By Dr. Michael T. Murray, N.D.
Heart Attack! Stroke! Cardiovascular disease! These words strike terror into the ‘hearts’ of many. How healthy is your heart? Your family history, lifestyle, diet or stress level could predispose you to heart trouble – and not the romantic kind.
Heart disease is North America’s #1 killer – and women are much less likely to survive after a heart attack than men. The underlying cause of heart disease is often atherosclerosis – hardening of the artery walls, with its major risk factors being elevated blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Many people reach for prescription drugs, rather than natural solutions. Mainly because people are not aware that there are safe and effective options other than the prescription drugs.
Heart disease is not inevitable. There are many exciting nutrients and herbs that work to keep the arteries clean and healthy. Amongst the most important are Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10). These nutrients work as a team and are considered to have produced the most consistent results in studies in terms of their tremendous benefit for improving overall heart health.
Before diving right into these nutrients, let’s take a closer look at the main role of the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system’s main jobs are to deliver oxygen and nutrition to cells and to help remove cellular waste products. Today your heart will beat at least 100,000 times, pumping 2500 to 5000 gallons of blood through 60000 miles of blood vessels within your body. In an average lifespan, the heart will beat 2.5 million times and pump 100,000 million gallons of blood! Amazing but true.
Let’s take a closer look at this dynamic team- Vitamin E is the premier antioxidant for protection of the heart. For maximum benefits, the world-renowned Shute Institute recommends natural vitamin E in its highest purity. Natural Vitamin E is much more bioavailable than synthetic vitamin E. A study of more than 2000 patients by doctors in Cambridge, England showed that natural-sourced vitamin E supplements can reduce the risk of heart disease by 77 percent.
CoQ10 is another key nutrient for heart health. Just as a car cannot function without an initial spark from a spark plug, the heart cannot function without CoQ10. More than 20 double-blind studies have shown CoQ10 supplementation improves heart function increasing energy production in the heart muscle and acting as an antioxidant. The body makes some CoQ10, but research shows significant benefits with supplementation. People with heart disease are known to have low levels of CoQ10. CoQ10 is such a powerful antioxidant that it is amongst one of the most effective nutrients (along with Vitamin E) to prevent oxidative and cholesterol damage to arteries.
There are other nutrients that can help. Policosanol TM (a natural supplement from the outer wax of the sugar cane plant) combined with a product called No flush Niacin (Vitamin B3) produce even better results than when taken separately and have been proven more effective than cholesterol-lowering drugs. Policosanol is excellent for those who have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol as it helps to control and enhance the breakdown of the liver’s production of cholesterol. Homocysteine Formulas (that combine B6, B12 and Folic acid) are excellent for lowering homocysteine levels which when elevated are associated with a significant risk for heart disease and strokes.
There are also the Omega 3 fatty acid supplements, such as RxOmega-3 Factors or Wild Sockeye salmon oil. RxOmega-3 Factors combines pharmaceutical grade marine lipids, offering more than twice the amount of EPA and DHA than leading brands. EPA and DHA have been shown in countless studies to have a highly beneficial effect on overall heart health. Rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids (as found in RxOmega-3 Factors and Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil) are also specific for lowering the undesirable LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
People who have ever taken or have been recommended to take prescription calcium channel blocking drugs might find it interesting to know that Celery Seed Extract is the natural alternative to this type of blood pressure pill. Celery Seed Extract contains 3-n-butylphthalide or 3nB for short – a compound that is unique to celery and is responsible for its blood pressure lowering properties. One capsule of Celery Seed Extract provides the same level of 3nB as 4-6 ribs of celery.
Whether you have a family history of heart disease or your lifestyle, diet or stress is affecting your heart health, there are many natural supplements than can offer effective and safe solutions for your cardiovascular ailments. High blood pressure, high cholesterol or atherosclerosis can be beaten.
Your heart works hard every day; make its work a bit easier with the help of these nutrients and a healthy lifestyle.
Suggestions made by Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods, and the contents of this article,
are recommendations only and should not be considered a substitute for professional
medical advice, nor a replacement for prescriptions. Always seek medical advice for any
health concerns from a qualified medical health care professional before using any
recommendations contained in Nutter’s articles.