Dr. Rath Research Institute

Heart Failure PDF Print E-mail

Cellular Medicine has identified the most frequent cause of heart failure as a long-term deficiency of vitamins and other essential nutrients in the millions of heart muscle cells. These cells are responsible for the contraction of the heart muscle and the optimum pumping of blood throughout the body.

Heart failure is a serious condition which develops when the heart pumps insufficient amounts of blood throughout the body rendering it unable to support its normal functions. Heart failure is manifested as fatigue, shortness of breath, edema (swelling from water retention) and it lowers the quality of life of anyone it affects This disease affects more than 5 million people in the US. It is estimated that more than 15 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure which, which together with malignant cancers, is responsible for more than half the deaths in people 45 and older. About 30-40% of patients die from heart failure within one year of diagnosis.

Our cardiovascular system

Heart failure is a problem affecting the heart muscle. The human heart is a hollow muscular organ about the size of an adult’s fist. It is divided into four chambers: two smaller ones, the right and left atriums, and two larger chambers, the right and left ventricles. All four chambers are separated by the cardiac valves. The heart, together with the network of arteries, veins and capillaries, forms the cardiovascular system.

The key functions of the cardiovascular system are:

  • Distribution of oxygen-rich blood (and nutrients, hormones and other metabolites) throughout the body to the organs and all cells.
  • Collection and return of oxygen-depleted blood (containing various waste and metabolic products) to the heart for cleansing and re-oxygenation.

The heart has its own nourishment system

Our life depends on the continuous pumping of the heart distributing and collecting blood throughout the body. The entire cardiac muscle has two large coronary arteries and a network of smaller vessels that assure the delivery of blood to support the production of cellular bio-energy and the heart beat. A narrowing or obstruction of a coronary artery lumen decreases blood supply to that specific area of the muscle causing its dysfunction and angina (chest pain caused when the muscle does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood). If the blood flow in the  coronary artery becomes completely blocked the affected tissue dies resulting in a heart attack or death.

How to recognize heart failure

It is a well-known fact, confirmed in numerous clinical studies, that deprivation of cardiac energy is the most important factor in developing heart failure. A consequence of weak heart contractions and impaired blood circulation is less oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the tissues and metabolic products cannot be removed effectively. This condition is manifested as general fatigue or dizziness, bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis), liver congestion or indigestion. Also, with impaired blood flow to the kidneys water cannot be removed from the blood and it accumulates in the tissues in areas such as in the legs causing edema or in the abdomin causing ascites. Impaired blood circulation in the lungs can lead to shortness of breath, asthma, pulmonary edema and an inability to perform normal life functions.

Conventional therapy in heart failure

Conventional medicine recognizes a deficiency of cellular bioenergy as critical in the development of heart failure. The idea that impaired heart function and development of heart failure are associated with biological energy insufficiency was presented as early as 1939. Heart failure is often decribed in medical literature as “an engine out of fuel” However, therapeutic approaches in heart failure do not focus on increasing cellular bioenergy but instead on limiting its expenditure. Therefore, the majority of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for heart failure have an “energy sparing” effect for the heart muscle. Drugs such as beta blockers, calcium antagonists or ACE inhibitors lower heart contractions or promote blood vessel dilatation decreasing their resistance. Unfortunately, these drugs do not eliminate the cause of these problems, and in the long term they impair the functions of other organs and generate serious side effects. Other drugs, such as diuretics can further aggravate heart failure and are used to alleviate edema by increasing urine production. Although  diuretics help decrease edema  by collecting water from tissues they also accelerate the removal of vital water-soluble micronutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that support bioenergy production.  Since vitamin deficiency is already a cause of impaired heart function, diuretics further aggravate the disease.

Patients with heart failure, especially the elderly, are prone to nutritional deficiencies due to inadequate food intake, malabsorption, accompanying diseases and nutrient loss due to the intake of various pharmaceutical drugs.

For many heart failure patients drugs do not help and a heart transplant remains the only option, however, many patients die waiting for an operation or do not live long after the transplant procedure.

