Supplements For Heart Failure & Exercise
Be sure to read Nutrient Stew for studies about treating heart failure with supplements. Here are some specific recommendations. I am not a doctor.
- This is needed in 2 groups of CHFers: anyone taking a statin cholesterol-lowering drug; and anyone newly diagnosed with heart failure (in the past year). If you take a statin drug, I recommend taking 50mg CoQ10 twice a day after meals as long as you take the statin.
If you are newly diagnosed and not on a statin, I recommend taking 25 to 30mg CoQ10 twice a day after meals for one week, then raising it to 100mg CoQ10 twice a day after meals. If you are very small or very large, adjust the dose. After a year, try cutting the dose in half and see how it goes.
- In my opinion, taking a multi-vitamin pill twice a day after meals covers the average CHFer's vitamin needs. This is what I take.
- I believe magnesium is one of the 3 really great supplements for all people with heart failure. I take small amounts 3 times a day: 100mg in my multi-vitamin/multi-mineral pill after breakfast and again after dinner; and 65mg once just before bed with calcium and zinc. If you have heart failure, I recommend taking 250mg a day whether you exercise or not. Large amounts will just give you diarrhea.
- An amino acid shown in trials to improve heart failure. I believe taurine is one of the big 3 supplements for heart failure. I take 2000mg once a day after my weight workout. I recommend 2000 to 4000mg daily for heart failure. If you take more than 2000mg, take it in 2 smaller doses twice a day (such as one 2000mg dose after breakfast and one 2000mg dose after dinner). Taurine is also critical to build and repair muscle.
- An amino acid shown in trials to improve heart failure, this is another of the 3 best supplements for heart failure. I take 333mg Carnitor 3 times a day after meals. This is a prescription form of L-carnitine. If you have drug benefits with your health insurance, ask your heart failure specialist to prescribe this. If not, buy L-carnitine over-the-counter. If using over-the-counter L-carnitine, I recommend 500 to 1000mg 3 times a day. L-carnitine also helps control body weight. L-carnitine is needed to build and repair muscle as well.
- This is another amino acid shown to be low in CHFers. I take 6000mg creatine monohydrate once a day after my weight workout. You should take about 4000mg a day if taking it just for heart failure. Take 4000 to 6000mg daily if also taking it for muscle building and recovery. If you are quite small or quite large, adjust the dose. Do not take "loading" doses.
If you currently have kidney dysfunction, ask your doctor before taking creatine. However, at 2000 to 8000mg per day, trials have shown zero harmful effects on kidneys - or anything else. No ill effects were seen unless taking 40,000mg or more every day!
- Another amino acid. In trials, arginine improved exercise tolerance in CHFers. One trial showed that 5000mg three times a day improved kidney function in people with heart failure. It also helps control body weight. When you take L-arginine and exercise regularly, the benefits are even greater. I recommend taking 1000mg three times a day for heart failure. If you also exercise regularly, take 2000 to 3000mg three times a day.
- When lifting weights or doing other resistance training, taking extra protein helps your muscles build and recover. In addition to the food I eat, I also take a powder protein supplement mixed with water in an electric blender. I take about 69 grams (2-1/2 ounces) after walking the treadmill in the morning, then about 89 grams (just over 3 ounces) in the evening after lifting weights.
Taking about 1.8 grams protein per one pound of body weight per day is good when exercising regularly for CHFers. So if you weigh 200 pounds, multiply body weight (200) times protein per pound (1.8) = 360 grams (12-1/2 ounces) of protein to consume each day. If you have kidney dysfunction, ask your doctor before taking a protein supplement.
All information on this site is opinion only. All concepts, explanations, trials, and studies have been re-written in plain English and may contain errors. I am not a doctor. Use the reference information at the end of each article to search MedLine for more complete and accurate information. All original copyrights apply. No information on this page should be used by any person to affect their medical, physical, legal, educational, social, or psychological treatment in any way. I am not a doctor. This web site and all its pages, graphics, and content copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Jon C.