Doctors & patients are saying about 'A-Fib.com'...


"A-Fib.com is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD


Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...


"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Heart Health

Chocolate and Reduced Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: A 13-Year Study

In 2017, there’s more on the health benefits of chocolate! Accumulating evidence links chocolate to heart health and now, a lower risk of atrial fibrillation.

A 13-year Danish study published in 2017 tracked the health of 55,000 participants, aged 50–64 years. During the period, more than 3,300 cases of atrial fibrillation emerged. All of the participants had completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyles, everything from exercise habits to what they ate and drank, including how much chocolate they consumed.

Study Results: Chocoholics Delight

“Our study adds to the accumulating evidence on the health benefits of moderate chocolate intake,” said lead author of the study Elizabeth Mostofsky of Harvard School of Public Health.

Compared to those who ate a 1-ounce serving of chocolate less often than once a month, the risk of atrial fibrillation was:

• 10 percent lower among those who ate one to three servings a month
• 17 percent lower among those who ate one serving a week
• 20 percent lower among those who ate two to six servings of chocolate a week

Benefits of All Types of Chocolate

In the 2015 study, all types of chocolate, including milk chocolate, seemed to have the same beneficial effect.
Most of the previous studies on the chocolate-heart connection found that only dark chocolate offered any cardiovascular protection. But in a 2015 study, “any type of chocolate, including milk chocolate, seemed to have the same beneficial effect” according to Howard LeWine, M.D., Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publications.

Dr. LeWine added that while scientists aren’t sure why chocolate seems to boost heart health, it may be related to flavonoids, a type of antioxidant produced by plants.

Flavonoids are particularly abundant in cacao beans and have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage. They’ve also been shown to help thinking skills.

To Avoid A-Fib: How Much Chocolate?

The study results found “the rate of atrial fibrillation was 20 percent lower for people consuming two to six 1-ounce servings [of chocolate] per week”.

A-Fib risk was 20 percent lower among those who ate two to six (1 oz.) servings of chocolate a week.

While no recommended daily amounts have been set when it comes to chocolate (or cocoa flavonoids), the European Food Safety Authority suggests that 200 mg of cocoa flavonoids per day is a good target for the general population.

What Patients Need to Know

To reap the various health benefits of chocolate, the higher the cocoa content of the bar, the better. Look for chocolate bars with 70% cocoa or more. You may have to do some detective word, as the amount of cocoa used in chocolate varies a lot (and the amount of flavonoids in chocolate is not always listed.)

Your best bet is to stick with dark chocolate. As a general rule, dark chocolate has more cocoa and therefore more flavonoids than milk chocolate (and less sugar and saturated fat).

References for this Article

 

To Find Your A-Fib Cure, Build Your ‘Dream Team’

Treating Atrial Fibrillation doesn’t sound like a team sport. But you don’t beat your A-Fib on your own. It takes a team of healthcare professionals and wellness experts to help you seek your A-Fib cure!

While your ‘Dream Team’ will be unique to you, based on your age, symptoms, and other medical conditions, the core members of your Dream Team’ will include:

♥ Your primary care physician: often diagnoses your atrial fibrillation; may prescribe and manage your initial medications (especially for risk of stroke); usually refers you to a cardiologist (hopefully a heart rhythm specialist).

♥ Cardiac Electrophysiologist (EP): a cardiologist who specializes in the electrical functions of your heart; often the leader of your Dream Team! (Read: How to Find the Right Doctor for You.) In addition to your EP, other cardiac professionals may be added to your team including:

▪Cardiac procedure specialist: if you need a catheter ablation, a left atrial appendage occlusion device, i.e. Watchman, AV Node/Pacemaker procedure, pacemaker, etc.

▪Cardiac surgeon: if you need a Maze surgery or Mini-maze surgery

Recruit Beyond Your Team Starters

Don’t stop with just recruiting your star performers. Many of our readers at A-Fib.com have drafted other healthcare practitioners and wellness experts to join their Dream Team. You may benefit from one or more of the following:

Sleep specialist: More than 40% of A-Fib patients also suffer from sleep apnea. Everyone with A-Fib should be tested (Sleep Lab or home study). In fact, your EP may require testing before agreeing to perform a catheter ablation. Learn more about sleep apnea.