Cellular medicine

Cellular Medicine focuses on the cause, prevention and natural correction of many health problems at the level of the billions of cells building our bodies. All cells require sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients to function optimally. Most of these nutrients function as biocatalysts of thousands of enzymatic reactions in every cell and if they are not provided in optimum amounts, the cells and consequently the organs  begin to malfunction leading to diseases.

Heart failure develops most frequently because the heart is the most mechanically active organ in the body and  has high requirements for vitamins and other bioenergy-generating nutrients. Suboptimal intake of these micronutrients impairs bioenergy production leading to impaired heart pumping function, the development of heart failure, irregular heartbeat and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

Nutrient synergy

All cellular functions in the body are based on synergy and the cooperation between nutrients is the basis of metabolism. Cellular medicine has introduced a new approach to health by researching and defining synergistically acting essential nutrient teams as the most effective way to assure balanced cellular metabolism.

Cellular bioenergy cannot be generated effectively without specific micronutrients acting as catalysts of numerous Krebs Cycle enzymes and natural intermediates of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.

Our research has shown that the synergistic action of specific cellular nutrients, especially vitamin C, the amino acids carnitine, lysine, and proline, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, and other essential nutrients, combined in the right proportions is the right “fuel” supporting the proper function of heart muscle cells. Deficiencies of these essential nutrients impair the pumping performance of the heart, resulting in shortness of breath, edema, and fatigue.

Key micronutrients for optimum heart health

Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and Biotin are important energy carriers in cellular metabolism. Vitamin B1 is critical for the optimum function of the cardiac muscle cells. People who are taking diuretics are particularly affected by a shortage of B vitamins and other water-soluble micronutrients.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is the key component in the energy formation cycle in the mitochondria, the power source of the cells. An optimum supply of CoQ10 is especially important for the cardiac muscle cells because of their high demands for bioenergy. Muscle tissues are the richest source of this nutrient, therefore vegetarians are at risk of  CoQ10 deficiency. CoQ10 also has antioxidant properties.

Carnitine can be produced in the body’s cells from the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. Lysine is not manufactured in the body and since it comes only from diet, deficiency is likely. In addition, Carnitine production also requires Vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Carnitine is essential for transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are burned for energy. Its role is very important because fatty acids are the primary energy source for the heart muscle.

Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of Carnitine and is an important mediator of energy production in the cells. Vitamin C is the universal antioxidant in the body and protects cells and all metabolic components against damage from oxidation.

Vitamin E protects cell membranes and fatty components against damage from free radicals. Excessive oxidation stress has been associated with aging, tissue damage and various diseases.

Taurine is an amino acid produced from Cysteine and vitamin B6. Especially low Taurine levels have been detected in people after they have had a heart attack. Taurine is highly utilized by the heart and helps to stabilize cell membranes. It is also very important for optimum heart function and maintaining regular heart beat.

Clinical confirmation of nutrient synergy in heart failure patients

These significant findings were confirmed in our clinical studies conducted with patients who suffered from heart failure.

In one of the pilot studies heart performance was measured by echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart) and a treadmill test. The synergistic action of specific cellular nutrients improved heart pumping function on average by 20% after six months of their intake. In addition, there was observed a 100% improvement in severe fatigue and a 70% improvement in shortness of breath.

The other clinical pilot trial in heart failure patients measured health improvements using the NYHA grading system that measures the quality of life. NYHA uses a 0 to 4 scale grade: Grade 0 - no symptoms of heart insufficiency, Grade 4 - severe condition in which patients are confined to bed.

At the beginning of this study, seven out of  ten patients suffered significant impairment of cardiovascular health (Class 3 on the NYHA scale). Three other patients reported moderate limitation of their physical activity (Class 2 on the NYHA scale).

After six months of having the nutrient synergy program added to their usual regimen, eight out of ten patients reported improvement in their health condition by one or more grades on NYHA scale. As a result, after six months of nutrient supplementation half of the patients could lead normal lives again without any discomfort, weakness or associated arrhythmia.

Further details on the clinical studies can be viewed here.

 

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