Arnold Schwarzenegger health: Star on ‘80%’ vegan diet after three major heart surgeries

Ukraine: Arnold Schwarzenegger sends a message to Russia

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The Terminator star, 74, who won the esteemed Mr Universe for his chiselled physique in 1968, told his fans that his cholesterol levels have dropped now that he “rarely eats meat” – a change he made roughly five years ago. At 74, he has had three heart surgeries, including one recent one in 2020.

“I have been about 80 percent plant-based for the past five years of my life,” he revealed to fans in a recent issue of his newsletter.

“My bad cholesterol number is so low that my doctor thought I might be a different person and feel healthier and younger overall.

“Even though I still eat meat sometimes, because I can’t resist a juicy steak when I have friends over or a crispy wiener schnitzel in Austria, I mostly eat plant-based because it is better for my overall health,” he wrote.

Schwarzenegger was born with a genetic heart defect known as aortic stenosis, which he required surgery for.

This is when the passage between your heart and arteries isn’t open fully because of a problem with the valve and so blood is unable to flow to the rest of your body.

In 1997, the star had his heart’s aortic valve replaced by the pulmonic valve through surgery. The pulmonic valve is the valve that moves blood from the lungs to the heart. The star’s pulmonic valve was replaced by a cadaver valve at the time.

He then underwent heart surgery again in 2018 – this time an open heart surgery – to replace a blocked passage between the heart and the lungs.

And then in October 2020, he had another major surgery to replace the aortic valve again.

After the heart surgeries, questions arose online about whether the bodybuilder’s notorious steroid use was related to the worsening of his genetic condition.

There are plenty of studies showing that steroid use is linked with an increase in blood pressure and higher “bad” cholesterol levels.

And these higher levels of cholesterol “increase your risk of developing another major heart valve disease,” according to researchers at The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford.

However, the are some studies supporting the idea that Schwarzenegger’s plant-based diet might be indeed reversing his health issues.

One group of researchers with heart problems who started a vegan diet for over three years were six times less likely to have further heart issues.

Moreover, according to the Physicians Committee, “low-fat, plant-based regimens typically reduce LDL levels by about 15 to 30 percent”.

Despite this, according to Clare Oliver-Williams from the University of Cambridge, who did a review of the literature on veganism and heart issues in 2021, there haven’t been enough studies to fully conclude whether a plant-based diet is good for your heart yet.

She wrote on The Conversation: “There isn’t evidence to back up the claims that veganism is good for your heart.”

The symptoms of aortic valve stenosis are anything from mild to severe although most symptoms occur when the condition is severe.

The main symptoms you might experience, according to the Mayo Clinic are abnormal heart sounds – which a doctor will be able to heart through a stethoscope, as well as chest pain and feeling faint.

You may also experience shortness of breath, even if you’ve been inactive, and fatigue, palpitations and weight loss.

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