1. CoQ10 benefits can help you avoid coronary artery disease

    The easy way to boost your artery health

    Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the nation and one of the top killers on the entire planet. Avoid the disease, and you won't avoid death -- but you just might be able to put it off for a while.

    I know that's easier said than done. But there's one easy step you can take right now to get it done, and that's to boost your levels of coenzyme Q10.

    You've probably heard about how CoQ10 benecits can protect the heart, and that's certainly true. But it can also protect your arteries -- and in a new study, people with the highest blood levels of CoQ10 had a lower risk of coronary artery disease.

    You can have your own levels checked next time you have your blood work done -- but if you're on a statin, be prepared in advance for some bad news: Your levels are probably down in the dumps, since those meds can suck the CoQ10 benefits right out of you (which is one more reason to control your cholesterol naturally instead).

    In any case, shoot for bringing your CoQ10 levels above 516 nanomoles per liter of blood, since that's where the artery-clearing benefits kick in, according to the new study.

    Whether you take a statin or not, you'll probably need to add a supplement to reach those levels. It's not the cheapest vitamin in the shop, but it's well worth the extra cost -- because along with protecting your arteries, it's absolutely essential to your heart.

    I think of it as a spark plug. Without a spark plug, your car won't go. And without CoQ10 benefits, your heart won't beat.

    Yes, it really is that important.

    That's why studies have shown that higher levels of CoQ10 benefits can protect against heart disease -- and in one recent study, CoQ10 and selenium taken together actually cut the risk of death by heart disease in half.

    But don't stop there. Also make sure you're getting enough of my other favorite heart-boosters, including L-Carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.

    For a more comprehensive look at your heart as well as what nutrients you may need personally, make an appointment to see a holistic doctor like me.

    And for one more reason to add magnesium to your routine, keep reading!

  2. Selenium and CoQ10 work together to reduce heart risk

    Two nutrients that can slash your heart risk

    In one corner, there's a drug being pushed on everyone in the name of heart health despite only the flimsiest evidence of benefits and plenty of evidence of risk.

    In the other, there's a tag-team supplement duo proven to give you a much bigger benefit than that med ever will -- and they come with virtually no risk at all.

    Which one would you pick? Do I even have to ask?

    The drugs, of course, are statins -- and as I told you last week, researchers are trying to get everyone over the age of 50 to start taking them.

    If the idea of diabetes and muscle pain appeals to you, then go ahead and follow that advice. But if you'd rather find a safe way to cut your risk of death by heart disease in half, take the one-two punch of selenium and coenzyme Q10 instead.

    Researchers randomly assigned 443 Swedish seniors between the ages of 70 and 88 to either 200 mg per day of coenzyme Q10 capsules along with 200 mcg per day of organic selenium yeast tablets or a placebo for up to four years.

    In that time, 12.6 percent of those on the placebo died of cardiovascular disease, versus just 5.9 percent of those who got the selenium and CoQ10.

    Those numbers are impressive enough. But that wasn't the only proof these nutrients can work wonders. Cardiac ECHO tests showed that patients who took the supplements had much better cardiac function than those who got the placebos.

    In another test, researchers found that patients who took the supplements had lower levels of N-terminal proBNP, a marker of tension in the heart, when compared to those on the placebo.

    The researchers even found the reason the two work so much better together than either do on their own: Selenium helps boost the activity of a protein known as TrxR1 that in turn helps maximize the efficiency of the CoQ10.

    Like I said earlier, there's really no risk to taking these -- and I often recommend both to my patients anyway. Just bear in mind that when it comes to selenium, "more" isn't necessarily "better."

    In fact, too much can be dangerous -- so if you already have plenty of selenium from diet or if your multivitamin contains the mineral, you probably don't need to add more.

    And if you're not already taking CoQ10, be sure to add some along with a few of my other favorites for heart protection: L-Carnitine, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

    For advanced cardiovascular testing make an appointment at my clinic, the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    I'm not done with natural ways to lower your heart risk yet -- keep reading for the latest on another nutrient you definitely need.

  3. Chicken thighs and healthy hearts

    Don't feel bad if you've never heard of taurine. Most people haven't. It's an amino acid found in the tastiest part of the chicken, aka the dark meat you've been told not to eat.

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