Complementary therapies for heart wellness
Specialists in our Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program recommend nutritional complementary medicines for people with heart disease.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in some fish which are essential for good health. These ‘good' oils are important for healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. They also reduce inflammation, reduce triglyceride levels and improve the integrity of cell membranes in the body. In people with heart disease they have been shown to reduce the incidence of future heart attacks and strokes and help people to live longer!
Deep sea fish (such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, orange roughy, blue grenadier and cod) contain more of these good oils. Research shows it is best to aim for 4-5 serves of fish every week to get the health benefits. Fish oil supplements are an effective alternative for people who cannot eat fish regularly or often enough. The benefits of fish oils accumulate over time, so it is best to make frequent fish consumption and regular fish oil supplements a part of your everyday routine.
Fish oil supplements are available in pharmacies, health food stores and supermarkets. The dose required to optimise the beneficial effects is 3000mg daily, which can be taken as one 1000mg capsule three times daily. If taken with meals there is less likelihood of experiencing any indigestion or nausea which are possible side effects of consuming any oils. High doses of fish oil supplements (more than 12,000mg per day) should not be taken by people on anticoagulant drugs such as Warfarin.
Participants in our Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program receive Bioceuticals UltraClean EPA/DHA Plus capsules as their source of fish oils (kindly donated by FIT-Bioceuticals).
CoQ10 is an antioxidant found in all tissues of the body, and in the greatest quantities in the heart muscle. CoQ10 is involved in energy production in the cells. Research has shown that supplementation with CoQ10 can reduce blood pressure and protect the heart from damage. It is very safe and can be used together with all heart medications.
Meat and fish products are the most concentrated sources of CoQ10, although lesser quantities are found in cooked broccoli and cauliflower, spinach, nuts and soy. People with heart disease may benefit from supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 and capsules are available in pharmacies, health food stores and supermarkets. The usual dose required is between 100-300mg daily.
Participants in our Integrative Cardiac Wellness Program receive Bioceuticals Cardionutrients capsules as their source of Coenzyme Q10 and other antioxidants (kindly donated by FIT-Bioceuticals).
Magnesium is a mineral nutrient that is essential for all muscle and nerve functions. Deficiency of magnesium is linked to many symptoms of cardiovascular disease, such as ischaemic heart disease, high blood pressure, mitral valve prolapse, high blood lipids (‘bad' cholesterol and triglycerides), heart arrhythmias and stroke.
Good dietary sources of magnesium include legumes (pulses), wholegrains, nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and cocoa. As magnesium is protective of the heart, people with heart disease may benefit from supplementing with magnesium, especially in the orotate form which has an additional antioxidant effect. Supplements are available in pharmacies, health food stores and supermarkets. The usual dose required is 300-400mg/day.
Magnesium supplements may interact with a number of drugs, including enhancing the actions of anti-arrhythmic drugs and calcium-channel blockers. Before commencing magnesium supplements we recommend speaking with your GP or other healthcare provider.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that acts like a hormone to influence many diverse processes in the body including bone strength, immunity and mood. Adequate levels are necessary for prevention of diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, cancer, depression, and infections.
Vitamin D is naturally produced in the body but we need short periods of exposure to sunlight on our skin to convert it to an active form. Some foods also contain vitamin D, such as fish, beef, liver, butter, eggs and mushrooms. Other foods are fortified with vitamin D (that is, they have it added to them), including margarines and some dairy products.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in Australia, especially in the winter months. People who don't get consistent exposure to sunlight, are older than 65 years, or have other risk factors for vitamin D deficiency should ask their GP or healthcare provider for a blood test to check their vitamin D status. Vitamin D supplements, in tablet or liquid form, are available in pharmacies and health food stores. The usual dose required is between 400-1000IU per day and supplementation for at least 3 months is recommended.