I HAVE long known that there are no such things as coincidences or so-called “accidents” in the course of events. So, there must be a reason today, 26 August 2021 is the 23rd anniversary of my father’s departure from the earth on account of CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE, a feature in the second part of this series on hypertension and heart diseases. He had been hypertensive for some time and had learned to get off his potassium-depleting antihypertension pharmaceutical drugs which, in his days, were replaceable with the herb MISTLETOE. CoQ10 and UBIQUINOL, discussed in the first part of this series, were just trickling into Nigeria. If you got them at all, they came in insignificant dosages such as five, ten, or, at best thirty milligrams per capsule, whereas, today, between 100mg maintenance dosages and 200mg and 300mg capsules for serious conditions can be easily found. My Father watched television till about 11 pm when he retired to his bedroom. At about 1.30 am, two hours or so after, he began to cough. Apparently, his heart had become too weak to pump out blood it had pumped to the lungs for oxygenation. The blood had overstayed its welcome in the lungs and was irritating them. So, the lungs were trying to force out the blood. I suspect Congestive Heart Failure(CHF) whenever senior citizens unabatedly cough. He always did no more than clear his throat, and we did not suspect that his heart had so enlarged that it could have become that weak. I knew from Rex Adams’s MIRACLE MEDICINE FOODS that Vitamin B1(Thiamine) and Garlic could shrink and enlarge the heart. But my father could detect the smell of Garlic a hundred meters away and ask the purveyor to move away. How wrong he was, and how wrong many people still are about their relationship with garlic, we shall discover next week in the third part of this series. The building opposite his house housed a hospital. So, he tried to walk across. Halfway there, he began to feel that his legs were becoming heavier. Apparently, they were receiving less blood from an overstressed heart. Within about 10 minutes of his admission into the hospital, he was gone at 3.30 am. As I posted on FACEBOOK on August 5 I saw him in a dream from which I rose at about 3.40 am, 20 minutes after, telling me he had gone, and asking me to tidy up all his affairs, including his funeral wishes.
Another terminal heart trouble I would ever remember was that of one of my brothers-in-law. He was a jolly good fellow. On a Friday, he became so tired that he went to see a doctor. The doctor suspected a failing heart and suggested that my in-law stays in hospital for some time. But my in-law said he had an important wedding to attend in the village the next day, after which he would see the doctor. He returned home but called the doctor early the following morning. He had become weaker. The doctor came in an ambulance. But my in-law could not walk to the vehicle and he had to be lifted. But before the doctor could fasten his seat belt and drive off, my in-law was gone!
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE…our tour guides suggest a variety of food supplements for this challenge. Dr. Robert Atkins, the cardiologist, has a package which he categorized into two categories…..most important and moderately important. It is suggested that all parts of this series be read together for a better understanding of the ideas espoused in the earlier parts.
“Heart failure is the result of the organ’s inability to maintain the effectiveness of its blood-pumping activity. This leads to fluid buildup in the lungs and in the legs. Cardiomyopathy refers to a variety of conditions impairing the heart’s pumping ability, which are fairly common causes of heart failure. Increased doses of the following nutrients are helpful in counteracting this dangerous condition.
2) CoQ10 200–400mg
3) L-carnitine 2,000–4,000mg
4) Hawthorn 300–480mg
5) Magnesium 600–1,200mg
6) B1 150–300mg.
1) Copper sebacate 2–4mg
2) Pantethine 600–1,200mg
3) Vitamin E 600–1,200IU
4) Cactus(alcohol tincture) 5–10 drops
5) Essential oils formula 4,800–9,600mg
6) B-complex 100mg”.
Of HAWTHORN BERRIES which is now well known in Nigeria, Dr. Atkins said as long ago as in the 1990s:
“I call this herb ‘the wise man’s digitalis’ in tribute to the excellent medicine, derived from the foxglove plant, that cardiologists once used to strengthen the heart and reduce how rapidly it beats. To our great disservice, pharmaceutical companies extracted but a single one of foxglove’s constituents and created a different drug, digoxin, whose side effects include heart blockages and rhythm disturbances. Hawthorn extract works just as well as digoxin and its predecessor, with virtually no side effects or long-term risks. In my opinion, the herb(Crataegus oxyacantha) should be prescribed as a matter of course to every person with a cardiovascular problem.
“In many gentle ways, hawthorn impressively addresses almost every major factor involved in heart disease. By keeping blood vessels relaxed, it reduces blood pressure and permits a freer flow of blood to the heart muscle. Better blood flow, in turn, increases the heart’s oxygen supply, allowing the muscle to pump more efficiently and with less strain. Additionally, through its influence on inflammation and allergic reactions, the herb brings some therapeutic relief from chest pains(angina), an unusually fast heartbeat(tachycardia), shortness of breath, and hypertension.
“The extract is quite potent. The usual dosage is 240–480mg daily. If you need heart medication, use it only under a doctor’s guidance. Because it functions much the same way as heart medications, it may make the medications excessive, and the doctor will probably have to lower the dosages of some medications”.
