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Heart Disease

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. As the most active muscle in the body, the heart requires proper nutrition. Poor nourishment has a profound effect on the heart. Research has shown that as people age, their eating habits get worse, thus increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease. In this case supplementation has to be resorted to provide the body with the proper nutrition.

l      Cayenne - Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne, helps the heart in multiple ways. It stimulates the circulation, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, lessens the chances of heart attack and stroke and decreases the blood levels of fibrin - which can reduce the risk of forming blood clots that can result in heart attacks and strokes.

Note:  If you suspect a heart attack, immediately administer a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in water or cayenne pepper sauce and seek emergency medical treatment immediately. A teaspoon or more of cayenne pepper will normally stop a heart attack in less than a minute.

l     Green Tea - Popular in Asia for centuries, green tea helps to keep blood pressure under control. It also may help keep cholesterol from clogging arteries. The tea contains Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) and other substances that protect the body against the dangers of oxidation, while helping to keep the harmful LDL cholesterol down and the helpful HDL cholesterol up. They also assist in keeping blood pressure under control.

l     Garlic - prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, may prevent the liver from producing excess fat and cholesterol.  In one study, adding as little as two ounces of garlic juice to a fatty, cholesterol-laden meal was found to actually lower the cholesterol by up to 7 percent. Another study found that 600 mg of garlic powder a day could push the total cholesterol down by some 10 percent. Other research has corroborated these findings reporting that garlic can lower both total and LDL cholesterol while raising the HDL ("good") cholesterol.  A 10-month study found that eating three cloves of garlic a day keeps the cholesterol down for extended periods. And because it contains ajoene and other substances, garlic also helps to keep the blood "thin" and free of potentially deadly blood clots

l     Hawthorn (Crataegus) is an overall heart tonic that works against arrythmia, angina, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.  It contains a combination of flavonoids that can protect the heart against oxygen deprivation which can lead to the development of abnormal rhythms. It dilates coronary blood vessels, improving the flow of blood to the heart. It strengthens the heart muscle and works to help the body rid itself of excess salt and water.  It reduces blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and brings down high blood pressure. Choose a standardized extract containing 1.8 percent vitexin-2 rhamnosides.

l     Arjuna - Arjuna, an important Ayurvedic herb, is a coronary vasodilator. It protects the heart, strengthens circulation, and helps to maintain the tone and health of the heart muscle. It is also useful in stopping bleeding and to promote healing after a heart attack.

l     Ginger - Ginger is an important herb for a healthy heart. Ayurvedic physicians suggest that eating a little bit of ginger every day will help to prevent heart attack. It reduces cholesterol. It also reduces blood pressure and prevents blood clots.  Ginger's heart-helping attributes are similar to that of garlic. Ginger interferes with the long sequence of events necessary for blood clots to form. This helps to prevent clots that can lodge in narrowed coronary arteries and set off a heart attack.

l     Turmeric lowers blood cholesterol levels by stimulating the production of bile. It also prevents the formation of dangerous blood clots that can lead to heart attack.

l     Onions: Onions contain adenosine and other "blood thinners" that help to prevent the formation of blood clots. In addition to thinning the blood, onions can help keep the coronary arteries open and clear by increasing the HDL. Eating half a raw onion every day can increase HDL by 20 to 30 percent.

l     Ginkgo biloba improves the flow of blood throughout the body. It is also an antioxidant. Ginkgo biloba can benefit the cardiovascular system by preventing the formation of free radicals. Take a ginkgo extract containing 24-percent ginkgo flavone glycosides.

l     Fo-ti (ho shou wu, Polygonum multiflorum), combats the symptoms of heart disease, helping to reduce blood pressure and blood-cholesterol levels.

l     Alfalfa: Alfalfa leaves and sprouts help reduce the blood cholesterol levels and plaque deposits on artery walls.

l     Citrin - an extract from the plant Garcinia cambogia, inhibits the synthesis of fatty acids in the liver. It helps to prevent the accumulation of potentially dangerous fats in the body.