♥ Nutritional counselor/Naturopathic physician: Many A-Fib patients have found relief of symptoms through herbal and mineral supplementation (starting with magnesium and potassium). Learn more about a more integrated or natural method of healthcare.

♥ Diet & Exercise specialist: Losing weight through diet and exercise has benefited many A-Fib patients. Some report their A-Fib symptoms have diminished or stopped completely through changes in lifestyle. Read more about a heart-healthy eating plan.

♥ Complementary treatment practitioners:

Acupuncture: Many A-Fib patients have reported relief with acupuncture. Research indicates that acupuncture may have an anti-arrhythmic effect in patients with atrial fibrillation. Read about acupuncture research.

Yoga: Many A-Fib patients practice yoga and report benefits, specifically, the number of symptomatic A-Fib events were down, heart beat and blood pressure dropped, depression eased and anxiety decreased. Read about A-Fib and yoga.

Chiropractor: Several A-Fib.com patients have reported relief with chiropractic treatments. In addition, a few clinical studies have focused on arrhythmia and ‘manipulation’ techniques. Read more.

How to Build Your ‘Dream Team’

Over 90 stories of inspiration at A-Fib.com

Seek inspiration!

Forming your ‘Dream Team’ is an important step toward seeking your A-Fib cure. To build your team, we advise you to use all the resources available to you. Ask for referrals from other A-Fib patients, family and friends, and from your doctors’ nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

For inspiration, learn how others have dealt with their atrial fibrillation. Just browse our list of over 90 A-Fib Stories of Hope and Encouragement. Read a few stories with similar symptoms to your own, age group, etc.

Also, consider corresponding with one of our A-Fib Support Volunteers. They’ve all been where you are now. They have been helped along the way, and want to help other A-Fib patients.

Photos of contributors to Personal Experiences on A-Fib.com

A few of our A-Fib Support Volunteers

Remember, above all,
Aim for Your A-Fib Cure!

Reference for this Article

It’s Back! Print a High-Quality Illustration of the Heart’s Electrical System

Click to download

Update March 24: The Cleveland Clinic has given us permission to host this graphic of the Heart’s Electrical System on A-Fib.com for the viewing and printing by our readers.

Print and keep this illustration handy for the next time you talk with your doctor about the workings of your heart. Draw and make notes directly on the picture. Add comments in the text box we added at the bottom.

To get yours, just download and store on your hard-drive. To have one handy when you need it, print and store copies in your “A-Fib Binder or folder“.

Download the illlustration.

Also see our Free Offers and Downloads page.

High-Quality Illustration of the Heart’s Electrical System

The Heart's Electrical System Illustration

The Heart’s Electrical System: Click image to download

Update March 24: The Cleveland Clinic has given us permission to host this graphic on A-Fib.com for the viewing and printing by our readers.

Print and keep this illustration handy for the next time you talk with your doctor about the workings of your heart. You can make notes directly on the picture.

Download the PDF file and store on your hard-drive. To have one handy when you need it, print and store copies in your “A-Fib Binder or folder“.
A-Fib.com Library of videos and animations

Video: You may also want to watch the video, How Your Heart Works and Understanding Arrhythmias, or one of several heart animations from our A-Fib.com Video & Animations Library.

Also see our Free Offers and Downloads page.

New Research into Alcohol & A-Fib: How Many Drinks are Too Many?

“While moderate amounts of alcohol appear protective for the ‘plumbing,’ or blood supply to the heart muscle, the benefits of alcohol do not extend to the electrical parts of the heart, or heartbeat.”

Over time, drinking may actually change the electrical signals, triggering irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).

“The benefits of alcohol do not extend to the electrical parts of the heart.”

Risk per Daily Alcohol Drink

A new study found the risk of atrial fibrillation grew by 8 percent for each daily alcoholic drink. The findings were similar for men and women. The authors looked at previous studies that tracked almost 900,000 people over 12 years.

Fibrosis: The study doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Nevertheless, “cell damage from habitual drinking may lead to small amounts of fibrous tissue within the heart that causes the irregular, quivering heartbeat”, the study authors said.

