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Taurine Role in Cardiology and Cardiac Arrhythmias

  1. Taurine appears to cure many heart issues such as pre-atrial contractions (PACs), arrhythmias, angina pectoris, congestive heart disease because these ...
    george-eby-research.com/html/taurine.html - Cached -
  2. Taurine Role in Cardiology and Cardiac Arrhythmias

    George Eby, Austin, Texas 
    george.eby@george-eby-research.com

    Notice: This page is out of date. My current research is a new medical journal paper titled: "Elimination of cardiac arrhythmias using oral taurine with L-arginine: hypothesis for nitric oxide stabilization of the sinus node with case histories". Please access this new page here. Also please consider large doses ofOmega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.


    This page was written up in Natural News by Barbara Minton.


    This page is about the extraordinary power, actually the extraordinary NATURAL power of an amino acid called taurine to effectively prevent cardiac arrhythmias. In my case, I was having pre atrial contractions (PACs) each five beats, totally 25,000 abnormal pre atrial contraction (PACs) per day. These pre atrial contractions (PACs) started suddenly in 1998 and continued more or less unabated until I started to regularly add taurine to my diet.

    Pre atrial contractions (PACs) are nerve racking and lead to poor sleep habits and irritability. As far as I can determine the article below by Chazov et al. is one of the few articles ever published to demonstrate the extraordinary benefit of taurine in preventing and treating cardiac arrhythmias such as pre atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). I knew from experience that magnesium taurate helped reduce my PACs from one premature beat each 5 seconds to one each 8 to 10 seconds. I had attributed this action to magnesium, and not taurate (taurine), but to more completely eliminate pre atrial contractions with much larger doses of taurine than is possible with magnesium taurate was a really significant observation.

    What is going on here? Very briefly, in aging, taurine production by the liver can decline resulting in the "little old man / little old lady syndrome" known and clearly evinced by the mental image invoked. Low taurine production problems appear simple to alleviate with supplemental dietary taurine, which is available at nearly all health food stores, pharmacies and grocery stores in the United States and elsewhere. This is why the "energy drink" Red Bull gives people energy (not the caffeine), it restores their taurine levels to youthful levels, consequently they perform youthfully. A very simple solution to curing the "little old man / little old lady syndrome".

    The top strip of the following ECG shows the effect of 12 grams taurine daily in eliminating the pre atrial contractions (PACs) shown in the lower strip (before administration of taurine), clearly showing the early beats are no longer a major issue, but they do occur from time to time always in the familiar every fifth to tenth beat pattern.

    How did I figure out this mess? In Timothy Birdwell's article, he writes, "Chazov et al. were able to demonstrate that taurine could reverse EKG abnormalities such as S-T segment changes, T-wave inversions, and extra systoles (extra heart beats like PACS and PVCs) in animals with chemically-induced arrhythmias." Who is "Chazov"? I looked up the Chazov article on PubMed to be disappointed since only the title of the article (Taurine and Electrical Activity of the Heart) was presented. I contacted Circulation Research an official journal of the American Heart Association, and they sent me a copy of the issue, and I republished Chazov's article below.

    Chazov reported there were no side effects, so I experimented taking taurine to see what would happen. I started out with what I thought would be a high dosage, 2 grams with breakfast. Within a half hour, my PACs, which had been running along about every 5 seconds, were running along at about one every 5 minutes, a sixty-fold improvement. The effect wore off by lunch-time and I repeated the 2 gram dosage. Again, the PACs disappeared. Was taurine a cure for cardiac arrhythmias? It began to look like it for me! I was thrilled out of my mind! No more useless propranolol!!! Hurray! Within a few days, I settled on a 3 gram dosage with each meal and at bedtime. I now have zero PACs per day (unless I eat too much salt and/or my Candida yeast flares up), as long as I take taurine in these doses. What are the side effects? Diarrhea and excessive nasal and throat mucous can develop from too much taurine. The solution? Reduce taurine intake or stop it for a while. I suspect that my PACs are more realistically reduced by one half, with none over long times.

    Please understand that there may be multiple causes of cardiac arrhythmias in the same individual, and low taurine may only be one of them, or taurine treatment may mask the effects of the real cause. For example, if cardiac arrhythmias are caused by a cardiovascular toxin or an allergen, one must become a detective and figure our what that toxin or allergen is. One toxin or allergen that can cause irregular cardiac rhythm is acetaldehyde, a toxin released in large amounts from Candida Albicans fungal/yeast intestinal infections and decay of them. People can be highly allergic to candida and its break down products.

    A niacin deficiency can cause lone atrial fibrillations, and their treatment with 500 mg of flush free niacin (inositol hexanicotinate) twice a day will totally stop them.

    If any of the prescription antifungals, non prescription antifungals and natural antifungals such as coconut oil, garlic, and kefir are beneficial in temporarily terminating cardiac arrhythmias, then one must find a more permanent solution to the candida problem. Antifungals loose their efficacy after about 5 to 6 days due to resistance buildup and mutation of the candida strain. Iodine is more effective against candida because the various mutations are all susceptible to iodine, but iodine (3 mg per meal) will cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyorism in effective anti-candida doses and it should not be used for more than a few days to a week. Spanish Black Radish and cruciform vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphene. These two substances stimulate two of the body's most powerful detoxification mechanisms - the cytochrome P450 and the Phase II enzyme systems - the body's biochemical pathways for converting toxins into harmless or easily excretable substances. Thus Indole-3-Carbinol and foods known to contain it, like cabbage, kale and broccoli, may render acetaldehyde harmless and stop cardiac arrhythmias. Whether or not taurine will also be needed can then be evaluated. I have found that 200 mg of Indole-3-Carbinol with each meal and at bedtime is sufficient to prevent my cardiac arrhythmias when taken with lower doses of taurine. Consequently,a better intestinal immune system (from Indole-3-Carbinol) and a cardioprotective dose of taurine leads to no arrhythmias and a healthier life.

    A very important cause of both benign and potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias is low blood nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide production is supposed to be high in the nose. Nasal nitric oxide production by strong humming (the nasal vocalization) can be increased 15 to 20-fold, thus increasing blood nitric oxide. I can stop my arrhthymias simply by humming very strongly for a while. I discovered this conicidentally to learning how to cure fungal (candida albicans)- induced chronic rhinosinusitis (chronic sinusitis). The full report is here. No benefit may occur unless humming is done for at least an hour a day for several days.

    Since humming to reduce arrhythmias works most likely by increasing blood nitric oxide, what would happen if the precursor to nitric oxide, the amino acid L-arginine, were used instead? A friend of mine that was having 20,000 atopic beats from pre ventricular contractions (PVCs) found that 1 gram of arginine (in gelatine capsules) with taurine at each meal and at bedtime would eliminate 100% of his arrhythmias. Did L-arginine work for my pre atrial contractions (PACs)? Yes! The same dose of L-arginine when taken with taurine totally stopped my pre atrial contractions (PACs). For many people L-arginine and taurine will stop arrhytmias better than anything else. How does it work? It has something to do with "nitric oxide" production. Try one gram of the amino acid L-arginine with each meal for a few weeks, but only when L-arginine is packaged in gelatine capsules for extremely important reason shown below.

    In several people trying this offbeat technique, three grams of L-arginine (in compressed tablet form) per meal caused severe to extremely severe constipation while using magnesium supplementation that previously caused diarrhea. Serious constipation did not seem to occur with one gram of L-arginine per meal, although is could cause mild constipation. On the other hand, the literature says that too much L-arginine will cause diarrhea, not constipation. Who knows!

    On the other hand, L-arginine (in large doses) appears dangerous to people who are recovering from heart attacks. Six out of 76 people recovering from heart attacks treated with 9 grams L-arginine/day (in 500 mg gelatine capsules) died compared with zero for placebo according to this NIH supported study. I would not be surprised to learn that L-arginine in these large doses made them so constipated that it killed them. The mechanism of action shown byTomita et al. is due to increased nitric oxide production in the intestines, which mediates nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory nerves and plays an important role in the dysmotility observed in the colons of patients with slow-transit constipation. This effect is vastly stronger using compressed tablets of L-arginine than when using gelatin capsules of L-arginine, suggesting that hard compressed tablets reach and dissolve in the colon enhancing local nitric oxide production (and do not dissolve in the stomach). This is the Letter to the Editor of JAMA that I submitted today, January 14, 2006: Sir: Concerning the question of why L-arginine seems to have killed patients in the study of Schuleman et al. (JAMA. 2006;295:58-64), it should be noted that L-arginine in the 9 grams per day (3 grams with each meal) doses used by Schuleman et al. causes extreme, highly dangerous constipation in people with slow-transit constipation, perhaps due to the effect of excessive arginine-induced nitric oxide on nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory nerves of the colon (Tomita R, Fujisaki S, Ikeda T, Fukuzawa M. Role of nitric oxide in the colon of patients with slow-transit constipation. Dis Colon Rectum. 2002 May;45(5):593-600.). In fact, these 9 grams/day doses may be highly constipating in other people too. For that reason alone, L-arginine should not be used in those excessive doses (particularly in the form of hard compressed tablets likely to reach the colon), while one to two grams per day as dietary supplement (prepared in gelatin capsules) seem harmless. -- George Eby, Austin, Texas . In other words, if you have had a heart attack or have a weakened heart, you do not want to become constipated from excessive L-arginine or from excessive calcium or any other way. Remember how Elvis died! Don't strain trying to poop! Stay loose!

    I use Cardiovascular Research Magnesium Taurate (a compound of magnesium and taurine) . Arginine is available here. Warning: Use only L-arginine in gelatine capsules to prevent tablets from getting into the colon and inducing severe constipation.