l     Guggul - This ayurvedic herb is derived from a type of myrrh tree. It has been shown to lower blood-fat levels while raising levels of HDL, the so called "good cholesterol."  Note: Do not use this herb if you have a thyroid disorder.

l     Grape seed extract with oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCS) may lower high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease.

l     Cantaloupe -  Cantaloupe contains adenosine, which may help heart patients to thin blood and prevent angina attacks.  Take two eight ounce glasses of cantaloupe juice a day.

l     Fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso.  When people with high cholesterol are put on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, their cholesterol levels usually drop. But if you replace the animal protein in their diet with soy protein, their cholesterol levels are found to drop significantly lower. One study has showed that soy protein could cancel out the effect of 500 mg of cholesterol deliberately added to the daily diet.  Although soy can lower cholesterol levels in those with normal levels, it works best in people with elevated cholesterol.  Note:  Do not use unfermented soy products as they have been linked strongly to breast, stomach and other cancers.

l     Brewer's Yeast: Brewer's yeast can lower the total cholesterol and LDL while raising the helpful HDL. (Brewer's yeast is not the same as the yeast we use in the kitchen.) In one study with normal- and high-cholesterol patients, 11 healthy volunteers were given brewer's yeast. Eight weeks later, 10 of the 11 people with normal cholesterol levels had even lower total cholesterol levels and increased HDL levels. Among the 15 volunteers with high cholesterol, eight enjoyed the same beneficial results.

l     Cordyceps - Cordyceps is a Chinese herb. It can slow the heart rate, increase blood supply to the arteries and heart, and lower blood pressure.

l     Artichoke leaf extract reduces blood cholesterol and protects the liver. This herb has antioxidant activity and may inhibit the oxidation of cholesterol, a factor in atherosclerosis.

l     Cat's claw contains a variety of valuable phytochemicals that inhibit the processes involved in the formation of blood clots. It increases circulation and inhibits inappropriate clotting. Thus, it may help to prevent stroke and reduce the risk of heart attack.

l     Oat straw and kava kava are tonics for the nervous system.

l     White willow bark contains salicin, an aspirin like compound. It has been used for centuries much as aspirin is today. Aspirin is often recommended for cardiovascular condition. This herb may provide the same protection without stomach upsets associated with aspirin.

Note: Do not take this herb if you are allergic to aspirin.

l     Other herbs that are beneficial for cardiovascular disorders include barberry, black cohosh, butcher's broom, dandelion, ginseng, and valerian root.

l     The following herbs are heart friendly:  alfalfa, astragalus, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn berry, kelp, kola, motherwort, myrrh, psyllium (Metamucil), passion flower, red pepper, saffron, Siberian ginseng, skullcap, tarragon, turmeric, and valerian

Caution: Do not use barberry or black cohosh during pregnancy. Do not use ginseng if you have high blood pressure. Also avoid the herbs ephedra (ma huang) and licorice, as they cause a rise in blood pressure.

Diet and Nutrition Therapy for Heart Disease:

 l     Even modest changes in diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

l     In general, eat foods low in cholesterol, saturated fat and salt. Take vitamins and supplements recommended or eat foods containing the essential vitamins and minerals. Fatty acids in fish contain Omega 3 that was shown to be effective in preventing heart diseases. Similarly, taking moderate quantities of red wine was also found to be beneficial. (Caution: High intake of alcohol is unhealthy and should be avoided.)

l     Foods that can save arteries and prevent heart disease:

l     Seafood, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Grains, Legumes, onions, garlic, olive oil, alcohol in moderation, foods high in Vitamin C, E and Beta Carotene.

l     Foods that can damage arteries and the heart:  Meats and dairy foods high in saturated fat, excessive alcohol

l     Eat little or no meats, dairy and processed foods, which are high in saturated fat. Eat more organically produced grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and seeds.

l     If you are overweight, adopt a healthy weight-reduction diet plan and stick to it. Obesity places a strain on the cardiovascular system.

