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Environmental Toxins and Their Impact on Heart Health

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Environmental Toxins and Their Impact on Heart Health

The modern world, with its conveniences and technological advancements, has also brought with it an array of environmental toxins that can adversely affect our health. Among the most critical aspects of health impacted by these toxins is the cardiovascular system. Environmental toxins can contribute to the development of heart disease through various mechanisms, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and endocrine disruption. This blog post delves into the top 10 environmental toxins linked to heart disease and explores how they can affect heart health.

1. Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Particulate matter, especially PM2.5 (particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers), is a significant air pollutant. These tiny particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, leading to inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies have shown that exposure to PM2.5 is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension.

2. Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is a chemical used in the production of plastics and resins. It can leach into food and beverages from containers made with BPA. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that can interfere with hormone function. Studies have shown that BPA exposure is associated with increased risks of heart disease, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

3. Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible. They are found in a wide range of products, including food packaging, personal care products, and medical devices. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to cardiovascular issues such as hypertension, insulin resistance, and increased risk of heart disease.

4. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

PCBs are industrial chemicals that were widely used before their ban in many countries. They persist in the environment and can accumulate in the food chain. PCBs are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases due to their ability to induce oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction.

5. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

PAHs are a group of chemicals formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, wood, and other organic substances. They are found in tobacco smoke, grilled meats, and air pollution. PAHs can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to atherosclerosis and increased risk of heart disease.

6. Pesticides

Pesticides used in agriculture can remain as residues on food and contaminate water supplies. Many pesticides are known to be endocrine disruptors and can interfere with normal cardiovascular function. Chronic exposure to certain pesticides has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

7. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are a group of chemicals that easily become vapors or gases. They are emitted from products such as paints, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials, and furnishings. Exposure to VOCs can cause a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular issues. They contribute to indoor air pollution and can exacerbate heart disease by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

8. Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can accumulate in homes, particularly in basements and lower levels. Long-term exposure to radon increases the risk of lung cancer, which indirectly affects cardiovascular health. The stress on the body from chronic illness such as cancer can exacerbate heart disease and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular events.

9. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning fossil fuels. It can bind with hemoglobin in the blood, reducing the amount of oxygen that can be transported throughout the body. Chronic exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to heart damage and increase the risk of heart disease by causing hypoxia and oxidative stress.

10. Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals used in a variety of industries, including firefighting, food packaging, and water-repellent fabrics. They are persistent in the environment and in the human body. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases. PFAS can disrupt lipid metabolism and increase cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease.

The Mechanisms of Harm

The mechanisms by which these toxins impact heart health are multifaceted. Many of these toxins induce oxidative stress, a state where the balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body is disrupted. This oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins, and DNA, leading to inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.

Inflammation is another common pathway. Chronic low-level inflammation can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, where plaque builds up in the arteries, leading to reduced blood flow and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Endocrine disruption is also a significant factor. Many environmental toxins interfere with hormone function, which can affect various aspects of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure regulation, lipid metabolism, and glucose homeostasis.

Protecting Heart Health

What you need to do is Test, Don’t Guess. Here is the link to our recommended environmental toxins test. We call it the envirotoxins panel. Check it out. 


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Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.


Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.


Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.