This summary provides a brief review of the nutritional supplements discussed in this protocol. The list describes many options to choose from and is not intended to be used in its entirety. Selections should be made with a slant toward prevention and clinically confirmed weaknesses. Complexes of nutrients are available, lessening the quantity of individual supplements required in a far-reaching program.The (+) in the margin (to the left of the supplement in the Recall section) indicates the supplement has preventive as well as therapeutic qualities.
Individuals classed as heart healthy may profit most from supplements bearing the (+) code.
Readers with established heart disease should take solace in the quantity of the therapeutics presented and the documentation supporting their value. Although natural medicine conveys tremendous possibilities for heart patients, courses should not be charted without the help of a trained healthcare professional. If possible, select a cardiologist who respects natural medicine, substituting nutrients for drugs whenever possible. In this situation, larger doses of the nutraceutical may be required. Although the window of safety is generally judged wider when comparing natural medicine to drug therapy, megadosages can change the disposition of a supplement, pressing it in some instances to the rank of a drug; therefore, close professional supervision is essential to accomplish one's intent with safety. Pregnant women should always seek the counsel of a qualified practitioner who understands fetal and nutrient responses.Recall that:
* + Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant and antidiabetic; is beneficial in congestive heart failure and stroke prevention, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension; and inhibits protein glycation. A suggested therapeutic dosage is 500-1000 mg daily. A preventive dose is 250-500 mg a day.
* Angelica (A. archangelica) is an antianginal, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator, calcium antagonist, ACE inhibitor, and diuretic; dosage, 15-30 drops 1-3 times a day. (See Angelica in the Therapeutic section for an explanation regarding milligrams per drop.)
* L-arginine dilates blood vessels; reduces the atherogenesity of atherogenic foods; and mimics the actions of nitroglycerine; suggested dose, 1800 mg of L-arginine 3 times a day or 4500 mg before bedtime.
* Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) lowers total serum cholesterol and triglycerides; recommended dose, 1 capsule 3 times a day, containing 300 mg of artichoke standardized to contain 13-18% caffeoylquinic acid.
* + Aspirin reduces fibrinogen levels, platelet aggregation, C-reactive protein (CRP), and inflammatory conditions. Low dose aspirin is usually begun at about 50 years of age, according to the American College of Chest Physicians, if no physical condition precludes its usage; suggested dosage, 1 low dose tablet (81 mg a day with a heavy meal). Higher doses may be required to impact newer risk factors such as CRP.
* Bromelain is anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, and antianginal. It reduces fibrinogen levels and atrial fibrillation, lessens risk of blood clots, and is particularly beneficial to smokers. Suggested dosage is 1/8 to 1/4 tsp taken between meals to relieve inflammation.
* Bugleweed has diuretic and digitalis-like properties; use 30-40 drops in a little water, 2-4 times a day. (See Angelica in the Therapeutic section for an explanation of milligrams per drop.)
* + Calcium reduces blood pressure, acts as an antiarrhythmic, reduces iron overload, and strengthens the bone around the gingival; preventive and therapeutic doses, 1 gram or more of elemental calcium a day. Factor amount of calcium obtained from foodstuffs into the amount required through supplementation.
* + L-carnitine is an energizer and hypolipidemic, aids weight loss, improves circulation, and is beneficial in angina and diabetic management. Most clinical trials use 1500-3000 mg daily; preventive dosage, 600-1500 mg a day.
* + Carnosine acts as an antioxidant and reduces glycation and possibly the likelihood of stroke damage; suggested dosage, 1000-1500 mg a day. (Not recommended during pregnancy or lactation.)
* Chondroitin sulfate is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and inhibits LDL oxidation; suggested daily dose, one to three 400-mg tablets.
* + Chromium, 300-400 mcg a day in divided doses, modulates blood glucose levels; decreases cholesterol; and is helpful in weight management; preventive dosage, 200 mcg a day.
* + Coenzyme Q10 reduces angina attacks, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, periodontal disease, and heart valve irregularities; lowers blood pressure; is protective to smokers; and supplies energy to the heart; suggested dosage, 30-400 mg a day, depending upon the amount of cardiac support required. (Higher doses require physician supervision.)
* Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) aids in weight loss and utilization of beneficial fats; reduces cholesterol and triglycerides; increases insulin sensitivity; and has antioxidant activity; suggested dosage, three 1000-mg capsules taken early in the day.
* Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and hypocholesterolemic; offers protection to smokers; and inhibits platelet aggregation; recommended dosage, 900 mg 1-2 times daily.
* + DHEA suppresses the activity of proinflammatory cytokines; inhibits inflammation; and is helpful in lipid management; suggested dosage, 15-75 mg a day, taken early in the day (50 mg a day is a typical dose). Read about DHEA in the Therapeutic section for caveats.
