So there was this lady who had just received a heart transplant (yes, this is a true story)…
Her cardiologist really wanted her to start exercising, because that would improve the likelihood of “take” of the new organ. But, try as she would, she couldn’t get anything going. She just couldn’t stick with any particular form of exercise…everything she tried just didn’t seem “right” for her. She tried running, biking, aerobics, even tennis…but all to no avail.
Finally, as a last resort, she decides to try swimming, and miracle of miracles, she takes to it instantly (like the proverbial fish to water). Not only does she swim, she actually swims like a professional.
Her family doesn’t know what to make of this, and neither does she…until they start asking questions about the source of the heart that she had been given. It so happened that the last owner was a champion high school male swimmer who had recently died in a tragic automobile accident.
Well, to cut a long story short they located the parents of the high schooler and connected with them. It was a very moving scene seeing them all hugging, each other: the transplant recipient, her husband and the parents of the dead son both taking turns to put their ears to her chest to listen to their son’s beating heart.
It actually brought tears to my eyes.
Okay, so what if what I witnessed was a dramatized version and not the actual event? The story is still true. It was featured on one of the episodes of “It’s A Miracle.”
The Amazing Human Heart:
Depending on who you ask, the heart is the most powerful muscle in the body (actually there are about six different body parts that claim that title, based on different criteria – check out this webpage: http://www.pumpone.com/blog/
Cardiovascular disease kills more people than cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease and accidents …combined!
It just makes sense, therefore, to know how to take care of this wonderful organ whose importance in the human body is second only to that of the brain.
So then… what makes for a strong, healthy blood pump? What does it need to keep beating strong?
The obvious ones are: exercise (especially aerobic exercise), good rest, avoiding stress, eating a healthy diet, taking supplements, having quality relationships with the people you love, and so on. Take a look at my talk on the Seven Laws of Life here: http://
Let’s focus on supplements. The way I see it, the easiest lifestyle change one can adopt has to go with what one puts in his or her mouth.
Top supplements to strengthen your heart:
If I were to recommend five supplements for my mother, these would top my list. I hope you will consider including one or more of them in your daily life as well (remember…I did say MY MOTHER, right :-))
- Omega 3 fish oils (remember: what’s good for the brain is good for the heart):
Fish oils provide both primary and secondary protection — that is, it can help prevent a first heart attack, or a second one. Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation that can cause harmful clotting, reduce high triglycerides that can lead to a fatty liver, reduce the risk of clogged arteries after angioplasty or bypass surgery, lower your risk for an irregular heartbeat, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for stroke.
Recent study findings also indicate that fish oil may protect against aging in heart cells by preserving the length of structures called telomeres, which determine cellular lifespan. Researchers found that the more omega-3s coronary heart disease patients consumed, the slower their cells aged.
What to take: 1,000-3,000 mg a day, or more with medical supervision.
Our dear friend Dr Barry Sears produces one of the world’s best fish oil supplements, and he’s done quite a few presentations on it.
Click here to view: http://
CoQ10 or ubiquinol is one of the key nutrients that strengthen heart muscle. Taking CoQ10 along with blood-pressure lowering drugs improves their effectiveness and may allow you to reduce dosages. And taking CoQ10 after a heart attack significantly lowers your risk of another heart attack. CoQ10 also helps to reduce muscle-related pain and weakness that are side effects of statin drugs.
What to take: 100-300 mg a day, in divided doses.
This would probably be my NUMBER ONE recommendation. This is the first time I’m saying this in public, but several years ago, I used to experience intermittent pains in the left side of my chest, and this used to cause me a great deal of concern, because I thought it could be related to my heart. Well, after a while, I heard about L-Arginine and what it does for the cardiovascular system, ordered some, and the rest, as they say, is history. That was about five years ago, and I haven’t experienced any chest pain since then. In addition, the painful feet I used to have upon getting up in the morning (sort of feels like you’re walking on pins and needles for your first few steps) disappeared as well.
So, I guess you could call me a believer.
L-Arginine does many things for your cardiovascular system including: improving blood flow to your heart, strengthening your heart walls, removing plaque, and softening blood vessel walls.
What to take: You need at least 5 grams of L-Arginine a day to enjoy its cardiovascular health benefits
View a fascinating video on L-Arginine and Heart Health here:http://
Research has shown that resveratrol, the compound known to be the secret behind red wine’s heart health benefits, affects age-related gene expression changes in heart tissue. Like calorie restriction, resveratrol switches the body’s biochemical pathways toward tissue maintenance, which confers an advantage when the body is under the effects of stress. (Resveratrol is produced in plants when they are under stress.) This unique effect has been found to protect heart health and extend life by cutting down on the degenerative diseases of aging.
What to take: At least 400 mg of standardized trans-resveratrol daily.
Note of caution: too much alcohol can actually affect your heart adversely, so please be careful. It’s recommended that women take no more than one glass of wine a day and men take no more than two.
5. Vitamin D3 (And NOT D2…some physicians erroneously prescribe D2 when they should be prescribing D3):
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. People with low vitamin D levels are more likely to have the risk factors that cause heart disease: type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Vitamin D also affects how well your body absorbs two minerals important for a healthy heart, calcium and magnesium.
What to take: At least 5000 IU a day, or even more with medical supervision, may be needed.
View Dr Elizabeth’s excellent presentation on Vitamin D3 Here:
Read more about the importance of Vitamin D3 here: http://
As always, please let us know what you think by clicking on the comment box below.