Love Your Heart – And Keep It Healthy

February 2, 2009
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

The month of February means American Heart Month.

Many years ago, I asked one of my favorite cardiologists (a most wonderful man who epitomizes the perfect combination of a classically trained M.D. and an “enlightened” holistic doc) to spell out the most important nutrients most essential for overall heart protection and that provide the metabolic boost the old ticker needs on a daily basis.

Dr. Sinatra didn’t hesitate when he revealed his “Awesome Foursome” nutrients and dosage information, suggestions that I would like to pass on to all of you with elderly parents, relatives, and other-assorted loved ones 🙂

The first is CoQ10. The recommendation is at least 200 mg per day of the best absorbed hydrosoluble softgel available. This nutrient is particularly essential if someone is on statin drugs like Lipitor. Statins are typically recommended to decrease inflammation as well as to help individuals with calcium deposits in their arteries. It can be life-saving for diabetics who also have heart disease and register an elevated C-reactive protein – a clinical indicator of inflammation.

The second of the “Awesome Foursome” is none other than ….magnesium. The recommendation here is 400 – 800 mg per day. Magnesium really relaxes the arteries as well as the heart muscle and any muscle for that matter. Magnesium is involved with the most biochemical processes in the entire body – 350 or so to be exact – and it is an invaluable liver co-factor in the detox process. Magnesium is marvelous for just about everything including periodic nocturnal awakenings when it can coax you gently back to sleep. By the way Traditional Chinese Medicine has this to say about the nocturnal awakenings: Wake up between 1 – 3, look to the liver; 3-5, the lungs need some attention; 5-7, consider supporting the large intestines. You KNOW when you have too much of a good thing when your elimination is too “loose.”

After CoQ10 and magnesium, comes L-carnitine. The total dosage recommendation is 2 – 3 grams per day spread out through the day. L-Carnitine is a powerful fat burner (it is an ingredient in the Weight Loss Formula) and assists CoQ10 in a variety of ways. When either is deficient, energy production goes south. This is especially felt in the heart, a muscle which demands the most energy of all.

Last is Ribose – an essential “carbohydrate” or “sugar” that has helped angina more than any other supplement I know. The recommendation is 5 grams about three times daily. When I gave this to my Dad, his breathlessness disappeared – almost over night. There are many available sources on the market but the Corvalen brand is the one I like best.

Finally, do be aware that fat is the preferred “fuel” for the heart. That means that cholesterol levels below 160 are NOT desirable by any means. Cholesterol is the raw material from which stress hormones are derived and it now appears to chelate and cleanse a whole variety of endotoxins through the GI tract. So…less (when it comes to cholesterol) does not mean “better” health. Without a healthy cholesterol level (200 – 220 in my experience), your immune system suffers …and so will your heart.

Nourish your heart physically and emotionally.

I have observed that your heart can take a beating (no pun intended) in many ways. For the females who are reading this, please don’t measure yourself against each other or those air-brushed, skinny models that grace every magazine cover in some form of undress.

Pit yourself against your own expectations and core values. Set your goals as high as you can, believe in yourself and your own self worth and follow a path that is realistic and allows time for play. We will all live many lives in this one lifetime. Be in the moment, remember to breathe and bless your hearts — every single one of them.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This