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Congestive Heart Failure


Question Details

 

I’m diagnosed having Congestive Heart Failure. I’m taking 40mg lasix. I’m told to take potassium once a day. How much potassium should I take and are there any other natural supplements I should consider?



 

The minimum dose of potassium is usually 99mg but I would check with your prescribing doctor for specific recommendations about potassium supplementation.  Most people taking a loop diuretic like Lasix should take some type of potassium supplement or increase potassium rich foods in their diet.  Tomato and vegetable juices are very high in potassium as is coconut water. 

 

More importantly, you may want to consider some other very supportive natural supplements for congestive heart failure. 

 

Dr. Sinatra, MD is a cardiologist who has focused much of his career on using natural supplements to support cardiovascular health.  There are three well know nutrients that are very helpful for aiding healthy heart muscle function and greatly improving congestive heart failure.  These recommendations should be done in addition to any medications or procedures prescribed by your cardiologist and it is always best to inform your doctor about any new supplements you are taking. 

 

CoQ10

This widely known supplement for cardiovascular health first made a splash in the natural health field for its ability to reverse congestive heart failure.  As you know, there are not many treatments for this sometimes debilitating condition leaving many people at a complete loss for a solution.  Doctors started recommending high doses of CoQ10 (300-600mg/day) to people with congestive heart failure because CoQ10 plays a key role in our muscles ability to produce energy.  In congestive heart failure, the heart muscle has become weak and ineffective.  This nutrient supports the heart’s muscles, and can greatly improve efficiency and strength of each contraction.  Complete resolution and dramatic shrinkage of enlarged hearts is not an uncommon thing to see in congestive heart failure patients given high doses of CoQ10.

 

D-Ribose:

Ribose is a naturally occurring 5 carbon sugar that plays a crucial role in the production of energy in every cell.  Due to the extreme energy load the heart is under, increasing energy stores to the heart muscle can make a significant impact on its strength and contractility.  I have personally seen patients with congestive heart failure who can barley walk ten steps be able to walk a half mile after taking ribose for only a few weeks.  It has also shown significant benefit for other conditions characterized by low energy stores in the muscles like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.  A typical dose of D-ribose is 3-5gram 2-3x per day.

 

Acetyl L Carnitine:

Carnitine is natural compound that helps to transport free fatty acids into the mitochondrial powerhouses of our cells.  When free fatty acids enter our mitochondria our body turns them into powerful energy molecules like ATP.  Again, this supplement supports healthy cardiovascular function by supplying an ample amount of energy to the hardest working muscle in our body.  Acetyl-L Carnitine is usually given in a dose of 500-1000mg per day.

 

This triad of supplements ensures that your heart muscles have an increased energy store which is a critical part of recovering from congestive heart failure.  None of them have any known side effects or major interactions with prescription medications.  CoQ10 can theoretically act as a mild blood thinner so if you are taking a prescription blood thinning medication like Plavix, Warfarin, Coumadin or Heparin discuss using CoQ10 with your doctor first.



Back to all Questions     View More by Dr. Kevin Passero

Lead Medical Director

As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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