Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is any change in the regular rhythm of the heart. It is typically due to interference with the electrical pathways of the heart and are responsible for over 400,000 deaths each year. Some arrhythmias are harmless and some are life threatening. Often the first sign of hidden heart disease is sudden death, which is usually caused by arrhythmias.

Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats from fish oil may prevent sudden death. The Italian GISSI-Prevenzione was a trial of over eleven thousand participants who either took 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA (fish oil) or a placebo. The group taking fish oil had a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality and a 45 percent reduction in sudden death. A Harvard study showed that men who had higher blood levels of omge-3 fats had an 80 percent lower risk of sudden death compared with men with low serum levels of omega-3. Omega-3 fats may also help prevent atrial fibrillation.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is associated with arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Magnesium strongly impacts heart cell membrane function and is a very important catalyst in many enzymatic reactions in the heart muscle cell (myocyte) and in more than three hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium given by intravenously has also been shown to reduce the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Magnesium helps to prevent both benign arrhythmias and serious arrhythmias. Magnesium helps to relax the heart and calm down and stabilize the heart’s electrical system.

Taurine

Taurine is the second most abundant amino acid in muscle. Foods that contain taurine include meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish. Taurine prevents arrhythmias by limiting calcium overload of the myocardium and helping to prevent hypertrophy of the heart. The heart that is ischemic or lacking adequate oxygen is more prone to arrhythmia. Some researchers believe that arrhythmias due to acute myocardial ischemic may be due to a loss of intracellular taurine. Following either an ischemic event or heart attack, taurine levels drop to as low as one-third of normal levels. Taurine also protects the oxygen-starved, or ischemic, heart from reperfusion-induced arrhythmias.

Coenzyme Q10

It is very useful in treating arrhythmias. CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body and helps manufacture energy. It also is believed to stabilize the heart’s electrical system and help prevent arrhythmias. It is especially effective for premature ventricular contractions.

Berberine

Berberine is the main active ingredient in the herb goldenseal, which has been used for years to treat intestinal infections. It has also been found to be beneficial for ventricular arrhythmias due to ischemia or a lack of oxygen. Berberine may also help prevent sudden death after myocardial ischemic damage. Researchers have studied berberine on patients with ventricular arrhythmias. They found that 62 percent of patients had 50 percent or greater, and 38 percent of patients had 90 percent or greater suppression of premature ventricular contractions. Berberine is typically recommended at a dose of 500 mg, twice a day.

Most all supplements that help congestive heart failure and ischemia will also typically help arrhythmias.

Hope for Congestive Heart Failure and Arrhythmia

While congestive heart failure is very serious and certain arrhythmias could lead to sudden death, they are typically both very treatable. As with most muscles in the body, the heart can be maintained and even strengthened. Treatment is all about reenergizing and refueling the heart by increasing blood flow to it and supplying nutrients to strengthen the heart and give it more energy. You might think of it like recharging the “battery cells” of the heart. It is really a question of getting as much “energy” generated for the heart as possible.

As with any other muscle, this energy starts at the cellular level, and the powerhouse of the cell is mitochondria, small organelles inside of each cell that generate energy by synthesizing fuel (food) and oxygen and making ATP. Mitochondria generate over 90 percent of the energy the body uses and make up about 35 percent of heart cells. It is mitochondrial energy that drives the metabolism. ATP is the heart’s energy currency. Mitochondrial energy is produced in a process that uses oxygen and nutrients to change adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate, then changes those two back to ATP again. This cycle is almost like the turning of a turbine, releasing energy with each change. If the cell is deficient in fuel or oxygen, this cycle suffers; thus the cell’s metabolism suffers and its function is compromised.

The by-product of this cycle is carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and a small amount of damaged oxygen molecules that are missing an electron – in other words, free radicals. The CO2 is exhaled when we breathe, along with a little of the water, while the rest of the water travels to the kidneys. If the free radicals accumulate to high levels, it can cause problems; however, there is evidence that some level of them may be important for functions such as mitochondrial respiration, white blood cell activity, and platelet activation. Very high levels, though, will injure the cell membranes, degrade the mitochondria and other parts of the cell, as well as damage DNA. To prevent this, it is recommended that glutathione-boosting supplements, which is the body’s most important antioxidant.