“Hawthorn(Crataegus monogyna and oxyacantha)—both the berry and the flower-tops extract is widely used in Europe for heart problems. The heart benefit properties of this herb have been reported for centuries. Regular use is said to strengthen the heart muscle. The extracts have combination effects that are of great value to those suffering from angina, as well as other heart problems. A number of studies have also demonstrated that hawthorn extracts are effective in lowering blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the beneficial effects of hawthorn extracts are the results of improvement in two basic heart functions: heart metabolism and the dilation of coronary vessels, which increases the blood flow and thus oxygen to the heart. The recommended dosage of hawthorn extracts containing 10% procyanidins is 100–250mg taken three times a day.
“The very active flavonoid compounds found in the leaves, berries and blossom of the hawthorn plant have an ability to increase intracellular Vitamin C levels and decrease capillary permeability and fragility. Hawthorn berry extracts are effective in reducing blood pressure and angina attacks as well as other functions. It is used in Europe for lowering High blood pressure appears to be a result of dilating the larger blood vessels. Some cardiologists recommend hawthorn berry extract beginning at 500mg daily, then increasing to 1,000mg or 1,500mg. Clinical studies have shown that hawthorn can help reduce blood pressure by reducing or blocking the constriction of blood vessels directly serving the heart. This is crucial because when blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises”.
DR KARL FOLKERS
Before we proceed, I would like to salute Dr KARL FOLKERS, arguably “THE FATHER” of CoQ10 research who, beyond heart studies, showed in a landmark FINNISH experiment and UBIQUINOL that CoQ10 or Ubiquinol, the reduced or more active form, can make the difference in a cancer protocol which healed some terminal cases of breast cancer.
Judy McFarland reports these startling cancer treatments in which CoQ10 was a major team player:
“The treatment of breast cancer with CoQ10 was reported at the Eighth International Symposium on Biomedical and Clinical Aspects of Coenzyme Q10, November 1993, held in Stockholm, Sweden. Knud Lockwood, M.D., and Karl Folkers, Ph.D., treated 33 ‘high risk’ breast cancer patients with these supplements:
2,850mg of Vitamin C, 2,500IU of Vitamin E, 96,667IU(58mg) of beta-carotene, 387mcg of selenium, 1.2 grams of linolenic acid, omega-6(GLA), 3.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids(EPA), 90mg of CoQ10. ‘No patient died and all expressed a feeling of wellbeing’, wrote the researchers. ‘These clinical results are remarkable since about four deaths would have been expected. Now, after 24 months, all still survive; about six deaths would have been expected. Six of the 32 patients showed partial tumor remission.
“The dosage of CoQ10 was increased from 90mg to 390mg daily. The doctors said it was astonishing that in 30 days the tumor could no longer be felt, and 60 days later the cancer had disappeared from the mammogram and there were no traces of the mass on the x-ray. The cancer was in complete regression. Dr. Lockwood said that in his 35 years of practice with over 200 patients a year, he had never witnessed a spontaneous complete regression of a breast tumor measuring as much as 1.5 to 2 centimeters. Dr. Lockwood was not using CoQ10 as a magic bullet, but it was given with the other nutrients I just reported. CoQ10 was used as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy.
“Dr. Folkers summarized the case histories of ten diverse cancer patients who were treated with CoQ10 and survived for periods of five to fifteen years. For some of these patients, evidence of cancer was no longer present. Another high-risk case was treated with 300mg of CoQ10 after undergoing non-radical breast surgery. Three months later, no cancerous tissue could be detected. The summary from Drs. Folkers and Lockwood was, ‘The relationships of nutrition and vitamins to the genesis and prevention of cancer are increasingly evident……The bioenergetic activity of CoQ10, expressed in hematological or immunological activity, maybe the dominant but not the sole molecular mechanism causing the regression of breast cancer”.
ROSS PELTON, RPh, PhD, CCN in one of his articles titled COENZYME Q10: A MIRACLE NUTRIENT ADVANCES IN UNDERSTANDING says:
“In 1957, University of Wisconsin biochemist Fred Crane isolated a yellowish substance from beef hearts. He sent samples to a colleague, biochemist Dr. Karl Folkers who worked at the pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharpe and Dohme. In 1958, Dr. Folkers successfully determined the chemical structure of CoQ10 and conducted some preliminary studies, which led him to believe that CoQ10 had enormous potential as a cardiovascular drug. At the time, Merck executives were not interested in developing a new cardiovascular drug. Consequently, the patent rights to CoQ10 were sold to a company in Japan.
“It took Japanese scientists about ten years to develop industrial fermentation technology that resulted in the production of commercial quantities of CoQ10. This enabled the initiation of the first clinical trials in which CoQ10 was used to treat patients with heart failure in Japan. In 1976, CoQ10 was approved in Japan as a drug to treat cardiovascular disease, and it remained one of the top-selling cardiovascular drugs in Japan for over twenty years.