l     Make sure that your diet is well balanced and contains plenty of fiber. studies have shown that among the sources of dietary fiber-cereal, vegetables, and fruits- that fiber from breakfast cereals appears to be the most beneficial.

l     Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Emphasize foods that are rich in the antioxidant substances (beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium) that fight free radicals. Enjoy fruits, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts, and whole-grain products. Studies have shown that those who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 39-percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

l     Include grapes, eggplant, and red cabbage in your menu. Experts believe that pigments called anthocyanidins in red wine grapes may explain why moderate consumption of red wine can help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. (This is called French Paradox.) This substance is known to dilate blood vessels, which helps keep blood flowing freely. Anthocyanidins are found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables.

l     Take in no more than 25 to 30 percent of daily calories from fat per day. The type of fat you consume is also very important. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oil, cause levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, often known as the "bad cholesterol") to decline without affecting levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL, often known as the "good cholesterol"). Saturated fats, (type of fat found in animal products such as meat and dairy foods, and trans- fatty acids found in margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, have the opposite effect. Avoid consumption of saturated fats.

l     Include raw nuts (except peanuts), olive oil, pink salmon, trout, tuna, Atlantic herring, and mackerel in your diet. These foods contain essential fatty acids that are important for cardiovascular health.

l     Include garlic and onions in your diet. They contain compounds that help to reduce serum cholesterol levels.

l     Avoid grilled and barbecued foods. Research has shown that people who favor meat cooked over smoldering charcoal are increasing their risk of cardiomyopathy. Carcinogens that form during the browning process are believed to contribute to inflammation of the arteries and the deterioration of the heart muscle.

l     Avoid stimulants such as coffee and black tea that contain caffeine. Coffee increases stress hormones in the body, putting coffee drinkers at greater risk of heart disease. Also avoid tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, butter, red meat, fats (particularly animal fats and hydrogenated oils), fried foods, processed and refined foods, soft drinks, spicy foods, and white flour products, such as white bread.

l     Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. If possible, drink steam-distilled water only. One study found that men who drank at least five glasses of water every day had a 51-percent lower risk of heart disease than those who did not. For women, the risk of heart disease was 35 percent lower.

l     Eliminate all sources of sodium from your diet. Salt contains sodium, which increases fluid retention and makes the heart work harder. The American Heart Association advises heart patients to limit their sodium intake from all sources to the equivalent of no more than 1 teaspoon of salt daily.

l     If you take an anticoagulant (blood thinner) such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin, or even aspirin, limit your intake of foods high in vitamin K. Eating foods containing vitamin K increases the blood's tendency to clot. Foods that are rich in vitamin K include alfalfa, broccoli, cauliflower, egg yolks, liver, spinach, and all dark green vegetables. To enhance the effect of anticoagulants, eat more of the following: wheat germ, vitamin E, fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso, and sunflower seeds.

l     If you take aspirin regularly for a heart condition, avoid alcohol and antacids, within an hour of taking the aspirin. The combination of aspirin and alcohol can easily aggravate the stomach. Blood-alcohol levels can become higher if aspirin is taken even an hour before. Using antacids can reduce the amount of aspirin circulating in the body.

Vitamin Therapy for Heart Disease

Cautions:

l     If you are pregnant, or intend to get pregnant, or if you have liver disease, consult your doctor before taking supplemental vitamin A.

l     If you have high blood pressure, limit your intake of supplemental vitamin E to a total of 400 international units daily.

l     If you are taking an anticoagulant (blood thinner), consult your physician before taking supplemental vitamin E.

l     Bioflavonoids:  These are a group of compounds that provide color to citrus fruits and vegetables. In conjunction with Vitamin C, some bioflavonoids are potent antioxidants to improve the strength of small blood vessels or capillaries. They prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood and prevent the clotting of the blood by making the blood less thick.

