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Congestive Heart Failure


The heart is a muscle that acts as a pump to send blood around your body. When it either gets damaged by heart attacks or infections (cardiomyopathy), has a malfunctioning heart valve, or grows too big (e.g., from long standing and untreated high blood pressure), it may no longer be able to pump blood effectively. When this happens, the blood backs up in your lungs or legs, which are upstream from the heart. This causes swelling in your ankles (which persists when you wake in the morning — mild swelling at night is common even in healthy people). When lying flat, fluid then backs up in the lungs. This causes people to need to sleep on many pillows and to wake up short of breath during the night if they lay flat. CHF also causes shortness of breath with exertion.


Treating the underlying high blood pressure, valve problem, or angina is important. I rarely see heart valve surgery recommended unnecessarily, and cardiologists are very good with this issue. Follow your physician’s advice for lowering blood pressure as well.

Fortunately, natural remedies do an excellent job at improving heart muscle efficiency, and even modest improvements can improve function dramatically. The following recipe should be tried by anyone with heart disease (unless they have associated kidney failure, in which case the magnesium part of the treatment should be monitored by their physician).

Give these nutrients a 6 week trial to see the optimal effects. The benefits for heart health are often dramatic!

Recommended Supplements


Ribose powder looks and tastes like sugar, and is a key to energy production in the body — including the heart. Take 1 scoop (5 gms) 3 times a day for 6 weeks, then twice a day. This nutrient is outstanding for heart disease and is the most important one. You will likely be amazed after 6 weeks on it!

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (use Enzymatic Therapy or Vitaline brand chewable wafers — brand and form are critical for this nutrient). Take 400 mg/day for 6 weeks, then 200 mg/day. This nutrient is especially critical for anyone on cholesterol lowering medications, even if there is no heart problem, as these medications cause Coenzyme Q10 deficiency, and this nutrient is critical for energy production.

Magnesium and B Complex

Magnesium 200 mg/day and B Complex 50+ mg/day. You can get these plus many other key nutrients easily by taking a good multi-nutrient powder and B Complex. Take as directed, but if it causes gas or loose stools, you can decrease the powder to 1/2 dose a day. Magnesium not only increases your heart muscles strength, but also markedly decreases the tendency to abnormal heart rhythms.


Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500 mg 3 times a day for 6 weeks, then 500 mg/day is enough (and it can often simply be stopped).

Related Information

D-Ribose—A Very Powerful and Natural Body Energizer

Coenzyme Q10

Acetyl-L-Carnitine for CFS and Fibromyalgia

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Some information on this site is from the book From Fatigued to Fantastic! Third Edition by Jacob Teitelbaum MD, copyright 2007 by Jacob Teitelbaum MD. Used by permission of Avery Publishing, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.