Expert Panel: Innovations in Cardiovascular Health - Pioneering the Future


AUSTIN, TX – Austin-based HumanN, an industry leader in functional food and nutritional supplements for human health recently concluded their annual Scientific Advisory Board Summit with a panel discussion on the future of cardiovascular and brain health and wellness.

The discussion centered around the increased focus on cardiovascular health as the new foundation of modern, healthy living. The panel included top experts in heart and brain health with diverse backgrounds, yet they all agreed health trends are moving toward an increased focus on a heart-healthy lifestyle, diet, and more comprehensive care.

“I believe whole-body health is a growing trend as more and more physicians and patients put a focus on preventative care,” said Dr. Marcella Madera, MD, and a leading neurosurgeon. “Heart and brain health impact the rest of the body and I believe as we start focus on maintaining a healthy body rather than treating a specific issue, we will see better results.”

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, and Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences Emeritus at Penn State University, reported on an alarming development in cardiovascular health. In the decades between 1980 and 2010, there was a steady decline in cardiovascular disease incidence and death, however, after 2010 the numbers began to rise. Likely causes of this negative health trend include increasing obesity, an uptick in smoking through vaping, and overall poor lifestyle behaviors. She reviewed the total health approach that was discussed at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September of 2022.

“It’s my hope that more doctors get on board with really integrating nutrition into their recommendations for patients,” said Dr. Kris Etherton. “Many doctors focus on drug therapy over healthy lifestyle practices like a good diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise. But, research shows taking care of your body with the ‘things we all know already,’ like getting good sleep and eating a healthy diet really can benefit your health.”

When it comes to what practical tactics are included in “living a healthy lifestyle,” Dr. John P. Cooke, MD, PhD and Dr. John Ivy, PhD focused on exercise. “The average person can reap many of the same heart health benefits as a pro athlete by only exercising 30 minutes a day about 5 times per week,” said Dr. Ivy.

“It’s becoming more about prevention,” said Dr. Cooke. “Heart disease is really a vascular problem, and we know that eating healthy and a modest amount of exercise helps keep your blood flowing and can greatly reduce the factors that contribute to issues with arteries and blood vessels.”

When asked about what new health trends they see on the horizon, Doctors Cooke and Madera discussed the vascular origination of much of brain disease, and how important vascular health is to neuronal health. Dr. Cooke noted that vascular disease was now recognized as the second most common cause of dementia, just behind Alzheimer’s. Thus improving vascular health is likely to maintain brain health as well as heart health.

All of the doctors agreed that research-backed remedies that support blood flow are leading the way to better cardiovascular, brain, cellular, and gut health.

“I’ve been skeptical about supplements in the past,” said Dr. Ivy, “but it’s clear the average American can reap many benefits from adding the nutrients from fruits and vegetables into their diet, in any form, including supplementation.”

As President of HumanN’s Science Advisory Board, Dr. Ivy closed by applauding the company for bringing together the distinguished group of researchers.

“The mission of HumanN is what drew us together,” said. Dr. Ivy. “The company wants to change lives for the better, and few individuals knew what nitric oxide did until HumanN invested in the research and brought its support of cardiovascular health to the marketplace. I am proud to be part of an organization that lets the science speak for itself.”

In attendance were members of the Austin health and wellness community as well as athletes ranging from professionals to recreational.


*The panel included Dr. John Ivy, PHD, President of HumanN’s Science Advisory Board and professor emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, a cardiovascular nutritionist and past chair of the AHA Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health, and the Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences Emeritus at Penn State University.; Dr. John Cooke, MD, PHD, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. He serves on national and international committees that deal with cardiovascular diseases, including the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and Dr. Marcella Madera, MD, a leading neurosurgeon with expertise in both open and minimally invasive surgery (MIS), endoscopic spine surgery and regenerative/stem cell procedures for spine disease. She is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. The panel was moderated by Terri Langford, editor of health and human services for the Texas Tribune.