The Benefits Of Micronutrients In Heart Failure
Heart Failure is a serious health condition where the heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood to other parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5.1 million people in the US are affected by heart failure and about 40-50% of them die within one year of diagnosis. The economic impact of heart failure is huge, as the national heart failure treatment costs average about $32 billion including the work absences. Worldwide, approximately 23 million people suffer from heart failure.
Heart failure commonly follows one of the other cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart irregularities (arrhythmias), heart valve disorders, and cardiomyopathy. Obesity, smoking, living a sedentary lifestyle, or having a family history of heart disease further contribute to the development of heart failure. Fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, a long standing cough and wheezing, and swelling of the ankles, legs, and abdomen are some of the common symptoms of heart failure.
The human heart is a muscle which requires tremendous amounts of energy in the form of ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) to function properly and to support its regular beats (conducted 100,000 times/day) and to recycle blood (5 liters though the body every minute). Lack of this vital energy is the most important reason for heart failure and this precise fact is ignored during the treatment. Conventional treatment of heart failure usually involves medications that offer only symptomatic relief by reducing the swelling of the heart muscle, or by increasing the ease of breathing achieved by drugs such as diuretics and beta-blockers. Diuretics are used as the primary treatment of heart failure to reduce edema by removing water accumulated in the tissues. However, diuretics also wash out critical water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, B1, and minerals such as Potassium Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, etc. These micronutrients are essential to support proper contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle cells. Beta-blockers strip the body of coenzyme Q-10, a nutrient, which is essential for the generation of ATP in cellular mitochondria. Digoxin depletes Magnesium and B vitamins, which are essential for optimum bio-energy production in cells. It is proven that deficiency of the nutrients Co-Q-10, and vitamins C and B1, increases the risk of heart failure.
We conducted a pilot clinical trial in heart failure patients between the ages of 41 and 68 years1. These patients took a specific combination of micronutrients for six months. The results showed remarkably improved cardiac pumping action (symptomatic improvement) and therefore an improved quality of life in the participants. At the beginning of the study, 70 percent patients suffered extensive impairment of cardiovascular health and their daily activities. Thirty percent patients reported moderate limitation of their daily physical activity. At the end of the study, 80 percent of the patients reported improvement in their health condition by one or more grades on the New York Heart Association scale. After six months, half of the patients could lead normal lives again without any discomfort or associated symptoms.
Other clinical studies have also repeated and confirmed similar findings emphasizing the importance of micronutrient supplementation2. Conventional medicines act only to deplete the essential micronutrients required for optimum heart function. Therefore, micronutrients supplementation is the only effective way to provide bio-energy for optimum functioning of the heart muscle cells.
1. Cellular Health Communications Vol 1, No. 1, 2001
2. Witte KK, et al., Eur Heart J. 2005 Nov;26(21):2238-44