The heart is a muscular organ about the size of a fist, located in the chest. The heart pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins called the cardiovascular system.
The average healthy heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute. Each beat sends about 2 ounces (60 milliliters) of blood coursing through the body. This activity supplies oxygen and nutrients to cells and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes.
The heart muscle needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients, which it gets from the blood that is pumped through the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are two large arteries that encircle the heart and provide its blood supply. If these arteries become blocked, the heart muscle can't get the oxygen it needs, and a heart attack can occur.
The heart also needs a good supply of blood to remove its own waste products. The coronary veins carry oxygen-depleted blood from the heart muscle back to the heart, where it is then pumped to the lungs to pick up more oxygen.
The pulmonary arteries and veins carry this newly oxygenated blood from the lungs back to the heart, where it is then pumped out to the rest of the body.
The heart's electrical system controls the muscle contractions that pump blood through the heart. This electrical activity can be measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Abnormalities in the heart's electrical activity can sometimes be a sign of heart disease.
The heart is a hard-working muscle that never gets a break. It's important to keep your heart healthy by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco smoke and other substances that can damage the heart.
8 Best Heart Health Books
Your heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. It works hard to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body, allowing your cells and organs to function properly. Taking care of your...Read More
Books discussing Heart
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HeartHealth - The Vulnerability of Being
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The Thrill of Krill
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The Sinatra Solution
With a more efficient energy metabolism, cardiovascular health can be improved. Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, a board-certified cardiologist, explains the...
Experts discussing Heart
Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac, OMD, DMAn acupuncturist, doctor of oriental and pastoral and natural allopathic medicine, as well as a writer and author of multiple medical and health-related books.
Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D.Professor of pathophysiology and biomedical scientist whose research agenda focuses on diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity.
Dr. Jason FungNephrologist, with special interest in weight management and diabetes.
Dr. Dennis Goodman, MD, FACP, FACC, FCCPAuthor, Board Certified Integrative Cardiologist, Clinical Professor of Medicine, and Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU.
Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, MD., FACC., FACN., CNSA successful author and was a board-certified cardiologist, certified bioenergetic psychotherapist, and certified nutrition and anti-aging specialist.