    Obviously, salt (sodium chloride) sensitivity is a serious problem which can lead to heart damage (hypertrophy) and hypertension, and a lower sodium chloride and higher potassium chloride diet is both possible and desirable. The saltly taste from sodium chloride that the West has come to love, is nearly identical from potassium chloride (Morton's Salt Substitute). Unfortunately, it does not have supplemental iodine as is mandated for sodium chloride by United States law, which must be added to the diet by other means, such as supplementation. Failure to obtain sufficient iodine (or too much) can can cause hyptothyroidism which can cause lethal heart attacks, particularly in elderly women. Morton's Salt Company should add iodine to its product for maximum cardiac health and our longevity. Lack of iodine in this product is a principal reason Morton's Salt Substitute comes with a warning to consult a physician before use.

    Before we revisit Chazov, what are some of the roles for taurine? From the Holistic Health Encyclopedia page we find:

    Taurine is a non-essential amino acid which can be derived from your diet or synthesized from the amino acid cysteine, if there is enough cysteine & pyridoxal-5-phosphate (co-enzyme B-6.) Taurine is highly concentrated in animal & fish protein. Taurine is essential to fetal & new born central nervous system development. The infant cannot initially manufacture taurine & must obtain taurine from its mother's milk. Taurine plays a variety of roles in the normal functioning of the brain, heart, gallbladder, eyes, & vascular system. It is the most important & abundant free amino acid in your heart & contributes to your heart muscles' contractility & regulation of its rhythm. Taurine acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain where it is the second most abundant amino acid. It also protects & stabilizes the brain cells' fragile membranes. It is an inhibitory calming neurotransmitter. Taurine acts by regulating the sodium & potassium concentration in the cells & the magnesium level between the cells. This has everything to do with the electrical activity of the cells & subsequent communication between cells. By this mechanism, it has anti-anxiety & anti-convulsant activity Taurine is found in high concentrations in your eyes & is the most abundant amino acid in your retina. Taurine is known to re-invigorate the natural killer cells of your immune system & to stimulate the release of the immune substance, Interleukin-1.

    Additional benefits & uses are:

    • Plays a role in decreasing the development of cataracts.
    • Useful in the management of chemical sensitivities as a powerful sulfur donor which removes foreign material & oxidized chlorine.
    • Useful with absorption of fats.
    • Important for proper bile production & fat metabolism, thus the ability to reduce body cholesterol.
    • For anxiety, agitation, hyperactivity.
    • For insomnia.
    • Depression.
    • Vegetarianism.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Certain heart irregularities.
    • Congestive heart failure.
    • Diabetes, potentiates & improves the action of insulin.
    • Alcoholism.
    • Gallbladder disease.
    • Macular degeneration/retinitis pigmentosa.
    • Immune problems.

    More specifically to cardiac issues, the Life Extension foundation reports three-fourth of the way down their page that: "Taurine has hypotensive and diuretic activity, tempers the sympathetic nervous system, is beneficial in CHF and arrhythmias, and has digitalis-like mentality. Taurine is the most important and abundant of the amino acids in the heart, surpassing the combined quantity of all the others. Under high stress conditions -hypertension and many forms of heart disease - the need for taurine increases to compensate for either an accompanying impairment of taurine metabolism or increased requirements. Dr. H. Kohaski and colleagues (Japan) suggest that entry-level taurine may have been low and, as the stress of hypertension progresses, taurine levels drop even lower (Kahashi 1983; Braverman et al.1987). Taurine has a diuretic action that benefits hypertensive individuals, as well as patients with congestive heart failure. Taurine elicits much of its diuretic action by preserving potassium and magnesium and by promoting sodium excretion (Atkins 1996b). Taurine also reduces blood pressure by acting as an antagonist to the blood pressure-increasing effect of angiotensin, a circulating protein that is activated by renin, a hormone secreted by the juxtaglomerular cells in the kidneys in response to a drop in blood pressure (Braverman et al. 1987). When both blood and urine taurine levels decrease, renin is activated and angiotensin is formed. As a result blood vessels vasoconstrict, water and salt are retained, and blood pressure increases. Taurine suppresses renin and breaks the renin-angiotensin feedback loop. Dr. Robert Atkins, a complementary physician with a creditable cardiology background, amplifies the positive results of scientific literature, stating that taurine would be his choice were he selecting a single nutrient to treat hypertension. Dr. Y. Yamori (a Japanese researcher who established an amino acid-stroke association) studied a strain of rats, genetically susceptible to strokes. Yamori found the rats had a much lower incidence of stroke, dropping from 90% to 20%, if their diet was supplemented with methionine, taurine, and lysine (Yamori et al. 1983; Braverman et al. 1987). Japanese researchers found that 3 grams of taurine, administered daily to patients with congestive heart failure, was more effective than 30 mg of CoQ10 (Azuma et al. 1992). The Japanese, who use taurine widely in the treatment of various forms of heart disease, found that 4 grams of taurine, given for 4 weeks, brought relief to 19 of 24 patients with congestive heart failure. Taurine appears to act much like the drug digitalis, increasing the contractility of cardiac muscle and the force of the pumping action. Taurine appears to impact cardiac arrhythmias through various pathways. For example, some forms of cardiac irregularities are helped by taurine because it regulates membrane excitability and scavenges free radicals. In addition, taurine protects potassium levels inside heart cells, which, when imbalanced, can cause electrical instability and cardiac arrhythmias (Braverman 1987; Chahine et al. 1998). Some types of premature ventricular contractions and arrhythmias respond to taurine because the amino acid tends to dampen activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the outpouring of epinephrine. As the SNS is quieted, the heart tends to beat less aggressively and the blood pressure is lowered. Lastly, Lebanese researchers showed that the incidence of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia were significantly reduced when taurine therapy was utilized (Braverman 1987; Chahine et al. 1998). A suggested dosage range is 1500-4000 mg daily."

    Here is a really good article concerning improving the electrical and contractile properties of skeletal muscle fibers with chronic administration of taurine, which means that with daily taurine supplementation one can ensure normal muscle function in the elderly. I have found as an old man that the amount of taurine that I need is higher than previously believed, and I take between 5 and 10 grams a day to retain youthful muscle function, suggesting that my old liver's ability to make taurine in impaired or that my kidney's ability to recycle taurine is impaired. Many old people could have their youth returned with supplemental taurine.



    Don't miss my brand new medical journal article on eliminating angina pectoris and Raynaud's disease (discolored gray hands and face) using high-dose zinc. Looks to me that reducing or eliminating arteriosclerosis with zinc (the only way this discovery could work) is vastly more simple than anyone could possibly imagine, and is dirt cheap. See how I discovered it at this background page and see the medical journal article here .



    Also, see this page for more information on taurine.


    Taurine and Electrical Activity of the Heart

    Supplement III to Circulation Research, Vols. 34 and 35. September 1974.

    By E. I. Chazov, L. S. Malchikova, N. V. Lipina, G. B. Asafov, and V. N. Smirnov

    From the Laboratory of Myocardial metabolism, Myasnikov Institute of Cardiology, Academy of medical Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Moscow, U.S.S.R.

    ABSTRACT
    • The effects of taurine on the electrical activity of the heart were studied in isolated preparations from guinea pigs and in situ hearts of dogs that were administered toxic doses of strophanthin-K. In the first minute after exposure of isolated hearts to taurine (0.05 mg/mv or more), the height of the T wave increased, the S-T interval lengthened, and bradycardia ensued. At high taurine concentrations (10 mg/ml). inversion of the T wave and downward displacement of the S-T segment were observed. Taurine restored abnormal electrocardiograms to normal, including S-T-segment abnormalities, T-wave inversions, and disorders of conduction. On the other hand, taurine aggravated the ECG abnormalities seen in hearts perfused with K+-free buffer, but sustained electrical activity if added early in the period of potassium deficiency. Taurine uptake by the isolated heart was estimated by disappearance from the medium and was found to be intensified by K* depletion. In dogs given toxic doses of strophanthin-K, taurine reversed the ECG abnormalities in the initial 40 to 50 minutes, after which the abnormalities reappeared. If toxic effects were not present, taurine exerted an inotropic effect.

    These findings indicate that taurine is able to regulate the excitability of the myocardium, possibly by modifying membrane permeability to potassium. It is suggested that this effect involves penetration of taurine into the cell and its conversion to isethionic acid.

    KEYWORDS: strophanthin, T wave arrhythmias, bradycardia, electrocardiogram, potassium deficiency

    Introduction

    Taurine, the product of metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, is present in all body tissues of animals and man and has a pharmacological action, but does not exert a toxic effect. (1) Until recently, the sole well-established function of taurine was its participation in taurocholic acid synthesis.(2 - 4) However, the wide distribution of taurine in many biological systems and its high content in certain organs of vertebrates have led to the thought that its physiological role is not restricted to formation of bile acids. (5, 6)

    There is special interest in the few observations suggesting that taurine is of importance in regulation of the functional condition of the cardiovascu­lar system. Thus, taurine causes a temporary reduction in blood pressure in rats,(7) exerts a vasodilator effect and increases the heart rate in frogs and rabbits, (8, 9) and leads to an increase in duration of the refractory period of the canine ventricles.(10) Taurine has a positive inotropic effect on the isolated guinea pig heart and a negative inotropic effect on the rat heart. In rat hearts it potentiates the effect of strophanthin-K. (11, 12) Read and Welty have shown that intravenous adminis­tration of taurine eliminates extrasystoles caused by epinephrine and the arrhythmia that occurs in chronic digitalis intoxication.(13) Taurine also has a therapeutic effect in angina pectoris and muscular dystrophy. (14 - 16)

    These data suggest an important physiological role of taurine in regulation of cardiac activity; however, they do not permit a judgment on its mechanism of action. Proceeding from these obser­vations, we attempted to study the effect of taurine on the electrical activity of the heart and to develop a possible mechanism for the effects of taurine on this important indicator of cardiac function. The nature of the change in electrical activity of the heart when the heart is exposed to buffer-containing taurine was investigated in the isolated hearts of guinea pigs and in the in situ hearts of dogs to which toxic doses of strophanthin-K had been given.

