When I first got interested in supplements it was because of concerns for heart disease. My father had cancer early but also a heart attack. My mother eventually got one. I learned that my HDL was ranging between 20-22 most of my life from blood tests I had done. When I learned about the importance of the ratio of total cholesteral/HDL my ratio was 10:1. I was running around 220 for total cholesteral and 20 for HDL. This was scary. I realized that unlike other people I was not predisposed with awesome genes. I had a decision to make. Either take things as they come and hope for the best or take an active role and see if I could change my outcome. I knew going in that all my efforts might be for naught. I might still die early but I couldn’t just hope for the best. I wanted to at least try to improve my outcome.
The ways to raise HDL I found in the beginning consists of the following:
3) Red Wine
I started taking Niacin in the form of Niacin Inositol and Exercising more and continuing to drink wine. This had a modest effect, but I soon started trying time release niacin and adding soluble fiber. Through these efforts I got my total cholesterol down to 180 and HDL up to 40 or so. Over the next several years I read articles which showed that the blood levels achieved with inositol niacin and time released niacin were a fraction of the blood levels with quick release niacinamide. After making this switch and adding resveratrol I got my total cholesteral to 155/52 which was a 3:1 ratio more than 3 times better than my 11:1 ratio. The dose of Niacin I take has been reduced by going to niacinamide. I now take 1000mg / day and get good results compared to taking 3000mg of the other types of niacin that produced less results. During this time my doctor knew about my supplements and was supportive.
Don’t forget to add Milk Thistle if you take niacin or statins
He noticed my liver enzymes were elevated by the niacin (normal) and we watched them. I read that Milk Thistle could help the liver so I started taking those (included in Rejuvenage 40+) and my liver enzymes fell to completely normal levels. Amazing – these things work folks. At this point in 2010 or so my blood work was showing the best numbers for all my health parameters than I had ever had in my life! Pretty good.
Early in my regime I had read numerous studies showing that Aspirin had a dramatic impact on strokes and heart attacks by reducing inflammation. The theory of heart attacks evolved to an understanding that the most common way that heart attacks and strokes occurred was a disruption in a hardened plaque on a vessel wall. The disruption was caused usually by inflammation from almost any source of infection (including bad teeth hygiene). It has becomes obvious that inflammation is not only a tremendous problem for heart disease but also cancer. Inflammation is implicated in Cancer by causing repeated damage to DNA eventually causing a mutation. Focus turned to homocystiene and to CRP as indicators of heart disease. A combination of supplements can help these indicators including Aspirin and Folate. My CRP has maintained in a good zone since taking aspirin. I did have some early results that were scary that may have been bad test results but fortunately my CRP has come into line.
Red Wine has been implicated in lower death rates overall for drinkers of this delicious beverage. A substance in red wine called resveratrol has been associated with the same genetic activations that Red wine seems to stimulate. Studies showed good results for Resveratrol but high doses didn’t show large increase in health results. The ideal dose was around 200-250mg. I have been a big believer in Resveratrol and especially from one or two different companies that seem to be the most science oriented. Longevinex and Biotivia seem to produce the best Resveratrol supplements and science on this supplement.
Fish Oil, Fish and Vegetarianism
Some studies have shown less results for Resveratrol but I am a big believer in some obvious evidence about wine and fish. We can say with some confidence that fish cannot be bad for you. The reason is that the longest lived people on earth have a diet rich in fish.
If fish were bad for you this would not be the case. It may not be what helps these societies to live long but the evidence seems indisputable that fish can’t be bad for you. 🙂 The same for wine. Many many studies and tests show that Red wine in particular improves longevity decreasing all mortality sources. Other studies have shown a large benefit from Fish Oil, Omega 3s on cholesteral and reducing inflammation as well as other impacts on cancer, brain health. I suggest taking Resveratrol and Fish oil supplements but I also drink red wine and eat fish and eschew red meat or any land animals including chicken and pork.
