Cause

Blood vessels are made of connective tissue, which is composed of cells which produce the fibrous protein matrixes of collagen and elastin, as well as the hydrated network of amino-sugars called glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Silicon stabilizes the glycosaminoglycan network. The glycosaminoglycans contain sulfur. Lysyl oxidase, a copper containing enzyme, helps produce collagen and elastin. The most abundant amino acids in collagen are lysine and proline. Vitamin C is required for the production and repair of collagen, and is destroyed during the process. A deficiency of any of these nutrients results in weaker connective tissue.

Every time the heart beats the arteries are flattened and stretched, which can result in tiny cracks and lesions. Free radicals, inflammation and infections also damage collagen. High amounts of blood sugar cause cells in the heart to create more free radicals. Toxic metals create free radicals. Stress increases inflammation. Cellular senescence also leads to inflammation.

When collagen strands are damaged, lysine and proline become exposed. In the absense of sufficient vitamin C the body produces more lipoprotein(a) cholesterol, which is attracted to lysine and proline and will bind to the damaged collagen strands, patching the damage with plaque. Unfortunately the patch is imperfect and successive patches can cause the artery to become narrow and inflamed. At the narrowing of an artery a clot may form, blocking the blood flow at that point; also plaque can break off and block a vessel downstream. The blockage of blood flow leads to a heart attack or stroke.

The heart requires a constant supply of energy to keep beating. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) participates in biochemical reactions that provide energy. D-ribose is required to build adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energetic compound produced by the mitochondria. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) increases energy production, and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) restores depleted ATP levels. A deficiency in any of these compounds leads to reduced heart function.

Magnesium has an essential role in cardiac electrophysiology. The body needs adequate stores of iodine for a smooth heartbeat. Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for proper heart function. A deficiency of any of these nutrients leads to heart arrhythmias.

Treatment

Cayenne pepper is an amazing cardioprotectant, powerful enough to stop heart attacks in progress. Everyone should have potent cayenne pepper in the house, and take it regularly; it also improves circulation, and removes toxins. Furthermore, if you or someone in your family has a heart condition, you should have at least a tablespoon with you wherever you go.

Plaque can be removed with vitamin C, L-lysine, and L-proline. Results are noticeable within a month, but it may take several months to clear all the plaque. If other measures to treat cardiovascular disease are insufficient to stop excess collagen damage, new plaque will form so the therapy would have to be continued.

Blood vessels should be strengthened by taking silicon, sulfur, and copper.

Heart function should be maximized by taking coenzyme Q10, D-ribose, honey and cinnanmon.

To ensure the heart beats regularly, magnesium, iodine, and vitamin B should be taken.

Inflammation, free radicals, and infections should be minimized by taking blueberries, apples, carrots, pomegranate, vitamin D, walnuts, celery, coconut oil, curcumin/turmeric, zinc, krill oil, and wheatgrass juice. Stress can be reduced with meditation. Cellular senescence can be partially treated with astragalus.

Bromelain dissolves the fibrin protein mesh holding clots together. The full suite of proteolytic enzymes, which include bromelain, are more powerful than bromelain alone, more expensive, and have a greater risk of side effects.

Blood sugar levels can be reduced by taking nutrients that treat diabetes, like chromium, aloe vera, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine. Chelation should be employed to remove toxic metals.

For each treatment below, the effectiveness is rated on a scale of 0 to 10. The effectiveness rating is a combination of the claimed power of the treatment with the amount of evidence for that claim. The availability is rated on a scale of 0 to 5. The easier the treatment is to obtain, the higher the availability rating, the more expensive the treatment, the lower the availability rating. If the treatment is a common food the availability rating will be 5, if the treatment can only be obtained by mail order, the rating will be lower, if the treatment is only available by prescription the rating lower still. The safety is rated on a scale of 0 to 5. If the treatment is a common safe food the safety rating will be 5, if the treatment has mild adverse effects the rating will be lower, if the treatment requires injections or monitoring in a clinic to prevent the possibility of severe adverse effects the rating will be lower still.

The scores are totaled, and the treatments are ranked in descending order of the total score, then alphabetically.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper can stop heart attacks in progress and in daily use it removes arterial wall plaque. To stop a heart attack in progress, pour a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water) down the throat of the patient, and the patient will usually recover in a few minutes. If the patient is unconscious, a few drops of full strength undiluted cayenne pepper extract must be placed underneath the tongue. For both these remedies, the cayenne pepper should be extremely potent, preferably at least 90,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). Regular strength cayenne pepper may also work in an emergency, but it is less likely, although still much better than nothing. For daily use, people often start taking 1/8th to 1/16th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 70 mL of very warm water of no hotter than 35,000 to 45,000 SHU cayenne pepper. Many build up from there all the way to a teaspoon. Cayenne pepper is also available in capsules, one capsule of cayenne is around 450 milligrams, roughly 1/4th to 1/3rd of a teaspoon.

Using cayenne pepper on the skin can also halt a heart attack. University of Cincinnati researchers found that there was an 85% decrease in cardiac cell death when capsaicin cream was applied to particular skin areas in mice which caused responses in the nervous system, activating cellular survival pathways in the heart. Capsaicin cream works by stimulating and then relieving pain, products are listed on the Icy Hot with Capsaicin page. Dr. Keith Jones, researcher in the university's department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, stated that the capsaicin was the strongest cardioprotective reaction ever recorded, and that capsaicin in topical form can be easily applied to patients in an ambulance or emergency room way ahead of time of coronary tissue death.

Cayenne pepper belongs to the Capsicum family and its botanical name is Capsicum annuum. It is the red or green chili pepper that is used to add flavor in food. Cayenne contains capsaicin, vitamin A, C, E, K, carotenoids and the complete B complexes. It is also a source of calcium, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber. Cayenne pepper removes arterial wall plaque, nourishes the heart, improves circulation, rebuilds blood cells, lowers cholesterol, emulsifies triglycerides, removes toxins from the bloodstream, and can stop heart attacks.

Very hot cayenne pepper powders include Butcher and Packer - Whole Red Pepper - 90,000 Scoville units, and The Great North American Spice Company - Cayenne Pepper - 90,000 Scoville Units.

Except in emergencies, cayenne pepper should always be taken with a meal, never on an empty stomach. Cayenne pepper doses should be started small, and increased slowly over at least several days until the target dose is reached or there are adverse effects. Excess consumption may cause burning sensations in the throat, stomach, or rectum.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 10
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 3

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Magnesium

Magnesium reduces the frequency of heart attacks. The typical supplementation dose is 8 mg/kg/day, which works out to 560 mg/day for a 70 kg person. The total treatment dose is 13 mg/kg/day, and the typical US diet provides 5 mg/kg/day, giving the typical supplementation dose of 8 mg/kg/day. The supplementation should ideally be from food.

Heart arrhythmias usually clear up dramatically on 500 milligrams of magnesium citrate or magnesium aspartate once or twice daily or faster if given intravenously.

Magnesium reduces the frequency of heart attacks, lowers blood pressure, smooths out arrhythmias, improves outcomes in patients undergoing angioplasty with stent placement, helps with angina, helps prevent complications after bypass surgery, and reduces the frequency of postoperative rhythm disorders after cardiac surgery. After a heart attack, magnesium reduces morbity, reduces time on a ventilator, reduces the chances of another heart failure, and improves heart function. Patient with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) given magnesium experience declines in QTc and QUc intervals, as well as normalization of ECG abnormalities.

Magnesium rich foods include seeds (pumpkin, squash, watermelon, flax, sesame, and sunflower), bran (rice, wheat, and oat), and nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, and pine nuts). Magnesium supplements include Life Extension - Magnesium - 500 mg and PureBulk.com - Magnesium Gluconate.

Getting magnesium from food is reasonably safe. However, very large doses of magnesium from supplements may cause adverse effects such as nausea, diarrhea, appetite loss, muscle weakness, abdominal cramps, and extremely low blood pressure. Individuals with kidney failure lose the ability to remove excess magnesium from the blood, and should carefully monitor magnesium supplementation due to the risk of magnesium toxicity. Overall, it is best to get the required magnesium from food. If the patient is not getting enough magnesium from food, then magnesium from supplements can be added to reach the treatment dose of 13 mg/kg/day.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 9
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Vitamin C, L-Lysine, and L-Proline

Vitamin C at a high blood concentration, along with lysine and proline, removes arterial plaque. A minimum of 3,000 mg/day of vitamin C in divided doses at each meal, is needed to start removing arterial plaque, the higher the blood concentration, the more effective the treatment. The best way to achieve a high blood concentration of vitamin C is with a liposomal form of vitamin C, which is more bioavailable than regular vitamin C, like Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, from Livon Laboratories. With the liposomal form of vitamin C, 3 packets (each with 1,000 mg of vitamin C) a day, divided into three doses a day, will achieve a high blood concentration of vitamin C. A high blood concentration can also be achieved with intravenous vitamin C, but that can only be done in a clinic and there are many potential intravenous therapy adverse effects.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and forms into fibres which provide strength and stability to all body tissues, including the arteries. Every time the heart beats the arteries are flattened and stretched, resulting in damaged collagen. The most abundant amino acids in collagen are lysine and proline, and when collagen strands are damaged lysine and proline become exposed. With adequate supplies of vitamin C this damage is repaired. However, when there is insufficient vitamin C, the body patches the arteries using a special kind of cholesterol, lipoprotein(a), which is attracted to lysine and proline and will attach itself to the exposed damaged collagen strands. Unfortunately the plaque patch is not ideal and after many years repeated deposits cause the artery to become narrow and inflamed. Heart attack or stroke becomes likely; usually caused by a clot forming at the site of the narrowed artery, or by a piece of plaque breaking off and blocking a smaller vessel downstream.