    Methods

    PERFUSION OF THE ISOLATED HEART

    Random-bred male guinea pigs weighing 250 to 300 g were used. The hearts were removed from animals anesthetized with pentobarbital and were perfused via the aorta by the Langendorff method. Tyrode solution (131 mM NaCl, 5.6 mM KCl, 2.16 him CaCl< sub="">2, 0.25 mM MgCl2, 5 mM Tris, 11 mM glucose, pH 7.35) was supplied at a pressure of 60 mm Hg. The perfusion solution was oxygenated with a mixture of 95% 02 plus 5% CO2. Tyrode solutions with a low potassium content (2.8 mM KCl), with a high potassium content (11.2 mM KCl), and potassium-free Tyrode were also used. Potassium-free and 2.8 mM KCl Tyrode solutions were prepared by means of equimolar replacement of KCl by sucrose.<>

    EXPERIMENTS WITH DOG HEARTS

    Male dogs weighing 8 to 10 kg were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium and vagotomized. Strophanthin-K and taurine were dissolved in 0.9% NaCl and administered intravenously.

    RECORDINGS OF HEART ACTIVITY

    In the experiments on dog hearts the electrocardio­gram and right and left ventricular and arterial pressures were recorded on an M-81 mingograph (Elema, Sweden). Electrical activity of the isolated guinea pig heart was recorded on a one-channel K-061 electrocardiograph (U.S.S.R.) with bipolar leads from nonpolarizable electrodes.

    TAURINE AND STROPHANTHIN-K SOLUTIONS

    In tests on the isolated guinea pig heart taurine, prepared in Tyrode solution at concentrations of 5.10-4, 5.10-3 and 2.102 g/ml and strophanthin-K at a concentration of 10-5 g/ml were used. In experiments on dog hearts taurine was administered in doses of 4 to 5 mM/kg body weight and strophanthin-K in doses from 0.05 to 0.1 MMg/kg body weight.

    TAURINE UPTAKE BY THE ISOLATED HEART

    Uptake of taurine by the isolated heart was deter­mined by the change in taurine concentration in the perfusion medium. The taurine content was determined using an M-121 amino acid analyzer (Beckman) by the standard single-column method.(17) The 0.9 by 69 cm column was filled with M-72 resin to a height of 40 cm. Taurine was eluted with lithium citrate buffer, pH 2.8, at a rate of 60 ml/hour and a temperature of 38°C.

    REAGENTS

    The following reagents were used: taurine (Chemapol, Czechoslovakia), sucrose and strophanthin-K (U.S.S.R.), lithium citrate and Ninhydrin (Merck), and M-72 resin (Beckman, U.S.A.).

    Results

    EFFECT OF TAURINE ON ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY Of ISOLATED HEARTS

    During perfusion of the heart with Tyrode solution containing taurine, changes in the several parameters of the electrocardiogram were ob­served. In the firs.t minute after addition of taurine, a significant increase in the height of the T wave and lengthening of the S-T interval took place. After two to three minutes a stable bradycardia developed (Table 1, Fig. IA). An increase in the height of the R wave that was proportional to the time of exposure to taurine was occasionally ob­served (Fig. IA). Upon removal of the taurine from the perfusate, all ECG parameters of the isolated heart gradually returned to the initial values.

    A dependence of the amplitude of the T wave on taurine concentration was noted. Taurine has a detectable effect at a concentration of 5.10-4 g/ml. With an increase in concentration a more pro­nounced increase in the amplitude of the T wave and S-T segment was noted, and bradycardia began sooner. A high taurine concentration (2.10-2 g/ml) caused an inversion of the T wave and a downward displacement of the S-T segment (Fig. IB).




    Electrocardiograms that were initially abnormal were restored to normal by taurine. Taurine eliminated T-wave inversion (Fig. 24) and restored the conduction (Fig. 2B).

    TAURINE AND POTASSIUM IONS

    Having demonstrated that taurine causes a change in the T wave of the isolated guinea pig heart, and supposing that both the amplitude and polarity of the T wave depend on the concentration of K+ in the plasma,(18 - 20) we attempted to evaluate the role of K+ in the effects of taurine on the heart.

    Perfusion of the heart with Tyrode solution containing twice the usual K+ concentration was accompanied by an increase in frequency of the beat and S-T elevation. Upon addition of taurine to the perfusate a negligible bradycardia was ob­served. With half the usual K+ concentration in the perfusate, the ECG did not change significantly and the effect of taurine was less pronounced.

    Complete removal of potassium ions from the medium resulted in ECG changes. In the potassium free medium a significant increase in the S-T interval, a change in the amplitude of the T and R waves, and a decrease in heart rate were observed within one minute (Table 2). After eight to ten minutes of perfusion the normal ventricular rhythm was replaced by an arrhythmia which progressed to fibrillation.

    Addition of taurine to the K + -free perfusate (before onset of fibrillation) lengthened the S-T interval and aggravated the bradycardia. However, taurine would sustain the electrical activity which was established before its administration in hearts perfused with K + -free buffer. For example, addition of taurine to the perfusate after a ten-minute perfusion with K+-free Tyrode solution preserved the electrical activity for a period of six minutes, while without taurine irreversible fibrillation developed.

    Replacement of a medium devoid of K+ by Tyrode solution of the normal ionic composition resulted in complete restoration of the initial ECG if a severe arrhythmia or fibrillation had not developed. When the medium without potassium ions was replaced by Tyrode solution containing taurine, a tendency toward lengthening of the S-T interval, an increase in the amplitude of the T wave, and maintenance of bradycardia were noted. In the absence of taurine under similar conditions, the initial ECG was restored by the tenth minute. In those cases in which fibrillation had developed in hearts perfused with K + -free buffer, addition of taurine eliminated it (Fig. 3B, 3C). A similar effect was observed when K+-free perfusate was replaced with Tyrode solution containing taurine. However, replacement of the K+-free perfusate by normal Tyrode solution without taurine did not eliminate fibrillation, even after prolonged perfusion (Fig 3A).

    TAURINE UPTAKE BY ISOLATED HEART

    To determine whether the observed effects of taurine were dependent on its binding to mem­brane receptors or to penetration of the cell, the following experiments were conducted. Isolated guinea pig hearts were perfused with Tyrode solu­tion containing taurine for a period often minutes. At one-minute intervals samples of the perfusate flowing out of the heart were taken and their taurine content determined. Taurine uptake by the isolated heart was judged by the change in taurine concentration in the perfusate.

    Maximal uptake of taurine from the perfusate was observed in the first 30 seconds of perfusion (Fig. 4). Uptake then decreased, and the taurine concentration in the perfusate flowing from the heart approximated the initial concentration by the fifth minute and remained at this level until the end of perfusion. In perfusion of the heart with a K+-free medium containing taurine, taurine uptake proceeded more intensively and continued during the entire perfu­sion period (Fig. 4).

    EFFECT OF TAURINE ON CHANGE IN ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY INDUCED BY STROPHANTHIN-K

    Having shown that taurine was capable of converting an arrhythmia to a normal rhythm under certain conditions, we carried out a series of experiments in which we attempted to estimate the effect of taurine on the arrhythmia induced by strophanthin-K.

    Strophanthin-K was administered intravenously to dogs. An increase in the P-Q interval, S-T-segment abnormalities, T-wave inversions, extrasystoles, and other arrhythmias developed grad­ually. Taurine was administered intravenously upon .appearance of the toxic effects of strophanthin-K. Twenty-five to 30 minutes after adminis­tration, normal electrical activity of the heart could be observed (Fig. 5).

    In the absence of a toxic effect of strophanthin-K, taurine showed a positive inotropic effect, indicated by an increase in developed pressure within both ventricles (Fig. 6). Ten minutes after taurine administration was stopped the pressures in the ventricles returned to the initial levels. Intravenous administration of physiological saline as a control did not modify ventricular pressures.

    Correction of disturbances of electrical activity of the heart that were induced by strophanthin-K was observed in the isolated guinea pig heart when exposed to taurine (Fig. 7). Prior perfusion of the heart for four minutes with Tyrode solution con­taining strophanthin-K led to a change in the rate of repolarization of the ventricles; namely, to an increase in the T-wave amplitude and shortening of the S-T interval. The changes were prevented by taurine.

    Discussion

    The effect of taurine on electrical activity of the heart described in this paper indicated the follow­ing:

    1. Taurine causes changes in parameters of the ECG that represent the rates of repolarization of the ventricles of the isolated guinea pig heart. This was expressed by the duration of the S-T interval and the amplitude of the T wave.

    2. In association with these changes, taurine is taken up from perfusate flowing through the heart.

    3. Taurine reverses the arrhythmia induced by toxic doses of strophanthin-K in dog hearts and eliminates the ECG changes caused by strophanthin in isolated guinea pig hearts.

    These findings are evidence for the ability of taurine to regulate the excitability of the myocar­dium and to provide a basis for considering possible mechanisms of this regulation. Experiments con­ducted on the isolated perfused hearts of guinea pigs showed that addition of taurine to the perfu­sate led, within one minute, to change in the ECG parameters associated with repolarization of the ventricles. The S-T interval and amplitude of the T wave increased. An increase in amplitude of the T wave without a change in its duration and the increase of S-T interval in hearts exposed to taurine are evidence for an increase in the repolari­zation period and, consequently, of the relative refractory period, since the durations of the S-T segment and T wave reflect the relative refractory period of the myocardium.(21)


    An increase in the refractory period in dog myocardium after taurine administration was also observed by other authors.(10) Thus, the change in the electrophysiological property is a characteristic feature of taurine action on the heart. Considering that an outflux of potassium ions takes place during the repolarization period (22) and that the maximal outflux of potassium ions takes place during the repolarization period (22) and that the maximal outflux corresponds to the T wave, (18, 23) a prolongation of the S-T interval can be interpreted as indicating a slower outflux of potassium ions from myocardial cells in the presence of taurine. In acute experiments on dogs we found that intrave­nous administration of taurine completely reversed the arrhythmia induced by prior administration of toxic doses of strophanthin-K.

