My 98 year-old mother has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and aortic stenosis.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am blessed with a 98 year-old mother. She has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and aortic stenosis. She is chronically cold and sleeps most of the day, but my mom is still bright, intelligent, and beautiful. What can I do to help her? Thank you for your expertise and direction.” — Caroline P., Naperville, IL
A. Dear Caroline, Your mother sounds like an incredible woman and I hope my recommendations will help her live more comfortably.
One of my favorite botanicals for the heart is French OPC grape seed extract. In fact, there may not be a more powerful natural medicine to protect against heart disease than French OPC grape seed extract. This amazing ingredient helps to prevent blood clots, shields blood vessels and arteries from free radical damage, works as a vasodilator – relaxes and opens the blood vessels so blood can travel with less force, which creates less strain on the heart and a natural decrease in blood pressure. I would take 400 mg per day of a high OPC, tannin-free, grape seed extract.
Mesoglycan has the ability to do what drugs cannot; it can build and repair blood vessels. For that reason, mesoglycan is another one of my favorite natural medicines for heart issues. Mesoglycan has been shown to prevent or slow atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), as well as treat many other diseases of the veins and arteries. Mesoglycan works on the actual formation of the blood vessel walls, keeping them strong, yet flexible, plus it helps keep blood moving through our arteries and blood vessels. This amazing compound provides a world of benefits for the entire circulatory system. I prefer mesoglycan that comes from a porcine (pig) source, so it is bioidentical to the same building blocks in our own bodies. I would take 50 mg of mesoglycan twice per day.
One of the most important minerals for the cardiovascular system is magnesium. In a clinical trial on patients with congestive heart failure, they were given 800 mg of magnesium per day, and had significant improvements in their arterial elasticity versus placebo. Another study showed that low magnesium levels were a greater risk factor for heart disease than saturated fat or cholesterol. Because minerals can be hard to absorb, I recommend taking magnesium as magnesium glycinate chelate. This form is much easier to absorb and will not cause gastrointestinal upset. I would take 200 mg three times per day.
A great partner for magnesium is vitamin B6, in the active form, as pyrixodal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). It’s important to use the active form because many people have difficulty converting the inactive form of B6 to the active form, especially in aging populations. Vitamin B6 is great for helping balance sodium levels, which can prevent edema (fluid retention) that often occurs with congestive heart failure. I would take 60 mg of P-5-P three times per day.
Terry . . . Naturally