Calcium, Vitamin D, Plant Sterols
Other studies have come out showing that Calcium, Vitamin D and Plant Sterols have also been shown to have positive impacts on heart disease, strokes survivability and reduced incidence. I have added these as well. Several grams of Plant Sterols will reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol by about 8%. It’s not huge but worth it for the small effort.
Blood Pressure and Diabetes
Some other factors to look at related to heart disease are blood pressure and diabetes. I consider diabetes very serious disease. I have a number of friends with later onset Diabetes 2. I think this is tragic because it is preventable with a few supplements I believe. There are numerous things which can affect blood pressure and diabetes. I have a separate category for diabetes. Fish Oil, Resveratrol, Red Wine are all related to lower blood pressure. Cialis and Viagra were designed initially to be blood pressure reduction medications. These drugs have turned out to have a lot of positive effects. Both will reduce your blood pressure. They have other positive benefits. Cialis is helpful for increasing urine flow for men. This really works. Viagra has been shown to help with jetlag. It is true that these drugs can be dangerous if you have low blood pressure already and / or take other blood pressure medications. The majority of people have the opposite problem which is blood pressure that is too high. So, these drugs can be beneficial for these people. I believe I have good blood pressure for a lot of reasons including exercise and other supplements listed here but viagra doesn’t hurt or cialis. My blood pressure has remained constant for decades at 110/70 roughly. I am very grateful that my glucose has remained at the 95 level for decades.
I don’t limit my sugar intake or otherwise control my diet precisely which is a huge benefit of taking supplements. Some have suggested all these supplements can be avoided if you just eat “healthy.” In my experience it is almost impossible to eat consistently healthy and it is no great fun to constantly avoid wonderful tasting foods. I don’t believe that simply avoiding bad foods is enough. You have to give the body the nutrients it needs and then it can handle insults of occasional bad things.
I don’t believe in diets
I think one of the misconceptions of many people about eating is that by restricting certain food groups or foods you are doing your body good. It may be effective to lose weight but in the process it is also one of the most dangerous things you can do. Dieting involves restricting from the body the variety of chemicals it needs to repair and studies have shown that you have very high mortality risk during the time of dieting. It is literally dangerous to diet. I don’t believe in diets. I decided long ago I didn’t have the willpower to diet and I love the pleasure of good tasting food and drink.
I have found a way to eat that is healthy and is permanent. My position is that if you can’t live all the rest of your life on the diet you choose then there is no point in trying to lose weight in a flash. It is dangerous to diet and if you don’t make the change permanent and gain weight and diet again and gain weight and diet you will kill yourself and stress your body out tremendously. For me it is relatively easy to see this as the only answer. Whatever I do I need to make it permanent or the constant stress of changing weight will kill you or cause diabetes. I had a friend who never was fat who got Type 2 for this reason. Studies I have read show this as well that you don’t have to be fat to get Type 2. If you go up and down in weight you will damage your body.
One thing I have done is removing land animals from my diet. This has clealy not had a bad effect on my waistline, blood results and frankly I almost never miss it. I started by eating these things less and eventually I have not made it a religious thing but I rarely eat meat unless there is no other choice. I am not 100% sure that red meat or land animals are bad for you but my experience is that there doesn’t seem to be anything my body is missing from them either. This may be because I take so many supplements but I believe if I started eating land animals again my health signs would deteriorate.
