Dr. Christine Schaffner Podcast Episode #91

Reversing Heart Disease  – Dr. Steven Masley with Dr. Christine Schaffner

On This Episode

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, despite that, we can prevent it 90% of the time with lifestyle modifications.

Diet, Nutrient intake, Fitness, and stress management are the keys to preventing and reversing heart disease and are more effective than medications or cardiac procedures.

In this episode, Dr. Christine Schaffner sits down with Dr. Steven Masley to discuss how you can prevent and even reverse heart disease, how our gut can influence heart disease, and much more!

Dr. Masley has spent the last 20 years researching how to prevent and reverse heart disease and has published multiple studies showing that people can turn back the clock on arterial aging by following the four pillars of his program, The 30-Day Heart Tuneup program. 

Episode Highlights: 

  1. Even though heart disease is 90% preventable by lifestyle changes, it still remains the #1 killer of men and women. 
  2. Dr. Masley shares the correlation between our gut microbiome, probiotics, and heart disease. 
  3. The five key nutrients that so many are lacking but are truly essential for a younger, healthier heart.

Don't Miss This

If you’re enjoying the Spectrum of Health Podcast, I would be honored if you would give me a review and rating, as that helps others find out about the podcast.


About Dr. Steven Masley

Steven Masley, MD, is a physician, nutritionist, trained chef, and creator of one of the top health programs on PBS, 30 Days to a Younger Heart. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Nutrition and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of South Florida. His latest best-selling book is the new and revised The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up with a plan to help prevent and reverse heart disease. His work has been seen by millions on PBS, the Discovery Channel, The Today Show, and many other outlets. For more details, visit his website, www.drmasley.com.

To download a copy of the Transcript –  click here

TRANSCRIPT: Reversing Heart Disease with Dr. Steven Masley and Dr. Christine Schaffner

Dr. Christine Schaffner: Welcome, everyone, to the Spectrum of Health Podcast. I’m thrilled and honored to have Dr. Steven Masley, the author of the 30-Day Heart Tune-Up with us today, and we’re going to be talking about all things heart. So welcome, Dr. Masley. It’s really wonderful to interview you today.


0:00:17.1 Dr. Steven Masley: Oh, it’s really a pleasure to get to see you again.


0:00:20.6 DS: Oh, thank you. Well, heart disease is big. It’s the number one killer in America, and unfortunately, there’s so many things that we can do to prevent and avoid it, yet it still plagues our society. Can you share a little bit about your thoughts, about why it still remains the number one killer today?


0:00:37.4 DM: Well, that’s a really good point. We can prevent 90% of heart disease with lifestyle, but for men and for women, it’s absolutely the number one killer today. Some of the big problems and the disconnect and why that is the case are that what we’ve recommended to people is really related to how we’ve saved all our energy in most western countries for end-stage heart disease. We spend 90% of our resources in treating heart attacks in the hospital and doing procedures on people that may or may not be necessary. So instead of trying to prevent it, almost all our efforts go into end-stage therapies that aren’t very effective, to be honest. I’m really excited that there’s a lot we can do to completely prevent and reverse heart disease.


0:01:26.0 DS: It’s such an empowering place to look, and prevention is not as glamorous sometimes. We don’t always see the benefit because of course, in those crucial moments, we’re glad that modern medicine adds those things, but again, we want to avoid these things. Many people who might be listening might have a family history of cardiovascular disease. They might have a concern. They might have these beginnings of the certain clues that maybe their cardiovascular system is stressed. How does somebody take inventory to really know if they’re at risk?


0:01:58.0 DM: Well, part of it is how we feel. One of the big problems with heart disease is that people are waiting to have a sign. But the first sign of heart disease for a third of people is they’re dead. It’s too late, you know? Or they have a heart attack and stroke, that’s another third. Only a third of people actually develop symptoms like angina or something. But to me, in my practice and experience, the first signs of heart disease are being tired, having poor circulation, about not being full of vitality, and sexual dysfunction for men and women is often an early sign. I think it’s so important to look at, do we feel full of vitality? Is our circulation in optimal shape? Are we sexually functional at a high level? If not, we’re probably at high risk and most people don’t realize it or think of those as clues of heart disease. Waiting until you have the traditional signs, it’s way too late.


