Does drinking a mixture of apple vinegar and the juice of lemon, ginger and garlic “naturally” open “the veins of the heart”?
No! But this dangerous health misinformation has been published on Facebook, and shared in South Africa.
What is angioplasty?
Doctors perform angioplasty to remove plaque – substances blocking the major blood vessels or arteries of the heart. A thin tube is inserted into an artery and inflated, helping restore the heart’s normal blood flow.
“People with blockages in their heart arteries may need angioplasty if they are having lots of discomfort in their chest, or if their blockages put them at risk of a heart attack or of dying,” says the American Heart Association.
What is a heart bypass?
Bypass surgery takes blood vessels from another part of the body and uses them to go around or “bypass” blocked or narrowed arteries in the heart.
“When the plaque breaks open and a blood clot forms, blood flow to your heart is blocked,” the ASA says. “This can lead to chest discomfort called angina and to a heart attack.”
A bypass allows more blood and oxygen to flow to the heart. It’s a major operation, taking three to six hours.
Mixture is ‘bogus’
And a mixture of apple vinegar and lemon, ginger and garlic juice doesn’t prevent the need for angioplasty or bypass.
Akanmu Sulaimon, a professor of haematology and blood transfusion at Nigeria’s University of Lagos College of Medicine, described the remedy as “bogus”.
“I certainly have no idea about this claim,” he told Africa Check. “I do consider it also bogus.”
Dr Anisuiba Benedict, a consultant physician and cardiologist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, also rated it false.
“Such a combination does not open veins in the heart.”
Better ways to protect your heart
So rather exercise, eat well and try to reduce your stress. And your heart will be healthier if you don’t smoke tobacco, eat unhealthy food or drink lots of alcohol.
Here some of the British Health Foundation’s tips for a healthy heart.
Check your blood pressure – Get a medical professional to check your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Keep your weight under control – Overweight people are more at risk of heart disease. Exercise and healthy eating will keep your weight down.
Exercise – Physical activity helps reduce your risk of heart disease. It also reduces stress, helps control your weight and reduces blood pressure.
Smoke tobacco – Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material that narrows the arteries and can cause angina, heart attack or stroke.
Drink too much alcohol – Alcohol abuse can cause the heart to beat abnormally. Too much alcohol also raises blood pressure, damages the heart muscle and can cause other diseases such as stroke, liver problems and some cancers.
Stress – Too much worry in your life can lead to heart-unhealthy behaviour like smoking and drinking. – Africa Check
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