One of the biggest challenges to conventional cardiology is heart failure. It’s a growing epidemic in the U.S. And conventional medicine has little to offer. But I’m seeing some patients improve significantly. I’ll tell you how in a moment. First, you have to understand how heart failure works.
By definition, your heart is failing to pump sufficient blood for the needs of your body. Of course there are grades of dysfunction. A key measure of heart function is how much blood your left ventricle pumps out in one stroke. That’s called the “ejection fraction.”
A good ejection fraction is 60% of its contents, assuming normal valvular function (blood not going backward into the lungs). I’ll accept 50% for most people (mine is closer to 70%). Anything less indicates increasing impairment. Sadly, I’ve seen people with ejection fractions of less than 20%, a situation barely compatible with life. Anything that can improve ejection fraction is sure to improve the quality of life to these folks. And a recent study found a particular nutrient combination can do just that.
The study found that a powerful bioflavonoid, Pycnogenol, plus the incredible CoQ10, provided significant improvement. The study was single blinded, lasted 12 weeks, and involved 53 patients with stable heart failure. Three quarters of the participants were taking three or more Pharma drugs for the condition.
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The researchers found that the blood pressure of the group fell (easier for heart to pump), and their heart rate fell (indicating more efficient pumping action). Their respiratory rate decreased (indicating better overall oxygen delivery) and their walking distance increased 3.3 fold in the treatment group, and only marginally in the placebo group. But the benefits didn’t stop there.
Their leg edema significantly improved in the treated group, and not at all in the placebo subjects. The improvement in cardiac disability class was three times greater in the treated group compared to controls. And, most importantly, the researchers reported that ejection fraction increased by 22.4% in the treated group versus 4% in the control group.
Those results are really impressive. But my experience far exceeds even the good results of this study. I routinely see ejection fraction doubling from 20% to 40% or more. I’ve had a case of 25% ejection fraction improve to a stunning 60%.
I haven’t used Pycnogenol itself, but I do use other bioflavonoids, all of which will have similar effects. I really like Alginol, which contains a powerful bioflavonoid from the seaweed cava Ecklonia. I also like resveratrol, cretagus from Hawthorne berry, and others (like rutin).
I also use an Ayurvedic product called Arjuna Heart (four to six per day). And, of course my key supplement is CoQ10 (at least 100 mg daily and often much more). Researchers discovered a long time ago that CoQ10 stimulates the energy-producing mitochondria in your cells. CoQ10 can restore them, even in damaged hearts. My favorite form is found in Ubiquinol, which contains the more bioavailable reduced form of CoQ10 and other mitochondrial-protecting nutrients (alpha-lipoic acid and carnitine). I also use ribose, in the product Corvalen. Ribose also directly helps your heart make more ATP chemical energy.
Depending on each patient’s unique personal history, there are other approaches I consider, including chelation, oxidation, and essential phospholipids (both IV and oral in the form of Phoschol). You can find many of these supplements at Advanced Bionutritionals. There are very few patients who have failed to improve on a personalized program. So find a doctor from acam.org who will give you this individualized program.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Panminerva Med, 2010 June; 52(2 Suppl 1): 21-5.