To prevent and reverse the plaque build up; Linus Pauling found that by taking sufficient levels of vitamin C, at least 3,000 mg/day, along with lysine and proline; lipoprotein(a) would no longer be needed as a repair material, and existing arterial plaques may be removed from the arteries. Vitamic C dosage is a key factor, low doses are ineffective.

The typical requirement for lysine is 12 mg/kg/day, so 840 mg/day for a 70 kg person. Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and legumes are good sources of lysine. Foods like nuts, seeds, gelatin and chocolate contain little lysine but large amounts of arginine, which opposes the effects of lysine. Vegans, athletes, burn victims, and people with heart disease usually require supplementation, typically around 500 mg/day of lysine and 200 mg/day of proline. Supplements with lysine and proline include Life Extension - L-Proline, L-Lysine, Our Health Co-op - Heart Plus: Vitamin C, L-Lysine and L-Proline, and Tower Laboratories - Ascorcine-9. If there are no side effects from taking lysine and proline, than the dose can be increased to 5,000 mg/day of lysine, and 2,500 mg/day of proline, for more effective treatment.

For best results when taking liposomal vitamin C, mix it with a beverage, drink on an empty stomach, and wait at least 15 minutes before eating. When taking liposomal vitamin C, the consumption of carbohydrates (especially refined sugar) must be limited, because carbohydrates impair oral absorption of this vitamin. It may be possible to make liposomal vitamin C at home with an ultrasonic cleaner; however, the amount that ends up encapsulated is unknown and the blood concentration achieved is also unknown.

A high blood concentration can also be achieved with many (usually six or more) large doses (two grams each or more) of vitamin C per day, however, it is inconvenient to take many doses and there is a large chance of adverse effects like diarrhea. A good form of oral vitamin C is sodium ascorbate. Vitamin C should not be taken with blood thinners, such as aspirin, coumadin or warfarin. Low doses of vitamin C have little or no effect. For lysine, a supplementation of 500 mg/day is reasonably safe; however it may cause gastrointestinal distress, it may increase the toxicity levels of some antibiotics, and people with liver or kidney disease should avoid taking lysine. Proline has similar side effects. If the patient can not take lysine and proline, vitamin C will still help, but it won't be as effective.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 10
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 4

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Iodine

Iodine lowers cholesterol levels, and corrects cardiac arrhythmias. The typical Japanese consumption, which has a high intake of iodine from seaweed, is 2 mg/day. The supplementation should ideally be from food.

Iodine and iodine rich foods have been used for over a century to treat hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Even when no overt symptoms are evident, hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiency contributes to heart disease and stroke. Thyroid dysfunction elevates levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, total cholesterol and raises the risk of atherosclerosis. Hypothyroidism also weakens the heart muscle, causing it to pump less with each contraction, and increasing the chance of cardiac arrhythmias. Hypothyroidism also increases waist to hip ratios, an obesity-related risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Restoring thyroid function by taking more iodine alleviates the multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Although the typical Japanese consumption will help with the majority of heart problems, sometimes patients don't respond to 2 mg/day of iodine and require larger doses, up to 100 mg/day to reach iodine fulfillment, meaning the entire body has enough iodine to function properly. Large doses of iodine should be approached slowly, because of the risk of thyroid problems from iodine overdose, preferably with the guidance of a health care professional experienced with iodine therapy. Also large doses should only be attempted after intake of other heart nutrients including magnesium, silicon, cayenne pepper, and vitamins B, C, and D have been raised to sufficient levels and yet heart problems remain. Finally large doses should only be attempted for three months, then the dose should be gradually reduced.

Iodine also kills microorganisms and parasites, calms the body, increases energy, increases focus and concentration, helps to produce stomach acid, and increases the ability to sweat. Iodine also helps the body excrete toxic elements like mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, fluorine, and bromine, and toxic compounds like perchlorates. Iodine deficiency symptoms include hypothyroidism, brain fog, hormonal imbalances, hoarseness, poor short term memory, immune system dysfunction, acid reflux, chronic constipation, cold intolerance, excess phlegm, hypertension, heart arrythmias, fatigue, chronic headaches, weight gain, fibrocystic breasts, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infertility, menstrual cramps, vaginal infections, and dry skin, mouth and eyes.

Seaweed is the food richest in iodine. Kelp are large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae (class Phaeophyceae). The concentration of iodine in kelp varies widely, Undaria kelp has 0.049 mg/g, and Green Bay kelp has 2.2 mg/g, and some kelp flakes have as much as 8 mg/g. Japanese kombu (Laminaria) has 2.4 mg/g, wakame (Undaria) has 0.042 mg/g, and nori has 0.016 mg/g. When kombu is boiled in water for 15 minutes it can lose up to 99% of its iodine content, while boiled sargassum loses around 40%. The seaweed consumption in Japan is about 5 grams per day. Because the concentration of iodine varies in seaweeds, it is best to eat a few different varities of seaweed to get enough iodine without overdosing. Supplements include Lugol's Solution, Potassium Iodide (SSKI), Povidone Iodine (PVP-I), and Iodoral.

High iodine intake can cause health problems in people with pre-existing thyroid disorders. Transient hypothyroidism and iodine induced goiter is common in Japan and can be reversed in most cases by restricting iodine intake. For some conditions, and for some patients who do not respond to the typical Japanese consumption, doses of 50 to 100 mg of iodine per day are used; however, such large doses should only be used with careful supervision to ensure that the patient does not develop thyroid problems.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 8
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

Links

Apples

Eating at least 75 g/day of apples lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol, lipid hydroperoxide, and C-reactive protein. The apples should be eaten with the skin, which is rich in nutrients.

Apples have fiber, quercitin, pectin, phloridzin, iron, boron procyanidin B2, vitamin A, vitamin C, and pythochemicals. Apple pectin binds cholesterol and fat before the body absorbs them, furthermore the polyphenols in apples also lower cholesterol. Apples reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, and asthma. Apple pectin reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the need for insulin. Apples, especially the skin, are rich in fiber which helps digestion and alleviates constipation. Apple fiber cleanses teeth, and apples have antiviral properties. The phloridzin in apples increases bone density. Procyanidin B2 in apples may promote hair growth.

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 5

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Blueberries

Blueberries lower blood pressure, decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, reduce DNA damage, decrease total cholesterol, increase high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. The typical dose is around 400 mL(about 1.5 cups) per day of blueberry juice.

Also, blueberry leaf extract inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity, and lowers glucose levels. Supplements with blueberry leaf extract include Life Extension - Blueberry Extract with Pomegranate, and Costco - Trunature Blueberry Extract.

Overall blueberries are tastier than pomegranates, but not as potent. A good combination is pomegranate and blueberry juice, where the pomegranate provides the majority of the medical benefits, and the blueberries give it a better taste.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 5

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Carrots

Carrots have large quantities of antioxidents, which protect the cardiovascular system from damage, and have polyacetylenes which prevent red blood cells from clumping together. Carrots can be eaten raw or juiced. Carrots are great as a base for juicing whatever else you want to include in your fresh vegetable juice. Carrots and other vegetables should be juiced without overheating them, because that would destroy the enzymes. A slow speed masticating juicer will make healthy juice without overheating. A typical amount of carrot juice for good health is 500 mL (2 cups) a day.

Carrots have vitamin A, beta carotenes, lutein, polyacetylene antioxidants falcarindiol and falcarinol, B vitamins, folates, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Vitamin A toxicity is possible with vitamin supplements and fish oils, but you can not overdose on vitamin A with carrots. Carrot polyacetylenes are also anti-inflammatories, and they have anti-aggregatory properties, preventing red blood cells from clumping together.

Purple carrots have about 30 times higher anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant levels than orange carrots, so they should be a more powerful treatment. Purple carrot seed products include The Cottage Gardener - Dragon Carrot, and Bountiful Gardens - Carrot, Dragon Purple.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 5

Links

Chelation

Chelation treats arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial and coronary insufficiency (lack of oxygen to the heart), varicose veins, hypertension, heart arrhythmias, heart valve calcification, peripheral vascular insufficiency (cold hands and feet), aortic calcinosis, aneurysm, stoke, and arterial spasm due to excessive calcium ion concentration or deficient collateral circulation. Since chelation effects are permanent it is perfect for prevention. The word chelate means pincer like claw. In medicine this word indicates the action of chemically grabbing metals and removing them. Chelation can be done orally or intravenously. Intravenous chelation is faster, but it can only be done in a clinic and there are many potential intravenous therapy adverse effects, therefore it should only be done in cases of acute metal poisoning. For all other illnesses, chelation should be done orally.