* + Essential fatty acids modulate blood lipids and body weight; improve heart function; lessen risk of restenosis and strokes; inhibit platelet clumping; have hypotensive and anti-inflammatory activity; reduce fibrinogen, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein levels; and improve insulin sensitivity. Perilla oil, 1000-mg capsules, provides 550-620 mg of alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to EPA and DHA. Use 6 capsules a day. Blends of fish oils are available, supplying varying amounts of EPA and DHA. Borage oil is a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). A supplement called Super GLA/DHA provides high concentrations of GLA from borage oil, along with DHA and EPA from fish oil extract.
* Fiber assists in weight management and is a hypolipidemic and antidiabetic. Begin with 1 tsp until the system adjusts to the new material; increase to 1 tsp 3 times a day. It is essential to drink additional water when fiber is added to the diet.
* + Garlic acts as a hypotensive; decreases fibrinogen; protects against LDL oxidation and arterial wall damage; inhibits platelet aggregation; thins the blood; modestly lowers blood glucose levels; and reduces damage associated with iron overload and the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias. Dosage suggestions are 1-2 Kyolic caplets (1000 mg) twice daily with meals or 2-8 capsules of Pure-Gar Caps (900 mg) daily with food.
* Ginger reduces cholesterol and risk of a blood clot and has anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, ACE inhibiting, and calcium antagonistic properties; suggested dosage, one to two 300-mg capsules, 1-3 times a day.
* + Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and memory; reduces platelet aggregation, arrhythmias, and fibrinogen levels; has antioxidant activity; prevents capillary fragility; lessens angina attacks, dyspnea, and intermittent claudication; and decreases the area in the brain plundered by a stroke; suggested dosage, 120 mg a day (preventive dose) and 120-240 mg daily (therapeutic dose). Note: Some clinicians routinely prescribe ginkgo for patients ages 50 and older.
* Grapefruit pectin is an effective hypocholesterolemic. If using the powder, begin with less than 1 scoop a day, gradually increasing to 2-3 scoops. If using tablets, use one 1000-mg tablet a day with meals.
* + Green tea has antithrombotic, antioxidant, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, ACE inhibiting, calcium and iron antagonistic, diuretic, and beta-adrenergic receptor blocking properties. Drink several cups a day or use two to four 300-mg capsules a day. Each capsule should provide 95% active polyphenols.
* Gugulipid lowers cholesterol and triglycerides; regresses plaque formation; opposes platelet aggregation; and has fibrinolytic activity; suggested dosage, 500 mg 3 times a day.
* Hawthorn berry is an antioxidant, antihypertensive, diuretic, and an aid to weight loss; reduces hypoxia and premature ventricular contractions; lowers cholesterol; is beneficial in congestive heart failure; acts as a vasodilator, ACE inhibitor, and calcium antagonist; and increases exercise tolerance; daily dosages, 250-900 mg a day.
* + The following daily supplements (used alone or in combination) are recommended for lowering homocysteine levels: 500-9000 mg of TMG; 800-5000 mcg of folic acid; 1000-3000 mcg of vitamin B12; 250-3000 mg of choline; 250-1000 mg of inositol; 30-90 mg of zinc; 200-800 mg of SAMe; and 100-500 mg of B6. (Use SAMe with other cofactors listed.)
* + Magnesium reduces blood pressure; acts as a calcium antagonist and antiarrhythmic; blocks the sympathetic nervous system; and is beneficial in mitral valve prolapse. Use up to 1500 mg in divided doses throughout the day; preventive dose, about 400 mg elemental magnesium a day.
* Niacin lowers Lp(a) and fibrinogen and normalizes cholesterol levels; 1-3 grams of niacin a day may be needed to lower cholesterol, a dose that must be closely monitored. Lower doses of niacin may be effective if taken in union with chromium. If high dose niacin is to be used, liver function tests should be performed regularly.
* Olive leaf extract is hypotensive and antidiabetic; is helpful in some types of arrhythmias; and is protective against LDL oxidation. Use one to two 500-mg capsules 3 times a day, with meals.
* Administering 300 mg of pantethine 3 times a day typically results in a significant improvement in blood lipids.
* Policosanol is hypocholesterolemic; protects LDL cholesterol against oxidation; inhibits thromboxane and the proliferation of vascular cells; discourages blood clot formation; has antiplatelet aggregating activity; and increases exercise tolerance; suggested dose, some individuals will need only 5-10 mg to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol; others will require 20 mg a day.
* Polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) increases levels of beneficial HDL2b, reduces angina attacks, improves exercise tolerance, lowers undesirable blood lipids, and improves apoB/apoA-1 ratio. Take two 900 mg capsules daily.
* + Potassium reduces blood pressure and maintains fluid balance. (The estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake of potassium, as set by the Committee on Recommended Daily Allowances, is 1.9 grams to 5.6 grams per day.) Many foods richly supply potassium; these sources should be relied upon to meet nutritional needs (when possible). (See the Therapeutic Section for a list of dietary sources plus additional dosing instructions and caveats.)