l     Beta carotene:  Beta carotene is the plant form of vitamin A. It can be converted into vitamin A by the body. Beta carotene, as an antioxidant,  protects against heart disease by inhibiting the conversion of LDL into its more dangerous, oxidized form.  One study found that 50 mg of beta carotene taken every other day reduced the incidence of major coronary and vascular events. Beta carotene is found in yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (

l     Vitamin C - Recent research has shown that taking plenty of Vitamin C provides more protection against heart disease than either maintaining a low blood cholesterol or eating a low fat diet. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries and sweet red peppers.  It is believed that the beneficial effect of Vitamin C is from a variety of factors:

o Vitamin C plays a role in the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids. If vitamin C is lacking, less cholesterol is converted. Instead, the cholesterol may build up in the arteries, blood and liver.

o Vitamin C is needed for the normal metabolism of blood fats. It builds the collagen that helps to keep artery walls strong.

o Vitamin C reduces the high blood pressure and reduces the hardening of the arteries.

o Vitamin C affects the levels of glutathione in the blood. Glutathione is a compound that helps guard against heart disease. Lower levels of Vitamin C was found to result in lower levels of glutathione in the blood stream.

o Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to control the free radicals and other oxidants that can convert LDL into its more dangerous, artery-clogging form.

o Vitamin C supplementation drives down cholesterol in people with high cholesterol and low levels of vitamin C in the blood. Adding pectin, or other agents that bind cholesterol, increases the effect.  The level of vitamin C in the blood has been found to be related to the CHD-related angina pain. The higher the level of vitamin C, the less pain.

l     Vitamin E:  Vitamin E is believed to prevent the oxidation of LDL, the bad cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.  The vitamin may play a role in regulating the way that cells lining the arteries proliferate and repair themselves, and may protect them from the damaging oxidants. This helps to prevent the formation of blockages on the artery walls.  Vitamin E supplementation may increase the protective HDL.  The amount of vitamin E in the blood may be inversely related to the death from heart attacks. In other words, a greater level of vitamin E in the blood may translate to a lower risk of death.  Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and heart muscle, improves circulation, and destroys free radicals.

Caution: Use this supplement only under the supervision of a physician or medical professional, preferably one well versed in naturopathic and/or integrative medicine.

l     Recommended Dosage: Start with 100-200 IU daily and increase slowly, adding 100 IU each week until daily dosage is 800-1,000 IU. If you take an anticoagulant drug, do not exceed 400 IU daily. Use d-alpha-tocopherol form.

l     Selenium - The amount of selenium in the blood and red blood cells may be related to the risk of CHD and heart attacks. The lower the level of selenium, the more the risk. Selenium activates glutathione proxidase, one of the most potent antioxidants, that prevents the free radicals from attacking LDL cholesterol and prevent its conversion into its more artery-damaging, oxidized form. Selenium also helps to "thin" the blood. When the blood is "thin," there is less chance that unnecessary blood clots will form and trigger a heart attack by lodging in an already-narrowed artery. Lower levels of selenium has also been linked to higher levels of the incidence of stroke.  Selenium is provided by many foods including tomatoes, poultry, shellfish, garlic, meat, and egg yolks.

o A 1982 study of 11,000 men and women in Finland found that people with low blood selenium levels had an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease. After accounting for other risk factors, 22 percent of the heart attack deaths in this population were attributed to low selenium levels. Another study of Finnish men in 1991 linked low selenium levels to atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries.

o A recent study has shown that those who had higher selenium levels in the blood had 60 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who had lower levels of this mineral. When patients who had heart attacks were treated with selenium or selenium-rich yeast, they had fewer second attacks than those who were given a placebo. Good sources of selenium include barley, shrimp and whole grains.

o Recommended Dosage: RDA for selenium is 70 micrograms for men, and 55 micrograms for women. If you are at high risk for heart disease, you may take 200 mcg daily under professional supervision. However, it you are pregnant, do not exceed 40 mcg daily.

l     Niacin (Vitamin B3) - Recently, Niacin has received publicity for reducing cholesterol. It has also been found effective in reducing the incidence of second heart attack by 30 percent. Higher levels of Niacin can lead to hot flushes and liver damage. So, be very careful when taking therapeutical doses of this vitamin. Consult a qualified person before starting this treatment.

