Heart Healing Medicine

July 8, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ LIfestyle

If lifestyle changes alone were not sufficient to reduce your cholesterol levels, your doctor may determine that you need drug therapy. The most widely prescribed medicine are HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, better known as “statins.” They prevent the production of cholesterol in the liver. They’re best at lowering “bad” LDL and have little effect on HDL and triglycerides. Statins are also anti-inflammatories, and research shows that they can reduce the additional cardiovascular risk linked with raised levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

Statins are important cholesterol-lowering medicine. Statins quickly reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by blocking an enzyme in the liver that helps manufacture that sticky stuff. In fact, they reduce the chance of a first heart attack or stroke by 25–35 per cent, and they cut the risk of a repeat occurrence by 40 per cent.

Besides improving your cholesterol ratios, statins also seem to limit the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidation occurs when cholesterol particles are attacked by unstable molecules known as free radicals. This process makes the cholesterol more likely to stick to artery walls.

While most statins lower cholesterol, they don’t erase your heart risk completely. That’s especially true for people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome and low “good” HDL cholesterol. Even on a maximum dosage, only about 25 per cent of people will find that their heart risk drops out of the danger zone. This means that 75 per cent of patients prescribed a statin must take extra medication and measures—including making lifestyle changes.

In addition to statins, you should take omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 supplements (such as fish or krill oil) are recommended by doctors for people with heart disease because it is difficult to get enough heart-healing omega-3 fatty acids from food.

Omega-3 supplements are extremely effective for heart health. The benefits come from two omega-3 fatty acids known as EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). They aid in the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that play a role in regulating blood pressure and blood clotting. They help to prevent arteries from thickening. Omega-3s improve blood flow and tamp down inflammation, a major contributor to heart attacks.

People who take omega-3 supplements and eat fish regularly have a 62 per cent lower risk of having a fatal heart attack than those who don’t, per a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

In the study, Dutch researchers followed more than 20,000 people ages 20 to 65 for 9–14 years and monitored their omega-3 consumption. In addition to slashing their fatal heart attack risk, people who ate the most fish or who took omega-3 supplements also lowered their chances of dying from coronary artery disease by 49 per cent.

  • Recent studies also show that omega-3 supplements can:
  • Lower the risk of heart failure by 30 per cent in middle-aged and elderly women
  • Keep heart attack survivors alive for longer and lessen their risk of future hospitalizations
  • Help to prevent heart attacks in people who have high cholesterol
  • Help to prevent coronary artery disease and reduce the chances of dying from coronary heart disease by 29 per cent
  • Reduce atherosclerosis and blood pressure
  • Improve heart function and lessen the risk of having a fatal heart attack
  • Lower high triglyceride levels by 30–40 per cent
  • Lower LDL cholesterol, even in people already taking cholesterol-lowering medication

Another supplement recommended by many doctors is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). There is research suggesting that taking this vitamin-like compound found naturally in the body can help to prevent side effects of statins, particularly muscle pain and damage. Statins lower levels of CoQ10 in the body. CoQ10 is often recommended because it has some heart benefits.

Since heart cells demand high levels of energy, and since CoQ10 fuels cellular energy, researchers suspect that low CoQ10 blood levels could damage the heart. Researchers also suspect that CoQ10 hinders the formation of blood clots.

Those theories aren’t verified, but we do know that people who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart failure have low CoQ10 levels, even if they’re not taking a statin. When Italian  researchers studied men in their fifties with coronary artery disease who took either 300 mg of CoQ10 or a sugar pill, they discovered that the men in the CoQ10 group had much better heart function after one month of treatment. Those men also lowered their blood pressure levels by 19 per cent, compared with the men in the placebo group.