as overall obesity are 2 major contributors for heart attacks.
And while canned foods are known to contain high amounts of sodium (which is equally bad for your health), the chemical BPA used in the cans, themselves has been linked with arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), which, in extreme cases has been known to cause spontaneous cardiac arrest.
BPA is also found in polycarbonate plastics used to coat bottle tops and water lines, etc., as well as and epoxy resins, including those found in sealants and composites used by dentists, Similarly the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA coatings used to make cookware “nonstick” may lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease.”
Speaking of dentists, it is important to see yours at least twice a year to prevent gum disease, which can also jeopardize your heart health. In fact, studies have shown that people with periodontal disease have a 25% higher risk for having a heart attack than those who have healthy gums.
At the same time, experts now warn consumers to beware of using toothpastes containing the anti-bacterial chemical Triclosan (also found in anti-microbial soaps and cleansers), which has been found to foster super-germs (those resistant to antibiotics), which can actually cause increasing damage to your heart and muscle tissues the more you use them.
Although most dieticians encourage people to cut down on their intake of red meat and suggest substituting it with omega-3 fatty acid fish and seafood to boost heart function and protect your long-term health, new studies show that those found to have high levels of mercury might actually do more damage than previously thought. This is due to the fact that mercury raises the levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol in your bloodstream, which, in turn is connected to an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease.
In addition, constant emotional (as well as physical) tension caused by stress-filled relationships with others (whether at home or at work) can also raise cortisol levels and put severe strain on the heart in both men and women. The same can also be said for frustrations due to long and arduous commutes to and from work or school, etc.
Not only can being stuck in endless traffic lead to road rage, breathing in increased amounts of exhaust fumes and other pollutants, which accumulate in your lungs have been found to cause blockages in arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and/or stroke.