The best recipe for heart disease in my opinion is therefore:
Niacin: 1000mg niacinamide
Fish Oil: 400mg EPA
Red WIne: 1-2 glasses/night
Aspirin: 250-325mg (Ecotrin or Excedrin)
Vitamin D: 2000ucg
Cholestoff (plant sterols): 2000mg – 4000mg/day
Cialis: 20mg daily or 100mg viagra
There are other things obviously that affect heart disease that are more basic that there are millions of articles on:
1) Don’t smoke
2) Eat as good as you can
3) Don’t eat too much
4) You may have congenital issues not covered here that need specific help not covered here
5) Exercise regularly
Articles you may find interesting related to supplements and heart disease:
|B vitamins (not B12)||9/2013||2||Heart||https://www.neurology.org/content/early/2013/09/18/WNL.0b013e3182a823cc.short||Vitamin B supplementation, homocysteine levels, and the risk of cerebrovascular disease|
|Calcium||10/2013||1.5||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/uoc–mso101713.php||Making sense of conflicting advice on calcium intake|
|Calcium||2/2013||1.5||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/jaaj-hsc020113.php||High supplemental calcium intake may increase risk of cardiovascular disease death in men|
|Calcium||2/2013||-2||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/wfbm-sqv080712.php||Study questions value of calcium and vitamin D supplements|
|Calcium||Heart||https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Bone_Supplements-Calcium_and_Vitamin_Demail@example.com&firstname=#death||over 900mg calcium not helpful, maybe damaging, up to 900mg 3.8% reduction in death among women|
|Coq10||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/esoc-fdt052213.php||First drug to improve heart failure mortality in over a decade|
|D3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-06/acb-vdt060106.php||Vitamin D targets thrombosis in cancer patients|
|ECGC||Heart||https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Green_Tea_Review_Supplements_and_Bottled/Green_Teafirstname.lastname@example.org&firstname=#cautions||10% reduction in heart disease from 1 cup of green tea/day, most studies showing higher benefit up to 650mg /day|
|EGCG||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/uoc–gbt022009.php||Green, black tea can reduce stroke risk|
|Ginger||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/acs-lro081913.php||Latest research on ingredients that make chocolate, olive oil, tea healthful foods|
|L-argenine||Heart||http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/11/1/23.pdf||The Effects of a Sustained-Release
|Omega3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/foas-ofa053013.php||Omega-3 fatty acids may help heal a broken heart|
|Omega3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/uops-off030513.php||Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model|
|Omega3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/cumc-ole021413.php||Omega-3 lipid emulsions markedly protect brain after stroke in mouse study|
|Omega3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-09/jaaj-ofa090612.php||Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation not associated with lower risk of major CVD events|
|Omega3||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/osu-oli062012.php||Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults|
|Pectin||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-10/osu-saa100212.php||Study: An apple a day lowers level of blood chemical linked to hardening of the arteries|
|Pterostilbene||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-08/acs-cs_1081604.php||Blueberry compound shows promise of lowering cholesterol as effectively as drug|
|Pterostilbene, ECGC||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-03/ctco-bag030308.php||Blueberry and green tea containing supplement protects against stroke damage|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/mg-ssp062111.php||Study shows pine bark naturally improves heart function|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-03/mg-ssp030111.php||Study shows pine bark naturally improves kidney function in patients with metabolic …|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-07/mg-sdt071409.php||Study demonstrates the anti-inflammatory properties of pine bark extract|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-12/mg-pbr120908.php||Pine bark reduces inflammatory marker CRP in osteoarthritis|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-10/mg-nsp101707.php||New study: pine bark extract boosts nitric oxide production|
|Pycnogenol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-05/mg-nsp051607.php||New study: Pycnogenol reduces heart failure|
|Pycnogenol, Coq10||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/mg-ssp062111.php||Study shows pine bark naturally improves heart function|
|Resveratol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/tmsh-msr060914.php||Mount Sinai researchers identify protein that keeps blood stem cells healthy as they age|
|Resveratrol||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/pu-rwf040412.php||Red wine, fruit compound could help block fat cell formation|
|Soluble Fiber||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/ehs-ssl101813.php||Study strengthens link between low dietary fiber intake and increased cardiovascular risk|
|Testosterone||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/uops-icr110113.php||Increased cardiovascular risk in men using testosterone therapy prompts warning|
|Vitamin C||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/osu-iir071612.php||Increase in RDA for vitamin C could help reduce heart disease, stroke, cancer|
|Vitamin C||Heart||http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/jhmi-bdo041912.php||Big doses of vitamin C may lower blood pressure|