While there is overwhelming evidence for the effectiveness of chelation in treating cardiovascular disease, there is debate over how it works. A popular theory is that chelation interferes with heavy metal mediated free radical generation thought to be responsible for cardiomyopathy. Another theory is that chelation helps dissolve arterial plaque by removing calcium from plaque.

Because chelating chemicals remove all metals, including essential metals, safe chelation requires that the essential metals be replenished throughout the therapy. A good chelating system will provide the patient essential metals in the morning, and chelating chemicals just before sleep. Different foods and chemicals have different affinities for different metals, for example cilantro is good at removing mercury and EDTA is good at removing lead, also some chelators require other chemicals to chelate toxic metals, so to remove all the toxic metals the chelating system should have many chelators or helper chemicals, such as alpha lipoic acid (ALA), cilantro, chlorella, coenzyme Q10, EDTA, garlic, L-Cysteine, magnesium, methionine, methysulfonylmethane (MSM) N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), selenium, sodium alginate, taurine, vitamin B12, and vitamin C. To add to the metal supplementation in the morning, while on chelation therapy the patient should eat many foods which have a high ratio of minerals to calories, such as root vegetables. The removed metals will leave through the urine, stool, sweat, or hair. To help this along, drink lots of water, eat lots of fiber, and sweat more with exercise and/or a sauna.

Extreme Health USA has two chelation systems, the vegetarian Heavy Metal Detox Supplement and with EDTA, the Heart Plus Detox Supplement. They both include a morning supplement to provide metals in the morning.

Science Formulas has two chelation products, the caplet bulk jar, Oral Chelation Caplet Formula and the liquid bottle, Oral Chelation Liquid Formula. The full treatment requires either the caplet bulk jar or three liquid bottles. Their morning supplement, Multi Chelation Support Formula, is sold separately.

There are many foods and chemicals which treat cardiovascular disease safely, but once the patient stops taking them, most of the effects stop. Chelation has the advantage that once the metals are removed, they're gone forever, making chelation one of the best preventation measures, because taking it once gives lifetime cardiovascular protection. It is still a good idea to take mild chelation therapy every few years because in that time the body will get more toxic metals, and also no single round of chelation therapy removes all the toxic metals.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 10
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 3

Links

Pomegranate

Pomegranate reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, and platelet aggregation. The typical juice dose is 250 ml/day. The seed oil dose in one study was 800 mg/day.

Pomegranate juices include Life Extension - Pomegranate Juice Concentrate, Marsham International Food Brokers - Lakewood’s Pure Pomegranate Juice and Aviva - Just Juice. Pomegranate extracts include Life Extension - Full Spectrum Pomegranate, and Swanson Health Products - Pomegranate Extract.

Pomegranate reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, and platelet aggregation. Pomegranate inhibits serum angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and lowers systolic blood pressure in some hypertensive patients. Pomegranate decreased the intimal medial thickness (IMT) and the atherosclerotic lesion lipid peroxide content in patients with asymptomatic, severe carotid artery stenosis. Pomegranate improved myocardial perfusion, and decreased the frequency of angina episodes in patients with with coronary heart disease and myocardial ischemia. The punicalagins in pomegranate are cardioprotective by virtue of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Also pomegranate supports the action of nitric oxide, which in turn exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body, including scavenging certain reactive oxygen species, preventing LDL oxidation, deterring the adhesion of blood cells and platelets, and inhibiting the proliferation of vascular muscle cells. Pomegranate raises levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and lowers triglyceride levels.

The punigalans in pomegranate are the most important compounds for cardiovascular health. Pomegranates also have iron, vitamins A, C, and E, potassium and folate.

In rare cases, people may be allergic to pomegranates; people allergic to other plants are more likely to also be allergic to pomegranates. Pomegranates can lower blood pressure; because low blood pressure can complicate surgery pomegranates should not be consumed for at least two weeks before undergoing surgery, also people taking blood pressure lowering medications should watch their blood pressure carefully. The high levels of polyphenols in pomegranate can potentially irritate the gastrointestinal system and cause diarrhea. Pomegranate juice, especially with added sugar, can cause problems in regulating blood sugar for diabetics. Pregnant women should avoid pomegranate extract, which might contain traces of pomegranate root, which has chemicals which may be toxic to a fetus. Pomegranate inhibits cytochrome P450 liver enzymes which metabolise numerous medications, including ibuprofen and codeine, verapamil, prozac, tamoxifen, warfarin and tolbutamide, and statins, thereby increasing their duration in the body, which can increase the risk of side effects.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Silicon

Silicon is needed by arteries to maintain their elasticity. The typical supplementation dose is 2 bioavailable mg/day. However, typical bioavailable consumption is 11 bio mg/day, so the typical supplementation dose should be at least the same.

Blood vessels have a high silicon content, with the aorta having the highest silicon concentration. Silicon is required for arterial elasticity, and also for the elasticity of connective tissue in the rest of body, including skin, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and hair. The connective tissues of the arterial wall are composed of 25-30% collagen fibers, 30-40% elastin fibers and 30-40% muscle and other substances, mainly mucopolysaccharides. These mucopolysaccharides form the matrix between the elastin and collagen fibers. Silicon decreases arterial permeability, maintains a high level of hydrolases activity, which transforms esterified cholesterol into free cholesterol, and increases the intercellular mass and the thickness of elastic fibers. Increasing the flexibililty of blood vessels leads to a reduction in blood pressure. As people age, the amount of silicon in the body usually decreases, which leads to an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol plaque.

Bioavailability measured in the "The comparative absorption of silicon.." study, based on urinary silicon excretion, was highest for monomethylsilanetriol (MMST) and alcohol-free beer at 64%, followed by green beans at 44%, orthosilicic acid (OSA) at 43%, choline stabilized orthosilicic acid (ChOSA) at 17%, bananas and magnesium trisilicate mixture British Pharmacopoeia (MTBP) at 4 % and colloidal silica (CS) at 1%. Bioavailability measured in the "Dietary silicon intake and absorption" study was highest for mineral waters at around 65%, followed by grains and grain products (rice, breakfast cereals, breads, and pasta) at 49%, green string beans and raisins at around 40% and the mean of all vegetables and fruit at 21%.

Bamboo extract is colloidal silica and so also has a low bioavailability. Because of the different bioavailabilities, concentrations and quanties, the price per bioavailable milligram varies widely. Because colloidal silica and bamboo extract have low bioavailabilities, they end up being more expensive per bioavailable milligram than organic silicon products and are therefore not recommended. Horsetail has some nicotine so it is also not recommended.

The two most popular supplement forms of organic silicon are MMST, and ChOSA. The Regenerative Nutrition - Organic Silicon - 2,500 mg costs 37 USD, has 2,500 mg of silicon in the form of MMST, gives 1,600 mg of bioavailable silicon, and costs 0.023 USD/bio mg. The Center for Holistic Medicine - Organic Silica Liquid - 500 mg costs 39 USD, has 500 mg of silicon in the form of MMST, gives 320 mg of bioavailable silicon, and costs 0.12 USD/bio mg. The Vitamin Shoppe - Biosil - 600 mg costs 24 USD, has 600 mg of silicon in the form ChOSA, gives 102 mg of bioavailable silicon, and costs 0.24 USD/bio mg. The Life Extension - Biosil - 600 mg costs 30 USD, has 600 mg of silicon in the form ChOSA, gives 102 mg of bioavailable silicon, and costs 0.29 USD/bio mg. The LuckyVitamin.com - Orgono Living Silica - 200 mg costs 50 USD, has 200 mg of silicon in the form of MMST, gives 128 mg of bioavailable silicon, and costs 0.39 USD/bio mg.

The food with the highest amount of bioavailable silicon is oat bran, with 24 mg of silicon/100 g, about 12 bio mg/100 g. However, it has mild adverse effects in people with gluten sensitivity. The gluten free foods with the highest amount of bioavailable silicon are green or French beans, with 8.7 mg of silicon/100 g, about 3.6 bio mg/kg.

An inexpensive way to get silicon is to take one tablespoon of food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) mixed in water each day, away from food. The diatomaceous earth must be food grade guaranteed to have less than 0.5% crystalline silica, not filter grade sometimes called pool grade, because filter grade diatomaceous earth destroys the digestive system and because breathing in dust from filter grade diatomaceous earth causes silicosis. Because there is a tiny amount of crystalline silica dust even in food grade diatomaceous earth, you must be careful not to breathe in dust from diatomaceous earth. To be really safe, you can pour water into the container of diatomaceous earth, to turn the powder to mud; once it is a mud, there is no dust, so no risk of silicosis. Then use that mud as you would use the powder, putting it into water or juice, and stirring it vigorously to mix it into the liquid. Because it starts out as a mud, rather than a powder, it takes more stirring to mix it into the liquid, however, the safety is worth the extra work. Besides providing silicon to the body, diatomaceous earth also cleanses the colon by abrading away deposits and biofilms. Food grade diatomaceous earth products include Earthworks Health - Diatomaceous Earth 4 - 2.5 lb. Gallon Jugs, More Than Alive - Bulk Herbs: Diatomaceous Earth - Food Grade Powder - 50 lb, and GardenHarvestSupply.com - Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade - 5 lb bag. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be also found at some pet food stores.