0:02:57.3 DS: Such a good list to take stock of, and maybe people might not be thinking about their heart health in terms of all of those symptoms. I sometimes oversimplify things and I’m like, “How does blood flow and circulate and oxygenate our tissues, right? So the more that we can do to optimize that, the healthier we are.


0:03:15.4 DM: One more answer to your question, I think one of the problems is we’re over-obsessed with cholesterol.


0:03:21.9 DS: Yes.


0:03:22.8 DM: Nationwide we said, “If you have high cholesterol, you’re at big risk.” Well, that might be true that high cholesterol is associated, but the number one cause of heart disease isn’t cholesterol at all. The research from my clinic where we actually measured, is on people growing arterial plaque, that’s the real cause for heart disease. Cholesterol is of minor importance. Blood sugar is super important, that’s the number one cause. Mildly elevated blood sugar is the number one cause for heart disease, and that affects 30-40% of the whole population that really is at high risk because of blood sugar control issues. And now, we’re realizing the gut microbiome is another very important risk factor for heart disease. That’s something I’ve really emphasized in this new revised version of 30-Day Heart Tune-Up. Ten years ago, I would never have guessed. I didn’t even see it that the gut microbiome would be a really important cause for heart disease, and it gives us an opportunity to prevent and reverse it.


0:04:25.0 DS: Such great points and areas to look at. I agree, this cholesterol conversation has gotten overblown and confusing, and we maybe have gotten sidetracked, as you state in your book and in your work around this idea of arterial plaque. So if someone’s new to this idea, what’s arterial plaque?


0:04:44.3 DM: Well, it’s really inflammation of the artery wall. You could think of plumbing, your house pipes. It’s living tissue. When you eat a healthy meal, your arteries actually dilate and you improve circulation, like for athletic performance or for sexual function, what you eat has a big factor. When you eat a fast food junk meal, your arteries actually constrict and you lose 20% of your blood flow for up to six hours. It’s pretty amazing.


0:05:12.7 DS: Wow!


0:05:13.6 DM: Within that short time that has so much impact on dilating or constricting your arteries. If they’re constricting, they get inflamed and they start growing plaque, this lining along the arteries. I’ve been using ultrasound in my clinic for over 15 years, and we’ve been measuring people’s artery plaque yearly. And we realize, wow! You know, your lifestyle is way more important than your cholesterol in predicting, are you growing plaque? And is it growing rapidly, or over time, is it shrinking? I was kind of amazed to see we’ve had hundreds of people shrink their artery plaque by more than 10% over time, meaning you really can substantially reduce plaque growth and prevent heart disease with the right lifestyle choices.


0:05:58.0 DS: I’m so glad that we have this technology to detect this. You being in this world, do you feel like that’s still underrated or overlooked, to really look at the carotid arteries, to look at the plaque?


0:06:10.7 DM: You’re right on. I mean absolutely right on. We’re still deluded by cholesterol and blood pressure and things we can treat with drugs or doing an angiogram, looking at someone’s heart for their arteries, big ticket numbers at hospitals. So yes, you’re totally right, it’s a really good point. We’ve missed the boat, by and large. Most people aren’t even thinking about measuring the cause of heart disease. They don’t even think measuring it, to be honest. Most doctors don’t think about it. But carotid IMT, intima-medial thickness, measuring the carotid artery just takes 10 minutes. It’s ultrasound, there’s no radiation. I think what’s more popular with physicians today is doing a heart scan, measuring the calcium build-up in your arteries, which is another way of measuring plaque. But it exposes you to radiation, and it doesn’t measure subtle changes over time. So you can’t really see if your arteries are growing or shrinking plaque. But a heart scan’s the most common way most physicians today think of measuring it. I much prefer ultrasound. It’s a really good point you made that it’s not readily used or available.