Post-catheter ablation: The review found that people who continue to drink are more likely to have ongoing irregular heartbeats even after catheter ablation.

Weekly recommendation: “..No more than one alcoholic drink per day with two alcohol-free days a week.”

Weekly Alcohol Recommendation

Dr. Pater Kistler recommended that those with irregular heartbeat “should probably drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day with two alcohol-free days a week.”

He added they had no randomized data that tells what a ‘safe’ amount is to consume. The study authors called for more research to determine whether avoiding alcohol completely is required for patients who have irregular heartbeats.

Know Your Triggers

Some Atrial Fibrillation patients have sworn off alcohol altogether. Through trial and error, they’ve found that any amount of alcohol contributes to or triggers their A-Fib episodes.

Dr. Kistler’s research is helpful for the balance of A-Fib patients. It offers some research-based guidelines to minimize the impact of alcohol consumption on their A-Fib.

For additional reading, see my article:Holiday Heart”: Binging Alcohol, Marijuana & Rich Foods.

Resources for this article

“Holiday Heart”: Binging Alcohol, Marijuana & Rich Foods

‘Tis the season when many people end up in a hospital’s emergency room (ER) for treatment of “Holiday Heart Syndrome”, i.e., Atrial Fibrillation triggered by alcohol binging.

Overindulging in alcohol (six or more drinks) can cause surges in the body’s adrenalin, rises in the levels of free fatty acids, alterations of how sodium moves in and out of the heart cells, and a lowering of the levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium in the body through diuresis.

Does Alcohol Alone Explain Holiday Heart Syndrome?

Recreational Marjuana and A-Fib at A-Fib.com

Trigger: recreational marijuana

Excessive alcohol is not the only culprit. Recreational use of marijuana can compound the risk as well. Other factors include the nicotine effect in smokers (active and passive), large quantiles of rich food, and even cold weather. In addition, fireplace fires and bonfires can release ultra-fine particles in the air from burnt materials and can be bad for the heart.

New Year’s Eve Party Time: Be Aware

As you celebrate, encourage others to avoid heavy alcohol consumption and try to minimize eating large quantities of food at one time. Look for the symptoms of “holiday heart” among your relatives (hereditary A-Fib) and friends. Anyone with any heart symptoms should go to the ER. If they’re lucky, it will be a one time event.

Share the Cheer of the Season

Finally, if you know someone who is depressed, alone, or isolated during the holiday season, reach out and cheer them up. It may be the best thing you do for their heart as well as yours.

Resources for this article

Infographic: September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month

During September each year, we focus our efforts on reaching those who may have Atrial Fibrillation and don’t know it. We offer a our infographic to educate the public about this healthcare issue, along with a free promotional banner and poster.

Share it! Pin it or Download (click on link to view full size, then ‘Save As’ )

Download (600 x 1875-pix): PNG format or JPEG format. Also available: Promo banner and promo poster.

A-Fib.com A-FibFacts.info

About Atrial Fibrillation: An estimated 30%−50% of those affected with Atrial Fibrillation are unaware they have it—often only learning about their A-Fib during a routine medical exam. Of untreated patients, 35% will suffer a stroke. Half of all A-Fib-related strokes are major and disabling.

For more facts about Atrial Fibrillation, go to A-FibFacts.info or download the A-Fib Facts 5-page report.

Also available (click to enlarge, then Save As):

Promotional bannersept-is-a-fib-awareness-month-bannerPromotional poster:

sept-is-a-fib-month-orange-head-poster

 

 

 

My Top 7 Picks: Natural Supplements for a Healthy Heart

By Steve S. Ryan, PhD

While not considered “A-Fib specific” like your medications, these minerals and supplements may improve overall heart health and thereby help your Atrial Fibrillation.

Recommendations for Heart Health

For a detailed discussion of these minerals and supplements along with recommended dosages, see our article, ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart. Our seven recommendations are:

For a detailed discussion of these seven nutritional supplements, see our article ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.

