You know that I prefer to treat and prevent disease naturally whenever possible. In general, I like to keep my patients away from drugs. I recommend that you find a doctor who will do the same. But there are times when drugs are necessary. So when they are, is taking a drug and a natural remedy together a good idea? New research suggests it’s actually a great idea.
One of the reasons I like to avoid drugs is that they can have side effects. But the right supplements can help reduce those side effects. And in certain cases, they can do more. They can actually help the drugs work more effectively. New research found that to be the case for certain types of heart disease drugs.
I’ve written a lot about nitric oxide (NO) in the past. Our bodies can produce NO on their own. But levels decline as we age. So taking a NO supplement can help us decrease some of the effects of aging. In fact, in some cases, NO alone can be enough to help you avoid heart disease. Other times, you’ll need drugs. But some drugs won’t work without NO. So making sure your body has lots of this important gas molecule can make a big difference.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have been looking at a type of drug target called a GPCR. GPCRs are G protein-coupled receptors. Many medications target GCPRs because they affect cells’ protein pathways. Activating the right pathway can be very helpful. But activating the wrong pathway can create negative side effects. This new study found that NO can help make sure cells activate the right pathway in response to heart disease drugs. Even better, it can actually shut down the side-effect path.
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The researchers studied mice that they genetically engineered to be unable to respond to NO through the bad pathway. Sure enough, they experienced heart failure. They obtained similar results with human heart tissue.
The researchers believe that if you don’t have enough NO shutting down the bad pathways, the drugs could activate those by mistake. That’s a lose-lose. You want the drugs to focus on activating the good pathway. Having enough NO can make a big difference in which pathways the cells activate.
If you’re concerned about your heart but haven’t been told you need drugs, NO is a great choice. It will help boost your circulation and give you more energy. If you are taking drugs to protect your heart, I strongly recommend a NO supplement. This will help ensure the drugs actually help you, not hurt you.
No matter which group you’re in, I recommend getting your NO from CircO2. It comes in lozenge form, which is the most effective way to get NO to your cells. And it contains additional vitamins and magnesium. Magnesium is great for your heart. It will help you maintain a healthy rhythm and keep your blood flowing smoothly. Those are side effects you can be happy about!
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Campbell G., et al. Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed opioids: findings from a 4-year prospective cohort study. The Lancet Vol 3, No 7, p341-350, July 2018