Nutrients for A Healthy Heart Muscle
Coenzyme Q10 – The antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) functions as a coenzyme in the energy-producing pathways of every cell in the body and is an important antioxidant that will fight the oxidation that creates free radicals as well as the oxidation of LDL and other lipids. CoQ10 is found in many foods, such as broccoli, Chinese cabbage, spinach, raw nuts, ocean fish and shellfish, pork, chicken, and beef. However, in a normal diet, we only get 2-5 mg of this important vitamin-like compound, so it is wise to add it in supplement form as well.
CoQ10 is one of the best “electron donors” that gives its electrons freely to electron-deficient free radicals rendering them harmless. It also restores oxidized vitamin E into a useful form. By given electrons to vitamin E – which, as you recall, is another important antioxidant – it “recycles” vitamin E to get it back into the free radical fight once again. In this way, when supplements of vitamin E and CoQ10 are combined, LDL becomes more resistant to oxidation than when you take vitamin E alone. This combination has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in laboratory animals. However, CoQ10’s most important function is probably within the mitochondria that facilitate the cycle of ATP to ADP to ATP – and so on – which is so crucial to the health of every cell and particularly important in the cells of the heart muscle.
When you take CoQ10 as a supplement, pay attention to what form it comes in. research has shown that since it is such a large molecule, it is hard to absorb. The best form to take it in is ubiquinol, which is the active form. As many as 30 percent of Japanese have a defective NQ01 gene that regulates coenzyme Q10 from the inactive ubiquinone to the active ubiquinol. Also, as you age, the conversion process slows down. For basic health, take the recommendation of 100 mg of ubiquinol a day. Also check the CoQ10 blood level and adjust the dose accordingly.
L-carnitine: Another “transport” molecule that helps in mitochondrial energy generation is L-carnitine, which facilitates moving long-chain fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane to catalyze beta-oxidation, a process by which the fat is broken down so it can be burned as fuel and turned into energy. L-carnitine is one of the most easily used amino acids in our bodies and is also a precursor of nitric oxide and other metabolites. These fatty acids must be brought through the mitochondrial membrane to be processed in this way, and L-carnitine is the only carrier molecule that can do this. Thus the higher the level of L-carnitine in your system, the greater the rate of energy metabolism, and the lower the level, the more difficult it is to generate sufficient energy. Since the heart gets at least 60 percent of its fuel from such fat sources, L-carnitine is crucial to heart health and improving congestive heart failure.
L-carnitine is found in protein-rich foods such as peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, coconut, milk and milk products, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, oats, wheat, and chocolate. However, with age, through genetic defects or eating carnitine-deficient diets (such as pure vegetarians often do), deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals important to L-carnitine, liver or kidney disease, and the use of certain prescription drugs are all associated with our bodies having insufficient levels of L-carnitine; therefore, supplementation is vital. L-carnitine should be supplemented in a dose of 500 mg, three times a day.
D-ribose is a simple five-carbon sugar found in every cell of the body. It is different from other sugars, such as glucose (a six-carbon sugar) because it both provides and sustains energy, especially in weakened hearts. D-ribose provides tremendous support to the mitochondria in assisting the mitochondria to product ATP, or the heart’s energy currency.
D-ribose is naturally present in some meats, but only in trace amounts so small it does not really make any meaningful impact on our bodies. Cells synthesize D-ribose is the best way to provide it within your body because it is easily absorbed and put to work.
The following daily dosages are recommended for the following concerns, however, you still need to check with your doctor before taking these suggestions:
• As a daily preventative of cardiovascular disease or those who exercise strenuously on a regular basis: 5-7 g a day (5 g is equivalent to 2 teaspoons)
• For someone with milk to moderate congestive heart failure, recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, treatment of angina, or those with other significant vascular concerns: 7 – 10 g a day in divided doses
• For advanced congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, frequent angina, and those awaiting heart transplants or suffering from fibromyalgia: 10 – 15 g a day in divided doses
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral for the heart and cardiovascular system across the board. If you’re suffering with congestive heart failure or arrhythmia, magnesium should be a significant help to you. In fact, magnesium deficiency is very common in those who have congestive heart failure. Studies show that as many as half of Americans lack the magnesium they should have, oddly enough roughly the same number that have cardiovascular complications.
Magnesium is present in nuts, grains, beans, and dark green vegetables. Alcohol and caffeine consumption encourage the excretion of magnesium. Certain conventional drugs for treating congestive heart failure, such as Lanoxin and various diuretics, may also deplete magnesium levels.
All individuals who have experienced congestive heart failure should take a magnesium supplement. It is also beneficial in treating arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, PVCs, and symptoms of mitral valve prolapse.
Testosterone supplementation is also very important for all people with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). There are more testosterone receptors in cardiac muscle than any other muscles in the body. Testosterone will also help strengthen the heart muscle. Heavy metal detoxification, chelation therapy, and an infrared sauna are also very important for people with CHF. People with CHF many times have very high mercury, lead, and/or cadmium levels in their cardiac muscle, and their heavy metals are poisoning their mitochondria or their energy producing structures in the cell. It is also recommended to take omega-3 fats and glutathione-boosting supplements for patients with congestive heart failure.