• Taurine
• Coenzyme Q10
• L-Carnitine
• Omega-3 Fish Oils
• Ribose (D-Ribose)
• Hawthorne Berry
• BCAA+G

Many Sources and My Amazon.com List

These minerals and supplements are available from many reputable retail and online sources. To make shopping easy for you, see my ‘Wish List’ on Amazon.com. (Note: Use any of these Amazon portal links, and your purchases help support A-Fib.com.)  

To get you started choosing brands, tablet size and forms of each supplement, we offer you 2 brands that meets our requirements.

1.  41A5986BbLL._SL500_SL135_Taurine, 1000 Mg

Taurine, along with Magnesium and Potassium, have been described as “the essential trio” for treating nutritional deficiencies relating to A-Fib. Taurine protects potassium levels inside the heart, regulates cellular calcium, and improves heart muscle contraction. Suggested products:

Now Foods Taurine 1000Mg, 100-Capsules; Source Naturals Taurine 1000mg, 240 Capsules

2. Ubiquinol CoQ10 (coenzyme) 100 Mg

Coenzyme’s ability to energize the heart is perhaps its chief attribute; improves heart functions and heart rhythm problems. Coenzyme is a naturally occurring enzyme and plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria. “Ubiquinol” is a more readily absorbed form.

Source Naturals Ubiquinol CoQ10 100mg, 90 Softgels; Jarrow Formulas Ubiquinol QH-Absorb, High Absorption/Enhanced Stability, 100 mg, 120 Softgels

3. GPL-Carnitine dosage: 500 -1000 Mg41pGdDbehjL._SL500_SL135_

L-Carnitine is a vitamin-like nutrient; a derivative of the amino acid lysine which helps to turn fat into energy. Considered by some to be the single most important nutrient in cardiac health. It reduces the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).

Swanson Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine Hcl Gplc 840 mg 60 CapsVitacost GPLC Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine HCl-GlycoCarn 1000 mg PLC per serving – 60 Capsules

4. Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 Mg 41XsPG8LBGL._SL500_SL135_

Essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA are considered by some to be natural defibrillators, lessening the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and A-Fib. Krill Fish Oil 1000 Mg; Essential Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) make blood platelets less sticky, less likely to form clots (cause of strokes). Some prefer Krill oil to fish oil as it’s exacted from organisms living in pristine deep-water seas.

Source Naturals Omega EPA Fish Oil, 1000mg, 100 SoftgelsMegaRed Extra Strength Omega 3 Krill Oil 500mg Supplement, 60 Count

5. Ribose/D-Ribose Powder 51d1BMLf-LL._SL500_SL135_41ZcLixRg3L._SL500_SL135_

Ribose increases tolerance to cardiac stress, lowers stress during exercise, and maintains healthy energy levels in heart and muscle. The heart’s ability to maintain energy is limited by one thing—-the availability of Ribose.

Now Foods D-Ribose Powder, 8-OunceDoctor’s Best Best D-Ribose Featuring Bioenergy Ribose, 250-Gram

6. Hawthorne Extract 41vl3oo6+7L._SL500_SL135_41VLGf88IyL._SL500_SL135_

Hawthorne Berry reduces tachycardias and palpitations and prevents premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Hawthorne Berry can energize the heart without prompting arrhythmias. It has a normalizing effect upon the heartbeat. Dosage 300 to 510 Mg

Now Foods Hawthorn Extractract 300mg, Veg-capsules, 90-CountNature’s Way Hawthorn Berries , 510 mg., 180 Veg-capsules

7. 512+5YkmiCL._SL500_SL135_BCAA with L-Glutamine, 1000 Mg

‘Branched Chain Amino Acids’ (BCAA) are critical to the repair and maintenance of strong heart muscle and function. Be sure to get BCCA in combination with L-Glutamine (though challenging to find). We like the powder form. Suggested products:

MRM BCAA+G, Lemonade, 35.2-Ounce (1000g) Plastic JarBodyTech BCAA and Glutamine (13.8 Oz Powder)

Note: Mineral supplements may interfere or interact with your prescription medications, so always consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your treatment plan.

Many Physicians are Not Well Versed in Nutritional Support

Always discuss with your doctor before adding supplements - A-Fib.com

Always discuss with your doctor

Don’t expect a lot of support from your doctor. Unfortunately, a great number of doctors are not well versed in recommending or supervising nutritional support. Quite often, they may dismiss your inquiries about nutritional supplements. 