0:07:23.7 DS: Well, the more that you educate people, the more that they’re going to be demanding those from their cardiologists or their primary care physician’s office, so it’s all good.


0:07:29.0 DM: Good point, that’s a very good point.


0:07:31.9 DS: You’re doing the work. I had a mentor in naturopathic school who would have a visiting technician come every so often to our office to measure the CIMT for our patients. I’m having that memory and I’m thinking, wow! She was ahead of her time. That was prior to me doing those.


0:07:46.0 DM: Absolutely.


0:07:47.8 DS: And that gives people tangible information, right? Tangible, objective information. It’s not a question, it’s not a theory, but it’s really what’s going on in their body. If let’s say someone shows signs of plaque, you obviously want to turn this around, and again, the body heals, and so the body can reverse this. What are some steps when a patient comes in, and you see a result that you don’t like, what’s next?


0:08:13.4 DM: Well, number one, I think of food. What food are you eating? Two is nutrient intake. A lot of our data has shown specific nutrients, if you go from low to optimal levels, it’ll help shrink your plaque and stop growing plaque. Stress management, we don’t emphasize it enough, how important it is. I think people know that exercise is important, but it’s not the minutes you spend, it’s how fit you are that’s really the most important. The fifth, as I alluded to earlier, is your gut microbiome. That’s really a five-part plan to totally transforming your health, your vitality, your energy, your circulation, and prevent heart disease, involving each of those areas.


0:09:00.0 DS: And again, it’s not just one pharmaceutical and call me in 10 years, right? There’s a lot of room for what we can do to reverse this. You mentioned the gut microbiome a bunch, and this is a really exciting part of medicine, the realization about the microbiome and how we rely on the microbes in our body for health, and also, when they become imbalanced, this can lead us to disease. How do you evaluate someone’s gut microbiome?


0:09:24.8 DM: Oh, it’s challenging. There is sequencing testing you can do today. But what I think rather than evaluating it, to me, the most important things are the foods you eat. We need a lot of diversified colorful plant foods. That’s fiber. I can almost estimate the diversity of beneficial organisms in someone’s diet by seeing how much vegetable, fruit, beans and nuts they eat. Those fiber sources are the things that grow healthy microbes. Sequencing and assessing the gut microbiome is pretty darn complicated and expensive, and it’s not even, at this point, highly reliable. But eating the right foods to feed your gut, avoiding sugar, which feeds the bad ones, and adding fiber, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts, and probably, for many people who haven’t eaten well over time, supplementing and taking a probiotic supplement with the right organisms, right microbes, that’s going to transform your gut to a healthier gut. 


0:10:29.2 DM: At first, we’ve realized it impacts your gut symptoms, like constipation or irritable bowel. And then there was this brain relationship, that the gut is your second brain, which is really true. There’s a lot of evidence, and I loved a lot of Dr. David Perlmutter’s work on that. We could see the weight loss connection that, wow, your gut organisms influence your weight, and you could lose weight. But the latest data is that which organisms you have in your gut determine whether you make TMAO, trimethylamine N-oxide. That increases your risk of heart disease 62%, far more than cholesterol. So eating the right food gives you the right gut flora, and that helps transform your weight, your blood pressure, your blood sugar, whether you’re growing plaque, your brain function, and your gut function. It’s all integrated and woven like a matrix together, so I think it’s really cool.


0:11:32.0 DS: It’s a really exciting part of medicine, and you mentioned a lot of great choices, and I think we all can get stuck in the foods that we eat. I think you made a really great point of the diversity of foods and not only the types of foods, but just a variety, and that we’re meant to have more variety in our diet. You mentioned TMAO. Is that measurable in a standard lab yet?


0:11:56.0 DM: It is. Your insurance may not cover it, but it’s standard testing, a naturopathic doctor’s office might be looking at that. It is readily available now, and we’re really looking at high versus low, not a specific number cut-off, and that’s new. I would say a year or two ago, you would be really hard-pressed to even get that number, but the good news is if you eat the right food…I guess the worst diet to make TMAO is someone who eats lots of meat, lots of sugar and lots of flour. That’s the standard American diet. That’s the worst diet for your gut and for producing TMAO. A Mediterranean, either a vegan or a Mediterranean diet are probably the best diets to lower it and give you really low levels that don’t give you increased risk for heart disease.