Another way to get silicon is through water. Some mineral waters have high concentrations of silicon, in general the harder the water, the higher the silicon content. Silicon rich mineral waters include Vitiblu - 44 mg/L, Fiji Water - 39 mg/L, and Spritzer - 32 mg/l. Silicon rich waters often list silica content rather than silicon content, in those cases to calculate how much silicon there is multiply the silica content by the molar mass of silicon over the molar mass of silica, 28 / 60 = 0.47. A way to make your own silicon water is to add a tablespoon full of food grade diatomaceous earth to four liters of water and allow the diatomaceous earth to settle to the bottom, which may take a few days initially. Then pour the water you intend to drink from the top of the container, being careful not to disturb the diatomaceous earth on the bottom. Refill the container with water, and allow it to settle out again. A tablespoon full of diatomaceous earth should last several years if it is not poured off in the water.

There are no known adverse effects from silicon rich water or organic silicon, the only problem is the cost. The choline in choline stabilized orthosilicic acid has some potential adverse effects, including increased body temperature, excessive sweating, increased salivation, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dizziness, hypotension and abnormal electrocardiogram results. Decreasing the amount of choline consumed will resolve these adverse effects.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 8
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 5

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D improves cardiovascular biomarkers including high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and reduces fat mass in overweight people. The vitamin D dose should be at least 4,000 IU/day (100 mcg/day). To get more protection, the dose can be increased to 8,000 IU/day, this is comfortably under the 10,000 IU/day that is the lower limit of risk, and the benefits are enormous. One IU of vitamin D is 0.025 mcg, alternately 1 mcg of vitamin D is 40 IU.

Vitamin D reduces inflammation, improves cardiovascular biomarkers including HDL, and reduces the fat mass of overweight and obese people. Also vitamin D lowers the risk of lipid peroxidation, which makes low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, molecules sticky and prone to form atherosclerotic plaque.

Vitamin D3 is naturally produced by the body, vitamin D2 is not. Only take vitamin D3, vitamin D2 is an inferior analogue whose potency is less than one third that of vitamin D3. Vitamin D2, ergocalciferol, is produced when ergosterol in a yeast extract is converted by ultraviolet light, it is never produced by the human body. Vitamin D3 is produced when 7-dehydro-cholesterol, a precursor molecule of cholesterol present in the skin, is converted by ultraviolet light. Vitamin D3 products include Bio Tech Pharmacal D3-50 - 50,000 IU, and Life Extension - Vitamin D3 - 5,000 IU.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 5

Links

Walnuts

Walnuts improve endothelial function, and reduce the growth of arterial plaque. The average dose in the cardiovascular studies is about 40 grams/day (about 8 whole walnuts/day).

Walnuts improve endothelial function, increase high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol. Walnuts are excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and other omega 3 fatty acids, which in turn lower the triglycerides levels in the bloodstream, and reduce the growth of arterial plaque. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts help maintain proper blood composition, reduce inflammation and increase flexibility of the blood vessels.

About 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. Walnut skin is the whitish, sometimes waxy, sometimes flaky, outermost part of shelled walnuts. The skin may be slightly bitter, and for that reason some websites recommend removing it, but it has a lot of the health benefits, and if you can tolerate the taste it's best to keep it. Walnuts are loaded with gamma-tocopherol, a particularly beneficial form of vitamin E. Walnuts include a wide range of phytonutrients including quinone juglone, numerous tannins (especially ellagitannins, including tellimagrandins), and a wide variety of flavonoids, including the flavonol morin. Walnuts have high levels of manganese, and copper; they also have calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc.

Other nuts help with cardiovascular disease, but overall walnuts seem to be the best. Walnuts have the highest levels of antioxidants, brazil nuts and peanuts are in the second tier, and in the third tier are almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and pistachios.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 5

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Celery

Celery lowers blood pressure, and helps prevent clots from forming. The typical treatment dose is about 500 mL (about two cups) per day of celery juice or an equal amount of raw celery. Heat destroys enzymes, so celery and other vegetables should be juiced without overheating, which can be done with a slow speed masticating juicer. Masticating juicers include RawFoodLife.com - Omega Vertical Juicer, and Kitchen Cool - Masticating Juicer.

Celery has 3-n-butylphthalide (NBP), a vasorelaxant which relaxes and dilates blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Celery contains the flavonoid apigenin, which reduces oxidative stress. Celery also contains coumarin, which helps prevent clots from forming. Celery is loaded with vitamin K, and it also has high levels of folate, vitamin A, potassium and molybdenum.

Choose celery that is crisp and snaps easily when pulled apart. It should be tight and not have splayed out stalks. The leaves should be free from yellow or brown patches. Avoid celery with a condition called blackheart, caused by insects; to check for damage, separate the stalks and look for brown or black discoloration. Celery should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container or wrapped in a plastic bag or damp cloth. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry, because water can drain nutrients. Freezing will make celery wilt and should be avoided unless you will be cooking with it.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 5
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 5

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil reduces the risk of heart attacks, and it can replace other cooking oils. The coconut oil must be unhydrogenated and free of trans fats, because hydrogenated oil is harmful. The best commercial coconut oil is cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil, because virgin coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut flesh and retains more nutrients than regular coconut oil which is derived from the dried fruit. You can also get the full power of coconut oil by using homemade raw coconut cream or milk, or by pressing coconut pieces through a low speed juicer. The typical treatment dose is about three tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Because taking coconut oil for the first time sometimes kills chronic infections, therefore producing a detox reaction, it is best to start with a tablespoon per day, and increase the dose to three tablespoons a day over a week.

Coconut oil treats cardiovascular disease by increasing the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and by fighting infections, which could lead to atherosclerosis. Although coconut oil is predominately a saturated fat, it improves the cholesterol profile. Natural, nonhydrogenated coconut oil increases HDL, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. There is outdated information still out there that all saturated fats, including coconut oil, are bad for the cholesterol profile. However, studies in the 1970s and afterwards have demonstrated that hypothesis to be false, and indeed that coconut oil is one the best oils for the cardiovascular system. Atherosclerosis often initially develops as a result of injury to the inner lining of the arterial wall. The injury can be the result of a number of factors such as toxins, free radicals, viruses, or bacteria. As long as irritation and inflammation persist plaque will accrete. The medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA) in coconut oil are potent antimicrobial agents, effective against fungi, viruses and many bacteria. The most effective fatty acids are caprylic acid (with 8 carbon atoms), capric acid (10 carbon atoms) and lauric acid (12 carbon). By fighting infections, coconut oil prevents the plaque buildup that would of otherwise resulted.

When taking coconut oil the first time, start with no more than a tablespoon per day, also have some vitamin C and molybdenum on hand to minimize the die off reaction if necessary. Coconut oil generally increases basic metabolic functions in the body; when applied topically the skin will produce more oil which can sometimes lead to skin problems, especially if the skin is not cleaned right before applying the oil.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) improves heart function, and treats cardiomyopathy, and hypertension. The typical treatment dose of CoQ10 is 100 mg/day; however, sometimes for severe cases that is not enough and 300 mg/day is needed. CoQ10 is fat soluble and should be taken with fat, like peanut butter or olive oil, for absorption. It should be taken in the form of soft gel capsules or gel form, rather than dry capsules or tablets.

Studies have shown that CoQ10 treats idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertension, class II and III systolic heart failure, end stage heart failure, and isolated systolic hypertension. Improvements were also found with other conditions including heart palpitations, venous congestion, subjective arrhythmia, shortness of breath, angina, ventricular arrhythmias, mitral valve prolapse, and cardiomyopathy in general. CoQ10 can increase cardiac output, stroke volume, cardiac index, ejection fraction, force of heart muscle contraction, heart function, and treadmill exercise tolerance. CoQ10 also reduces myocardial damage after bypass surgery or angioplasty.

Statin drugs inhibit the natural biosynthesis of CoQ10, leading to statin cardiomyopathy. Therefore anyone taking statin drugs must supplement with CoQ10, if they are not already, to prevent a major adverse effect of statin drugs.

CoQ10 is produced by all cells of the body. It is believed that niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C and folate help the body convert tyrosine to CoQ10. CoQ10 is essential to the metabolism of fat and energy. It prevents the accumulation of fatty acids within the heart muscle by improving the conversion of fatty acids and other compounds into energy. CoQ10 levels decline with age, and the elderly often require supplementation. Heart tissue biopsies in patients with cardiovascular diseases show a CoQ10 deficiency in around 62% of cases.