You may need to work with (or educate) your doctor to determine the benefit of supplements for your A-Fib health.

Learn about Mineral Deficiencies and Atrial Fibrillation

For an extensive discussion about mineral deficiencies, see our Treatments page: Minerals Deficiencies.

InfoGFX: How Atrial Fibrillation Damages Your Heart, Brain and Other Organs

by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

It’s a bad idea to just live with your Atrial Fibrillation. A-Fib is a progressive disease. It reduces the amount of blood flowing to the rest of your body by about 15%–30% with damaging effects. At the same time, your heart is working progressively harder and harder.
A-Fib is progressive disease - Infographic Aug 2016

A-Fib is definitely curable. (I was cured of my A-Fib in 1998). If you have A-Fib, no matter how long you’ve had it, you should aim for a complete and permanent cure.

If your doctor is satisfied with just keeping your A-Fib “under control,” I recommend you get a second opinion.

Refer to our Finding the Right Doctor page and related readings. We step you through all you need to know to find the right doctor for you and your treatment goals.

#AtrialFibrillation #afib #Arrhythmia #AtrialTachycardia #Tachycardia

A-Fib Free? Celebrate Your Independence!

Seek your Cure at A-Fib.com

I’ve been A-Fib free since 1998. You can be too! Read my story and over 80 stories of others free from the burden of Atrial Fibrillation, go to: Personal A-Fib Stories of Hope and Courage.

P.S. This week in the U.S., we celebrate the founding of our country with the July 4, 1776 signing of our Declaration of Independence. (BTW: Patti found this photo and writes: “Our family’s Fourth of July picnic celebrations always include a cold slice of watermelon.”)

Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products

A-Fib Shopping Guides at A-Fib.com

Resources & Links

Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products

Steve offers these shopping guides to help you sort through the enormous array of products of interest to A-Fib patients and their families. While the following brands and products are available from Amazon.com, they are also available from iHerb.com and other retailers. Prices will vary.

A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed

Our list: Your first experiences with Atrial Fibrillation have changed your life in a number of ways. This ‘Survival Kit’ helps get you started when first diagnosed. As a former A-Fib patient (cured since 1998) Steve highly recommends these five items plus a bonus (our favorite medical dictionary).

Go to My ‘A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed>

A-Fib Reference Books and Guides

Our list: For patients and their families, these are our recommended A-Fib reference books as well as books on patient empowerment, unmasking health statistics, magnesium, and other minerals and supplements, marketing schemes of the pharmaceutical industry and a medical dictionary. See also, our infographicMy Best A-Fib Reference Books for Patients and Their Families.

Go to My ‘A-Fib Reference Books and Guides’ Shopping Guide>

Magnesium & Potassium Supplements for A-Fib Patients

Magnesiu Elements SymbolOur list: Most A-Fib and A-Flutter patients are deficient in Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K) which can force the heart into fatal arrhythmias. To learn more, see our page on Mineral Deficiencies.

When choosing to supplement your intake of magnesium and potassium, the plethora of products and brands can be overwhelming. These are the products and brands Steve uses and recommends (plus a great book).

Go to My ‘Magnesium & Potassium Supplements’ Shopping Guide>

Seven ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart

Our list: Steve recommends seven mineral supplements to promote and maintain a healthy heart. (See our article, ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.)  When shopping for these supplements, wading through the sea of products and brands can be a daunting task.

To get you started Steve has listed a couple choices for each of the following: BCAA+G, Taurine, Unbiquinol CoQH, GPLC, Omega-3 Fish Oils, Ribose and Hawthorne Berry.

Go to My ‘7 Supplements for a Healthy Heart’ Shopping Guide>

DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs)

My list: Do you want to monitor your heart rate when exercising or when performing physically demanding activities (i.e. mowing the lawn, loading equipment, etc.). Consider a consumer ‘DIY” monitor. To learn more see my article: Guide to DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) & Handheld ECG Monitors.

Steve has sorted through the plethora of products and brands of DIY heart rate monitors and recommends several in a range of prices and features.

