Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

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Heart Disease and Cholesterol

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*Heart Conditions

Are you suffering from any form of heart disease?

This article provides some alternatives to traditional medical approaches. Please share their use with your health care providers.  

Supplements for heart health


A meeting of physicians in La Jolla, California in March, 2004 provided evidence supporting the use of dietary supplements in evidence-based practice for heart health, and was cosponsored by the Scripps Clinic and the University of California, San Diego. The speakers, all physicians, reviewed the data behind the claims for many supplements, warned about products known to have harmful effects and reported on some emerging supplements that show promise.


Dr. Erminia Guarneri, cardiologist, founder and medical director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, recommends dietary supplements for her patients. She prescribes B-vitamins to control serum lipid and homocysteine levels, along with omega-3 fatty acids, soy protein, soluble fiber and magnesium.

To find supplements and herbs and organic foods and beauty products, go to www.iherb.com. For up to a $10 discount, use the code BNN951 at checkout.


If you don't want to take supplements for your heart condition, food sources are available.


Focus your daily meals around these foods to keep your heart healthy: sunflower seeds, whole wheat and whole grain cereals and breads, rolled oats, green peas, asparagus, raisins, crab meat, brown rice, wheat germ, chicken, hazelnuts, peanuts, hickory nuts, Lima beans, salmon, prunes, lentils, tuna, turkey, rabbit, white beans, bananas, walnuts, sweet potatoes, cooked cabbage, clams, sardines, mackerel, trout, eggs, tofu, soy burgers, soy cheese, tempeh, natto, miso, fresh dark green uncooked vegetables, turnips, potatoes, orange juice, black-eyed peas, mushrooms, yogurt, Swiss chard, and figs.


Herbs for heart health


Dr. Guarneri also recommends hawthorn, an extract derived from a tree native to Europe. It has a wider therapeutic range than digoxin and carries a lower risk of medication error and less potential for causing arrhythmias than the traditional medical prescription. 


Dr. Guarneri presented a meta-analysis of eight randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving 632 participants with the New York Heart Association. They ranged from class 1 to 111 heart failure. They were given daily doses of hawthorn extract. The supplement improved cardiac workload, compared with placebo, and reduced fatigue and difficulty breathing (Am. J. Med. 114[8]:665-74, 2003).


Dr. Guarneri also recommended red yeast rice, an extract of fermented white rice. It significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol and total triglycerides, compared with placebo (sugar pill) in a randomized, double-blind trial of 83 healthy participants. The treatment group took 2.4 grams of a Chinese red yeast rice supplement daily for 12 weeks (Am. J. Clin. Nutr, 69[2]:231-26, 1999).


Dr. Guarneri advised patients to discontinue certain supplements prior to surgery. Garlic, gingko and ginseng can promote bleeding and should be stopped a week prior to surgery. Kava and valerian can promote sedation and should be discontinued 48 hours before surgery.



MacReady, N. Evidence helps clarify alternative med options. Clinical Psychiatry News, March, 2003, p. 90.

Clark, CC. Food sources of vitamins. Wellness Practitioner. New York: Springer, 1996, pp. 105-107

Copyright www.carolynchambersclark.com

New study provides important information on heart health


Comparisons of diet with coronary heart disease (CHD) between countries with similar socioeconomic environments have been few. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined patients in Australia and New Zealand (n = 9014) who participated in a large prevention trial who died from coronary heart disease even though they were taking statin drugs (such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor).


How can this be?


The dangers of cholesterol-lowering drugs


Earl Mindell, a pharmacist with a PhD explains. If you're on cholesterol-lowering drugs, keep in mind that they have never been tested for their long-term affects. According to Mindell, the biggest danger and most common side effect of taking cholesterol-lowering drugs is liver damage. He gives an example of how damaging they can be when combined with a couple of alcohol drinks and a Tylenol. He reminds us that we need cholesterol to be healthy---it's a basic building block for the steroid hormones we need to produce cortisones, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. Without cholesterol, men grow breasts and become impotent, women get bald, and both suffer from insomnia and fatigue.


Strange at it may seem, cholesterol-lowering drugs also block the production of a coenzyme called Co Q10 that is essential for a healthy heart and healthy muscles. According to Mindell, heart disease patients consistently have been shown to have a shortage of Co Q10, and 1 in 200 of them suffer from muscle pain and weakness, that can signal kidney failure and approaching death.

For more information on why you need cholesterol and the dangers of taking anti-cholesterol drugs, click on: http://www.naturalnews.com/048168_ischemic_heart_disease_medical_myths_Dr_Daniel_Cobb.html 

If you're taking a beta blocker, click on this article http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/29/beta-blockers-death.aspx

Eating saturated fats (fried foods, meat, high fat cheese, etc.) reduces heart health

The researchers examining the study participants from New Zealand and Australia found nutrition was also an important factor.


Within the entire group of 9014 patients, the New Zealanders had significantly (40%) more cardiovascular deaths than did the Australians. In the subgroup of 1077 patients, the New Zealanders were found at entry to have eaten significantly more total and saturated fats to have significantly (4%) higher concentrations of LDL (the bad) cholesterol than did the Australians.


 How saturated fats reduce your heart health


At the beginning of the study, patients with previous coronary artery bypass grafting had diets that were significantly different and much higher in saturated fats than patients without previous coronary artery bypass grafting. By examining the nutrients the patients ate and the fat in their blood plasma, the researchers confirmed that saturated fat increases the bad cholesterol, reduces the good cholesterol and increases triglycerides, which have been shown to be more important in heart disease than cholesterol.


Is bypass surgery the answer to heart health?


These findings may indicate that you can have bypass surgery, but if you don't change the way you eat, you can still die prematurely. Dietary counseling throughout the trial led to significant improvements in compliance with guidelines, but even when participants improved their eating habits and reduced saturated fat, a significant number still died early. The findings indicate that it takes more than a year of eating healthy to have a positive effect on heart health.


What can you do to improve your heart health?


Start today to eliminate animal products, the main source of saturated fats. This means beef, veal, lamb, pork and ham. The fat marbling you see in beef and pork is saturated fat. Also eliminate high fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, yogurt, cheese), fried foods, any foods that may be fried in or include coconut oil, palm kernel oil and vegetable shortening---all of which are often found in fast foods.


If you're on cholesterol-lowering drugs talk to your health care practitioner about trying a diet with reduced saturated fats instead. In the meantime, Aaron Tabor, MD, has developed some healthy soy shakes to help reduce your cholesterol. The healthiest is the organic soy plain shake; to make it into a yummy drink, add 1 cup or more soy milk or water (to desired thickness), a cup or more of organic fruit, and 1-2 tablespoons of carob powder and/or blackstrap molasses.

Click on these links for even more information:




Sources and Resources


Mindell, E, Hopkins, V. Prescription Alternatives, Hundreds of safe, Natural, Prescription-Free Remedies to Restore Your Health & Energy. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc.


Nestel PJ, Baghurst K, Colquhoun DM, Simes RJ, Mehalski K, White HD, Tonkin AM, Kirby A, Pollicino C. Relation of diet to cardiovascular disease risk factors in subjects with cardiovascular disease in Australia and New Zealand: analysis of the Long-Term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischaemic Disease trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;81(6):1322-9.


This article is for information purposes only. For treatment, consult your health care practitioner. Copyright www.carolynchambersclark.com


For more information on Heart Disease, go to SeekWellness.com at http://www.seekwellness.com/heart/index.htm



Think positive and you'll be positive!

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