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The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Heroic Organ

Regular price $19.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781771643191
  • Tags: Health & Wellness, Johannes Hinrich Von Borstel, Science,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 5/13/2017
  • 288 Pages

The heart: we all have one, pumping away reliably in our chest, never stopping till the day we die. But few of us think much about this heroic organ until it starts to go wrong.

In this lively and informative exploration of all aspects of the heart, Johannes Hinrich von Borstel offers a perfect mix of medical fact and amusing anecdote. A doctor, prospective cardiologist, von Borstel relates his own experiences to provide a personal insight into the human side of heart medicine, while clearly explaining the science behind cardiac disease and healthcare for the heart. His many tips on how to give your ticker the best chance of enduring for as long as possible include one that will certainly be close to many people’s hearts: have more sex! Oh, and eat more vegetables.

Johannes Hinrich von Borstel is studying to be a cardiologist, and is also one of the best Science Slammers in Germany. He works as a paramedic in Marburg, Germany.


"Whether your heart is healthy or not, everyone should read this book, because the author has truly put his heart and soul into it."
Shelf Life


From the Introduction

The more I learned, the more my admiration grew for this fist-sized bundle of energy nestling in our chest. From that point on, I knew there could be no other — the heart had stolen my heart.

This book will take you on a journey to the heart. I begin by looking at the development and growth of the heart, and find out what that has to do with the theatre, loops, and bunny ears. I will also show you that our vascular system behaves like a network of highways — sharing all their features, from damaged roads to traffic congestion. You will see the sophisticated design of our heart, and how the processes of our atria and ventricles can run out of control. You will also learn what happens to our ticker when we smoke like a chimney, pay regular visits to McDonald’s, and enjoy more than the occasional drop of the hard stuff. And I explain why emergency medicine has nothing to do with the esoteric arts but it’s still necessary to be able to read coffee grounds.

Moving on, I will describe what diseases weaken our heart and pass on a few tips about healthy eating for the heart. I will then investigate whether the Easter Bunny would have a healthier heart if it were a vegan, why medieval physicians liked to quaff their patients’ urine, and why Bucks Fizz isn’t the only deadly quartet.

Next, we’ll go on holiday together, but it will be a whiteknuckle ride. The scene of the crime: the ventricles of the heart — since, as I will reveal, many a young holidaymaker’s heart is less rested after their holiday than before. I’ll clarify what exactly determines a healthy heart rhythm, what factors can influence it, and what we can do when that rhythm goes wrong. And I will take a look at the most drastic measure to get a heart beating again: resuscitation.

That’s only required when one’s heart stops beating —and to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, I will prescribe a little something to prevent it: sex, which strengthens and supports the body and its defensive army, the immune system. I will zoom in on the tiny little warriors that make up our defence forces, and explain why Churchill’s recipe for a long life (‘No sports!’) might not be the best advice. In passing, I will take you on a tour through our blood and its components, and have a look at blood pressure.

Finally, I will show that even our state of mind and butterflies in the stomach can influence our heart. Is it possible to die of a broken heart? Whether it is or not, we should never underestimate the powers of self-healing. But modern medicine also has quite an inventory of tools to help repair a damaged heart, from replacing worn parts to installing a completely new engine.

These are the stations on our journey to the heart — each more fascinating than the last. And now it’s time for that journey to begin!