    The antiarrhythmic effect of taurine had been noted earlier by other investigators. It was shown that intravenous administration of taurine, at a final dose of 0.5 to 2.5 mM/kg body weight, prevented the extrasystoles induced by epinephrine as well as the arrhythmias and inversion of the T wave induced by chronic administration of toxic doses of digoxin.(13, 14, 23) The protective effect of taurine has also been found in the cat heart.(26) In studying the mechanism of the antiarrhythmic effect of taurine on dog hearts, Read and Welty (13, 25, 27) established two facts: (1) taurine, in eliminating arrhythmia, prevented the loss of K+ by the myocardium; and (2) taurine reversed the effects of potassium loss in sections of dog heart incubated in the presence of epinephrine and of toxic doses of digoxin.

    The onset of ventricular extrasystoles in hearts exposed to toxic doses of glycosides is associated with shortening of the absolute refractory period and reduction of K+ concentration in myocardial cells.(21, 28) The decrease in potassium ion concentra­tion in the myocardium is a consequence of the inhibition of active ion transport by the glycosides and, mainly, of inhibition of potassium influx into the cells.(29 - 31) In this connection, the cessation of arrhythmias in hearts exposed to strophanthin-K and digoxin and the cessation of potassium loss from the myocardium indicate that taurine may control the excitability of the myocardium by regulation of permeability of the cell membranes to potassium ions. The site of taurine action, in this case, should be the myocardial cell membrane.

    However, this conclusion contradicts the results of experiments we carried out on the isolated heart. In the first 30 seconds of perfusion, taurine absorp­tion was maximal and gradually fell. The physio­logical effect of taurine in increasing the T-wave amplitude and S-T interval and inducing bradycardia accompanied the uptake. Perfusion of the heart with a solution devoid of potassium ions increased the amount of taurine accumulated by the heart threefold compared with hearts perfused with Tyrode solution. A direct relationship was noted between the amount of taurine accumulated by the heart and maintenance of electrical activity of the isolated heart perfused with K+-free buffer. Thus, the change in electrical activity of the heart induced by taurine is obviously connected with an increase in its intracellular concentration in the myocardium. The speed of absorption of taurine is possibly explained by the ability of taurine to move against the concentration gradient, as has been noted in rabbit ciliary body iris in vitro.(32)

    The following facts also favor the suggestion that taurine exerts its effects after entering the myocardial cells. It was shown, in sections of dog heart, that taurine is a precursor of isethionic acid.(33) A positive correlation has been noted between the dose of epinephrine that would induce ventricular extrasystoles in dog hearts and the content of isethionic acid in the myocardium.(13, 27) Since it is a strong anion, isethionic acid itself may control excitability of the cell membrane by affecting the accumulation of cations.(34)

    Based on the considerations above, the mechanism of change in electrical activity of the cardiac muscle that is induced by taurine may be the following: After penetrating the myocardial cells, taurine is converted into isethionic acid which, as an anion, may facilitate retention of intracellular potassium ions. The latter leads to stabilization of the membrane potential, since the resting potential of myocardial fibers is determined by the potas­sium ion concentration gradient.(35 - 37) Stabilization of the membrane potential, in turn, maintains the normal electrical rhythm of the heart.

    Considering that the process of excitation of any muscle is closely connected to contraction, the intimate mechanism responsible for the physiological effect of taurine on the work of the heart, under one set of conditions or another, is much more complicated, and is obscure at present. However, a whole series of factors indicate that taurine exerts an effect on excitation-contraction coupling. It is known that a change takes place in intracellular calcium ion concentration when the cells are ex­posed to glycosides. Some investigators connect this with an increase in the entry of Ca + + into the cells,(38 - 40) and others consider that the glycosides facilitate the release of calcium ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum.(41 - 43) Potentiation of the inotropic effect of digitalis on isolated rat and guinea pig hearts by taurine (11, 12) and our observations of a positive inotropic effect on the dog heart are convincing indications of the connection of taurine with movements of calcium ions.

    All the physiological effects of taurine on the heart, observed by us and by other investigators in animal experiments, as well as the therapeutic effect of taurine noted in patients with ischemic heart disease and cardiomyopathy, indicate that the effect of taurine on the heart is directed toward maintenance of the normal functional state of the organ and that this effect has a regulatory function. Since taurine is present in large quantities in myocardial cells, it may possibly be the substance that is switched into the chain of reactions that are responsible for normalization of functional activity in emergency situations. In this connection, the question of the mechanism of action of taurine on the heart is important and requires further investigation.

    Acknowledgment

    The authors express thanks to V. Bogoslovskii, N. Goldberg, A. Nazaev, V. Kukharchuk, and V. Kravtsov for assistance in conducting the experiments and for fruitful discussion.


    Discussion

    Dr. Eugene Braunwald, Boston, Massachusetts: What are the undesirable systemic effects of taurine if administered in low doses to an animal, recognizing that it is a normal substance within the body?

    Dr. Chazov: This is very important for future research. If we are to speak about possible implications in the effect of treating arrhythmias, we must always remember the possibility of development of disturbances of conductivity.

    Dr. Braunwald: In much larger doses, what are the effects on the electrocardiogram?

    Dr. Chazov: With larger doses progressive bradycardia develops.

    Dr. G. A. Langer, Los Angeles, California: I take it from the time course of action of taurine that it is probably dependent upon entry into the cell rather than upon an external or superficial membrane effect. It is interesting that effects on potassium conduction by certain tetraethylammonium compounds are internal rather than external. The fact that it is apparently necessary for these compounds to enter the cell and possibly raise the internal concentration may give some clues to the mecha­nism of action on potassium exchange. Is it correct that entry into the cell is necessary?

    Dr. Chazov: Yes, we think the effect of taurine is connected with its entry into the cell. Questions regarding activity of taurine are still in need of further study, particularly the question of the interrelationship of taurine with the movement of calcium ions. Using taurine as an example, we would like to demonstrate that biologically active substances which change the cellular metabolism or composition may affect the electrical activity of the heart. This is a question that seems important for the sake of discussion and for further research.

    Dr. Howard E. Morgan, Hershey, Pennsylvania: In heart muscle the intracellular concentration of taurine is very high, as Professor Chazov has indicated, approximately 30 mM. To what extent does this concentration change when taurine is added to the perfusate?

    Dr. Chazov: We have given exact figures in our report, but it works in two phases, as it were. During the first period of introduction the absorption of taurine is more significant; afterward, it is decreased. However, I don't think it will lead to overload of the heart with the taurine.

    Dr. Braunwald: Do you believe that taurine can reverse the arrhythmic effect of cardiac glycosides without simultaneously reversing the inotropic effect?

    Dr. Chazov: We have not studied that particular question.

    Supplement III to Circulation Research, Vols. 34 and 35. September 1974.

  3. _________________________________________________________________-
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  • -----------------------------------------------

    . The Real Causes of Heart Attacks.

    By: Dr. William Wong, ND, PhD.

                                            http://www.totalityofbeing.com/FramelessPages/Articles/CauseofHA.htm

     

    For the last 30 years people have thought the cause of heart disease as, cholesterol. That was the bogeyman orthodox medicine waved in front of Americans noses as the do all end all of heart disease. Control your cholesterol and you'll avoid heart disease. So for the last 30 years Americans have dramatically lowering their fat intake: who eats steady diets of deep fried foods anymore, who still cooks with lard, even Kentucky Fried Chicken changed their cooking technique and name to reflect the nations wanting to reduce their fat intake. And, by and large the targets that were set by medicine were met. In 1966 after Harvard's famous Framingham cholesterol study, the public was told that a cholesterol count of 300 was good. That was easily accomplished mostly via diet alone, but the rate of heart disease and heart attack did not go down!

    Then in the 80's the number was dropped to 244, that was the gold standard for a while. That figure was harder to get to, both diet and exercise were needed by most to accomplish the task but again by and large the target was met. Again there was no drop in heart disease or in the death from heart attack figures. Instead of wondering whether they were chasing the wrong boggy man, as physicians the world over were telling US doctors, American heart health authorities stuck to their guns about cholesterol being the near do all end all of heart disease. There was even a Niteline show with Ted Koppel in the early 90's where cardiologists from around the world were gathered and asked why American's had so much heart disease! The foreign docs pounded the American experts for their dependence on cholesterol as their most important marker of heart health.

    Around this same time drug companies had developed a slew of cholesterol lowering drugs called Statins. This gave even more incentive to stick to their guns about cholesterol, and the authorities lowered the target figure once again to under 200. Now most people needed drugs to get close to that figure. (Could there have been any relation between the invention of the drugs and the lowering of the cholesterol target to one that most folks couldn't meet with out the drugs? No, couldn't be that would be a conspiracy theory)! By the way these cholesterol drugs have been found to cause lower extremity nerve damage, decrease memory, increase chances of breast cancer, cause liver damage and death. (1,2). A press release about one of these drugs in December of 2003 stated that the drugs was in itself causing heart attacks!

    All this silliness about cholesterol continued until the late 90's when a good number of very young, extremely fit 30 to 40 something's dropped dead of heart attacks. Autopsy's found they had not a whit of athero sclerotic (cholesterol) plaque anywhere in their arteries! So what killed them!

