Heart Health

Published: December 3, 2013
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Seven Key Nutrients for a Healthier Heart

The heart is the hardest working organ in your body — the non-stop pump that constantly moves oxygen and nutrition to every other organ, system and cell. Believe it or not, your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. That's 3.5 million times a year, or 2.5 billion times during an average lifetime!

And if your hardworking heart isn't working right, you're not going to feel at your best. But a superfood and several key nutrients can do your heart a world of good.

To optimize your heart's health, here are the nutritional recommendations I heartily get behind.

1. Ribose

This unique nutrient looks and tastes like sugar, and is a key to energy production in the body — including the heart. It works best in powdered form. You will be amazed at your level of energy, and the improvement in heart function, after just 6 weeks on ribose!

2. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is another nutrient critical for energy production. Take 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) a day — starting with 400 mg/day for 6 weeks. After that, take 200 mg/day. It's especially important for anyone on cholesterol-lowering medications.

3. Magnesium, B Vitamins and Zinc

Magnesium increases the strength of your heart muscle and helps keep heart rhythms (the electrical activity of the heart) steady and smooth. I recommend 200 mg/day.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish

Even the conservative American Heart Association recommends omega-3 fatty acids to optimize heart health. Their recommendation: 1 gram (1,000 mg) daily of a mixture of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). There are several ways you can get that amount:

  • One tablespoon of fish oil, four times a week.
  • One serving of fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna, four times a week. Supertip: Canned white albacore tuna has three times the amount of fish oil as chunk of light tuna. But skip the fast-food fried fish sandwich. Research shows they worsen omega-3 deficiency!
  • A daily fish oil or Omega 3 supplement.

5. Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine helps the mitochondria (the tiny energy factories in every cell, including the cells of the heart muscle) make energy. I recommend 1,000 mg twice daily for 6 weeks. After that, take 500 mg daily.

6. Hawthorn

In a recent analysis of 14 rigorous studies involving more than 1,000 people, an extract of the herb hawthorn was effective at improving the strength of the heart muscle and blood flow to the heart. I recommend Hawthorn Phytosome from Enzymatic Therapy. Take 2 tablets, three times daily.

7. Magnesium Orotate

For this special form of magnesium, 6,000 mg a day for 1 month followed by 3,000 mg a day was very effective at helping support optimal heart function. Kal 200 mg magnesium orotate tablets have about 750 mg of magnesium orotate per tablet.

All of these can be taken in combination for 6 weeks, at which time the benefits will have occurred. Then dosing can be lowered to what is needed to maintain benefits (with the key items to maintain being ribose, coenzyme Q10 and the vitamin powder).

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