There are two forms of CoQ10. Ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10, and it has been sold since around 1990. Most CoQ10 studies used ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10, sold since 2006. The body requires both forms of CoQ10, and it converts one form to the other as needed. Within a few hours of consuming one form of CoQ10, the body will convert part of it to the other form. Ubiquinone is used by the mitochondria to make energy. Ubiquinol protects mitochondria from free radical damage. Ubiquinol is better absorbed by the body, however, it costs more than ubiquinone. People are different and for some, especially those with severe heart failure, ubiquinol is much more effective than ubiquinone, so for those it is worthwhile. If you want to determine whether ubiquinone or ubiquinol is most cost effective for you, try them both.

There are small amounts of CoQ10 in food, notably seafood, but not enough to treat illnesses; high levels of CoQ10 can only be obtained from supplements. Ubiquinone products include Life Extension - Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - 100 mg, Vitamins for Life - BioCare MicroCell CoQ10 Plus - 100 mg, Wellness Resources - CoQ10 and Super CoQ10 - 100 mg, and Rejuvenation Science - Coenzyme Q10 Q-Gel - 30 mg. Ubiquinol products include Life Extension - Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 - 100 mg, Rejuvenation Science - Ubiquinol - CoQ10 - 100 mg, and Vitamins for Life - Natures Aid Ubiquinol - 50 mg.

In an Italian study with a maximum dose of 150 mg/day, 1.3% of subjects had side effects, mainly mild gastrointestinal upset. Less common side effects included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. In rare cases allergic rash and headaches have occurred. CoQ10’s antiplatelet effect may increase the risk of bleeding; however, on the other hand its vitamin K like action may oppose anticoagulant effects.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 4

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Curcumin/Turmeric

Curcumin decreases the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, and increases the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol. The typical treatment dose is 2 grams of dried powdered root per day, or 500 milligrams of curcumin powder three times a day.

Curcumin is the active ingredient of the Indian/Asian curry spice turmeric, curcumin is the principal curcuminoid in turmeric. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. A study involving heart bypass operation patients in Thailand led by Dr. Wanwarang Wongcharoen found that the curcumin group had a 65% lowered risk from post bypass operation heart attacks. That group also showed significantly lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress markers in their blood. In a small study of human volunteers given 500 mg/day of curcumin for seven days, researchers reported a 29% increase in HDL, a decrease in total serum cholesterol of more than 11%, and a decrease in serum lipid peroxides of 33%.

Curcumin might increase the risk of bleeding and so may be inadvisable if you are taking anti-coagulants.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 5
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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D-Ribose

D-ribose (or simply ribose) energizes the body, improves heart function, and protects against heart attack damage. The maintenance dose for healthy individuals who want greater comfort following exercise is 5 g/day, the maintenance dose for patients with mild cardiovascular disease is 10 g/day, and the maintenance dose for patients with fibromyalgia, neuromuscular disease, or severe cardiovascular disease is 20 g/day. This should be taken in divided doses with each meal. Often patients take a starting dose 50% higher for the first few weeks, then go down to the maintenance dose once the illness symptoms are reduced. Also, patients sometimes increase the dose before increased activity.

Ribose energizes the body, increases exercise tolerance, improves heart function, protects against cell damage that occurs during a heart attack, reduces fatigue, and helps rejuvenate heart muscles that have suffered injuries from previous ischemic events. Ribose helps restore adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) levels in skeletal muscle, relieving pain and weakness after exercise, which in turn helps people maintain the increased exercise level that is critical to prevent cardiovascular disease and to recover from heart attacks. Ribose also helps with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Ribose is a simple 5-carbon monosaccharide, or pentose sugar. It is required for energy metabolism, and provides the structural backbone of DNA and RNA, certain vitamins and other compounds. In the body, ribose is made from glucose, a simple 6-carbon sugar, through a metabolic pathway called the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) or hexose monophosphate shunt (HMS). Unfortunately, forming ribose is a slow process, and sometimes the formation rate is insufficient to meet demand. The physiologically functional form of ribose, called 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP), is involved in the purine nucleotide pathway (PNP) that synthesizes energy compounds. If PRPP is insufficient, energy synthesis slows and tissue recovery is delayed. Supplemental ribose bypasses the rate limiting PPP, quickly forming PRPP, which in turn accelerates the synthesis of energy compounds.

Ribose is needed in large quantities to treat illnesses, and foods contain only tiny amounts of ribose in the form of riboflavin, so powders are the best way to get ribose. Ribose powders include Life Extension - D-Ribose Powder - 150g, PureBulk.com - D-Ribose, and Abaco Health - New Roots D-Ribose Powder - 250g.

Ribose can lower blood glucose levels, and patients may experience light-headedness if they take a large dose (10 grams or more) on an empty stomach; therefore ribose should be taken with meals, or at least mixed into juice or milk. Diabetics should carefully monitor their blood sugar when taking ribose. There is insufficient research on the use of ribose by pregnant women, nursing mothers, and very young children to be certain that it is safe for use by these populations.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 4

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Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) normalizes high blood pressure, breaks down arterial plaque, and reduces cholesterol levels. The typical dose for MSM is 2,000 mg by mouth twice daily, for a total of 4,000 mg/day. The dose should be started small, at 500 mg/day, then increased to the target dose at 500 mg/day each week over seven weeks, to avoid a possible detox reaction from toxin release. If you get toxin release reactions, like flu-like symptoms or re-experiencing the effects of drugs taken in the past, stop taking MSM until the problems subside, then you can build up slowly again.

Long term members of the West Coast Organic Sulfur Project reported the normalizing of high blood pressure, the breakdown of arterial plaque, and a reduction in cholesterol levels. The sulfur in MSM is necessary for collagen and keratin synthesis, required for healthy skin, hair and nails. Sulfur is an activator of vitamin A, C, D, and E, thiamine, biotin, pantothenic acid, selenium, calcium, germanium, collagnol and dismuzyme. Sulfur is used by the liver to manufacture bile. MSM helps control acidity in the stomach, so it can help ulcers. MSM coats the intestinal tract so parasites lose their ability to hang on and are then flushed away. Energy levels increase with MSM because it make cell walls more permeable. Because sulfur is a component of insulin, MSM can raise insulin production if there is insufficient sulfur in the diet. MSM can help control chronic constipation. MSM can relieve allergies. With MSM, women who have had monthly menstruation problems often no longer experience the headaches, cramps or muscle plain associated with their periods.

For pure MSM, the bulk powder is the cheapest form. Ultrapure MSM flakes are claimed to be more bioavailable. Bulk powder products include Life Extension - MSM - 907 grams, and EvolutionHealth.com - MSM Powder - 454 g. Ultrapure MSM flake products include NaturoDoc - SuperSulfur Crystals - 454 g, and Organic Sulfur - Bioavailable MSM - 454 g.

MSM enables tissues to release toxins that have built up over the years. Sulfur is a vital part of the waste management system, and without enough tissues are unable to release some toxins. Taking too much MSM at the beginning may cause the body to release too much waste at one time for the kidneys and liver to handle. This waste in the blood stream can cause problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to re-experiencing the effects of drugs taken in the past. The key to reducing detox symptoms is to start on MSM slowly so that the waste in the tissues is released slowly and to drink lots of water so that the released toxins will be quickly flushed out. MSM is also a blood thinner, and should not be taken with other blood thinners, such as aspirin, coumadin or warfarin. Also MSM interferes with the liver enzyme test; so if you are taking that test you should stop taking MSM four days before to avoid a false positive, afterwards you can resume taking MSM.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 4

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Zinc

Zinc treats reduces inflammation which contributes to cardiovascular disease. The typical supplementation dose is 15 mg/day. The total treatment dose is 25 mg/day, and the typical US diet provides 10 mg/day, giving the typical supplementation dose of 15 mg/day. The supplementation should ideally be from food.

Zinc supplementation has been found to reduce inflammatory factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. Zinc is a component of biomembranes. Zinc can provide antiatherogenic properties by preventing metabolic physiologic derangements of the vascular endothelium. Because of its antioxidant and membrane-stabilizing properties, zinc is needed to protect against cell-destabilizing agents such as polyunsaturated lipids and inflammatory cytokines. Zinc also may be antiatherogenic by interfering with signaling pathways involved in apoptosis. Zinc can protect against inflammatory cytokine-mediated activation of oxidative stress-responsive transcription factors, such as nuclear factor KB and AP- 1. It is very likely that certain lipids and zinc deficiency may potentiate the cytokine-mediated inflammatory response and endothelial cell dysfunction in atherosclerosis.

Zinc is a key component of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD). Zinc is necessary for strong bones, healthy skin, thymus gland function, spermatogenesis, wound healing, resistance to cancer and resistance to infections, especially viral infections. Zinc deficiency is associated with higher infant mortality, impaired growth in children, delays in sexual maturation, infertility, lethargy, numerous diseases, diarrhea, anemia and DNA damage.

