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Nutrients that may improve the heart failure patients' condition:

  • Vitamin C

is important for the integrity of all tissues.  We believe you should take as much as is required for optimum health.

  • Coenzyme Q10

is essential for the energy utilization of all cells.  One study found a 200% improvement in pumping function from a group of severe heart failure patients after several weeks of C0-Q10 supplementation, with NO side effects.  Follow-up showed 3 out of 4 patients still alive after 3 years as compared to 1 out of 4 in a control group.

Dr. Peter H. Langsjoen wrote an excellent article, Introduction to Coenzyme Q10, in which he states "...that treatment with CoQ10 significantly improved heart muscle function while producing no adverse effects or drug interactions." Also, a reference archive of CoQ10 studies is available at Asha Pharma.

  • L-Carnitine

is needed for the transportation of energy molecules.  Patients receiving 2 grams of carnetine for 45 days showed less edema, increased natural water excretion, less shortness of breath, normalized heart beat rate, with NO side effects.  It also has been shown to decrease irregular heartbeat by as much as 85%

  • Magnesium

is a natural calcium blocker that helps maintain normal heartbeat.  One study shows a reduction of irregular heartbeats by 70%.  Also helped normalize rapid heartbeat (tachycardia.) A technical article Cardiovascular Consequences of Magnesium Deficiency explains the need for magnesium supplementation.


Heart Failure Kills Millions Every Year


Heart Failure Prognosis: Get a New Heart or Die...Probably Soon

Millions of people are diagnosed with heart failure every year.  Their prognosis is not goodóget on a waiting list for a heart transplant and hope for the best, or have a 50/50 chance of dying within five years, 80% to 90% within ten.  So, what is the general nature of heart failure, what are our failures to treat it, and what role can nutrition play?

Heart failure is a substantial weakening of the heart itself.  It is usually accompanied by an overall weakness of the patient, as you would expect.  This weakening is due, in large part, to long-term nutritional deficiencies that have not provided the heart with the fuel and nutrients to work properly.  Just as the generalized, ever-advancing overall weakness of an individual occurs as we age more than it should due to nutritional deficiencies, so does weakness of the heart.

This failure effects the heart in two major ways. 

  • it impairs the hearts ability to pump
  • it deteriorates the hearts electrical system which results in an inability to properly control heartbeat (arrhythmia.)
  • Treatment of Symptoms Makes Things Worse

    Our kidneys are filters for our blood.  Blood pressure forces blood through the kidneys, cleaning it and removing the waste through the urine.  Heart failure patients weakened heartís are not able to pump as they should.  This results in lower blood pressure.  Since the kidneys work by utilizing blood pressure, their efficiency is decreased.  Less urine is produced and consequently water is retained, leading to edema (swelling), usually of the legs.  Doctors usually treat this edema with diuretics, drugs that make us pee, thus eliminating the excess water and the resultant edema.The problem with this is that the water soluble nutrients that ar already in short supply are eliminated along with the extra water, which makes the patient all the weaker.  This turns into a vicious cycle and is a major contributor to the poor prognosis of heart failure victims.

    Treating the Underlying Problem is the Answer

    The real answer would obviously lie in getting the heart back in better shape, eliminating arrhythmia and increasing blood pressure, which would then relieve, or at least improve the overall health of the patient.  No more diuretics would be needed because the kidneys would be functioning properly.  This can be done in many cases with the proper nutritional supplementation.  Dr. Matthias Rath, in his book Eradicating Heart Disease, outlines a supplementation program for heart failure patients.  He also details studies that substantiate the advice he gives.  His program calls for the supplementation of:

    • Vitamin C (1-3 grams)
    • Coenzyme Q10 (10-30mg)
    • L-Carnitine (50-150mg)
    • B-complex vitamins (a "B-100î"supplement would suffice, Ed.)
    • Magnesium (60-200mg)

    Please see the sidebar for information about how these nutrients are essential to a healthy heart.

    For a more detailed explaination of Matthias Rathís research, please read his article "The Process of Eradicating Heart Disease Has Become Irreversible" at the Health Now website. There is also a question and answer transcript, "C for the heart" (edited transcript of a presentation by the author at the Conference of the American College for Advancement in Medicine in Colorado Springs, November 3, 1995) with Dr. Rath at Ivanhoeís Medical Breakthroughs.

    Also, please visit Dr. Brian Leibovitz' editorial, Nutritional Treatment of Heart Disease at the Journal of Optimal Nutrition.

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