    Well, what these victims did have were very, very high levels of inflammation in their blood vessels. It was then that the work of a researcher who had been fired from Harvard for saying cholesterol was not the primary cause of heart attacks, was rediscovered and realized by medical world to be true. This researcher had said that vascular inflammation could close the blood vessels as tightly as athero sclerotic plaque could and bring on a heart attack. He asserted that measuring a marker for inflammation called C Reactive Protein was a better indicator of heart health then measuring cholesterol! (Later in the decade he sued Harvard for wrongfully firing him and won).

    So, first and foremost we have the primary cause of heart attack, vascular inflammation. What is this and how does it set in? Vascular inflammation is a result of stress, some thing we have in abundance and something those high intensity 30 and 40 something's who keeled over had multiplied in their lives. Those heart attack victims had been under stress since school making good grades, jumping into careers, starting and managing families, exercising or over exercising regularly (many were marathoners and tri athletes); in other words most of every second of every day was filled with activity and the rush of getting from one task to another.

    In causing vascular inflammation another effect kicks in. Inflammation is a form of trauma that creates fibrosis. Yes, our old nemesis returns! When the intima, (inside wall of a blood vessel), swells they are irritated and stretched. The body reacts to this insult by weaving fibrin into the walls to strengthen what it sees as a weak point. This fibrin causes the blood vessels to lose their expandability and elasticity. This is the primary stage of hardening of the arteries. It's only in the later stages of hardening that spider webs of fibrin grow on weak points inside the lumin (hole) in the artery and on that matrix cholesterol plaque accrues and plugs up the works making matters worse. During this entire process if the stress remains the inflammation remains and the cycle continues.

    So it's the inflammation that kicks off the process of hardening of the arteries and athero sclerotic plaque. The combination of the swelling and plaque closing the lumin of an artery can cause trouble. But remember it has been found that the inflammation alone may be severe enough to close off the blood vessel creating a heart attack!

    Mineral deficiencies can make matters worse still by creating irregularities in the heart beat. Calcium is the electrolyte responsible for muscular contraction, magnesium is the mineral electrolyte responsible for muscular relaxation. Muscles in magnesium deficit spasm. Remember calcium = contract; magnesium = relax. When the body lacks magnesium then calcium gets into the magnesium channels producing a contract – contract signal instead of the contract - relax signal and there you have arrhythmia's.

    So what's a true, all encompassing plan to increase heart health? Any scheme to better the health of the heart and blood vessels needs to start at the source, stress and it's resultant inflammation. I'm supposing that most folks out there have their lives so regimented that lowering the stress levels likely is not possible so we'll work from the next stage.

    To lower vascular and any other inflammation, lower C Reactive Protein levels, eat away at fibrin and reduce arterial plaque:
    Systemic Enzymes at 1 to 3 caplets per day.

    To lower C Reactive Protein marker:
    Vitamin B 12, 1000 mcg daily.
    Folic Acid, 400 to 800 mcg daily.

    To increase tissue oxygenation in the heart:
    Co Q 10 (oil based, not dry), 300 to 500 mg daily.
    Vit. E (mixed tocopherols) 400 to 800 IU's daily.

    To regulate heart beat:
    Magnesium 1000 to 2000 mg daily.
    Hawthorne Extract 1/4 teaspoon in warm water 3 to 4 times a day.

    To lower cholesterol, improve HDL to LDL ratio:
    Lecithin Granules, 1 tablespoon daily. (Don't use the capsules as it take 12 to 19 capsules to equal one tablespoon of the nutty tasting granules).

    Optional for cholesterol:
    Cod Liver Oil, 1 tablespoon daily.
    Olive Oil 2 tablespoons daily.

    Aerobic exercise:
    8 to 24 minuets of work at target heart rate no more than 3 times per week. For the rational behind this see my article titled: “How To Keep From Having A Heart Attack; Do Less Aerobic Exercise” found in the archived health articles section of www.totalityofbeing.com.

    For Marfans Syndrome patients add:
    MSM 1000 mg daily
    Rutin 1000 mg daily.


    It goes with out saying that if you can lower your stress levels by doing less, compressing less into your day and worrying less, that should be done. But for most folks these crazy days that's much easier said than done. So, it behooves us to do the things that can be done so as not to become a statistic.


    References:
    1) www.mercola.com
    2) Mortimer, J.E., Axelrod, R., Zimbru, K. Sentara Norfork General Hospital, Norfolk VA.: Effect of Statins on breast cancer incidence. Proc An Soc Clin Oncol, 22, page 93, 2003.

     

    -------------------------------------------

    A Study Finds Magnesium Cut Deaths by Heart Attack

    By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN
    Published: June 28, 1992

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/28/world/a-study-finds-magnesium-cut-deaths-by-heart-attack.html

    Injections of magnesium at the time of a heart attack reduced deaths by a fourth in a study

    of more than 2,300 patients, British researchers reported in a medical journal yesterday.

    The magnesium injections also reduced by 25 percent the incidence of heart failure among

    patients during their stay in a coronary care unit after a heart attack, the researchers reported

    in The Lancet, a leading journal published in London.

    Magnesium's effectiveness in the study was about equal to the highly beneficial results found

    in other recent studies from aspirin and drugs that dissolve the blood clots that produce heart

    attacks. Such clot-dissolving drugs include streptokinase and T.P.A. Cautious Stance in U.S.

    But magnesium's benefits were independent of those from aspirin and the clot dissolving

    drugs, the research team headed by Dr. Kent L. Woods said.

    The researchers said that magnesium therapy was simple and safe, and they urged that it be

    added to the array of pharmacological weapons that doctors now use for patients with

    suspected heart attacks.



    Magnesium is not a standard part of the medical care among the more than one million

    Americans who suffer a heart attack each year. About 500,000 of them die.

    But magnesium has drawn increased interest from cardiologists in recent years because

    several small studies have suggested that it can save the lives of many heart attack patients.

    But until the new British study, none was statistically conclusive. Larger Oxford Study

    Cardiologists interviewed expressed reservations about the findings in the new study, in part

    because of questions about its design and statistical conclusions.

    Dr. Richard I. Levin, a cardiologist at New York University/Bellevue Medical Center, said he

    was cautiously optimistic about the findings.

    Dr. Levin and other experts said they were looking to results of another, much larger

    continuing trial of magnesium among patients in England, the United States and elsewhere.

    The trial, which involves 40,000 heart attack patients, is being carried out by researchers

    from Oxford University. Results are to be reported next year.

    "Since the Oxford study will enroll almost 20 times more patients than those in Dr. Woods's

    study, it will have the statistical power to prove the very strong suggestion that magnesium

    saves lives of heart attack patients," Dr. Levin said. A Pharmacologic Action

    The Scam on Fat

    by Dwight C. Lundell M.D.

    Does the thought of a steak, bacon and eggs, or real milk make you cringe thinking you're instantly clogging up your arteries?  How many times have you seen physicians and nutritionists write "artery clogging saturated fats"? For the last 40 years the dietary instructions from governments and other authoritative bodies have told us to avoid all animal fats.

    Americans took the message seriously and complied. Average fat consumption decreased, average blood cholesterol levels decreased but their rate of heart disease has continued to rise; the cost of its treatment has continued to rise.  Now, in 2011 we have 24 MILLION people diagnosed with diabetes and another 65 million with pre-diabetes and an epidemic of obesity now afflicting over 65% of the population.

    The evidence continues to mount that there's no benefit and probable harm from a low fat diet.  Two recent examples, the Women's Health Initiative which studied 48,835 women demonstrating no benefit from a low fat diet in terms of heart disease or breast cancer. (Ref 1 ).

    The Nurses' Health Study which has followed 90,000 female health professionals, once again demonstrated no reduction in heart disease or cancer, from a low-fat diet. ( Ref 2 ).

    Even the famous Framingham study now admits there is no association between dietary fat and heart disease and indeed the association of elevated cholesterol and heart disease is limited to a small segment of the study population. ( Ref 3 ).

    The January 2009 American Heart Journal reported that of the 137,000 people admitted to over 500 hospitals in the United States with heart attack,  nearly 75% had "normal" LDL cholesterol levels, that is below 130 ( see cholesterol converter for mg / dL to mmol / L conversion ).

    The evidence against saturated fat has always been circumstantial. That is, saturated fat was said to elevate blood cholesterol and elevated blood cholesterol was said to cause heart disease therefore saturated fat would cause heart disease.  There never has been any direct evidence that saturated fat caused heart disease or even a mechanism whereby heart disease would happen.

    Although there are more than a dozen types of saturated fat, humans predominantly consume three; stearic acid, palmitic acid, and lauric acid.  These three fats make up 95% of the saturated fat in a piece of prime rib, a slice of bacon, a piece of chicken skin, and nearly 70% of that in butter and whole milk.

    It is well established that stearic acid has no affect on cholesterol levels.  In fact stearic acid is converted in the liver to oleic acid which is monounsaturated like olive oil and said to be healthy.  Most scientists now consider stearic acid to be benign or potentially beneficial.  Palmitic and lauric acid do raise LDL cholesterol levels, but they also raise HDL cholesterol levels, and therefore may be beneficial.

    Still worried about clogging up your arteries? The question reflects how most people today have become conditioned to eliminate fat from their diet for fear of clogging their arteries.  With doctors and medical establishments recommending the elimination of saturated fat, nutritionists and other authors repeating the phrase "artery clogging saturated fats" the media certainly follows and we have formed a deep ingrained belief that saturated fat is evil and unhealthy.

    In March of 2009, researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute reported that those whose diets contained the highest proportion of red or processed meat had a higher overall risk of death and specifically a higher risk of cancer and heart disease than those who ate the least processed or red meat. ( Ref 4 ).

    The press had a field day as the news circulated the wires quickly. Here are a few of the headlines:
    "Eating red meat linked to early death, study finds"
    "Study shows red meat consumption linked to higher risk of dying from cancer, heart disease"
    "Death linked to too much red meat"

    Dr. Michael R. Eades wrote a brilliant reply to the fault in this study and the media overreaction in a blog titled Meat and Mortality. ( Ref 5 ).

