Provascin is designed to protect the cardiovascular system in a host of ways.
Q&A WITH PURICA FOUNDER JASON WATKIN
Q. We tend to think of heart disease as something that mainly affects the middle-aged or elderly. When does someone need to start thinking about their heart health?
Jason: It’s never too early. Ideally, we’re thinking of heart health in our late teens and early 20’s when we start to reach our full height and our growth hormones start to drop. Our body is at that second stage of life. There’s a higher state of breakdown, with a lower capacity to heal and maintain optimal status of the cells and body overall.
Practically speaking, though, most people don’t wake up until they feel themselves declining—when energy levels drop and their skin and whole body starts to show signs of aging.
It’s important to note that if you tend to be a more “high-strung” person, you are typically more susceptible to heart disease because you have higher level of stress hormones circulating throughout the body. This induces the breakdown of tissue and decreased PH levels, which cause inflammatory bursts and suppression of the immune system. Potential warning signs are you find yourself easily irritated, worrying excessively or having mood swings that are not related to hormone fluctuation. The biggest sign will be low energy!
So starting as early as possible is best, but definitely as soon as you start seeing symptoms.
Q. Is heart disease hereditary? Your father had major heart surgery. How did that change how you looked at your own heart health?
Jason: Instead of being what we would classify as genetically hereditary, it’s more familial. Different families exhibit different traits. It’s related to stress and how people process potential stressors. In my dad’s family, there was a tendency to hold things in.
My uncle had a massive heart attack and died at age 42. That’s why my dad initially got tested—because there was an indication that it could be a familial problem. Sure enough, my dad had six blockages that were over 95% and they rushed him in for surgery. He had six bypasses and had a massive heart attack on the table. Given his congestive heart failure, they gave him a defibrillator and pacemaker and didn’t expect him to live past seven years. It’s now 25 years later.
Q. Was this family history the inspiration behind Provascin?
Jason: It started with my uncle dying and then my dad having his heart attack, which literally happened within just a few weeks of each other. The shock was that my uncle was in great shape! His death caused me real concern, especially given that he died so young and in such good shape. It shouldn’t have happened. I was already interested in cardiovascular health, but finding out my entire family had abnormal blood markers only increased that interest, but now on a personal level.
Q. When we refer to heart disease, what conditions are we actually talking about?
Jason: Artherosclerotic, arteriorsclerosis, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, angina, arteriol stenosis, ambiliousim. These are some of the conditions that define heart disease.
Q. What are the causes of cardiovascular disease? What are the risk factors to look for?
Jason: Using an analogy, let’s say you have a small leak in plumbing that you don’t notice and then over a long period of time it creates rot and swelling on the floor. It’s the same kind of idea with heart disease. For instance, high blood pressure is an after effect of something that is already going on. The key question is where is the source? The damage is happening underneath. That damage leads to breakdown of tissue and inflammation. It happens way before the blood pressure and cholesterol issues arise. Often you don’t notice it until the damage is already done; again, just like with the leak in the plumbing.
Our culture is set for go-go-go and we are often in a state of accelerated aging due to stress. Even low-levels of stress are very common in modern-day living. Whenever you stress, you are breaking down. This can manifest itself in mild on-going stressors such as irritation, worry, frustration, blood sugar issues and mood swings. Over time these things start to become more pronounced. Subconsciously, our bodies are always in a state of tension, in that fight-or-flight state of readiness, instead of the restand- digest parasympathetic state.
We need to try to reduce and mitigate the stress response that leads to that damage. That’s why PURICA Provascin was formulated: to provide broad spectrum cardiovascular support and help to mitigate the stress response. Heart disease is not from one single cause, so addressing it from a number of different angles is what PURICA Provascin is intended to do.
Q. People often don’t think about how important cardiovascular support is. So what advice would you give baby boomers and others in terms of monitoring their heart health?
Jason: I would say to eat as many antioxidant-rich foods as you can, along with supplements. Try to change your dietary habits by minimizing those simple sugars and trans fats. I also really believe it is very important to learn how to manage stress through meditation or other relaxation techniques.
Q. As someone with heart disease in your family, what message do you want to send people who may find themselves in the same situation?
Jason: The good news is that there definitely are ways to deal with familial predisposition to heart disease. The key is the earlier the better. Heart disease is the number one killer. Signs often show up after the damage has already started. I encourage people to start changing their dietary habits to reduce those simple sugars and trans fats. Stop cooking with cheap oil. Incorporate as many antioxidants as possible. It’s certainly not always easy, but strive to “let go” mentally where possible. As I often say, it’s simple but true: ease is the opposite of dis-ease.