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Have I been missing a vital remedy to maintain a healthy heart? I wondered if that was the case when I read an article in LifeExtension titled, “The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up.” The author, Dr. Steven Masley, is a Fellow of both The American Heart Association and The American Academy of Nutrition. He has devoted his career to heart disease and aging. So how does his treatment differ from that of other cardiologists?
Masley reports that most doctors rely on lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure to prevent heart disease. He says this is a boon for Big Pharma, but not necessarily for patients. He admits that, although statin drugs are needed in some instances, they increase the risk of diabetes. Unfortunately, statins also result in weight gain and, by lowering testosterone, reduce sexual pleasure.
His 30-day tune-up is directed at shrinking coronary plaque, improving circulation and strengthening the heart. However, his primary message is that 30 to 50 percent of baby boomers now suffer from prediabetes. This, he says, can kill by a coronary or stroke even before they develop diabetes. It does this by changing the cholesterol profile and increasing inflammation. Yet at this point cardiologists would say, “So what’s new?”
Dr. Masley, due to his training in nutrition, believes vitamin and mineral supplements hold the key to cardiac health, as much processed food is deficient in them. He adds that other critical elements are fiber, fish oil, magnesium and potassium. And, we should all take a daily multivitamin pill.
He also believes we need mixed carotenoids, a pill that contains fruit and vegetable extracts. A further suggestion is that we need at least 100 micrograms (mcg) of B12 daily if we’re over 50 years of age, and 500 mcg if taking a stomach acid blocker. Then, we should check to see if the multivitamin pill contains 75 to 150 mcg of iodine for optimum thyroid function.
According to Dr. Masley, it’s critical for overall health to take vitamin D as every cell in the body has vitamin D receptors. He explains studies show that people with high levels of D have less risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and obesity. If blood level of D is low, we need to take 5,000 IU of D for a couple of months, then 1,500 to 3,000 IU daily. Other authorities claim 5,000 IU is ideal.
Another critical vitamin is vitamin K1 and K2. Most people get enough K1 in food, but lack K2 which directs calcium into bone and keeps it out of arteries where it can cause trouble. Masley recommends 100 mcg daily, but some experts stress that up to 1,000 mcg is required.
Vitamin E has been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular health for years, but comes in various forms. Masley recommends a supplement that contains mixed forms of E.
For the elderly it’s a good time to add supplements that provide longevity to the heart’s muscles. A good combination is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) 100 mg twice daily, ribose 5 grams twice daily, and carnitine 2,000 to 3,000 mg. daily.
Masley has two other suggestions. I was pleased to read that one I take in moderation is resveratrol, present in red wine. The other, curcumin, he reports, is an outstanding ant-inflammatory and he often prescribes it for patients with arthritis, dementia, and cancer prevention.
Like other authorities, Masley claims many North Americans lack magnesium and suggests 300 to 500 mg daily. This mineral is responsible for at least 300 metabolic actions, one being to regulate the heart’s normal rhythm.
His final remark was the need for nitric oxide (NO) that dilates arteries. It’s produced by the innermost lining of arteries, but decreases as we age. A deficiency can cause hypertension, angina and erectile dysfunction. . A natural remedy, NEO40 produces NO and like other minerals and vitamins mentioned is available in Health Food Stores.
So what more could I do to ensure a healthy heart? I should add iodine and curcumin. I’ll also be sure not to forget a relaxing glass of red wine with dinner. And to remember that it’s always prudent to maintain a healthy diet and daily exercise.