ovp-22515-blogA quick review of the history of heart disease shows that hardening of the arteries and build-up of plaque have been with us for a long time. How long? The mummies of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt show signs of hardened arteries. Descriptions of heart disease in medical writings, however, are sporadic until we get to the Industrial Age. By the 1700s, references to heart disease and angina began to appear with more frequency. By the middle of the 20th century, heart disease was one of the leading causes of death and disability.

Most agree that genetics and diet play important roles in the development of heart problems. Diet has worked its way into the clinical practice of cardiologists as well as other physicians, and doctors are correct to emphasize diet and lifestyle changes for heart disease management. What is not agreed upon is which diet is the best approach. Some recommend a low-fat, high-grain vegetarian diet and others stand by a more balanced approach like a zone or paleo diet. If you are at risk for heart disease, you would do well to research these recommendations extensively: you are betting your life on them. If you choose a low-fat approach, make sure you are still getting enough EPA and DHA; your brain absolutely needs these to be healthy. It doesn’t make much sense to have a healthy heart and poor brain function.

One standard of care for heart disease includes agents that lower “cholesterol”. I put cholesterol in quotes because it’s not measured in blood tests, only the lipid carriers HDL and LDL. Both HDL and LDL are required for health, but excess LDL and triglycerides are often found in people with advanced cardiovascular problems.

Lowering these lipids can be done through diet and exercise for most people, though some will still require supplements or medical help to get these values in a healthy range. People taking Lipitor or Crestor should also be taking coenzyme Q10 supplements, as these drugs also inhibit some CoQ10 pathways. This can be a source of the fatigue, neuropathies and myalgia (muscle pain) that are common side effects of “cholesterol” lowering medications. Don’t wait for these symptoms to appear as they can be permanent.

For mild to moderate cases, we recommend red yeast rice-based supplements like BetterGenix CholestGenix. You will probably have to take these supplements two to three times per day in many cases to get those numbers down. And don’t forget the Karuna CoQ10-100. One a day seems to do the trick for prevention. Study after study has shown that high doses of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are heart-friendly as well. In addition to supplements, get your blood tested according your healthcare provider’s recommended schedule to make sure you are staying ahead of problems.

If you are facing congestive heart failure, you will need a lot of CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10). CoQ10 is essential for about 90% of a cell’s energy production and since the heart is so energetic, it is very sensitive to deficiencies in CoQ10. Some researchers recommend much higher doses than just 100 mg per day. You may need 5-10 times that amount for a few months to get your heart back on track.

We always recommend an organic, GMO-free diet for anyone battling heart disease. The reason is that GMO grains often have high levels of glyphosate, the active ingredient in formulas used to control agricultural weeds. Glyphosate has been shown to inhibit energy uptake by the heart cells. Glyphosate is impossible to avoid completely, but you can reduce your exposure to about 10% of what you would get if you didn’t work at it.

In summary, do some reading, find a heart friendly diet and stick to it. Supplement your omega-3 fatty acids with something like EuroMedica Euromega, get your CoQ10 from Karuna CoQ10-100 and support healthy lipid levels with BetterGenix CholestGenix. If you have questions about the right supplements for you, call us and talk to us about a consultation – we want you to be healthy!