* + Proanthocyanidins are antioxidants and ACE and beta-adrenergic receptor inhibitors; protect endothelium against white blood cell adherence; reduce blood cholesterol and existing cholesterol deposits; and are beneficial to smokers; the daily dose, 100 mg from grape seed, is considered a preventive dose; 150-300 mg is a therapeutic dose.
* + Selenium is protective against cardiomyopathy and is beneficial in ventricular tachycardia, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure, and diabetes; dosage, 200-300 mcg a day; preventive dose, 200 mcg a day.
* Taurine is hypotensive; arouses the parasympathetic nervous system; is beneficial in congestive heart failure and arrhythmias; and has blood thinning and diuretic properties; suggested dosage, 1500-4000 mg in divided dosages daily.
* Testosterone modulates cholesterol; dilates blood vessels; improves circulation; lessens angina attacks; and reduces blood pressure. The objective is to restore testosterone level to that of a healthy 21-year-old.
* + Thiamine (vitamin B1) reduces cardiac arrhythmias, palpitations, congestive heart failure, and elevated venous pressure. Some patients may realize benefit from 200-250 mg of thiamine a day; refractory cardiac arrhythmias may require 500-1000 mg a day.
* + Tocotrienols inhibit platelet-clumping; reduce cholesterol; and have antioxidant activity. A suggested daily dosage is 100 IU mixed tocopherols and 100 IU tocotrienols if the person is healthy, young, and without a family history of heart disease, and 200 IU of mixed tocopherols and 200 IU of tocotrienols for young adults with some cardiac risk factors or healthy people (50 years of age) without risk factors. 400 IU of mixed tocopherols and 400 IU of tocotrienols for people who have a personal or family history of cardiac disease. This dosage is appropriate for senior subjects and severely stressed or poorly nourished individuals.
* Beta-carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU) may assist in modulating fibrinogen levels. Beta-carotene is widely available in 25,000 IU strengths.
* + Vitamin C strengthens and dilates blood vessels; promotes gingival healing; lowers blood pressure; reduces fibrinogen, Lp(a), C-reactive protein, and atheromatous plaque; lessens damage inflicted by smoking; and has diuretic activity; suggested preventive and therapeutic dose, 6 grams daily, in divided dosages.
* + Vitamin D appears to lower risk of heart attack in older women; suggested dosage, 400 IU a day; if housebound, use 800 IU a day.
* + Vitamin E assists in preventing plaque formation; protects LDL from oxidation; strengthens blood vessels; prevents blood viscosity; is beneficial in atrial and ventricular fibrillation; reduces C-reactive protein; and is considered an antidiabetic nutrient; suggested preventive and therapeutic dosage, 400-1200 IU of dry powder vitamin E daily.
* + Vitamin K prevents calcium from tying up in arteries and reduces the inflammatory process and risk of a blood clot; suggested daily dose, 10 mg.
* + Zinc, 30-60 mg a day, may increase testosterone levels and is beneficial to diabetics and those who are overweight. Because high doses of zinc can increase blood glucose levels, prediabetics and diabetics should use no more than 35 mg a day.Simplifying Your Daily Program
You can take each of the nutrients recommended in this protocol separately if you choose to. This will involve spending a lot of time and money. Most people find it more convenient to take specially designed formulas that provide most of the recommended cardiovascular-protecting nutrients. Here is a brief description of six formulas that provide optimal potencies of most of the nutrients described in this protocol:Life Extension Mix
This formula contains 89 different ingredients including the following nutrients that have been shown to benefit cardiovascular health:
Super Life Extension Booster
- Vitamin A
- Beta Carotene
- Alpha carotene
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol)
- Folic Acid
This softgel oil capsule provides many important nutrients, including the following that have been shown beneficial in protecting cardiovascular health:
- Vitamin K
- Ginkgo biloba extract
- Gamma tocopherol
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
These capsules contain potent anti-aging nutrients, including the following that have demonstrated benefit in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease:
Super Omega EPA/DHA
- Acetyl - L Carnitine
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
Provides optimal potencies of essential fatty acids from fish oil (DHA and EPA).Super CoQ10
Provides high potency coenzyme Q10 in an emulsified oil base along with added tocotrienols.Participate in Your Healthcare
Laboratory testing to determine values of traditional and newer risk factors are valuable to all age groups. Tests are essential in preventive programs and as a means of monitoring progress for those with established cardiovascular disease. Be sure that you are being tested using the latest in screening tools, that is, technology capable of measuring the smaller, denser LDL particles (the form most susceptible to oxidation) and high sensitivity CRP screening.
There are many ways that you can improve your health odds. Become a participant in your healthcare program. Learn the medical terminology, request specific tests, and suggest and reject various medicines.
Recall that the heart beats best when the host is peaceful and less stressful. Communicate a spirit of contentment and fearlessness to your inner self. Unresolved stress cannot be justified when you realize the price of the aggravation may be life-threatening.