0:12:49.1 DS: The sample that is taken, is it a stool sample, a blood sample, do you know?


0:12:53.0 DM: It’s a blood test.


0:12:54.0 DS: Blood, okay. Great, I’m going to look that up, that’s awesome. You gave us objective information, we have the CIMT, we have the TMAO. Some people are going to still wonder, “Okay, what about cholesterol? Do you have the good cholesterol, the bad cholesterol.” How do you approach cholesterol with the patient?


0:13:10.7 DM: Cholesterol has good forms and bad forms. If you were trying to assess someone’s bank account, you wouldn’t take all their savings and all their debt and add them together and call them one number. That would make no sense, right?


0:13:27.9 DS: No. 


0:13:29.6 DM: But that’s what we do with cholesterol, we take the good forms, the bad forms, we add them together and we say, “That’s your cholesterol.” Most people who have heart attacks have a normal total cholesterol level. So you looking at the total, I want to point out, is not totally pointless, but it’s fairly pointless. Really, it’s the type of cholesterol we have and the size of it. So we have lipids. You used the word “lipids” when we were chatting before we started here. Lipids are these little bubbles of fat and they carry your LDL as an example. LDL is what we call the bad stuff you lower with cholesterol drugs, but LDL cholesterol carries nutrients to your cells. It’s the delivery truck. You don’t want to eliminate all the delivery trucks that carry nutrients from your gut to your body. When we put someone on high-dose statin therapy, that’s what we’re doing. We’re cutting down a source of plaque, one source, not many sources, but we’re eliminating the nutrients their body gets. But big fluffy LDL, that’s a different type of LDL, it doesn’t make plaque and is optimal for carrying nutrients. We want big fluffy LDL cholesterol, not little small LDL. And the smallest of LDL is something called LP little a, an abnormal form of a lipid that is very inflammatory, irritates the artery wall, and increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.


0:14:58.2 DS: Thank you for sharing that. Not all cholesterol is created equal, I love that. Some of my patients, a handful of them, actually, that I can think of, have been tracking their lipoprotein little a, and obviously, that’s a concern to them. What I’m hearing is that’s part of the puzzle, but if we look at CIMT, TMAO, and at other factors, maybe their blood sugar or their blood pressure, then that becomes a smaller risk factor. Is that correct?


0:15:24.3 DM: In my having measured plaque in all of my patients for 15 years, and we have looked at fitness and nutrient intake and the food they eat, of the top measures you just mentioned would be carotid IMT. Are they growing plaque? But if you didn’t have access to that, you can predict it with blood sugar, blood pressure, fiber intake, fitness level, those predict, are you growing plaque, or not? So that’s it, but LP…The good thing about LP little a in my experience is if it’s very high and you have a terrible lifestyle, you grow a lot of plaque, it’s really bad. But even people with high LP little a, if they do most things right, they eat the right food, they avoid sugar, or they get their plant-based nutrients, they eat healthy fats, they manage their stress, when they do the right things, their plaque starts shrinking despite the fact that they have high LP little a. And it’s challenging to treat. You can try some nutrients and there’s drugs, but they have actually only a minimal impact on LP little a levels, and I’ve kind of found them to be more irrelevant in people who have a really healthy lifestyle. That’s the good news.


0:16:41.7 DS: That’s really encouraging because I have patients who’ve done all the things. They take the niacin, the Vitamin C, and the fish oil, and their lipoprotein little a doesn’t budge as much, so now I have more things to look at for them. So Dr. Masley, you mentioned blood sugar a bunch, and I am in agreement. I think blood sugar is one of the biggest indicators for preventing not only cardiovascular disease, but cancer and neurological disease. It’s a really great window into our health. How do you help people assess their blood sugar? You mentioned some foods that you like. Are there any other components to helping people with blood sugar?


