Seeing how "Top x" lists have done well on this forum, I present to you my top 12 or Dirty Dozen...
THE DIRTY DOZEN for as per Dr. Houser for HEART HEALTH
I am actually asked this consistently…what items would I recommend for heart health and maybe you’d be surprised but, this is the next biggest question I get behind: 1. Fat Loss, 2. Muscle Gain, 3. Size and Strength. It’s fair and while the top 3 aren’t necessarily “heart” health by design; all of the above do contribute to a better heart “shelf-life” and act as a foundation to the heart healthstyle (diet/exercise). But, if you were to ask me what nutrients I get my patients and/or clients on interested in heart health; the list is usually the same and in this order…
Usually patients are started on items 1-3 simultaneously (and usually alongside a baby aspirin…but look down to Natto K to see some important aspirin discussion).
1. FISH OIL - OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Fish Oil contains the highest amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids... and Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), which can lead to sudden death. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure.
2. COENZYME Q10 (CoQ10)
The beneficial effect of CoQ10 in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is due to its ability to improve energy production in cells, inhibit blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant. Multiple studies have found that people who received daily CoQ10 supplements within 3 days of a heart attack were significantly less likely to experience subsequent heart attacks and chest pain. In addition, these same patients were less likely to die of heart disease than those who did not receive the supplements.
A recent study shows vitamin B3, also known as niacin, lowers bad cholesterol more effectively than a common statin drug, ezetimibe, sold as Zetia. Statins inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, which then reduces the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood stream. Since high cholesterol has been linked to cardiovascular disease, lowering LDL levels has been widely adopted as good preventive medicine.
4. VITAMIN D
A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of heart disease and is linked to other, well-known heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Several large studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other heart-related event during follow-up, compared with those with higher vitamin D levels.
5. MAGNESIUM (OROTATE)
Large studies have linked magnesium deficiency to high blood pressure, while some have shown an association between magnesium supplements and a decreased risk of death from heart disease. A higher intake of magnesium may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. Now, due to bioavailability, my preference is magnesium orotate; although one must take into account orotic acid is a large molecule and reduces the amount of elemental magnesium present in the product (but with higher bioavailability, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Scientists have studied garlic fairly extensively as it relates to the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia and it seems to be effective in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol in individuals who take it on a regular basis. The active component of garlic is an amino acid called alliin which is further converted to allicin and other active metabolites.
7. NATTO K
Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when the normal lining of the arteries thickens, and deposits of fat and plaque build, causing narrowing (or even blockage) of the arteries. An enzyme in natto, dubbed nattokinase, binds to fibrin and breaks it down. It helps to improve blood viscosity and reduce blood clots by enhancing the fibrinolytic properties of the blood.
· Please note that this is sort of a good combo agent with a baby aspirin (81mg) which is also something hoisted into most people’s armamentarium of heart health agents. Keeping in mind not to dose this agent 2 hours before OR after the workout as it imparts a negative effect on very important inflammatory cytokines important in the healing process of muscles.
8. HAWTHORN BERRY
Hawthorn has a relaxing effect on the arteries, in turn improving circulation that facilitates healthy blood pressure.
Hawthorn has been shown to enhance the flow of blood through the heart while helping the heart beat tone up (inotropic effect). In fact, hawthorn was found to be far friendlier and more energy efficient as it helps the heart muscle contract to produce an effective beat, compared to drugs that seek to do the same thing.
9. PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE (PLC)
Possibly best grouped in mitochondrial optimizers; PLC is a particular carnitine salt which has predilection for cardiac tissue driving fatty acid metabolism; fatty acids being the primary fuel for the heart – check out acute fatty acid ingestion and heart attack (myocardial infarction)…far too long, the medical profession has gotten the whole “low-fat” diet WRONG, at least in terms of the heart.
Possibly the only sugar I would EVER suggest from a supplemental source (I think sugars are cheap and should ultimately be consumed in the form of FOOD).
11. CREATNOL-O-PHOSPHATE (COP)
With continued data, this may move up the list; it has absolutely amazing properties and we have discussed them in a complete thread devoted to COP on this forum.
12. ACES + B Complex protocol
Coming in at the 12th spot is not merely a blend of antioxidants but a very particular conglomerate that has gained wide acceptance into my practice and research and one that most who have read my stuff over the years will recognize…the combination of vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium. I don’t merely play wishful thinking in support of a multi-vitamin, however…for many reasons. The biggest and probably best-known reason is that multis use the cheapest form of most items to offer cost-efficiency. I also don’t care for the fact that these items are put together in a tablet (hate em and feel most don’t dissolve due to the level of binder necessary to get so many nutrients crammed into singular pills). As such, I recommend capsules and/or gel caps of the following items.
(A) – Mixed Carotenoids
(C) – Vitamin C: important notes are not to consume more than 500mg at a single sitting throughout the day as greater than that number has proven to turn pro-oxidative. You can usually get away with orthomolecular dosing still in using a 500mg cap of ascorbic acid with each meal (6 meals and you have already dosed 3 grams).
(E) – Mixed Isomer Vitamin E: if you are not ingesting an 8-isomer natural non-synthetic vitamin E, then it is my opinion that you are wasting your time in terms of anti-oxidant prowess. The 8 isomers to concern yourself with are alpha, beta, delta, gamma – tocopherol and tocotrienols.
(S) – Selenium; in the form of selenomethionine, keeping in mind that B vitamins should also be consumed with this agent as an adjunct and for many reasons.
(B Complex) – in the active co-factor forms. This is probably the single-most important thing forgotten in terms of low-carb dieters unfortunately and the highest level rationale why low-carb dieters are still being considered a higher risk category for cardiovascular disease.