    Here is a brief excerpt:

    "At the same time that this paper appeared, showing increased red meat consumption to be tied to a slight increased risk of death (and showing that those subjects eating white meat had less risk), a couple of other papers came out in the online pre-publication section of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), arguably the world's most prestigious nutritional scientific journal. 

    These two AJCN papers saw the light of day at around the same time as this highly-publicized study on meat and mortality, but demonstrated the opposite results.  They got no press coverage whatsoever.  Which proves what I've been saying all along: the press is biased against meat in general, and especially against red meat."

    I completely agree with Dr. Eades about the media bias and am surprised by authors who should know better and continue to write "artery clogging saturated fats".

    The most recent definitive study of all the competent studies regarding saturated fats and heart disease called a meta-analysis and published in the AJCN January 13, 2010 shows that over a 5 to 23 year follow-up of 347,747 subjects, there is no association between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease or stroke.( Ref 6 ).

    The bottom line is that there is no connection between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease or stroke. But there is a connection between the currently recommended high carbohydrate diet and heart disease and stroke.

    So enjoy bacon and eggs and forgo the oatmeal and bagels, your LDL will come down your HDL will go up, your weight will go down and your satisfaction with your diet will go up. The low fat diet is the worst dietary advice in the last 50 years and it is the proximate cause of our epidemics of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

    Accurate knowledge cannot come from reading abstracts of articles or reporters' interpretation of the abstract.

    Dwight C. Lundell M.D.
    www.thecureforheartdisease.net
    Chief Medical Consultant, Asantae Inc.
    Chief Medical Consultant at www.realweight.com

    Dr. Lundell's experience in Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery over the last 25 years includes certification by the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
    Dr. Lundell was a pioneer in off-pump coronary artery bypass or "beating heart" surgery reducing surgical complications and recovery times.
    He has served as Chief resident at the University of Arizona and Yale University Hospitals and later served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery.
    He was one of the founding partners of the Lutheran Heart Hospital which became the second largest Heart hospital in the U.S.
     

    Ref 1.  http://www.pcrm.org/health/prevmed/pdfs/modest_diet.pdf
    Ref 2. http://www.channing.harvard.edu/nhs/
    Ref 3. http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/
    Ref 4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307518
    Ref 5. http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/fast-food/meat-and-mortality/
    Ref 6. http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

    February, 2011
     

    http://www.spacedoc.net/saturated_fat_heart_disease

    CHF is an end product of many heart diseases 

     http://www.doctoryourself.com/congestive.html


    In an average lifetime, your heart will beat two and a half BILLION times.

    Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the end product of any of a number of cardiovascular diseases that can degrade the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. Much has been written on diagnosing congestive heart failure but rather less is known about treating it. This is because broken hearts are tough to fix. A diagnosis of CHF means that it is too late for nutritional prevention. The horse is long gone by the time most people decide to shut the stable door. But nutritional intervention can still greatly help a damaged heart.

    In the past, drugs such as digitalis or one of its ilk were often given to strengthen and to some extent regulate heartbeat. Vasodilators (blood vessel opening drugs) are given to improve cardiac output and relieve backed-up blood from blood vessels throughout the body, especially in the lungs. Fluid buildup (edema) is commonly treated with diuretic drugs.

    It may be possible to naturally augment, or perhaps substitute for, these pharmaceutical drugs.

    Vitamin E
    One of the body’s most powerful defenses against free radical damage is the antioxidant vitamin E. The natural form, d-alpha tocopherol, can also be cautiously used to strengthen and regulate heartbeat. An initial dose of vitamin E would be only about 50 International Units (I.U.) daily. This is roughly equivalent to 50 milligrams (mg). To avoid any possible risks of an asymmetric heart contraction, patients with congestive heart failure need to start small with vitamin E.  Doses may be gradually increased under medical supervision. For additional information, it is most worthwhile read any books by Drs. Wilfrid or Evan Shute
    ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_shute.html ). If their books are hard to find, try an interlibrary loan at any public library.

    Thiamin
    Some congestive heart failure is actually caused by thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency. 25 to 50 mg with each meal might be worth a therapeutic trial. I think a thiamin-containing 50 mg "balanced B-complex" tablet each meal would be even better.

    Common Sense
    No added salt.  No alcohol. No smoking. If overweight, lose it. No kidding.

    Herbal Diuretics
    It may be possible to use herbal medicines to reduce swelling due to retained fluids. There are no fewer than 180 herbs with diuretic properties listed just on pages 53-54 of John Lust’s The Herb Book. (NY:Bantam. 1974. ISBN 0-553-13082-X). I am not suggesting that you take 180 herbs. I am suggesting that you read up on your options before committing yourself only to drugs.

    Selenium
    Selenium deficiency can cause a congestive heart disease called Keshan disease. 100 to 300 micrograms (mcg) of selenium daily would insure against this. In addition, selenium works to help your body recharge and efficiently reuse its vitamin E.

    Magnesium
    The role of magnesium in normal heart function is tremendous. Profound magnesium deficiency causes muscles to underfunction, malfunction or not function at all. Several hundred of your body’s most important biochemical reactions depend on this mineral. "The synthesis of all proteins, vital cell nuclear materials such as nucleic acids and nucleotides, lipids, and carbohydrates require ionized magnesium (Mg ++)." (Williams, SR Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Seventh Ed, St. Louis: Mosby, 1993, pp 230-233)  Even most, ah, "healthy" adults fail to get the US RDA of magnesium, which ranges from 280 to 400 mg for adults. These figures are elemental weights: just the corn, not the can.  Most magnesium supplements are compounds of magnesium with something else.  The weight of the "something else" is often obscured in dosage recommendations. That is why Melvyn Werbach, M.D. cites studies that advocate daily dosages of 2,000 mg of magnesium per day for CHF. (Textbook of Nutritional Medicine. Tarzana, CA:Third Line Press, 1999, pp 273 and 275.) The elemental quantity is significantly lower than that. Green vegetables and whole grains contain quite a bit of magnesium. Pinto beans, almonds, and especially figs are oustanding food sources.

    Of the oral supplements, magnesium aspartate or magnesium orotate may have the best chance of getting into cardiac muscle cells. These forms of magnesium are rarely found on store shelves.  Your doctor may be able to have them compounded for you by a cooperative pharmacist, or you might find them with an internet search. Intravenous administration of magnesium may be necessary in more serious cases of congestive heart failure. Have a test ordered to check serum magnesium. Most doctors don’t. It is even better to check myocardial magnesium (Textbook, p 275). This is because the amount of magnesium in the heart muscle cells may be considerably lower than in the blood.

    A great deal of information about magnesium will be found at 
     http://www.mgwater.com and in the work of Dr. Hans Nieper, M.D. 
    (listed at  http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_nieper.html ).

    Potassium
    Potassium deficiency is associated with congestive heart failure, and is connected with magnesium deficiency, mentioned above. Low potassium can cause erratic heartbeat (heart arrhythmia). A non-technical way of increasing dietary potassium is to eat lots of easy to digest fruits, and juiced vegetables. They are loaded with potassium. Nuts, whole grains and legumes (beans) are good, too. 4 ounces of almonds contains a whopping 800 mg. Brazil nuts have almost as much.

    Co-Enzyme Q10. This is very important. 
    One of the best things about Co-Enzyme Q 10 is that it is harmless, having no negative side effects or contraindications of any kind. No physician or hospital can make a case against taking it.  The down side is that it is pricey.  But then, so are heart transplants. Clinical studies and patient reports that show success with Co Q 10 usually use somewhere around 400 mg a day, divided into several doses. 35mg/day or 50 mg/day simply will not work.

    "I have had patients with such severe CHF that they were waiting for a heart transplant. After taking CoQ10, they no longer needed a transplant."  Jullian Whitaker, M.D. (Health & Healing, December 1997.  http://www.drwhitaker.com )

    If there is higher praise than this, I have not yet seen it.

    Amino Acids
    As a rule, I am in favor of getting amino acids from protein foods in ones diet. With really sick people, a case can be made for amino acid supplementation. In Werbach's Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, the case is indeed well made.

    Dr. Werbach recommends L-Arginine at a daily dose somewhere between 5,600 and 12,600 mg because it "causes peripheral vasodilation and improves cardiac output." (p 273). The benefit to patients was an increase in "the distance they could walk in 6 minutes, and the rate of blood flow during exercise." Arginine is normally considered by dieticians to be a "semiessential" amino acid, necessary only for growth. It is possible that growth includes regrowth, strengthening, and repair of cardiac muscle. Eggs, cheese, whole grains, and legumes (beans) are good food sources.  Peanuts are absolutely loaded with arginine, containing three times as much as meat does. You’d need to consume roughly a twelve-ounce can of peanuts a day to get in the middle of the dose mentioned above. Chew nuts well for best absorption. That, or consider supplements. Or do both.

    Taurine is an amino acid normally made in your body from another amino acid, methionine. Methionine is found in eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Brazil nuts have over twice as much methionine as meat, ounce for ounce. Extreme stresses to the body (hospital food, perhaps?) can cause taurine deficiency. (Desai TK et al. Taurine deficiency after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 55:708, 1991.)  Taurine appears to help regulate heartbeat.  Dr. Werbach mentions a doseage of 4,000 to 6,000 mg/day.

    The amino acid L-Carnitine is also made in your body IF (and, to quote Ed Sullivan, this is a "really big" IF) you consume plenty of methionine, lysine, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, and vitamin C.  (Iron is also necessary; adult men do not need to seek after iron.) Most people, especially the elderly with chronic illness, do not get nearly enough of those three vitamins. This study recommends 2,000 mg of L-carnitine daily, specifically for CHF: Ghidini O, Azzurro M, Vita A, Sartori G. (1988) Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of L-carnitine in congestive heart failure.International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapy and Toxicology 26: 217-220.