0:17:19.0 DM: Well, that’s probably the number one health threat to America and most Western societies today, modestly elevated blood sugar. The cut-off of being, 100 is normal; 90 is actually quite a bit better. If your level’s 99 versus 90, and 100 being called the cut-off for normal, so 99 is normal, you’re at still 25% greater risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’d really like to drop that risk. And as I said, it’s also not just the number one cause for memory loss, but for heart disease, so it’s so important. It’s really about food and activity, and to some degree, stress management. If you’re all stressed out, your cortisol goes up, your blood sugar goes up. So there’s nothing better than eating wholesome real food like a simple Mediterranean diet, something that’s easy to follow, avoiding sugar, being active, managing your stress. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who couldn’t get their blood sugar to normal if they would do those basic things.


0:18:29.0 DS: That’s really encouraging. Do you advocate for intermittent fasting or do you feel that’s just individual?


0:18:34.8 DM: It’s definitely individual because some people feel great doing it and some are really challenged, but I think it’s very helpful for blood sugar control. I think if you did intermittent fasting 2-3 days per week, you get most of the benefits of the whole ketosis program from occasional intermittent fasting, so I call it partial intermittent fasting, I think that’s the term you used as well. You stop eating at 9 o’clock at night and you don’t eat till noon the next day, 15 hours, pretty easy to do. Some people do that every day, time restrictive or partial intermittent or 2-3 days a week, I’d call it partial intermittent fasting. I think it’s wonderful for many aspects of maybe not producing plaque at night when you’re improving your blood sugar, lowering your inflammation levels, getting rid of cravings for people who have cravings. Once you get through that, actually, I think it can be so helpful. I’m a big fan of partial intermittent fasting at least 2-3 days a week.


0:19:38.8 DS: That’s great. It’s doable. I think some people obviously are wired to do it more but 2-3 days a week is doable for most people. I agree, I feel like the more and more information I see about intermittent fasting, I try to encourage my patients to do that as well. Do you have people monitor their blood sugar? Do you have them get those home units?


0:20:00.9 DM: I mean, if someone’s measuring their blood sugar with their primary provider and it’s normal, like below 95, at least, I don’t get so obsessed with having to poke your fingers or devices or anything like that, but also there’s fasting insulin. Now, what if your blood sugars are elevated? I think there’s a ton of value to someone testing their blood sugars and seeing or experiencing what causes them to go up and down. What foods might do it? Lack of activity might do it. So if your blood sugar is good, I don’t bother. But when it’s elevated, I like to look at someone’s fasting insulin level because that’s what’s really driving it. I like your concept of measuring it, so you can see and get a personalized view of what’s influencing it.


0:20:58.6 DS: If people are thinking, “okay, fasting insulin, should that be high or low?” Can you just give people insight of what we’re looking for for fasting insulin?


0:21:09.0 DM: Well, 90 is a good goal and minimum, 95 and anything above 100 is considered pre-diabetes. A lot of people are reassured by the term, “Oh, it’s only pre-diabetes. It’s not greater than 124. Am I fat? And I haven’t eaten for 10, 12 hours. How low does my sugar drop?” The problem is, when people are eating the wrong foods for their body type, their blood sugar gradually creeps up, their insulin no longer is effective. When you’re eating too many refined carbs, sugar, and bread, and rice and not enough other fiber sources, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts, when you’re eating this imbalanced way, your body gets used to sugar being high.


0:21:55.4 DM: Your insulin is no longer effective, then your insulin creeps up, but as insulin creeps up to try to keep sugar down ineffectively, we have cravings, we’re hungry all the time. We want more sugar. We’re on this sugar roller-coaster ride, and your brain starts to shrink. When you have elevated insulin, you grow much more amyloid plaque in your brain, and your brain is literally shrinking. A shrinking brain is not a good thing. So insulin resistance, elevated insulin levels…With elevated blood sugar levels it is a toxic situation, which accounts for 35% of adults, and it’s like 50% of people after age 50, 60. So super common, that’s probably worse than COVID, you know.


