Six heart-healthy seeds

Boost your heart health with these nutrition-packed seeds

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Seeds provide a variety of nutrients that are good for your heart.

Seeds are packed with nutrients. In their most natural form, seeds are tiny embryonic plants inside of a shell. Besides a little sun, water and TLC, seeds contain all of the nutrients they need to grow. The outer layer is packed with minerals, vitamins, and plant-based chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, while the endosperm is filled with high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates and heart-healthy fats. This makes them a wonderful addition to our well-balanced diet! So the question is, which heart-healthy seeds should you choose?

Variety is key. All seeds provide protein and fiber, but each type of seed has something special it brings to the table. Consider incorporating some of these seeds into your diet: Continue reading

Advantages of warfarin and Coumadin alternatives

All drugs have both advantages & drawbacks based on individual medical needs

Anticoagulants like Coumadin or Jantoven are prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Three new drugs were recently approved as warfarin and Coumadin alternatives.

Up until recently, when physicians treated patients for thromboembolism (blood clots) or patients who might be at risk for the development of a blood clot, the only oral drug available was warfarin. Warfarin (brand names Coumadin or Jantoven) has been around for years, and when used appropriately is a safe treatment plan for reducing the risk of stroke and blood clots. Like any medication, there are always potential side effects or risks. Also, like any medication, those risks are weighed against its potential benefits, thereby allowing a treating physician to make the most appropriate treatment plan for an individual patient.

Warfarin drawbacks

There are four main drawbacks to taking Coumadin or Jantoven:

  1. Regular blood draws are required to be sure the right dose is being administered (every patient’s dose is specific to their body’s response to the drug).
  2. There are many potential drug interactions with warfarin that may lead to either an increase or decrease in its blood levels.
  3. All the cruciferous vegetables (those foods high in Vitamin K, such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli) counteract warfarin, making dietary guidelines for anticoagulants very important.
  4. There is a narrow therapeutic index for warfarin, which, in some patients, may lead to very difficult warfarin dosing. If the blood level is too low it will not be effective and if it is too high, there is an increased chance of bleeding.

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Mitral valve repair: making the choice

One man’s journey to a healthier lifestyle

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Jim Moore, with his wife, holds his U-M hat signed by Dr. Bolling, which he wears with pride.

Jim Moore’s health story began with a sore foot and a trip to his doctor on the west side of Michigan. During the exam, Jim was diagnosed with a heart murmur, which then led to the discovery of mitral valve disease. His doctor recommended Dr. Steven Bolling as a foremost expert in mitral valve repair. Jim immediately made an appointment and was soon on his way to the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

Here is Jim’s story:

“My experience at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a good example of how a bad situation ended up being a very positive thing in my life.

I was diagnosed with mitral valve disease in May 2013, but didn’t realize anything was wrong with my health until that diagnosis. I noticed some shortness of breath while hiking, but attributed it to ‘getting older.’  I never knew it was a symptom of mitral valve disease.

My doctor told me that Dr. Steven Bolling was the guy to see for mitral valve repair, so I immediately made an appointment.

From the very beginning, I was impressed with my experience at U-M, including the efficiency and professionalism of everyone I met. Dr. Bolling was very reassuring when he said: ‘Here’s what we need to do to fix your valve.’ He was very confident in his ability to fix my valve and help me get my health back.

I checked into the hospital on a Thursday morning and was released three days later. They had me up and walking right away. I admit, I was scared to death before the operation, but it all went better than I ever expected. Within a week and a half, I was getting my breath back. During a hiking trip in Colorado prior to surgery, I had to stop to catch my breath. I don’t have to do that anymore. My wife and I hiked Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park recently and I wasn’t winded at all. I’m back and I feel great!

I even wore my U-M hat during the trip, which was signed by Dr. Bolling. It was quite a conversation starter! I’m very fortunate that things worked out for me. Mitral valve repair has given me a new outlook on life.”

Take the next step:

  • To make an appointment to discuss your need for treatment for mitral valve disease, call toll-free at 888-287-1082 or email at CVCCallCtr@med.umich.edu.

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.

Video: Heart-healthy shopping at your local farmers market

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of markets

Now is the right time to visit your local farmers market for fresh delicious, produce.

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of farmers markets, so If there isn’t one in your community, you’re sure to find one in a nearby city or town.

University of Michigan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sarah Meyers points to just a few of the benefits of shopping at a farmers market:

  • Fresh, local, heart-healthy fruit and vegetables are readily available. Choose from apples, broccoli, squash and kale, just to name a few.
  • Making friends with your area farmers gives you opportunities to learn about how your food is grown. Farmers can also teach you how to pick and prepare the tastiest produce.
  • By shopping at your local market, you’re helping the environment by reducing shipping and processing costs.
  • Produce is often less expensive than store-bought versions, so you’ll save money.
  • What you spend at your farmers market goes directly to the farmers, so it stays in the community.

Shopping at your local farmers market is a win-win for everyone: you get fresh, tasty local produce, the environment benefits and the local economy grows.


Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.

Warfarin and Coumadin precautions

Five things you need to know when taking anticoagulants

Anticoagulants like Coumadin or Jantoven are prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots.

People taking anticoagulants like Coumadin or Jantoven need to stay in close contact with their healthcare providers.

Many things factor into an individual’s international normalized ratio or INR, which is a measurement of the time it takes for a person’s blood to clot. A patient’s INR must be closely monitored when taking warfarin, also known as Coumadin or Jantoven, so it’s important to stay in close contact with your healthcare provider to avoid dangers associated with taking anticoagulant meds.

5 important warfarin and Coumadin precautions you should take:

  1. Call your healthcare provider if you get sick (including diarrhea, nausea or vomiting).
  2. Call your healthcare provider if you start or stop taking any medications, including over-the-counter medications and supplements.
  3. Notify your healthcare provider if your diet has changed recently, especially if your consumption of green, leafy vegetables or alcohol has changed.
  4. Get all medications from the same pharmacy to avoid the possibility of harmful drug interactions.
  5. Notify your healthcare provider if you forget to take a dose of your warfarin.

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World-class cardiology services close to home

Northville Health Center offers convenient location for appointments, specialized heart tests

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Cardiologists are among more than 100 physicians at the U-M Northville Health Center.

For years, the University of Michigan Health System has helped care for patients from around the world but has never lost sight of its communities. Which is why you’ll see the block M throughout Michigan, including at the new Northville Health Center.

U-M cardiologists are among the more than 100 physicians providing routine and complex care in the custom-built 100,000 square foot facility at W. Seven Mile and Haggerty Roads.

There’s new equipment for cardiac stress testing and echocardiography and the medical procedures unit provides a convenient place to perform more specialized heart tests such as transesophageal echo (TEE) to take an even closer look at the heart’s valves and chambers. Continue reading