Zinc rich foods include oysters (highest in steamed wild eastern), wheat germ, liver, seeds (sesame, pumpkin, and squash, watermelon), nutritional yeast, beef, lamb, and peanuts. For zinc supplements, because the amount of zinc required is tiny, and because zinc reduces the absorption of copper which in turn should be taken with molybdenum, it is best to get zinc in combination with other minerals. Supplements with zinc, copper and molybdenum include Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals and Natural Vitamin Direct - Chelated Multiminerals Iron Free. Of the two the Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals generally has higher quantities of each element.

Getting zinc from food is reasonably safe, partly because zinc rich food is usually also rich in copper. Zinc has a tolerable upper limit of 40 mg/day, taking more than that risks headache, nausea, vomiting, copper deficiency, fatigue, fever, chills, weakened immune system and anemia. The diuretic medication amiloride can reduce the amount of zinc excreted from your body, which means taking zinc supplements could lead to toxic levels. If you have liver or kidney disease, it is important to talk to your health care provider because doses recommended for general use might not apply to you.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 5
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), or simply lipoic acid, improves glucose tolerance and increases energy production. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), or simply carnitine, reduces the chance of arrhythmia, and the incidence of heart failure. The typical dose is 300 mg/day of lipoic acid plus 1,000 mg/day of acetyl-l-carnitine. When combined, lipoic acid and carnitine worked at 100 to 1,000 fold lower concentrations than they each did individually. Because carnitine has a half life of about six hours, it is best to take the combination in divided doses with meals. Lipoic acid comes in two mirror image forms labeled R and S, only the R form is produced and used by life processes, so only R-lipoic acid supplements should be taken. L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine are the most biologically active forms of carnitine, and are the only forms synthesized by our bodies and found in foods. When carnitine is chemically synthesized both the L and D isomers are produced, the D isomer may compete with the L isomer for absorption and transport, thereby increasing the risk of L-carnitine deficiency, so only L isomer supplements should be taken.

Lipoic acid supplementation was found to improve body composition, glucose tolerance, and energy expenditure in old mice. Carnitine improves exercise tolerance and heartbeat regularity in angina pectoris patients, significantly reduces cardiac necrosis (cell death) in heart attack patients, decreases the incidence of heart failure, reduces the need for pacemaker transplants, reduces the risk of death from myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle tissue), treats hypertriglyceridemia (elevated blood triglycerides), and increases level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol. Carnitine deficiency can lead to myopathic heart disease, accelerated aging, diabetes, diphtheria, and chronic heart failure.

Accumulated damage to mitochondrial DNA leads to increased free radical stress, chronic disease, and to lowered cellular energy production. Lipoic acid induces mitochondrial biogenesis, a process that rejuvenates and replaces damaged mitochondria. L-carnitine is a trimethylated amino acid, that provides energy by transporting fatty acids into muscles; about 60% of the energy for the heart muscle is supplied by fatty acids. L-carnitine is acetylated into acetyl-L-carnitine in the brain, liver, and kidney. Carnitine regulates cellular metabolism, and it closely interacts with coenzyme A in a variety of reactions. It is required for fatty acid oxidation; improved fatty acid oxidation preserves muscle glycogen and improves ATP production, which leads to improved exercise performance. Supplemental carnitine increases long chain fatty acid oxidation even in healthy individuals without carnitine deficiency.

Dietary lipoic acid is bound to lysine, a bond which human digestive enzymes can not break, so humans can only absorb significant amounts of lipoic acid from supplements. Carnitine's name is derived from the fact that it was first isolated from meat (carnus) in 1905. Around 69% of carnitine from food is absorbed, compared to 17% from oral supplements. Beef has about 96 mg of carnitine per 100 g, and pork has about 26 mg of carnitine per 100 g. Other foods have smaller amounts of carnitine, too small to be a significant contribution even though carnitine from food is well absorbed. Humans also synthesize carnitine from lysine and methionine, but the formation rate can be too slow to meet demand. Products with R-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine include Life Extension - Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer with BioPQQ, Bestvite - Acetyl L-Carnitine 500 mg and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid 150 mg, and Robert Jordan Nutraceutricals - Acetyl-L-Carnitine plus Alpha Lipoic Acid.

If you can not tolerate carnitine, supplements which have only R-lipoic acid include Life Extension - Super R-Lipoic Acid, and Wellness Resources - R-Alpha Lipoic Acid. If you can not tolerate lipoic acid, supplements which have only L-carnitine include Life Extension - Optimized Carnitine with Glycocarn, Wellness Resources - Acetyl-L-Carnitine, IWantMyVitamins.com - TwinLab Carni Fuel L-Carnitine Liquid Concentrate, and DCNutrition.com - L-Carnitine Capsules and Powder (Heart Tonic).

Adverse effects of lipoic acid are mild and include a skin rash. Lipoic acid may also lower blood sugar levels, which may increase the risk of developing hypoglycemia in diabetics and people suffering from low blood sugar. Lipoic acid should also not be taken if you are currently suffering from, a thiamine deficiency. Carnitine supplementation may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Taking more than 3 g/day of carnitine may cause a fishy body odor. Acetyl-L-carnitine has been reported to increase agitation in some Alzheimer's disease patients and to increase seizure frequency and/or severity in some individuals with seizure disorders. Carnitine may reduce the absorption of thyroid hormone, making thyroid hormone replacement less effective. Rare side effects include increased appetite, and rash. There are also reports of more vivid dreams.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 8
  • Availability: 2
  • Safety: 3

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Bromelain

Bromelain breaks down blood clots, decreases aggregation of blood platelets, and minimizes the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks. A dose of 50 mg/day may help with cardiovascular disease, the protective effect increases with dosage and the best results occur when bromelain is given in doses above 500 mg/day. Bromelain is relatively nontoxic, and doses of up to 2,000 mg/day have been used. Most commercial products contain 500 mg of bromelain, manufacturers suggest a dosage regimen of 500 to 1,000 mg daily. Some doctors recommend taking half of the bromelain away from meals if it's being used therapeutically. This frees up the digestive enzymes from digesting foods to perform other healthy functions.

Arterial clots contain particles of various fats and cholesterol, with a fibrin protein mesh holding the clot together. The new clot busting drugs that dissolve 70 percent of the clots in heart patients work by breaking down fibrin, and bromelain also breaks down fibrin. Like streptokinase, bromelain stimulates the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, which in turn helps break down fibrin clots. Bromelain may be able to clean arteries of atherosclerotic plaquing before a problem occurs; in a rabbit study, bromelain broke down arteriosclerotic plaque in the aortas. Bromelain decreases aggregation of blood platelets, in a dose dependent manner. Bromelain prevents or minimizes the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks.

Bromelain is usually extracted from pineapple stems and sometimes from the fruit. People with sensitivity to pineapple, may be sensitive to bromelain. People who are allergic to bee sting may have a similar reaction to bromelain. Bromelain acts as a blood thinner and little is known about how bromelain interacts with blood-thinning drugs, people should avoid combining such drugs with bromelain in order to reduce the theoretical risk of excessive bleeding. Bromelain may also increase the heart rate.

Bromelain is just one of several proteolytic enzymes used to treat cardiovascular disease. The full proteolytic enzyme treatment requires pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain and bromelain, as described in the proteolytic enzymes section, and is more powerful and expensive than bromelain alone.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 3

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Chromium

Chromium increases high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and decreases low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol. Chromium is especially effective for people with diabetes. The recommended supplementation of chromium picolinate is 200 mcg/day. Only 0.5% to 2% of inorganic chromium is absorbed by the body. Chromium picolinate, and chromium polynicotinate, also known as niacin-bound chromium or glucose tolerance factor (GTF), are well absorbed by the body and have been found effective in studies. Chromium polynicotinate is more bioavailable than chromium picolinate, probably at least twice as bioavailable, so the chromium polynicotinate dose can be smaller than the chromium picolinate dose. Overall, if someone suffers side effects from niacin, chromium picolinate is recommended, otherwise chromium polynicotinate is probably better.

Chromium also improves glucose utilisation, and stimulates weight loss in obese people. Obese people who took 400 mcg of chromium picolinate lost an average weight of 1.5 kg after 10 weeks. Chromium deficiency increases the risk and severity of diabetes. Chromium deficiency can also lead to poor eyesight and diabetic retinopathy.

Chromium rich foods include brewer's yeast, ham, cheese, corned beef, split pees and spinach. For chromium consumption, brewer's yeast is highly recommended because it has 60 mcg of chromium/tablespoon. All other foods, even the next on the list ham with 26 mcg of chromium/100 g, don't have enough chromium to practically reach the recommended 200 mcg/day level. The other foods are better than nothing, but realistically brewer's yeast is the only one that will make a big difference. Unfortunately, brewer's yeast has a bitter taste, so unless you are willing to tolerate that, supplementation is necessary. For chromium supplements, because the amount of chromium required is tiny, it is more practical to get chromium in combination with other minerals. Supplements with chromium and other minerals include Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals and Natural Vitamin Direct - Chelated Multiminerals Iron Free. Of the two the Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals generally has higher quantities of each element. Chromium is safe when used at the recommended supplementation of 200 mcg/day. Chromium lowers blood sugar, so if combined with diabetes medication it may cause blood glucose levels to dip too low, therefore diabetics should pay extra care to their glucose levels when first taking chromium.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 4
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Krill Oil

Krill oil decreases the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, and increases the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol. A typical dose in the krill oil studies is 1 g/day, but some improvements, like lowered triglyceride levels, were only noticed at higher doses of 3 g/day.

