Cod heart health is often misunderstood.
It’s not just that the disease can cause some people to feel ill or even worse, but that the condition is often missed.
“It can take you longer to recognise when you’re having problems,” says Andrew D’Arcy, professor of health and exercise science at the University of Manchester.
“If you’re not being treated, you might not realise it.”
What is cod heart disease?
Cod heart failure, which is also known as cobalamin deficiency, is a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough of the essential protein, called cobalamine.
When it does, the heart muscles are more prone to damage.
There are two types of cobalamins: the “standard” type, which has about 30 per cent of the cobalamines the body needs, and a less common, more abundant “golden” type.
Cobalamin is found naturally in fish, and when the body can’t make them, it’s made up of a protein called alpha-tocopherol, which breaks down into its four components, or polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The polyunsaturates cause inflammation, and the body breaks down the beta-carotene in the alpha-carotin and can lead to cobalamic acid deficiency.
People who don’t get enough of these polyunsaturation may have reduced levels of beta-copper, which increases inflammation.
This is why people with low levels of vitamin C are more likely to develop cobalamins deficiency, and why some people with cobalamination problems are at risk of developing heart failure and other conditions.
Cod heart is a form of the condition known as Cobalinosis, which occurs when the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of the beta carotene beta-oxidase, a process that can cause the heart to become stiff and leak.
A genetic predisposition to condaminosis is thought to be one of the reasons for its widespread prevalence.
Cod disease can also be inherited, but research has shown that most cases are caused by the same genetic factors that cause cobalin deficiency.
The key question is, what happens when you do have it?
According to research published in 2016, the catecholamines the heart pumps to keep blood flowing to the muscles can become so low that the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the tissues it’s pumping.
A lack of this signalling could lead to increased inflammation in the heart, which can lead the heart into a type of collapse.
The symptoms of catecholic heart failure can be severe, affecting both the chest and legs.
The disease is most common in people over 50, but it’s also seen in younger people and people who have suffered a stroke.
There’s no cure for cod heart, but many people with it have a low risk of heart failure.
The condition can be prevented, but not cured, if you have a genetic predispose to it.
What are the symptoms?
Cod disease may cause a number of symptoms, including chest pain, a sore throat, fever, dizziness, muscle stiffness, and pain.
These symptoms can worsen and may require hospitalisation, particularly if they’re not treated soon.
A range of medical procedures are available, including cardiac surgery to repair damaged tissue, and heart valve replacement surgery to remove blocked blood vessels.
It may also be necessary to have a pacemaker implanted in the neck or a valve put into the left ventricle.
This may be an option if your heart isn’t functioning properly.
What can be done about it?
Cod illness is generally treatable, but there are ways to prevent it developing further.
One approach is to avoid foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and fish oil.
Other options are to reduce your intake of red meat, nuts, sweets, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.
“You need to eat less red meat and dairy, especially red meat,” says D’Ary.
“People are getting a lot of it in processed foods, but I think we need to make sure we’re getting plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.”
Another way to improve your cobalamina is to get a blood test every three to six months.
It can help to monitor your levels of the omega-6 fatty acids and catechols, which are also vital to maintaining a healthy heart.
A study published in January 2018 in the journal Diabetes and Metabolism found that people who took blood tests every six months, or two times a year, had a significant improvement in their cobalacic acid levels.
What do you do if you do develop catecholytic heart failure?
There are a number different treatments for cod disease.
One is a blood transfusion, which involves using a small amount of blood to deliver a large amount of a medication to the affected heart muscle.
This treatment, called a heart transplant, was first developed for people with diabetes and has been shown to improve blood pressure