0:22:49.1 DS: Yes. So we’re looking at blood sugar and then fasting insulin and that can give us a window on how much action we need to take to reverse these things. So a couple of other markers, Dr. Masley. You mentioned blood pressure. So blood pressure is obviously in the matrix of risk factors.


0:23:06.7 DM: Yes.


0:23:07.1 DS: Do you have some more functional medicine and natural approaches to address blood pressure?


0:23:13.4 DM: Yes, thank you. I mean, blood pressure isn’t just a risk factor for heart disease. It measures the function of your artery. When your arteries constrict, that means everything is going wrong. That’s not just a risk factor for heart disease like cholesterol. Your arteries are clearly growing plaque if your blood pressure is elevated, because you’re having dysfunctional artery activity right there. I mean, it’s a critical factor. Sugar is actually worse for your blood pressure than salt. Cutting out sugar has a much bigger effect in dropping it. Exercise is awesome. What we teach medical students and residents is that when someone has hypertension, you’ll probably have to put them on at least two and probably three drugs and give them all these side effects, and that’s the only effective way of treating it. But let’s look at all the things that are as effective as taking a drug pressure medication. Eating more fruits and vegetables is as effective. Getting up to five cups of fruits and vegetables a day for an average person is as effective as a drug. Exercise 30 minutes a day. Getting some intensity in your workout, a sweat up, is as effective as taking a drug.


0:24:36.1 DM: Meditate for 10 minutes a day, 10 minutes of meditation, or using an app I really love like HeartMath, is as effective as using a drug. For people who have low magnesium intake and low potassium intake, nutrient deficiencies, adding them is about as effective as taking a drug. I mean, there’s all these multiple steps we can take that are as effective as drug therapy that improve many aspects and don’t have any side effects.


0:25:06.1 DS: I know, there’s so much to do and then people usually often get hooked on these medications and there’s not a plan to get them off. And maybe some people need it for a period of time, but it’s like, the side effects are so big.


0:25:19.2 DM: Yes. I’m not against drugs. But my goal is that people don’t need them. It’s not like these drugs are bad, even though they do have bad side effects. I would rather put someone on a drug than just let their blood pressure be off the chart because that could be fatal. But my goal is to give them lifestyle choices that are fun to follow, and they won’t need those medications, and they won’t get those side effects and they’ll feel so much better.


0:25:47.8 DS: Yes, that’s the goal, right?


0:25:51.7 DM: Yes.


0:25:53.3 DS: Dr. Masley, I have interviewed Dr. Rollin McCraty a bunch and I loved that work, and I think about, of course, the stress reduction component of HeartMath, but also this idea of heart coherence and how really the heart is the grand conductor in the body. Do you have any thoughts or anything that you want to share about your work with HeartMath and insights around that?


0:26:15.1 DM: Well, I’ve used it as a vital sign in my office. I first started playing around with it several years ago and was measuring it and I’d say, “Wow, this seems to relate to people’s risk for plaque growth and cardiovascular risk,” and it does. I mean there’s scientific evidence that it does. But now I’m starting to think of it like a blood pressure measurement or someone’s body weight. With HeartMath, when you use it with the app, you can measure your ability to get calm in a short period of time. What I’ve realized is a lot of people do not know how to get calm. They’re just agitated all the time, and that’s aging them. So it’s a very important skill, to be able to just tune out, get calm and actually tune in, focus on being grateful, relaxed and calm. HeartMath is a biofeedback technique that teaches you. It’s looking at your heart rate variability. Your heart rate should go up and down irregularly, and it changes with your breathing, but it also changes from moment to moment over time, and we should be able to put in this nice cyclic rhythm when we breathe, it should go up and down, and up and down really smoothly. That’s how it’s supposed to be when we’re in a calm state, and you can teach yourself to do that using HeartMath. So it’s like a vital sign, you can measure someone’s ability to get calm and coherent. You can use it to help teach them how to achieve that skill if they don’t currently have it.