    Large amounts of supplemental Creatine, still another amino acid that your body normally produces, may help strengthen heartbeat. As creatine phosphate, it is involved in supplying energy to power muscle tissue, especially cardiac muscle. Dr.Werbach cites studies that indicate that persons with CHF have a deficiency of creatine in the heart muscle itself, and that daily doses of 20,000 mg/day "improve cardiac function… physical strength and endurance." (Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, p 276)

    All quantities mentioned above should be divided up into several smaller doses throughout the day. I would add vitamin C, about 4,000 to 10,000/day (or to bowel tolerance) both because of its antioxidant properties and also because of its role in amino acid synthesis. I also suspect that since the heart prefers fatty acids for fuel, a long-standing deficiency of essential fatty acids causes deterioration of heart muscle. Lecithin, fish, and primrose oil are sources of essential fatty acids.http://www.doctoryourself.com/lecithin.html

    If these natural options do not speak strongly enough to you, bear in mind that

    1) there is no drug cure for congestive heart failure; and

    2) the pharmaceutical drugs given in an attempt to cope with the condition have many side effects; and

    3) the excerpt (below) from an article by the National Institutes of Health is quite depressing. When you’ve finished reading it, you may want to read the above information once again. Brace yourself; here we go:

    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health Data Fact Sheet:
    Congestive Heart Failure in the United States: A New Epidemic

    An estimated 4.8 million Americans have congestive heart failure (CHF)… Half of the patients diagnosed with CHF will be dead within 5 years. Each year, there are an estimated 400,000 new cases.

    CHF is the… most common diagnosis in hospital patients age 65 years and older. In that age group, one fifth of all hospitalizations have a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure.

    Visits to physicians' offices for CHF increased from 1.7 million in 1980 to 2.9 million in 1993. More than 65,000 persons with CHF receive home care each year. In 1993, an estimated $17.8 billion was spent for the care of CHF patients…

    The magnitude of the problem of CHF is large now, but it is expected to get much worse…

    Incidence of CHF is equally frequent in men and women, and annual incidence approaches 10 per 1,000 population after 65 years of age. Incidence is twice as common in persons with hypertension compared with normotensive persons and five times greater in persons who have had a heart attack compared to persons who have not…

    Survival following diagnosis of congestive heart failure is worse in men than women, but even in women, only about 20 percent survive much longer than 8 to 12 years. The outlook is not much better than for most forms of cancer. The fatality rate for CHF is high, with one in five persons dying within 1 year… CHF remains a highly lethal condition. With the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors as a possible exception, advances in the treatment of hypertension, myocardial ischemia, and valvular heart disease have not resulted in substantial improvements in survival once CHF ensues.

    The death rate for congestive heart failure increased most years between 1968 and 1993.  These increases are in contrast to mortality declines for most heart and blood vessel diseases. In 1993, there were 42,000 deaths where CHF was identified as the primary cause of death and another 219,000 deaths where it was listed as a secondary cause on the death certificate. The death rate for CHF in 1993 was nearly 1.5 times higher in black men and women than in white men and women).

    (An ideal) drug (to cure CHF) might improve the heart's pumping ability, open clogged arteries, and prevent tissue damage from free radicals, a byproduct of the body's metabolic processes. Free radicals are thought to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

    Investigations also are being done to improve heart transplantation for CHF patients. In some cases, a heart transplant is the only possible treatment. However, such patients face a shortage of donor hearts. A possible solution to this critical shortage may be the use of a heart from other animals. Called xenotransplantation, this procedure once was made difficult because of the rejection of the heart by the CHF patient's immune system. However, new technologies have been forged that can overcome such a barrier. For example, scientists have been able to alter genes in the heart of a pig to diminish the immune system reaction in a baboon. Scientists still need to discover how to turn such genes on and off to prevent human rejection.

    (The full text of this article, with graphs and charts, is posted at
     http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/CHF.htm )

    September 1996 
    U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service
    National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
    P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
     

    +++
    You can see why I get a lot of letters asking about natural treatment for congestive heart failure.  Most people appear to have found very little reason to believe that there are serious options for persons with this serious disease.

     
    But there are.  Back to the top of the page?
     

    Copyright 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.

    Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

    In an average lifetime, your heart will beat two and a half BILLION times. 

    Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the end product of any of a number of cardiovascular diseases that can degrade the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. Much has been written on diagnosing congestive heart failure but rather less is known about treating it. This is because broken hearts are tough to fix. A diagnosis of CHF means that it is too late for nutritional prevention. The horse is long gone by the time most people decide to shut the stable door. But nutritional intervention can still greatly help a damaged heart.

    In the past, drugs such as digitalis or one of its ilk were often given to strengthen and to some extent regulate heartbeat. Vasodilators (blood vessel opening drugs) are given to improve cardiac output and relieve backed-up blood from blood vessels throughout the body, especially in the lungs. Fluid buildup (edema) is commonly treated with diuretic drugs. 

    It may be possible to naturally augment, or perhaps substitute for, these pharmaceutical drugs.

    Vitamin E 
    One of the body’s most powerful defenses against free radical damage is the antioxidant vitamin E. The natural form, d-alpha tocopherol, can also be cautiously used to strengthen and regulate heartbeat. An initial dose of vitamin E would be only about 50 International Units (I.U.) daily. This is roughly equivalent to 50 milligrams (mg). To avoid any possible risks of an asymmetric heart contraction, patients with congestive heart failure need to start small with vitamin E.  Doses may be gradually increased under medical supervision. For additional information, it is most worthwhile read any books by Drs. Wilfrid or Evan Shute 
    http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_shute.html ). If their books are hard to find, try an interlibrary loan at any public library.

    Thiamin 
    Some congestive heart failure is actually caused by thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency. 25 to 50 mg with each meal might be worth a therapeutic trial. I think a thiamin-containing 50 mg "balanced B-complex" tablet each meal would be even better.

    Common Sense 
    No added salt.  No alcohol. No smoking. If overweight, lose it. No kidding.

    Herbal Diuretics 
    It may be possible to use herbal medicines to reduce swelling due to retained fluids. There are no fewer than 180 herbs with diuretic properties listed just on pages 53-54 of John Lust’s The Herb Book. (NY:Bantam. 1974. ISBN 0-553-13082-X). I am not suggesting that you take 180 herbs. I am suggesting that you read up on your options before committing yourself only to drugs.

    Selenium 
    Selenium deficiency can cause a congestive heart disease called Keshan disease. 100 to 300 micrograms (mcg) of selenium daily would insure against this. In addition, selenium works to help your body recharge and efficiently reuse its vitamin E. 

    Magnesium 
    The role of magnesium in normal heart function is tremendous. Profound magnesium deficiency causes muscles to underfunction, malfunction or not function at all. Several hundred of your body’s most important biochemical reactions depend on this mineral. "The synthesis of all proteins, vital cell nuclear materials such as nucleic acids and nucleotides, lipids, and carbohydrates require ionized magnesium (Mg ++)." (Williams, SR Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Seventh Ed, St. Louis: Mosby, 1993, pp 230-233)  Even most, ah, "healthy" adults fail to get the US RDA of magnesium, which ranges from 280 to 400 mg for adults. These figures are elemental weights: just the corn, not the can.  Most magnesium supplements are compounds of magnesium with something else.  The weight of the "something else" is often obscured in dosage recommendations. That is why Melvyn Werbach, M.D. cites studies that advocate daily dosages of 2,000 mg of magnesium per day for CHF. (Textbook of Nutritional MedicineTarzanaCA:Third Line Press, 1999, pp 273 and 275.) The elemental quantity is significantly lower than that. Green vegetables and whole grains contain quite a bit of magnesium. Pinto beans, almonds, and especially figs are oustanding food sources.

    Of the oral supplements, magnesium aspartate or magnesium orotate may have the best chance of getting into cardiac muscle cells. These forms of magnesium are rarely found on store shelves.  Your doctor may be able to have them compounded for you by a cooperative pharmacist, or you might find them with an internet search. Intravenous administration of magnesium may be necessary in more serious cases of congestive heart failure. Have a test ordered to check serum magnesium. Most doctors don’t. It is even better to check myocardial magnesium (Textbook, p 275). This is because the amount of magnesium in the heart muscle cells may be considerably lower than in the blood.

    A great deal of information about magnesium will be found at  
     http://www.mgwater.com and in the work of Dr. Hans Nieper, M.D.  
    (listed at  http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_nieper.html ).

    Potassium 
    Potassium deficiency is associated with congestive heart failure, and is connected with magnesium deficiency, mentioned above. Low potassium can cause erratic heartbeat (heart arrhythmia). A non-technical way of increasing dietary potassium is to eat lots of easy to digest fruits, and juiced vegetables. They are loaded with potassium. Nuts, whole grains and legumes (beans) are good, too. 4 ounces of almonds contains a whopping 800 mg. Brazil nuts have almost as much. 

    Co-Enzyme Q10. This is very important.  
    One of the best things about Co-Enzyme Q 10 is that it is harmless, having no negative side effects or contraindications of any kind. No physician or hospital can make a case against taking it.  The down side is that it is pricey.  But then, so are heart transplants. Clinical studies and patient reports that show success with Co Q 10 usually use somewhere around 400 mg a day, divided into several doses. 35mg/day or 50 mg/day simply will not work.

    "I have had patients with such severe CHF that they were waiting for a heart transplant. After taking CoQ10, they no longer needed a transplant."  Jullian Whitaker, M.D. (Health & Healing, December 1997.  http://www.drwhitaker.com ) 

    If there is higher praise than this, I have not yet seen it.

    Amino Acids 
    As a rule, I am in favor of getting amino acids from protein foods in ones diet. With really sick people, a case can be made for amino acid supplementation. In Werbach's Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, the case is indeed well made.