Go to: My ‘DIY Heart Rate Monitors’ Shopping Guide>


Help A-Fib.com Become Self-Supporting

UAmazon button with glow 150 pic 96 resse Our Link to Shop Amazon.com

When you use our portal link to shop Amazon.com you are helping support A-Fib.com (at no additional cost to you). Shop for anything, and your purchases generate a small commission which we apply to the maintenance costs of this website. Bookmark this link.

Return to Resources and Links

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart

‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart

By Steve Ryan, PhD, Updated July 2016

Vitamins and supplements may improve overall heart health and thereby help A-Fib, but they aren’t generally considered “A-Fib specific” like some medications. 

Supplements for a healthy heart at A-Fib.com

Besides monitoring your mineral levels of Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium, you may also want to promote a healthy heart with “natural” supplements. These are recommended supplements for heart rhythm problems and to promote a healthy heart:1,2

To make buying easier, see our Wish List at Amazon.com: For A-Fib Patients: 7 Supplements for a Healthy Heart

Taurine
Coenzyme Q10
L-Carnitine
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Ribose (D-Ribose)
Hawthorne Berry
BCAA+G

Because the above supplements occur naturally, they cannot be patented by drug companies and are not pharmaceuticals. Natural remedies are often not submitted to rigorous double-blind studies with large populations such as the FDA requires for medications. That doesn’t mean these remedies aren’t effective for A-Fib, but only that the level of proof of their effectiveness is different.

Caution: Consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your treatment plan. They may interfere or interact with your prescription medications. Also: Beware of doctors who reject all supplements. Natural supplements normally do not interfere with most medicines.

Taurine

Taurine along with magnesium and potassium have been described as “the essential trio” for treating nutritional deficiencies relating to A-Fib.3 Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid and is the most important and abundant amino acid in the heart. It regulates membrane excitability, scavenges free radicals, protects potassium levels inside the heart, and dampens activity in the sympathetic nervous system.4 Taurine regulates cellular calcium, improves heart muscle contraction, and also prevents the heart from becoming overly irritable, which can lead to heart rhythm problems.5

Caution: Food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the artificial sweetener aspartame lower the body’s concentration of taurine.6

Suggested products: Now Foods Taurine 1000Mg, 100-Capsules Source Naturals Taurine 1000mg, 240 Capsules

Dosage: Daily: 3,000 mg in divided doses with meals. 

(One study by G. Eby recommends 10 to 20 grams of taurine/day combined with 4-6 grams of L-argenine to stop A-Fib. But this is a relatively heavy dosage requiring 10-20 1000 mg pills/day.7,8 [I think the dosages G. Eby recommends may be too much and have heard that such a high level of Taurine can cause palpitations and high blood pressure. But I haven’t run across any studies that document this.] 

Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol)

Coenzyme Q-10 is a naturally occurring enzyme, part of the quinone chemical group, that is found in every cell in the body. It plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria. CoQ10’s ability to energize the heart is perhaps its chief attribute. 95% of the body’s energy is generated by CoQ10, which generates energy in the form of ATP.9 CoQ10 improves heart functions and heart rhythm problems.10 The CoQ10 should have “Ubiquinol” on the label rather than “ubiquinone” which your body has to first convert to ubiquinol to get the benefits. 

Caution: Be advised that taking statin drugs reduces CoQ10 levels. A CoQ10 deficiency is associated with illness and death in animals.12

Dr. Sinatra calls Coenzyme Q10 “the spark of life.” In heart cells CoQ10 provides the spark that initiates the energy process.11 It prolongs the action potential and helps maintain sinus rhythm. It’s also a powerful antioxidant.

Gel tabs are better absorbed than powdered tablets.

Suggested products: Jarrow Formulas Ubiquinol QH-Absorb, High Absorption/Enhanced Stability, 100 mg, 120 SoftgelsSource Naturals Ubiquinol CoQH 100mg, 90 Softgels;

Dosage: 100-300 mg daily in divided doses with meals.13  

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a vitamin-like nutrient. It’s a derivative of the amino acid lysine which helps to turn fat into energy. It is considered by some to be the single most important nutrient in cardiac health. It reduces the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).14,15 Dr. Sinatra says Coenzyme Q10 and Carnitine work together, and calls them the “twin pillars of heart health.”16 While CoQ10 ignites the spark that generates ATP, L-Carnitine is the energy shuttle that transports long-chain fatty acids to the heart cells (mitochondria) where they are burned as fuel.

