By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
May 2, 2016
- Prescription drugs can’t save you from heart disease
- The problem with diuretics, statins and blood thinners
- Heart healthy alternatives with amazing benefits
These days a lot of people put too much faith in the power of prescription drugs to protect them from heart problems. And this is a big mistake.
Pharmaceutical drugs don’t do anything to boost your heart health. In fact, they often make things much, much worse. That’s because they come with some hefty side effects that can damage your entire cardiovascular system.
Next thing you know, you could be taking a handful of drugs… just to address those nasty side effects! And none of those additional drugs are doing anything good for your heart.
I’ll give you a perfect example of what can happen.
Drugs Won’t Save You from Heart Disease
Let’s say you’re taking a diuretic to lower your blood pressure. Well, these drugs come with a serous side effect. They can cause your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides to increase. They wash out critical minerals and can raise blood sugar.
When that happens, you’ll likely be told to add a statin to your regimen. You may think this will be good for your heart health. But among other serious side effects – and there are a lot of them – taking a statin increases the odds of your arteries hardening by more than half.
This leaves you wide open for rips and tears, inflammation, plaque accumulation and blockages in your blood vessels.
Next thing you know, you’re taking Coumadin,Plavix or Xarelto to thin your blood. This is to make sure you don’t end up with a clot in the event of a plaque rupture or cardiac arrhythmia (perhaps from a deficiency in a critical mineral)
But it doesn’t end there.
Another side effect of statins is the development of diabetes. So if you take a statin, it might not be long before you’re also taking a drug like metformin or glyburide to control your blood sugar.
You see how it goes? You start off taking one drug, and end up on four in no time flat.
Now, let’s see what kind of side effects you’ll get if you use supplements (in addition to good old-fashioned exercise and healthy foods!) to protect your heart.
Heart-Healthy Alternatives that come with Great “Side Effects”
If you have high blood pressure, you can lower it in only about three hours with beetroot juice. This juice boosts your nitric oxide levels, which is absolutely necessary for proper blood flow.
Just 250 ml each day can lower your blood pressure by about 8/4 mmHg (8 points on the top number, 4 points on the bottom number). If you prefer pill form instead of juice, I recommend looking for a plant-based NO (nitric oxide) enhancer that has beetroot juice as its main ingredient.
Great side effects: Beetroot juice helps reduce arterial stiffness and thickening of the arteries. Plus, dietary nitrates like those found in beetroot juice can have a positive effect on obesity and insulin resistance.
What if you’re worried about cholesterol?
Well, there’s a tangy fruit called bergamot. It’s not really edible in my opinion, but you can buy bergamot extract in supplement form.
This extract can help balance your LDL/HDL ratios. In fact, it only takes about 30 days to boost your HDL over 40%, while lowering LDL by about 38%.
Great side effects: Bergamot can cut triglycerides by about it third. It significantly reduces the number of harmful small, dense LDL particles circulating through your bloodstream, which may be more important to overall coronary artery health than the above ratios. And to top it off, it can also slash your risk of diabetes by lowering blood sugar.
I recommend 500 mg. of bergamot daily in supplement form, or 100 ml. daily of the bergamot juice.
Worried about clots? Garlic contains compounds that help keep your blood cells from clumping together. Medically, this called “antiplatelet activity.” What this means for you is improved blood flow and less chance of clotting.
Great side effects: Aged garlic (but not raw garlic) prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It lowers blood pressure, reduces plaque build up and arterial stiffness, and can even help bring blood sugar problems under control.
Your best bet is to take 300 mg. of Kyolic brand aged garlic extract daily.
These are just a few heart-healthy alternatives to prescription drugs. There are also many others, like niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, ginger, magnesium and CoQ10. But we can talk about those some other time.
In the meantime, next time your doctor tries to hand you a prescription for something that will “protect” your heart health… ask him what exercise, diet and some of these nutrients can do for you.
Nakazato R, et al. Statins use and coronary artery plaque composition: results from the International Multicenter CONFIRM Registry. Atherosclerosis. 2012 Nov;225(1):148-53.
Sattar N, et al. Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials. Lancet. 2010 Feb 27;375(9716):735-42. Epub 2010 Feb 16.
Webb AJ, et al. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90.
Kapil V, et al. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015 Feb;65(2):320-7.
Sansbury BE, et al. Regulation of obesity and insulin resistance by nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Aug;73:383-99.
Mollace V, et al. Hypolipemic and hypoglycaemic activity of bergamot polyphenols: from animal models to human studies. Fitoterapia. 2011 Apr;82(3):309-16.
Gliozzi, M, et al. The Effect of Bergamot-Derived Polyphenolic Fraction on LDL Small Dense Particles and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. Advances in Biological Chemistry, 4, 129-137. 2014.
Allison GL, et al. Aged garlic extract and its constituents inhibit platelet aggregation through multiple mechanisms. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):782S-788S.
Ried K, et al. The effect of aged garlic extract on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in uncontrolled hypertensives: the AGE at Heart trial. Integr Blood Press Control. 2016 Jan 27;9:9-21.
Ahmad MS, et al. Antiglycation properties of aged garlic extract: possible role in prevention of diabetic complications. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):796S-799S.