0:27:52.6 DS: Yes, I think it’s such a powerful tool and it’s really accessible. As I reflect on the fact that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, and how this heart rate variability and our ability to relax is so important to our wellbeing, it just shows us as a society, that we’re all way too stressed out, and not getting into this parasympathetic mode of gratitude and coherence, and all of that. I’m so interested that you incorporate that in your practice as well. I think that’s really powerful. So Dr. Masley, so you’ve been doing this for a while…


0:28:29.8 DM: Yes.


0:28:29.9 DS: And you have your revised book, and you can walk people through this wonderful program and give people so much, as you gave us so much information today. I mean, you give a lot of people a lot more information in your book, but what are some of the successes or trends or things that you’ve been so inspired by in your practice, seeing your program work?


0:28:46.9 DM: I think the greatest gratitude I’ve had is transforming people’s lives. Oftentimes, about a month after someone has come to see me and they’ve tried what I’ve suggested, and I call them to check up and see how they’re doing, they’re like, “Wow, I forgot how great I could feel. Thank you for giving my life back.” I think what’s happened to the average American today is they felt worse, and worse, and worse so gradually over time, they never noticed, and it’s not until you give them their vitality back that they realize what they’d lost and what a difference that it makes. Their energy is better. They sleep better. Their sexual function is better. They’re thinking more sharply. They just got this, wow! Joie de vivre suddenly, and they’re also preventing heart disease, but most important, you’ve given them their life back. That’s probably the greatest thanks that I’ve gotten from working with people over time, is realizing that doctors can’t make people feel better. We’re only teachers that can help people take the right steps to transform their life.


0:29:58.4 DS: It’s so beautiful. Yes, I feel the same way and it’s just such a gift where you are able to work with people in this capacity. And again, this information needs to be shouted, because we still have a lot of work to do to help reduce the numbers that we’re seeing with cardiovascular disease in our country. Dr. Masley, as we wrap up, I’m sure people are curious, what are some things that you do in your own life to keep your cardiovascular system healthy?


0:30:26.8 DM: So at home, I bicycle a lot. I like to go out for a 20-mile ride and I measure my time and I’m always pushing myself on a regular basis. I do calisthenics and lift weights, and I really focus on eating well. I take my supplements each day, I try to do HeartMath or meditate, all of that, all those components of the right food, the right nutrients, the right activity, and the right mental state. I can’t accomplish all I want to do if I don’t do it right because I feel sluggish. It’s an interesting barometer. But I know when I’m doing what I teach, I feel better and I can accomplish a lot more.


0:31:10.4 DS: Oh, that’s inspiring, right? You know it’s always one thing to think about things or know something, but to have it work in your own life is your testament, you’re obviously very vibrant and healthy. I’m glad that you do those practices in your own life. Dr. Masley, is there anything else on your mind or on your heart before we wrap up?


0:31:29.6 DM: Well, I think a lot of people are waiting for some sign to take action and really, with heart disease, that’s a terrible thing to wait for, to have a heart attack, stroke, or to die. So my biggest message is, don’t wait. Start today and start feeling fantastic. I think that’s really the key, is not putting off the changes we all know we should make and start finding tools that will help us achieve an optimal state of life.


0:32:03.6 DS: Well, thank you. Those are wise words and I think, especially today, while we have our health on our mind with the whole pandemic, we know that life is precious and time is precious, so I think we need to seize the moment. I’ve learned so much in this podcast, and I know everyone who is listening has as well. If people want to find out more about your work and your book, where can they find you, Dr. Masley?


0:32:26.5 DM: The easiest is in my website and I send out a blog regularly, it’s drmasley.com. I send out recipes, and I travel the planet looking for health tips, what steps can we take, what important things we can do. I think my blog and my website are really the best ways for people to get information, along with the new book, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, which I think is a great source of information for transforming your life.


0:32:58.6 DS: Thank you. We’ll have those links in the show notes and congratulations on your new book. Thank you for educating us all, I can’t thank you enough.


0:33:06.1 DM: I’m delighted to talk with you again.


0:33:08.5 DS: Thank you.