    Dr. Werbach recommends L-Arginine at a daily dose somewhere between 5,600 and 12,600 mg because it "causes peripheral vasodilation and improves cardiac output." (p 273). The benefit to patients was an increase in "the distance they could walk in 6 minutes, and the rate of blood flow during exercise." Arginine is normally considered by dieticians to be a "semiessential" amino acid, necessary only for growth. It is possible that growth includes regrowth, strengthening, and repair of cardiac muscle. Eggs, cheese, whole grains, and legumes (beans) are good food sources.  Peanuts are absolutely loaded with arginine, containing three times as much as meat does. You’d need to consume roughly a twelve-ounce can of peanuts a day to get in the middle of the dose mentioned above. Chew nuts well for best absorption. That, or consider supplements. Or do both.

    Taurine is an amino acid normally made in your body from another amino acid, methionine. Methionine is found in eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Brazil nuts have over twice as much methionine as meat, ounce for ounce. Extreme stresses to the body (hospital food, perhaps?) can cause taurine deficiency. (Desai TK et al. Taurine deficiency after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 55:708, 1991.)  Taurine appears to help regulate heartbeat.  Dr. Werbach mentions a doseage of 4,000 to 6,000 mg/day. 

    The amino acid L-Carnitine is also made in your body IF (and, to quote Ed Sullivan, this is a "really big" IF) you consume plenty of methionine, lysine, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, and vitamin C.  (Iron is also necessary; adult men do not need to seek after iron.) Most people, especially the elderly with chronic illness, do not get nearly enough of those three vitamins. This study recommends 2,000 mg of L-carnitine daily, specifically for CHF: Ghidini O, Azzurro M, Vita A, Sartori G. (1988) Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of L-carnitine in congestive heart failure.International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapy and Toxicology 26: 217-220. 

    Large amounts of supplemental Creatine, still another amino acid that your body normally produces, may help strengthen heartbeat. As creatine phosphate, it is involved in supplying energy to power muscle tissue, especially cardiac muscle. Dr.Werbach cites studies that indicate that persons with CHF have a deficiency of creatine in the heart muscle itself, and that daily doses of 20,000 mg/day "improve cardiac function… physical strength and endurance." (Textbook of Nutritional Medicine, p 276)

    All quantities mentioned above should be divided up into several smaller doses throughout the day. I would add vitamin C, about 4,000 to 10,000/day (or to bowel tolerance) both because of its antioxidant properties and also because of its role in amino acid synthesis. I also suspect that since the heart prefers fatty acids for fuel, a long-standing deficiency of essential fatty acids causes deterioration of heart muscle. Lecithin, fish, and primrose oil are sources of essential fatty acids.http://www.doctoryourself.com/lecithin.html

    If these natural options do not speak strongly enough to you, bear in mind that 

    1) there is no drug cure for congestive heart failure; and 

    2) the pharmaceutical drugs given in an attempt to cope with the condition have many side effects; and

    3) the excerpt (below) from an article by the National Institutes of Health is quite depressing. When you’ve finished reading it, you may want to read the above information once again. Brace yourself; here we go:

    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 
    National Institutes of Health Data Fact Sheet: 
    Congestive Heart Failure in the United States: A New Epidemic

    An estimated 4.8 million Americans have congestive heart failure (CHF)… Half of the patients diagnosed with CHF will be dead within 5 years. Each year, there are an estimated 400,000 new cases. 

    CHF is the… most common diagnosis in hospital patients age 65 years and older. In that age group, one fifth of all hospitalizations have a primary or secondary diagnosis of heart failure. 

    Visits to physicians' offices for CHF increased from 1.7 million in 1980 to 2.9 million in 1993. More than 65,000 persons with CHF receive home care each year. In 1993, an estimated $17.8 billion was spent for the care of CHF patients… 

    The magnitude of the problem of CHF is large now, but it is expected to get much worse…

    Incidence of CHF is equally frequent in men and women, and annual incidence approaches 10 per 1,000 population after 65 years of age. Incidence is twice as common in persons with hypertension compared with normotensive persons and five times greater in persons who have had a heart attack compared to persons who have not… 

    Survival following diagnosis of congestive heart failure is worse in men than women, but even in women, only about 20 percent survive much longer than 8 to 12 years. The outlook is not much better than for most forms of cancer. The fatality rate for CHF is high, with one in five persons dying within 1 year… CHF remains a highly lethal condition. With the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors as a possible exception, advances in the treatment of hypertension, myocardial ischemia, and valvular heart disease have not resulted in substantial improvements in survival once CHF ensues. 

    The death rate for congestive heart failure increased most years between 1968 and 1993.  These increases are in contrast to mortality declines for most heart and blood vessel diseases. In 1993, there were 42,000 deaths where CHF was identified as the primary cause of death and another 219,000 deaths where it was listed as a secondary cause on the death certificate. The death rate for CHF in 1993 was nearly 1.5 times higher in black men and women than in white men and women). 

    (An ideal) drug (to cure CHF) might improve the heart's pumping ability, open clogged arteries, and prevent tissue damage from free radicals, a byproduct of the body's metabolic processes. Free radicals are thought to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. 

    Investigations also are being done to improve heart transplantation for CHF patients. In some cases, a heart transplant is the only possible treatment. However, such patients face a shortage of donor hearts. A possible solution to this critical shortage may be the use of a heart from other animals. Called xenotransplantation, this procedure once was made difficult because of the rejection of the heart by the CHF patient's immune system. However, new technologies have been forged that can overcome such a barrier. For example, scientists have been able to alter genes in the heart of a pig to diminish the immune system reaction in a baboon. Scientists still need to discover how to turn such genes on and off to prevent human rejection. 

    (The full text of this article, with graphs and charts, is posted at 
     http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/CHF.htm )

    September 1996  
    U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service 
    National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute  
    P.O. Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 20824-0105 
     

    +++ 
    You can see why I get a lot of letters asking about natural treatment for congestive heart failure.  Most people appear to have found very little reason to believe that there are serious options for persons with this serious disease.

     
    But there are.  Back to the top of the page? 
     

    Copyright 2003 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.

    Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

    Flashes of light in the eyes may be:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/343504-potassium-deficiency-peripheral-vision/

     

    Potassium Deficiency & Peripheral Vision


    Potassium Deficiency & Peripheral Vision



    Overview

    Potassium plays an important role in the health and function of your heart and other muscles, as well as organs and cells throughout your body. The average adult requires around 4,700 mg of potassium daily, and if you consume less than this amount, you have a risk for deficiency. Knowing if symptoms, such as changes in your peripheral vision, could indicate a potassium deficiency may help you discover and seek treatment for your condition.

    Deficiency Symptoms

    Low potassium, also known as hypokalemia, may cause symptoms such as fatigue, stomach upset and an irregular heartbeat, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. In many cases, hypokalemia does not result from poor dietary intake of potassium, but as a result of losing potassium through urine or intestinal problems. Low potassium levels will not typically affect vision. 

    Dietary Sources

    If you have low potassium levels, your doctor may recommend increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods. A baked potato with skin provides over 900 mg of potassium, and a medium-sized banana contains 422 mg, reports the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Other dietary sources include plums, raisins, lima beans, artichokes and spinach.

    Peripheral Vision

    If you have changes to your side vision, you should contact your eye doctor immediately. Eye conditions that affect your peripheral vision, or side vision, can result from problems concerning your optic nerve, such as glaucoma. This condition stems from a high intraocular pressure, but this condition typically takes many years for you to notice changes to your side vision. A retinal detachment may cause a sudden loss of side vision, and you may also notice many new floaters or flashes of light. Other conditions that affect your peripheral vision include neurological conditions, such as a stroke or concussion.

    Considerations

    A potassium deficiency can result in serious, life-threatening conditions, and if you suspect a low level, you should contact your doctor immediately. She may recommend that you take potassium supplements while she determines if your diet or a health condition caused the deficiency. At the same time, changes in your straight-ahead or peripheral vision require immediate evaluation from your eye doctor. This will help to protect your eyes from permanent vision loss.

    Kay Rockwell

    About this Author

    Kay Rockwell started writing professionally in 2005. She primarily writes articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, focusing on eye-related topics. Rockwell worked as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician for 10 years before she returned to school where she is now working on a master's degree in writing while working on her second novel.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/343504-potassium-deficiency-peripheral-vision/#ixzz1CarqZpUE

    Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: a double-blind crossover trial.

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3888464

    Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: a double-blind crossover trial.


    In a double-blind, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled study, we investigated the effects of adding taurine to the conventional treatment in 14 patients with congestive heart failure for a 4-week period. Compared with placebo, taurine significantly improved the New York Heart Association functional class (p less than 0.02), pulmonary crackles (p less than 0.02), and chest film abnormalities (p less than 0.01). A benefit of taurine over placebo was demonstrated when an overall treatment response for each patient was evaluated on the basis of clinical examination (p less than 0.05). No patient worsened during taurine administration, but four patients did during placebo. Pre-ejection period (corrected for heart rate) decreased from 148 +/- 14 ms before taurine treatment to 137 +/- 12 ms after taurine (p less than 0.001), and the quotient pre-ejection period/left ventricular ejection time decreased from 47 +/- 9 to 42 +/- 8% (p less than 0.001). Side effects did not occur in the patients during taurine. The results indicate that addition of taurine to conventional therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------

     

    Saturated fats have no effect on heart disease. Although this statement appears to fly in the face of everything we have been taught for decades, it corresponds exactly with powerful ability of saturated fat to increase good cholesterol. Neglect of the positive effect of saturated fat on good cholesterol has made it look worse that it really is.  http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2010/mcneill_cholesterol.html
     
    Read carefully and perhaps you too will discern and new blockbuster money making scheme to hit the store shelves.

     

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