Caution: Do not take niacin if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure.

l     Recommended Dosage: 50 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 200 mg daily if you have a history of rheumatic heart disease or other valvular heart problem.

l     Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - Pyridoxine deficiency has been linked to heart disease. Extremely important for formation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.  Animal studies have shown that diets deficient in B6 can lead to hardened, narrowed arteries. This may be because B6 helps to prevent the unnecessary blood clots that can block arteries. B6 is also necessary to control homocysteine that appears to damage artery linings and encourage heart disease. Recommended Dosage: 50 mg daily. B6 is found in whole grains, lentils and sweet potatoes.

l     Folic Acid - Recent studies have shown that folic acid can ward of heart attacks and strokes. A deficiency of folic acid can increase the risk of heart disease 200 to 300 percent. Folic acid was shown to break down homocysteine, an amino acid. Homocysteine was shown to increase the risk of heart attack by 300 percent. Higher levels of homocysteine were found to cause significant blockages in the carotid arteries. (Carotid arteries are found in the neck. They deliver blood to the brain.) Ten percent of all heart disease in the United States is believed to be from high levels of homocysteine. Hence folic acid, which breaks down homocysteine, is a very important deterrent to the heart disease. It is found in foods such as navy beans, broccoli, orange juice, green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes.  Recommended Dosage: 400 mcg daily.

l     Vitamin B12 - Shortage of Vitamin B-12 has been associated with elevated levels of the dangerous homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine can damage the inner surface of arteries. This can be treated and/or prevented with vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid. Many cardiologists are now using B-vitamins to help prevent coronary artery disease.

l     Calcium and Magnesium

o Calcium: In the proper amounts, calcium may help to keep cholesterol under control and may prevent dangerous blood clots. Too much calcium may increase the risk of heart disease, especially if there is too much calcium in relation to magnesium. Sources of calcium include milk, sardines (with bones) and cheese.

o Magnesium: A lack of magnesium has been linked to an increased risk of CHD, heart attacks and improper heartbeats. Many doctors report using magnesium as a first-line treatment for treating irregular heart rhythms.

o Magnesium supplementation may reduce the total cholesterol, increase the beneficial HDL and prevent unnecessary "clumping" in the blood that can trigger a heart attack. The mineral may also reduce the symptoms of angina or may prevent future attacks.

o What is remarkable is that magnesium is beneficial even when a heart attack is in progress. In a study involving 2,300 people, some patients were given magnesium injections while they were having heart attacks. The injections cut the death rate by 25 percent. Magnesium can be found in almonds, parsley and spinach.

Caution: An excess of magnesium can cause diarrhea. If you develop loose stools, reduce the dosage slightly until you arrive at the best dosage for your body.

o Calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B-6 should be taken together for proper absorption and effectiveness.

o Recommended Dosage: 1,500-2,000 mg calcium daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime. 750-1,000 mg magnesium  daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime.  Take with 50 mg vitamin B6.

l     Chromium - Chromium is a trace metal that is vital to human health. Nutritionists are not sure exactly what chromium does in the body or how much is needed to maintain health. Chromium supplements were found to help raise HDL cholesterol levels - an important benefit in CHD.  Chromium is important for normal metabolic functions, particularly for carbohydrate metabolism. It plays a significant role in regulating blood sugar.  A Recommended Daily Allowance has not been established for chromium. A daily intake of 50 to 200 micrograms is often recommended. It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of Americans are not getting enough chromium in their diets.  Trace amounts of chromium are present in many foods. The best dietary source is brewers yeast, which contains chromium in the form of GTF (glucose tolerance factor). Other good sources of chromium include peanuts, legumes, and whole grains,

o Chromium deficiency was found to increase the blood cholesterol levels of rats. Chromium supplementation, on the other hand, was found to bring the cholesterol values back down. More impressively, some rats were found to actually develop fatty plaques of atherosclerosis in their arteries as a result of chromium deficiency.

o Between 1968 and 1982 at least 6 independent trials investigated the effects of chromium supplements on blood cholesterol levels in healthy volunteers. Chromium supplements appeared to produce small reductions in serum cholesterol levels. What was significant, though, was that HDL levels rose by an average of 10 percent.