A newer form “propionyl-L-carnitine (PLC)” targets heart tissue specifically.17

Suggested products: Swanson Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine Hcl Gplc 840 mg 60 CapsVitacost GPLC Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine HCl-GlycoCarn 1000 mg PLC per serving – 60 Capsules

Dosage: Daily: 750-2000 mg of L-Carnitine Fumerate (250 to 500 mg three to four times a day). 

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Omega-3 Fish Oils

Fish Oil/Essential Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA are essential nutrients obtained primarily from eating fish or from supplements.) DHA plays a crucial role in brain function, as well as in normal growth and development. Essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA are considered by some to be natural defibrillators, lessening the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and A-Fib.18  DHA in particular helps stabilize the heart’s electrical activity, reducing risk of fatal arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

(In one experiment, Harvard researchers added different toxins to heart cell cultures that caused them to beat erratically. However, when they added omega-3 fatty acids at the same time, arrhythmias were prevented.)”19

Try to find a Fish Oil that includes the supplement Gamma E (d-Alpha Tocopherol) to prevent oxidation of the oil once it reaches the tissue.20 Note: Some prefer Krill oil to fish oil as it’s exacted from organisms living in pristine deep-water seas.

Recommended products: Source Naturals Omega EPA Fish Oil, 1000mg, 100 SoftgelsMegaRed Extra Strength Omega 3 Krill Oil 500mg Supplement, 60 Count

Dosage: Daily: 2,000-8,000 mg in liquid or tablets, in divided doses21  

Ribose (D-Ribose)

Ribose (D-Ribose) is a five-carbon sugar that is a regulator in the production of ATP. It’s a carbohydrate that is the backbone of genetic materials, and it’s needed in the production of many metabolic compounds. “The heart’s ability to maintain energy is limited by one thing—the availability of ribose.”

Ribose increases tolerance to cardiac stress, improves exercise tolerance and physical function, provides cardiac energy needed to maintain normal heart function, increases cardiac efficiency, lowers stress during exercise, and maintains healthy energy levels in heart and muscle.22,23 When first starting Ribose, start with small doses at first, then increase gradually.

Suggested products: Now Foods D-Ribose Powder, 8-OunceDoctor’s Best Best D-Ribose Featuring Bioenergy Ribose, 250-Gram.

Dosage: Daily: 7-10 grams of Ribose powder. Take in divided doses with meals or just before and after exercise.  

Hawthorne Berry

Hawthorne Berry Extract is made from the tiny red berries of the Hawthorne Shrub, and has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. It reduces tachycardias and palpitations and prevents premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Hawthorne Berry can energize the heart without prompting arrhythmias. It has a normalizing effect upon the heartbeat.24 

Recommended products: Now Foods Hawthorn Extractract 300mg, Veg-capsules, 90-CountNature’s Way Hawthorn Berries , 510 mg., 180 Veg-capsules

Dosage: 4,500 mg daily in divided doses (three 510 mg capsules three times a day). 

BCAA+G

Another possible natural remedy for A-Fib is Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) coupled with L-Glutamine. These amino acids (BCAA) are critical to the repair and maintenance of strong  muscles. All of your muscles, including your heart, could suffer because of BCAA deficiencies. and your heart is only a muscle after all.25 BCAAs can be obtained only from external food sources. Maintaining proper BCAA levels is critical to heart muscle function.26

Recommended products: MRM BCAA+G, Lemonade, 35.2-Ounce (1000g) Plastic JarBodyTech BCAA and Glutamine (13.8 Oz Powder).

Dosage: Two teaspoons of BCAA+G powder in the morning and evening.  

Our Amazon.com Wish List
These supplements are available from many sources. To make it easy to purchase them, we’ve created a Wish List at Amazon.com: For A-Fib Patients: 7 Supplements for a Healthy Heart. To get you started, we list two brands for each supplement in the list that meet our basic criteria. Go to our Wish List!