Krill are shrimp or prawn-like crustaceans, most of which range in length from 8 to 70 mm. They live in Antarctic waters, and in the oceans off the West coast of Vancouver Island, Russia, Ukraine, and Japan. They feed off plankton, so they are low on the food chain, and therefore accumulate less pollutants than higher level predators. Neptune krill oil (NKO), a popular krill oil, is extracted with a lipid extraction process which produces a dehydrated residue. Neptune krill oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamin A, vitamin E, astaxanthin and canthaxanthin. EPA and DHA are in the form of phospholipids, which are more bioavailable than all other marine oils where the fatty acids are in a triglyceride form. Because of the abundance of phospholipids in neptune krill oil, it passes through the stomach and is digested in the small intestine, eliminating the fishy aftertaste and reflux side effects of fish oils. Krill oil also has phosphatidylcholine, a source of reductive stress reducing choline, and vitamin D.

Krill oil decreases the level of LDL, increases the level of HDL, reduces C-reactive protein (CRP), and lowers triglyceride levels. In the University of Montreal krill oil study, LDL was reduced by 32%, HDL was increased by 44%, total cholesterol was reduced by 13%, and triglycerides were reduced by 11%. Omega-3 oils are also antiarrhythmic, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, and they improve endothelial function.

People with shrimp allergies may be allergic to krill oil. Krill oil thins the blood; therefore it is not recommended prior to surgery, and it will decrease the need for blood thinning medications such as aspirin, coumadin or warfarin. Otherwise, krill oil doses up to 3 g/day are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), the only problem is that krill oil costs more than fish oil. Neptune krill oil is effective, and is free of heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and pesticides. Other krill oils may also be safe and effective, but there is no guarantee.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 6
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 4

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Proteolytic Enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes break down blood clots, decrease aggregation of blood platelets, and minimize the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks. A typical dosage for chronic illness is on the label. The Life Extension - Zywobin-Forte dosage is 4 capsules a day. The ModernHerbalist.com - Wobenzym-N dosage is 6 capsules a day.

For full effect, the proteolytic enzymes must contain pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain and bromelain. Some doctors recommend taking half of the proteolytic enzymes away from meals if it's being used therapeutically. This frees up the enzymes from digesting foods to perform other healthy functions.

Arterial clots contain particles of various fats and cholesterol, with a fibrin protein mesh holding the clot together. The new clot busting drugs that dissolve 70 percent of the clots in heart patients work by breaking down fibrin, and bromelain also breaks down fibrin. Like streptokinase, bromelain stimulates the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, which in turn helps break down fibrin clots. Bromelain may be able to clean arteries of atherosclerotic plaquing before a problem occurs; in a rabbit study, bromelain broke down arteriosclerotic plaque in the aortas. Bromelain decreases aggregation of blood platelets, in a dose dependent manner. Bromelain prevents or minimizes the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks.

Adverse effects with high doses of porcine-based pancreatic enzyme therapy are intestinal gas, occasional bloating, and occasional indigestion. People with sensitivity to pineapple, may be sensitive to bromelain. People who are allergic to bee sting may have a similar reaction to bromelain.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 2
  • Safety: 3

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Copper

Copper can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. The typical supplementation dose is 2 mg/day. The total treatment dose is 3 mg/day, and the typical US diet provides 1 mg/day, giving the typical supplementation dose of 2 mg/day. The supplementation should ideally be from food.

Copper can reduce the risk of arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, abnormal heart enlargement (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), and heart failure due to high blood pressure. Copper containing enzymes include superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and lysyl oxidase, which helps produce connective tissue such as collagen and elastin. Also copper compounds are effective fungicides. Copper deficiency symptoms include anemia, bone disorders, a defective spinal cord, hernias, hair greying, hair becoming fine and straight, infertility, wrinkling skin; weak connective tissue as evidenced by heart problems such as enlarged heart, weak aorta with holes and ruptures, aneurisms, and varicose veins.

Copper rich foods include liver, seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and squash), oysters (steamed wild eastern, then wild, and finally farm raised), nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts), calamari, and lobster. For copper supplements, because the amount of copper required is tiny, and because copper reduces the absorption of zinc and molybdenum, it is best to get copper in combination with other minerals, with a ratio of one part copper to roughly fifteen parts zinc. Supplements with zinc, copper and molybdenum include Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals and Natural Vitamin Direct - Chelated Multiminerals Iron Free. Of the two the Life Extension - Only Trace Minerals generally has higher quantities of each element.

Getting copper from food is reasonably safe, partly because copper rich food is usually also rich in zinc. However, excess copper from supplements without extra zinc may lead to adverse effects such as cancer, and yeast infections. People with Wilson’s disease must not take additional copper. Copper bracelets give a widely varying amount of copper, so they should not be used because they often give too little copper which means they have no effect, or too much copper in which case they will also have adverse effects. A small proportion of people do happen to absorb enough copper from bracelets to get a benefit; however those people would get that benefit from copper rich food or supplementation anyways, without the possibility of adverse effects. Overall, copper is best obtained from food.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 3
  • Availability: 5
  • Safety: 4

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Meditation

Vitamin B

The vitamin B complex lowers levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, lowers homocysteine levels, and reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and arrythmias. The typical treatment dose for vitamin B is several times higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Vitamin B supplements have different ingredient proportions. A good supplement should have at least 10 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 10 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 40 mg of niacin (vitamin B3), 10 mg of vitamin B6, 400 mcg of folic acid (vitamin B9), and 25 mcg of vitamin B12. Because of the potential side effects, the dose should be started at a quarter the treatment dose, then increased over three weeks to reach the treatment dose. Food sources of vitamin B are better because they include the entire vitamin B complex, and they are less likely to have adverse effects. Food sources may not have as high a quantity of some subgroups as supplements, but because they include the entire complex, they are effective even in smaller quantities.

The vitamin B complex contains many subgroups, there is no one food which contains a high amount of the entire complex, so to get the high amounts of vitamin B it is necessary to take at least two high vitamin B foods. Foods which have vitamin B include liver, rice polish, brewer's yeat, nutritional yeast, seafood, meat, whole grain cereals, and aloe vera.

Vitamin B supplements include Life Extension - Complete Vitamin B Complex, and Holland and Barrett - Complete B Vitamin B Complex. Most vitamin B complexes have roughly the same amount of ingredients as the Holland and Barrett product. However, the Life Extension product has far higher doses of some vitamins, for example it has 10 times as much thiamin, 7 times as much riboflavin, 8 times as much niacin, 7 times as much vitamin B6, and 40 times as much vitamin B12. Overall, because of the enormous amount of vitamins in the Life Extension complex, by quantity it ends up being cheaper than typical products.

When the vitamin B complex is used together, the vitamins work at their peak. Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for regular heartbeats. A severe deficiency in thiamin, called beriberi, can cause heart arrhythmias. Vitamin B3 lowers LDL levels, and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin B6 and folic acid reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin B12 lowers homocysteine levels, and decreases the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications.

There are rare reports of allergic reaction and anaphylaxis from thiamine, including anxiety, respiratory failure, abdominal pain and shock. More than 100 mg of niacin a day can lead to flushed or irritated skin, itching, headaches, liver inflammation, irregular heartbeat, stomach ulcers, loss of vision, gout and death. For hemophiliacs, an overdose of vitamin B5 can lead to more bleeding. More than 500 mg a day of vitamin B6 may lead to numbness in the extremities, difficulty walking, vomiting, tingling, headache and loss of appetite. High doses of riboflavin may result in bright yellow urine, but this is harmless.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 7
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 1

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Aloe Vera

Aloe vera decreases the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, increases the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, and reduces the risk of angina attacks. The typical treatment dose of aloe vera juice is 200 ml/day.

In Dr. Agarwal's study, angina patients given aloe vera had reduced total blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and lipid fats. There was an increase in HDL, and a lowering of LDL. The frequency of angina attacks was reduced. Also aloe vera can lower blood sugar, which reduces the risk and severity of diabetes, which is a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Products which contain some aloe vera juice are widely available, however, companies can claim 100% aloe vera juice if they add only one tablespoon of 100% aloe vera juice to a gallon of water. Additionally, companies can claim their product to be cold processed if they use High Temperature Short Time (HTST) processing. Juices with properly processed aloe vera include Global Healing Center - Aloe Vera Juice: 100% Organic - Cold Processed, and GoodCauseWellness.com - Aloe Vera100 Drink Mix.

Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory compunds such as bradykininase, salicylates, phytosteroids and vitamins A, B, C and E. Aloe vera also has cinnamic acid, an antifungal and antiparasitic, and acemannan, an antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal. Overall, aloe vera helps treat most types of infections.

Aloe vera may lower blood sugar, so those with diabetes should be cautious when taking it orally. Aloe vera can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and electrolyte imbalances.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 4
  • Availability: 3
  • Safety: 4

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Astragalus

Astragalus relaxes arteries, and has antioxidant effects. The most active class of compounds in astragalus are the astragalosides. The typical dose for raw astragalus root is 15 g/day brewed as tea or added to food, for granulated or finely chopped or ground astragalus, the dose is 2 heaping teaspoons per day, for 10:1 extract, the dose is one rounded teaspoon per day. For a standardized astragalus extract, the dose is around 13 mg of astragalosides per day. For pure astragaloside IV, the dose is around 40 mg/day.

Astragaloside IV, may partially protect the heart during myocardial ischemia and improved coronary heart flow vicariously through the nitric oxide synthase enzyme. Astragaloside IV possesses an aortic relaxant effect, dilating and widening arteries. It seems to do this in a dose dependent manner via the NO-cGMP pathway in the endothelium. Beyond direct relaxation, astragalus can attenuate contractile stimuli to the endothelium such as phenylephrine and angiotension-II. Additionally, through its antioxidant effects astragaloside IV preserves acetylcholine, a relaxant. Astragalus may protect the receptor (ABCA1) responsible for reverse cholesterol transport from inflammatory insult. By inhibiting the effects of nF-kB in macrophages turned into foam cells, astragalus may reduce plaque build-up in arteries from foam cells. Astragalus protects against oxidative damage by increasing mitochondrial function without increasing mitochondrial oxygen consumption. A study of patients with angina found that cardiac output increased after two weeks of treatment. Astragalus also strengthens left ventricular function, reduces free radical damage after a heart attack, and increases super oxide dismutase activity in cardiac muscle.

Astragalus activates the production of telomerase in human cells. Telomerase is an enzyme that prevents the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes from being eroded away, leading to cell death. Ordinarily, the number of times a cell can divide is limited to a certain number called the Hayflick limit, due to this telomere erosion. When enough telomerase is added to cells, it can enable the replacement of eroded telomeres so the cells can divide without limit. The telomerase activated by astragalus is only sufficient to lengthen critically short telomeres, it does not lengthen intermediate length telomeres; however, even this limited elongation is enough to have beneficial effects.

Astragalus products which have significant amounts of astragalosides include Finlandia - New Roots Ageless Telomeres - 13.5 mg, Vitamart.ca - New Roots Ageless Telomeres - 13.5 mg, Terraternal - Astragaloside IV - 40 mg, and Generic-TA-65 - Astragaloside IV - 40mg. While the astragalosides are the most active class of compounds in astragalus, some of the other compounds in astragalus are also useful, so the New Roots Ageless Telomeres product, which has 450 mg astragalus root per capsule with 3% astragalosides, for a total of 13.5 mg of astragalosides, may have a similar utility to the pure Astragaloside IV products, even though it has less astragalosides.

There is speculation that astragalus should be used two weeks on and two weeks off in order to avoid giving cancer cells a boost, although there is no evidence that astragalus promotes cancer, according to the Patton protocol; also some people alternate astragalus consumption because astragalus may interfere with other supplements. However, there is no experimental evidence that it is necessary or even useful to alternate consumption. An allergic reaction rarely occurs when taking astragalus, however; individuals who have allergies to other legumes are more at risk of developing an allergy to astragalus. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rashes, hives with itching, swelling of the face, tongue or throat, and difficulty breathing. Additional adverse effects include hypotension (low blood pressure), and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Possible gastrointestinal adverse effects include nausea, bloating and upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, passage of bloody or black stools or constipation. Astragalus may interfere with blood clotting; therefore patients having surgery, and those taking blood thinners, like aspirin, coumadin or warfarin should not take astragalus.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 8
  • Availability: 1
  • Safety: 2

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Wheatgrass Juice

Wheatgrass juice increases the red blood cell count, and improves oxygen delivery. The typical dose is 60 ml/day. The wheatgrass juice should be made at least 4 hours after cutting because the hormone abscisic acid (ABA) is 40 times more potent 4 hours after cutting the wheatgrass than it is at the time of cutting. The wheatgrass should be grown outdoors, because indoor grown wheatgrass has high levels of mold and bacteria.

Outdoor grown wheatgrass powders include Pines - Wheat Grass Powder, and Florida Herb House - Wheatgrass Juice Powder. Outdoor grown frozen juices include Seven Grains Natural Market - Evergreen Organic Wheatgrass Juice, and Dynamic Greens - Juices. If you are ordering online, it is best to get the powders, because the frozen juices may thaw by the time you receive them.

Wheatgrass reduces blood pressure (due to blood vessel dilation), increases the red blood cell count, and improves oxygen delivery. These effects are due in part because of its high chlorophyll concentration, even compared with other green vegetables. The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule on human red blood cells.

Wheatgrass contains at least 13 vitamins (several are antioxidants), including B12, many minerals and trace elements, including selenium, and all 20 amino acids. It also contains over 30 other enzymes, including the antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and cytochrome oxidase, the hormone abscisic acid (also called dormin), chlorophyll, and laetrile. Furthermore, wheatgrass is one of the most alkaline foods. Wheatgrass juice helps the body detoxify; it cleans the lymphatic system, and flushes out encrustrations and faecal matter in the intestines and the colon.

Wheatgrass grown indoors has mold. The mold can lead to a reaction, sometimes an anaphylactic reaction. Indoor growers claim this mold is harmless and that any reaction is a detox reaction, however, there is overwhelming evidence that the mold is harmful. Detox reactions generally last for a day or two, up to a week for a severe reaction, but they always pass eventually because the susceptible part of the infection dies and the toxins are flushed out. A permanent reaction can not be a detox reaction, it must be a reaction to a treatment. There are powders and juices from outdoor grown wheatgrass, there is no good reason to buy indoor grown wheatgrass. The safety rating of five is for outdoor grown wheatgrass, indoor grown wheatgrass would have a rating of two.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 2
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 5

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Honey and Cinnanmon

Raw honey with cinnamon lowers cholesterol and fasting glucose, the combination is from Ayurvedic medicine. The typical dose is one tablespoon of honey with half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Because cinnamon has possible adverse effects, it is best to start with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, and if there are no adverse effects, increase the dose to half a teaspoon of cinnamon. You must only take true Ceylon cinnamon, not Cassia cinnamon which is an herb whose powder looks like Ceylon cinnamon powder and can be found on some store shelves labeled as cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon sticks are tan brown, fragile, composed of thin and paper-like textured bark that forms multiple layers when rolled up. Cassia cinnamon sticks are reddish dark brown, tough, composed of uneven thick bark that forms only a few layers when rolled up. For the honey use pure, raw unpasteurized honey because heating destroys some of the medicinal compounds. Local raw honey is excellent, a good packaged honey is manuka honey.

In the study led by Richard Anderson, diabetics were given three to six grams of cinnamon for forty days. Cholesterol and mean fasting glucose were lowered. In the group taking the highest doses, there were greater reductions of glucose and triglycerides.

Honey has sugars, acids and enzymes, most of the medicinal benefits are from the enzymes, and a bit from the acids. The enzymes include catalase, diastase, glucose oxidase, inhibine, invertase, katalase, and phosphatase. The main medicinal acid is proline. Many of the enzymes, like diastase and invertase, are sensitive to heat and light which is why honey should never be heated above 43 Celcius (110 Farenheit). The medicinal ingredients in cinnamon include cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, cinnamyl alcohol, and methylhydroxychalcone polymer (MHCP).

Honey is safe at the typical dose, however cinnamon has possible adverse effects at even half a teaspoon. People with any prior condition of the digestive system such as an ulcer or irritable bowel syndrome should be careful when eating cinnamon, more than half a teaspoon may cause the lining of the stomach to become irritated. Doses of more than half a teaspoon may increase heart rate, which is dangerous for those with heart conditions, and may damage kidneys. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar, so if combined with diabetes medication it may cause blood glucose levels to dip too low, therefore diabetics should pay extra care to their glucose levels when first taking cinnamon. Cinnamon thins the blood, so it should not be taken in any situation where a lot of bleeding may occur, like before surgery, or during heavy menstruation. Some traditional practitioners will give a mother cinnamon in order to induce contractions, so pregnant women may want to avoid cinnamon. Overall, cinnamon has many possible side effects, so if you have any problem with cinnamon, do not take cinnamon. The honey alone still treats cardiovascular disease, although to a much lesser extent than honey and cinnamon.

Rating

  • Effectiveness: 3
  • Availability: 4
  • Safety: 2

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Unrated Treatment

The treatments listed below are unrated. All can be done at home, although some are better done at a clinic.

Disclaimer

The information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.


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