HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Fugh-Berman A. from George Washington University suggested a few herbs and dietary
supplements that may benefit cardiovascular disease in his review article. [1] The herbs that
he suggested include garlic, hawthorn and danshen while the supplements that may offer
benefits on cardiovascular disease are coenzyme Q, vitamin E, fish oil, carnitine and
arginine.

Dr. Fugh-Berman points out that dried garlic preparations work better than oil preparations.
Preliminary data suggests hawthorn, coenzyme Q and vitamin E may have some benefits,
but mixed results are also obtained for vitamin E. And, vitamin E has no benefit on angina.

Carnitine and arginine may benefit patients with congestive heart failure and angina. Dr.
Fugh-Berman wrote fish oil may have a mild beneficial effects on hypertension but no effect
on total cholesterol levels.

Intake of herbs and supplements are always associated with adverse side effects and drug
interaction. Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) may potentiate warfarin, while garlic may inhibit
platelet aggregation.

L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine is produced in the body from the nutrients lysine, methionine, vitamin C, vitamin
B3, vitamin B6, and iron. Carnitine is classified as an amino acid, it is primarily used to
facilitate the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells for energy
production.

Arginine
A study showed that arginine increased growth hormone in a dose-dependent manner.
However, another study showed that arginine does not stimulate growth hormone secretion
and may impair growth hormone release during resistive exercise.

Coenzyme Q
Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ 10) is a compound that is produced in most animals including
human being. CoQ10 plays an important role in our energy production, such as production
of ATP. ATP is used in the energy transfer between mitochondria and cells. Coenzyme Q10
helps mitochondria to metabolize fats and carbohydrates. It also helps maintain cell
membrane flexibility.

Vitamin E,
Active in maintaining the involuntary nervous system, vascular system, and involun-tary
muscles. Food sources include: vegetable oils, margarine made from vegetable oils.

fish oil
In a study of healthy male subjects, supplementation of purified fish oil to eight healthy male
subjects led to reduced platelet aggregation and whole blood viscosity.

[1] Herbs and dietary supplements in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Prev Cardiol. 2000 Winter;3(1):24-32.
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