Additional Reading

Dr. Frank Shallenberger in Real Cures newsletter (now editor of Second Opinion) recommends the following protocol for all patients with A-Fib:

1. Vitamin C 1,000 mg 3 times/day
2. CoQ10 300 mg/day
3. L-carnitine 3,000 mg/day
4. Magnesium Glycinate 800 mg/day
5. D-ribose 3,000-6,000 mg/day27

For more information about supplements for Lone A-Fib, you may also want to visit the websiteDr Lam and Body. Mind. Nutrition” and read the article,  The Best of Western and Eastern Medicine, The LAF Protocol: 11 Strategies to Prevent/Treat Lone Atrial Fibrillation.

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If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steves A-Fib Survival Kit - SLIM - 500 pix wide at 96 res

For the newly diagnosed, I highly recommend these items to deal with this beast called ‘Atrial Fibrillation’.

Footnote Citations    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Taurine. Life Extension Vitamins. Last accessed November 5, 2012 http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico14thvz.html
  2. Sinatra, Stephen J., “The Sinatra Solution Metabolic Cardiology.” Basic Health Publications, 2008, p. 162.
  3. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 5. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  4. Taurine. Life Extension Vitamins. Last accessed November 5, 2012 http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico14thvz.html
  5. Ibid.
  6. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 14. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  7. Burgess, J. FACT (moderator@gordonresearch.com). Atrial Fibrillation responses. A1: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/atrial-fibrillation-cause.html
  8. Eby G, et al. Elimination of cardiac arrhythmias using oral taurine with l-arginine with case histories: Hypothesis for nitric oxide stabilization of the sinus node. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(5):1200-4. Epub 2006 Jun 23.  PMID: 16797868. Lasted accessed March 2, 2013. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16797868
  9. Coenzyme Q10. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Last accessed Jan 10, 2012 URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coenzyme_Q10
  10. Whitaker, Julian. Health Encyclopedia CD-ROM. p.4.
  11. Cardiovascular Disease Comprehensive 8 – Therapeutic C. Life Extension Vitamins. Last accessed November 5, 2012 URL: http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico8thc.html
  12. Sinatra, Stephen J., “The Sinatra Solution Metabolic Cardiology.” Basic Health Publications, 2008, Ch. 4.
  13. Whitaker, Julian. Health Encyclopedia CD-ROM. p.4.
  14. L-Carnitine. Cardiovascular Disease Comprehensive 8 – Therapeutic C. Life Extension Vitamins. Last accessed November 5, 2012 URL: http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico8thc.htm
  15. Crayhon, Robert. The Carnitine Miracle. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001
  16. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 17. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  17. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 21. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  18. Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Cardiovascular Disease Comprehensive 9 – Therapeutic D-E. Last accessed Jan 10, 2013. URL: http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico9thde.html
  19. Whitaker, Julian. Health Encyclopedia CD-ROM. p.4.
  20. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 21. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  21. Whitaker, Julian. Health Encyclopedia CD-ROM. p.4.
  22. Burgess, J. The Strategy – What Metabolic Cardiology Means to Afibbers. July 2010, p. 20. http://www.afibbers.org/resources/magnesiumabsorption.pdf
  23. Sinatra, Stephen J., “The Sinatra Solution Metabolic Cardiology.” Basic Health Publications, 2008, p. 162.
  24. Hawthorn Berry. Cardiovascular Disease Comprehensive 11 – Therapeutic H. Last accessed Jan 10, 2013. http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/cadico11thh.html
  25. Seven Reasons to Use BCAA Supplements. Invigorate360.com Last accessed Jan 10, 2013 URL: http://www.invigorate360.com/reviews/7-reasons-to-use-bcaa-supplements/
  26. Huang, Y. et al. “Branched-chain amino acid metabolism in heart disease: an epiphenomenon or a real culprit?” Cardiovascular Research, (2011) 90 (2): 220-223. Last accessed Jan 10, 2013 URL: http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/content/90/2/220.abstract
  27. Shallenberger, Frank. Real Cures. Vol. 12, No. 9. Sept. 2013

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