Heart Friendly Supplements
I first became aware of the healing power of supplementation as a child, after my grandmother suffered a massive heart attack that left her unlikely to survive the night. I watched my grandfather nurse her back to health with nutrition and supplementation, adding more than twenty additional years to her life. I've been interested in what I think of as "natural" medicine, ever since. These five supplements are amongst the most beneficial for a healthy heart.
L-Arginine and L-Citrulline
L-Arginine and L-Citrulline are synergistic amino acids that work together to improve endothelial function and flow within blood vessels. L-Arginine creates nitric oxide within the endothelial cells which in turn dialates blood vessels, preventing blood clots and regulating blood pressure. A recent study showed that when taken with L-Citrulline, L-Arginine inhibits the accumulation of plaque on the interior walls of arteries. L-Citrulline enables the L-Arginine to easily enter the cells. 3000 milligrams per day of L-Arginine and 400-600 milligrams of L-Citrulline is the currently recommended dosage of each amino acid.
Coenzyme Q-10, or CoQ10, is a fat soluble, vitamin like part of an enzyme complex responsible for expediting the conversion of sugar and fat into energy within the mitochondria of the cells. It is also a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. CoQ10 levels within the body decrease with age, with certain health concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes and others, and is also lowered by various prescription drugs (statins). While recommended for practically every ailment under the sun, it is especially helpful, even lifesaving in some cases, for those with congestive heart failure. The recommended dosage is 100 to 300 milligrams daily.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seeds contain substances known as procyanidolic oligomers, or PCOs. PCOs are powerful antioxidants and excellent free radical scavengers. They inhibit several of the enzymes responsible for the breakdown of connective tissue as people age. Clinical trials suggest that PCOs improve various vascular disorders as well as macular degeneration and night blindness. 200-300 milligrams per day of grape seed extract may well help prevent the development of heart disease. Grape seed extract also has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Doctors have long recognized a link between diets high in fish and a lowered incidence of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are what protect the heart. There are literally thousands of studies that attest to the heart saving benefits of Omega 3s. DHA and EPA are the most important fatty acids present in supplements, particularly DHA, so pick supplements that contain the most, and that are fresh and mercury free. The recommended dosage is 500 to 1000 milligrams per day, possibly more when one's diet provides few omega 3's.
Hawthorn berries have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of heart disorders. The berries, flowers and even to a certain extent, leaves, help to stabilize irregular heart beats, ease high blood pressure, and reduce angina. Hawthorn works by improving blood flow to the heart as well as by relaxing blood vessels. It has also been demonstrated in studies to be extremely helpful for patients with congestive heart failure. 300 milligrams three times per day is the recommended dosage.
The heart is a complex organ that responds well to a variety of treatments. While diet is important, supplementation is a fast and easy way to ensure the heart gets what it needs to prevent and/or treat coronary heart disease.
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