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Want a Long, Healthy Life? Strengthen Your Heart Muscle

Published: September 2021

Want a long, healthy life? Then you gotta have heart. Even if you have no cardiac problems whatsoever at the moment, strengthening your heart muscle should be a top priority.

Over 6 million Americans suffer from congestive heart failure (CHF), according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention—and this condition, in which the heart muscle is so weak that it struggles to pump blood throughout your body—is something you can help prevent with a healthy diet and lifestyle. And fortunately, there are two nutrients that can offer additional support for strong heart muscle.

CoQ10 can strengthen your heart

Happy family supplementing thier diet with CoQ10 to improve blood flow, singing in the park

Studies have shown that certain nutrients can help strengthen the heart with fewer side effects than the drugs typically used to treat CHF. CoQ10 is one that certainly stands out.

The goal with nutrients is the same as with traditional drugs: to strengthen heart muscle contractions and improve blood flow throughout the body. In CHF, the heart muscle progressively becomes weaker because it enlarges in a process known as cardiac remodeling. This process is the primary culprit behind the reduced quality of life people with CHF experience—the chest pain, the shortness of breath, and other symptoms that can affect quality of life.

You can fight back against cardiac remodeling with CoQ10 as a key player. It's been studied in this capacity since the 1960s, and it continues to show promise in helping people with CHF.

There is ample scientific evidence that CoQ10 is a powerful CHF foe:

  • A review of several small CoQ10 studies between 1966 and 2005 found an overall improvement in the percent of blood pumped out of the heart when people took this nutrient.
  • Several clinical trials including more than 1,000 patients with CHF indicate that those who took CoQ10 had improved exercise tolerance. Plus, their CHF was rated as less severe due to this nutrient.
  • A study of 27 patients with the most severe classification of CHF had improved heart function and fewer symptoms after taking CoQ10.
  • A study of 420 patients with heart failure found that CoQ10 intake led to improved symptoms and reduced major adverse cardiovascular events.

There are two commercially available forms of CoQ10: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. The ubiquinol form is better absorbed by your system than ubiquinone, so you may want to opt for this form. We're often asked what the optimal CoQ10 dose is. The answer depends on your blood level. So, it's important to get laboratory testing to find out the amount you need.

Of course, if you need help finding a blood test or interpreting your results, you can always call our Wellness Specialists for assistance at 1-800-226-2370.

Enhancing cardiac strength & energy with D-ribose

Happy young woman and man with improved blood flow from D-ribose, stretching in the park

Your heart needs energy to keep your blood flowing and every organ functioning. That's why D-ribose, a nutrient found in every living being, is so important. Several studies of CHF patients who took D-ribose have shown improvements in blood flow and other symptoms.

Plus, in a study of healthy athletes, supplying fatigued muscle cells with D-ribose quickly restored cell energy to normal levels. If you want to optimize your heart's energy levels, D-ribose might be the right nutrient for you!

Because of the positive results that have been seen with both of these nutrients, there is currently a clinical trial underway to test the effects of both together on heart failure.

Is a strong heart important to you?

A couple taking a walk with their dog on a meadow to improve and protect the function of heart muscles

Heart disease is our number one killer. That's why protecting the function of your heart muscle is crucial to longevity. Want to increase your chances of going the distance? Eat right, exercise, make solid lifestyle choices, and consider upping your intake of these proven, heart-supporting nutrients. There's no better time than now to make heart health a priority.

References

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Failure. October 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_failure.htm
  • Cardiovasc Pathol. 2005;14(3):109-19.
  • Circ Heart Fail. 2016;9(4):e002639.
  • Ann Pharmacother. 2005;39(9):1522-6.
  • Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):79-89.
  • Clin Cardiol. 2004;27(5):295-9.
  • JACC Heart Fail. 2014;2(6):641-9.
  • Int J Cardiol. 2009;137(1):79-80.
  • Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;9(3):56-65.
  • Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2004;286(1):R182-8.
  • BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2018;18(1):57.

By: Michael A. Smith, MD

Dr. Michael A. Smith received his medical doctorate from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, and he practiced Internal Medicine and Radiology in Dallas, Texas in the early 2000s. Dr. Smith is the author of The Supplement Pyramid: How to Build your Personalized Nutritional Regimen. He is also the host of Live FOREVERish, a podcast and Facebook Live show for Life Extension.