February is Healthy Heart Month, and heart disease is still the number one killer of both men and women. There are many supplements that can help us maintain a healthy heart. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical to heart health, and those of us that do not eat 12 ounces of cold-water, fatty fish per week need to take a supplement of the oil. The recommended dosages are 1,500 milligrams of both EPA and DHA each day.
Research shows that low levels of the amino acid L-taurine have been associated with heart weakness, and a “free amino acid” supplement may help. The amino acid L-arginine is combined with molecular oxygen to make the neurotransmitter nitric acid, which aids in maintaining blood pressure as a potent vasodilator. The heart also needs L-carnitine, which draws fatty acid molecules into the mitochondria, where they are burned to produce energy.
Among heart-healthy herbs, the most commonly known are hawthorn berries, which give added strength to the heart muscle. Researchers believe that these berries help the heart in several ways. They dilate coronary arteries to improve blood supply, may increase the heart’s pumping force, may eliminate heart-rhythm irregularities, and help remove cholesterol from artery walls. The berries have been used long term to reduce angina attacks and to prevent cardiac complications in elderly patients with pneumonia and influenza.
Other supplements that can lead to a healthier heart include potassium, vitamin E and selenium (taken together), co-enzyme Q10, as well as calcium and magnesium (in the proper ratio) to control the heart’s beat. Stress is hard on the heart, and eliminating stress is beneficial. Herbs can help with this process, as well as a healthy lifestyle. This includes a healthy diet with limited fats and sugars.
Source: Randy Lee, ND, owner of The Health Patch – Alternative Health Clinic and Market. Location: 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City. For more information, call 405-736-1030, email PawPaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHealthPatch.com.