“In the 1970s, Dr. Folkers and his colleague, Dr. Gian-Paolo Littarru of Italy published data they had collected with tissue biopsies from 200 patients, which revealed that patients with heart disease and patients undergoing heart surgery had blood and tissue Coenzyme Q10 levels significantly below normal levels.
“In 1978, British biochemist Peter Mitchell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the key role Coenzyme Q10 plays in the electron transport chain in mitochondrial membranes, which results in the generation of cellular energy in the form of ATP. Folkers’ early work along with Mitchell’s Nobel prize dramatically increased scientific interest in CoQ10 around the world”.
We are taking a break from CoQ10 which, as shown, provides the cells with antioxidants protection and imbues it with energy. We are revisiting Magnesium, that equally important nutrients in the stability of the health of blood vessels and the heart which is required, also, in other parts of the body. First, we turn to JEAN CARPER who informs us:
“People who take in low amounts of magnesium are more apt to have heart disease, according to ‘about twenty worldwide population studies’, says RONALD J. ELIN, M.D., a magnesium authority at the National Institutes of Health. Magnesium seems to protect the heart of the coronary arteries and abnormal heart rhythms that are a primary cause of sudden death. In one study of a cardiac unit, 53% of the patients had low magnesium. Indeed, the amount of magnesium in your body can help determine whether you live or die if you have a heart attack.
“Further, magnesium helps deter the formation of blood clots that help clog arteries and trigger heart attacks. Specifically, studies by JERRY L. NADLER, M.D., at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, show that magnesium inhibits the release of thromboxane, a substance that makes blood platelets more sticky and apt to form clots. The mineral also tends to keep blood vessels from constricting, thus warding off rises in blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. Magnesium has been so effective in regulating heartbeat and blood pressure that it has been called ‘nature’s calcium channel blocker’, referring to prescription calcium blocker drugs used for those purposes”.
Here comes Judy McFarland again informing us of the importance of that central atom which holds the structure of chlorophyll together in all green plants and for which reason we must eat greens…
“Magnesium is a major mineral component in our bodies. It is absolutely essential for life and is required for every major biological process, including the electrical stability of cells in the heart, the maintenance of membrane integrity, muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and the regulation of vascular tone all of which have a direct bearing on the health of the heart muscle. Magnesium appears to regulate the ‘gate’ through which calcium enters the cells to ‘switch on’ vital functions such as the heartbeat. It is vitally important that magnesium and calcium be in balance for the heart to beat regularly.
“Magnesium has been shown to improve different forms of irregular heartbeats and arrhythmias, including the rapid beating of the heart chambers (ventricular tachycardia), fibrillation of the heart chamber(ventricular fibrillation), irregular heartbeat originated in the smaller chambers of the heart situated above the main chambers(supraventricular arrhythmias). One of the causes of ischemic heart disease(heart attack) is that the coronary arteries fail to provide all of the oxygen the heart demands. The result is a spasm in the smooth muscles of the artery walls. Inadequate magnesium has been related to greater susceptibility to muscle spasms. Thus, an increase in magnesium can be beneficial in heart disease to counteract vessel spasm”.
DR. ROBERT ATKINS
Cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins will wrap this second part of the series……
“Magnesium is scientifically established as the heart’s most important mineral. More than 300 different enzymes in the body depend on the mineral… We face threats to rob us off Magnesium no matter where we turn. The mineral is all but absent from the sugary junk foods that now constitute more than 35% of the average person’s diet. Crops are grown in soil that steadily become more deficient in the mineral. The body expends much of its meager supply to cleanse itself of smog, pesticides, and so many other toxins. Perspiration and stress drain off what’s left, as do diuretics and other drugs. For most of us, a deficiency seems unavoidable… As we get older, we absorb less of many nutrients, including magnesium, from food… Because of dental problems, we may avoid nuts, seeds and other good dietary sources, and we will probably be taking more nutrient-depleting medications.
“…As a cardiologist, I see more people for heart-related ailments than for any other problem. The following summary of what’s possible with regular supplement use reads more like a wish list for any person with heart disorders. Irregular heart rhythms become more stable, high blood pressure improves, the body keeps a better balance of potassium, another important cardiovascular mineral, the heart pumps a larger volume of blood with no extra demand for oxygen, constricted blood vessels relax, allowing blood to flow more freely, the chest pains of angina pectoris strike less frequently, by not allowing platelets to clump together, the blood becomes less likely to form artery-blocking clots, HDL cholesterol rises and LDL cholesterol falls, etc”.
More information about natural antihypertension medicines will be discussed as the series continues. Meanwhile, I recommend special places in your health library for the books of Dr. Atkins, DR ATKINS VITA NUTRIENT SOLUTION, Nature’s Answer To Drugs (hardcover ISBN number 9780684818498/paperback 1999 ISBN number 9780684844886), Jean Carper’s STOP AGING NOW (ISBN number 0-06-098500-3) and Judy Lindberg McFarland’s AGING WITHOUT GROWING OLD (ISBN number 0-88419-969-X).