o A 1978 study checked blood chromium levels in patients undergoing coronary angiograms and found that low chromium levels could account for 17 percent of their atherosclerotic lesions, even after considering cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors.

o In a 1991 study, 63 men in North Carolina suffering from hypertension and taking beta-blockers were studied. (Beta blockers are known to lower HDL and raise LDL cholesterol levels.) Half the volunteers received chromium, while the others took a placebo. Complete cholesterol profiles were obtained at the start of the trial and after 2 months of treatment. The results were significant: chromium supplements boosted HDL cholesterol levels by an average of nearly 6 points, a 16 percent increase. No changes occurred in total cholesterol, triglycerides, or body weight. No side effects were observed.

o According to Harvey Simon, MD of Harvard Medical School, a 6-point increase in HDL, which was achieved in the chromium trial, should reduce the risk of heart attack by about 20 percent.

o HDL plays an important protective role in atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, it is very hard to boost HDL levels in some people. So chromium is a natural way to boost the HDL.

o Experts say that if your cardiac risk is rated moderate to high, and if your HDL is below 40, you should try to raise it. Exercise, maintenance of ideal body weight, and smoking cessation should be part of everyone's plan. But if these critical changes don't bring your HDL up to protective levels, consider chromium supplementation.

o Recommended Dosage: Take 200 micrograms 3 times a day.

l     Zinc - Zinc is an antioxidant that helps maintain proper immune function.  Note: Take zinc with food to prevent stomach upset. If you take over 30 milligrams of zinc on a daily basis for more than one or two months, you should also take 1 to 2 milligrams of copper each day to maintain a proper mineral balance.

l     Copper - Copper plays an important role in human metabolism and in the formation of red blood cells. It only takes one and a half to 3 milligrams of copper per day to fulfill these needs. Most of us get more than enough copper from cereals, barley, legumes, nuts, shellfish, and meats.

Caution:  It is possible that too much copper may be harmful. Studies from 1991 and 1992 in Finland reported an association between high blood copper levels and heart attacks. The association was strong; the highest copper levels were linked to a 4-fold increase in heart attacks. It is suggested that copper can promote oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

l     Iron - Iron is a vital nutrient; it's an essential component of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment in red blood cells. Americans are often low in iron. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia in the United States. Iron deficiency is particularly common in women, who lose red blood cells with each menstrual period.  The best dietary source of iron is red meat. Iron is also present in deep green vegetables, legumes, and certain fish. Even so, American women are estimated to get only two-thirds of the iron they need from their diet. Physicians often recommend iron tablets to women who are menstruating, pregnant, or lactating.

Caution:  It is postulated that too much iron may increase the risk of heart attack by promoting the formation of free radicals, which can oxidize LDL cholesterol, thus promoting atherosclerosis.

l     Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA, Alpha-lipotene) - Alpha-lipoic acid, works with other antioxidants in the body to increase their effectiveness against oxidative stress. It helps the body to recycle other antioxidants. Instead of these vitamins being used up during the metabolism, they're kept available and used again.  Alpha-lipoic acid can also help the body rid itself of toxic heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium. And as a strong antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid helps to keep arteries clear by preventing the LDL ("bad") cholesterol from being incorporated into the artery walls. Since it is both fat and water soluble, it can work inside and outside of the body cells.

l     Bromelain - An enzyme found in pineapple, bromelain may 'thin" the blood and help to clear away debris from artery walls. One study has shown that bromelain can relieve the pain of angina, which is associated with CHD.

