ABSTRACT Even though plants containing the alkaloid berberine have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for over 2500 years, berberine’s potential cardiovascular and metabolic effects have been studied only in the recent past. The objective of this review is to summarize the effects and possible mechanisms of action of berberine when applied to various aspects of the cardiovascular system. Evidence is presented from experimental studies, clinical trials, and meta-analyses accessed via PubMed. Further research is needed, particularly clinical trials, but a growing body of evidence suggests an important role for berberine in the treatment of dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, ...Read More
Objective: We conducted a comprehensive review of the most current data available on the antihypertensive effects of 29 different nutraceuticals. Design: In this review, we collected evidence from clinical trials and meta-analyses of clinical trials with human subjects that are representative of the general adult population; studies of infants, children, and pregnant women were excluded. Observational studies were included in some cases as supplementary evidence, and in vitro or animal studies were included only for the purpose of explaining hypotensive mechanisms. PubMed served as the primary search engine. Outcome measures: The efficacy of each nutrient and botanical was demonstrated by ...Read More
Ischemic heart disease is the number one cause of mortality in both genders. Despite substantial gains in reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease, its prevalence is on the rise. Although percutaneous coronary revascularization procedures revolutionized the approach to acute coronary artery disease (CAD), their role in stable, chronic disease is less defined. As many more patients live on with stable forms of CAD, it is imperative that practitioners understand current evidence for and against revascularization, and develop a holistic, integrative approach to CAD. We examine current knowledge guiding decision-making in chronic CAD, and expand upon potential use of integrative approaches ...Read More
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient present in plants, animals, and fermented products that plays an important role in a number of biological systems. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin K has potential health benefits far beyond its role in activating coagulation factors. It appears that vitamin K2 (menaquinones) play an important role in optimal bone and cardiovascular health. The central role of vitamin K is the synthesis of γ-carboxyglutamate, which occurs during the vitamin K cycle. The vitamin K cycle allows important proteins, namely osteocalcin and matrix Gla protein, to become activated. These vitamin K–dependent proteins are of particular ...Read More
Chelation therapy, a treatment long undervalued by conventional medicine, has been used by alternative medicine practitioners to alleviate various metabolic toxicities. In particular, there has been significant controversy around its use in patients with coronary artery disease. We performed a focused review of the recent National Institute of Health (NIH) trial to investigate the role of chelation therapy in the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. The study was the first randomized, factorial trial (n=1708) in patients with coronary artery disease, already receiving standard, guideline-approved treatment. Patients were randomized to EDTA chelation therapy with or without oral multivitamin multimineral ...Read More
Women experience acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) 10 years later than men – evidence that estrogen is protective is not consistent. Ovulatory disturbances (low progesterone but normal estradiol levels) silently occur in >33% of all cycles. Progesterone-based (cycle-timed serum or saliva) levels or urinary metabolite excretions are necessary to diagnose silent ovulatory disturbances within regular, normal length menstrual cycles. Progesterone acts biphasically in vitro – initial proliferation changes to differentiation. It also suppresses or complements estradiol’s actions. Basic and clinical studies show that progesterone is positively related to endothelial function/blood flow, influences vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiac electrical signals ...Read More
We have reached a limit in our ability to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease utilizing the traditional evaluation, prevention, and treatment strategies for the top five cardiovascular risk factors—hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity and smoking. Statistics show that approximately 50% of patients continue to have coronary heart disease or myocardial infarction despite traditionally defined “normal” levels of these five risk factors. A more logical and in-depth understanding is required of these top five risk factors, including, the evaluation of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, advanced lipid profiles, dysglycemic parameters, visceral obesity, with the effects ...Read More
Herbal medicines have been effectively used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases for many years. Herbs such as Convallaria (Lily of the Valley) root and Crataegus (Hawthorne) have shown significant benefits as adjunctive or stand alone therapies for the treatment of cardiac disorders such as arrhythmia, mitral valve prolapse and shortness of breath. Convallaria has been used for the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy, whereas Crataegus contains flavonoids with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and protective cardiac effects. Crataegus functions as a natural angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, and it is therefore beneficial for the treatment of hypertension. Convallaria and Crataegus ...Read More
Glycyrrhiza may be appropriate as an adjunctive therapy for a variety of disorders involving mild adrenal insufficiency, low aldosterone output, or hyperkalemia due to effects on 11-β-HSD enzymes, direct effects at mineralocorticoid receptors, and downstream effects on aldosterone as well as fluid and electrolyte balance. Glycyrrhiza has also been shown to help correct hyperkalemia that may result from spirolactone therapy in PCOS. Patients with orthostatic hypotension may respond to Glycyrrhiza therapy due to its ability to improve blood volume and potassium levels and reduce activation of baroreceptors. >> Hear Dr. Jillian Stansbury Speak at the Restorative Medicine Conference! << ...Read More
Rauwolfia, Viscum, and Psicidia are well known herbs used in the treatment of hypertension. These herbs contain several different bioactive constituents including alkaloids, lectins, rotenones, flavonoids and isoflavones, among others, which research indicates as being cardioprotective, promote vascular health and reduce blood pressure. As the mechanisms of action are different for each herb, due to the varying bioactive compounds present, they can be used alone or in combination for these indications. Patients being treated with the above-described herbs need to be carefully monitored, particularly for interactions with any concomitant antihypertensive medication—and herbal doses individually tailored. AARM REFERENCE REVIEWS: These ...Read More
OBJECTIVE: To review the current literature regarding vitamin D insufficiency and supplementation in major illnesses. DESIGN AND METHODS: We reviewed Pubmed-indexed, English language manuscripts from January, 2003 to June, 2012 using search terms related to vitamin D, all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of disease, risk ratios associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels, and/or vitamin D supplementation schedules were documented. RESULTS: Although 25(OH)D levels ≥20 ng/mL were often associated with improved health outcomes, evidence suggests that 25(OH)D levels ≥30 ng/mL may confer additional health benefits. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the available evidence, vitamin ...Read More
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