The key to optimizing this energy-producing cycle is keeping the mitochondria healthy. If we have healthy mitochondria, then we will be healthy too. Healthy mitochondria protect against any number of degenerative disease like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutritional Supplements for Congestive Heart Failure and Arrhythmia

According to the American Heart Association, congestive heart failure – often just called heart failure – affects roughly 5.7 million Americans and is diagnosed in another 670,000 each year. It is characterized by a weakening of the heart muscle that decreases its ability to pump blood effectively, usually because oxygen and nutrients are slowly cut off to it over time because of the reduced blood flow caused by atherosclerosis. While congestive heart failure can be fatal, it is also treatable and can be controlled – sometimes even reverse d- with the proper care, lifestyle changes, and supplements.

Arrhythmia is another heart complication that affects millions of Americans. An arrhythmia is an abnormality in the rhythm of the heartbeat. A healthy heart may experience this from time to time, but consistent problems with arrhythmia may be a sign of a more severe problem with your heart. This will also make the heart less effective in pumping blood to all the parts of the body that need the crucial oxygen and nutrients it carries and may be associated with congestive heart failure.

The heart is the most specialized muscle in the body having only one responsibility, to keep blood flowing throughout the entire 60,000 – mile pipeline that is the cardiovascular system. It does this twenty-four hours a day, day-in and day-out, while we sleep, sit, exercise, or whatever else we do in the course of our days. To do this it needs constant oxygen and nutrition to carry out its function without coffee breaks, weekends off, changes in its work patterns, or naps.

A healthy heart will pump out 50 to 70 percent of the blood in it (called the “ejection fraction” or EF) with each contraction or beat. As the heart ages, especially if anything interferes with the flow of oxygen and sugar to feed it, the EF will begin to drop. A heart is considered to be failing when the EF with each contraction reaches 40 percent or less. This then becomes a downward spiral as other parts of the body also slowly stave from lack of oxygen and important nutrients. This may also cause fluid to back up in the lungs, causing congestion (the “congestive” part of congestive heart failure). CHF can be considered milk, average, severe, or very severe depending on how much the heart is failing.

One of the first signs of congestive heart failure is often weight gain as fluid starts to collect in the abdomen, feet, ankles, and les. The person may also feel tired more easily or have a shortness of breath when doing what would otherwise be a mild increase in exertion – climbing stairs or after a brisk walk to catch a bus. They may wake up with a choking sensation as they experience shortness of breath because their lungs are filling with fluid. If this worsens, it will lead to a persistent cough that may even contain mucus or even blood. They may also experience angina symptoms. Anyone experiencing such symptoms should consult a physician immediately.

Arrhythmia, on the other hand, may have no outward symptoms at all and may only be detected by a doctor with a stethoscope or through an electrocardiogram. However, others may experience heart palpitations (any of the irregularities of the heartbeat as mentioned above), dizziness or light-headedness, a “pounding” chest, fainting or shortness of breath, unusual fatigue or weakness, or general chest discomfort. Again, if you experience something like this, see your physician right away or go to the ER.

While the heart ages just as we do, such problems do not normally manifest without additional complications. High blood pressure will eventually make the heart work harder than it should and put more wear and tear on it than is needed. This will eventually lead to its “tiring” or “misfiring”. Narrowing of the arteries will limit the oxygen and nutrients to the heart, slowly starving it. Heart attacks can damage parts of the heart that may never recover, thus weakening the heart. The heart may also get infected or attacked by disease, a condition called cardiomyopathy. Other conditions that can gradually weaken the heart are diabetes, cancer treatments, thyroid problems, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as other serious, less common ailments. Congestive heart failure is most common in people over sixty-five, men, and African Americans. The dangers of arrhythmia also increase with age.

USANA Vitamins Supplements CoQuinone® 30 dietary supplement was developed by USANA HEALTH SCIENCES to deliver highly bioavailable CoQ10 to the body cells. CoQ10 has a role of producing cellular energy for the heart and other muscles and is effective in maintenance of good heart function. Nature has designed a molecule in CoQ10 to not only can assist in ATP production, but also works with other antioxidants to clean up the free radicals. As an antioxidant, it rivals vitamins E and C. In addition, USANA nutritional supplement CoQ10 helps to regenerate and recycle vitamin E.