l     Coenzyme Q10 - Heart muscle biopsies in patients with various cardiac diseases showed a CoQ10 deficiency in 50-75 percent of the cases. On the corollary, all the well functioning hearts had an adequate amount of CoQ10 in the tissue. To make it more interesting, when supplemental CoQ10 was introduced into the ailing hearts, they started getting signs of new life.  The obvious conclusion is that adequate levels of CoQ10 is necessary for a well functioning system. When the levels of CoQ10 drops below optimum levels, disease takes over or already had done so.  CoQ10 increases oxygenation of heart tissue.  Recommended Dosage: 50-100 mg 3 times daily

l     L-Carnitine - L-Carnitine is a non-protein amino acid that is found in the heart and skeletal muscle.  Carnitine has been shown to lower triglyceride and total cholesterol levels, while at the same time improving HDL levels.  Since foods that are rich in L-Carnitine such as red meat and dairy products are also high in saturated fat, it is recommended that supplements of L-Carnitine be taken instead.

l     Lecithin - An antioxidant found in eggs, corn and soybeans, lecithin helps prevent the conversion of LDL into its more dangerous, artery- damaging form. Lecithin may also lower the total cholesterol.  Note:  use only fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso.

l     Pycnogenol - Pycnogenol is found to be more effective than aspirin in reducing buildup of platelets in the arteries, a major risk factor in heart disease.

l     Soy Protein - Eating soy protein is found to reduce moderate to high concentration of blood cholesterol significantly (average of 10 percent drop in blood cholesterol was observed in a University of Kentucky study.)  Note:  use only fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso.

l     Taurine - Taurine helps to stabilize the heart beat and correct cardiac arrhythmias. An important antioxidant and immune regulator, it is necessary for white blood cell activation and neurological function. The sublingual form is recommended.  Recommended Dosage: 1,000 mg daily. Take with 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 100 mg of vitamin C for better absorption.

l     Essential Fatty Acids - Essential fatty acids help to prevent unnecessary blood clotting, reduce inflammation, and regulate blood pressure. They are found in black currant seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil. Recommended Dosage: Take 500 to 1,000 milligrams of any of these oils twice daily.

l     Activated charcoal - Activated charcoal is a special type of capsulated charcoal that is used in hospital emergency rooms as an antidote to many poisons.  In one study, seven patients with elevated cholesterol were given 8 grams of activated charcoal three times a day. Prior to this treatment, these patients had not responded to 10 years of treatment with cholesterol medicines. After four weeks of activated charcoal therapy, their total cholesterol fell by 41 percent, and their LDL (bad cholesterol) fell by 25 percent. Meanwhile, their HDL (good cholesterol) rose by 8 percent.  Recommended Dosage: Start with half a gram. Gradually raise the dosage to a gram of activated charcoal twice a day, with meals.

l     Pectin - Pectin is a fiber found in grapefruit, apples and other fruits and vegetables. Human and animal studies have verified the effectiveness of pectin in lowering or counteracting the effect of cholesterol.  In one study, it was found that when patients were given pectin supplementation, their total cholesterol went down by 7.6 percent, and the harmful LDL by 10.8 percent after 8 weeks.  The power of grapefruit pectin was studied in pigs, whose cardiovascular systems are similar to humans. Even when the animals were deliberately fed a high-cholesterol diet, the grapefruit pectin swept away fatty plaque deposits away from the artery walls.

Recommendations:

 l     Take Vitamin B6, Vitamin C (1000 to 5000 milligrams), E(400 to 800 IU), Vitamin B complex, beta carotene (daily supplements of 15 milligrams or 25000 IU), copper, magnesium (400 - milligram supplement per day) and lecithin. Selenium tablets (200 micrograms) may help. Taking 400 micrograms of Chromium tablets daily may help prevent the buildup of cholesterol in arteries.

l     The following list summarizes the vitamin, mineral and herbal regimen to help control or reverse the heart disease:

 l     1,500-2,000 mg Calcium daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime.

l     and 750-1,000 mg magnesium  daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime. Take with 50 mg vitamin B6.

l     30-100 milligrams of coenzyme Q-10 three times a day

l     1000 milligrams of Vitamin C three times a day

l     400 IU of Vitamin E twice per day

l     200 micrograms of Selenium a day

l     50 milligrams of vitamin B6 a day

l     500 milligrams of carnitine three times a day

l     one capsule of herb Ginkgo Biloba three times a day

  

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

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