ABOUT 'BEAT YOUR A-FIB'...


"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

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"



ABOUT A-FIB.COM...


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013


Supplements

Supplements for a healthy heart

My Search for the Best 7-Day Medicine/Vitamin Organizer

By Patti J. Ryan

Do you struggle with the daily mix of supplements and prescriptions you take? Some are small, but some are horse-pill size! Some you take in the AM, others you take in the PM.

Trying to find the right pill organizer has been a trial for me. Most often the compartments are too small and hard to open.

EZ Dose 7-Day AM/PM organizer at A-Fib.com

EZ Dose 7-Day AM/PM organizer with push-button lids

I Found the Best Organizer

After years of trial and effort, I’ve FINALLY found a great pill organizer―the EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day Push Button organizer.

This 7-day organizer has two rows for AM/PM dosages with large letters for the days of the week.

Compartments are extra large―about 1 1/8″ wide by 1 3/8″ deep. That’s large enough for those ‘horse pill’ size tablets. The compartments have rounded bottoms― making it effortless to get the pills out. And the cherry on top? Push button lids―easy open and easy close.

EZY Dose - 4-times a day organizer

EZY Dose – 4-times a day organizer

Do you carry your meds with you? The EZY Dose is also compact and portable for carrying in your purse or jacket pocket.

Note: If you take pills four times a day, there’s an EZY Dose for you too: 7-Day XL Medtime Planner

Use our Link to Amazon.com and Support A-Fib.com

For my needs, I bought two 7-Day EZY Dose organizers from Amazon.com, so I’m set for two weeks at fill up time.

amazon_logo white square

Use our Amazon.com portal link: Here’s a link to get two EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day Push Button organizers and Free Amazon Prime shipping. (Purchases through our portal link helps support A-Fib.com―at no extra cost to you!)

The EZY Dose AM/PM 7-Day organizer is also available from other retail and online sources.

Is the Supplement BCAA+G a Natural Remedy for Atrial Fibrillation?

In his personal A-Fib.com story, Tom Lisak wrote that his A-Fib disappeared after taking the supplement combination BCAA+G twice a day.

BCAA+G supplement - a natural cure for A-Fib? at A-Fib.com

The heart muscle will suffer if BCAA-deficient

Personally, I take BCAA+G after running and after working out at the gym. (For recommended products: see ‘BCAA+G’ under ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.)

Branched Chain Amino Acids coupled with L-Glutamine (BCAA+G) helps builds muscle. Athletes and weight lifters use BCAA+G to improve exercise performance and decrease post-exercise soreness and recovery time.

Our body doesn’t naturally manufacture Branched Chain Amino Acids. They’re essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food. All of your muscles, including your heart, could suffer if you are BCAA-deficient. Continue reading...

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.

My Top 5 Picks: Steve’s A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed

By Steve S. Ryan, PhD

Your first experiences with Atrial Fibrillation have changed your life in a number of ways. As a former A-Fib patient (cured since 1998) I highly recommend these items when first diagnosed with this beast called ‘Atrial Fibrillation’.

 My Top 5 Recommendations for the Newly Diagnosed

These are the products I recommend (and use) along with a Bonus: a good medical dictionary. These items are available from many online sources, but I’ve made them easy to order by making a ‘Wish List’ on Amazon.com. (Note: Use our Amazon portal link, and your purchases help support A-Fib.com.)

Magnesium Mg Drs Best1. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium (200 Mg Elemental), 240-Count

Most A-Fib patients are deficient in Magnesium (Mg). While Magnesium (Mg) is one of the main components of heart cell functioning, it seems to be chronically lacking in most diets.

One form of easily absorbed magnesium is Magnesium glycinate, a chelated amino acid. Look for the label ‘Albion Minerals’ designed to limit bowel sensitivity. Dosage: 600-800 mg daily in divided dosages (meals and bedtime). Read more about Magnesium.

Potassium NOW bottle2. Now Foods Potassium Gluconate Pure Powder, 1-pound

Just like magnesium deficiency, A-Fib patients are usually deficient in Potassium as well. We recommend the powder in order to take the recommended dose of 1600-2400 mg per day.

Be cautious of potassium tablets. For example those listed as 540 mg ONLY contain 99 mg of Potassium. Read more about Potassium.

BYA cover3. Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure: Written in everyday language for patients with Atrial Fibrillation

A-Fib can be cured! That’s the theme of this book written by a former A-Fib patient and publisher of the patient education website, A-Fib.com. Empowers patients to seek their cure. Written in plain language for A-Fib patients and their families.

Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor at A-Fib.com4. Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor, Black or Blue

Many A-Fib patients want to monitor their heart rate when exercising or doing strenuous tasks (mowing the lawn, moving equipment, etc.) This is a basic DIY model with a clear, LARGE number display of your heart rate (as a number). Requires wearing the included T31 coded transmitter chest strap.

One-button start. Includes a FT2 Getting Started Guide.

Also look at other Polar models: FT1 & RS3000X. I wore a Polar monitor when I had A-Fib, so it’s my brand of choice, but there are many other good brands.

Oximeter image5. Facelake Fl400 Pulse Oximeter

Many A-Fib patients also suffer with undiagnosed sleep apnea. A finger Oximeter is an easy way to check your oxygen level. A reading of 90% or lower means you should talk to your doctor as you may need a sleep study.

Oxford Med DictionaryBONUS: Concise Medical Dictionary (Oxford Quick Reference)

An excellent medical dictionary, the best I’ve found for patients with Atrial Fibrillation who are conducting research into their best treatment options. Includes occasional illustrations (for fun check p. 276 for the types of fingerprint patterns).

Learn More about…

For more suggestions, see my Amazon.com ‘Wish List’ By a Former A-Fib Patient: My Recommended Products.

A-Fib Support Volunteers at A-Fib.com

Learn about our A-Fib Support Volunteers

Our A-Fib Support Volunteers: Just an Email Away

After being diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, it’s helpful to talk with someone who knows what you are going through, someone you can turn to for advice, emotional support, and a sense of hope that you can be cured. That’s the role of our A-Fib Support Volunteers.

They offer you support and encouragement through exchanging emails and sharing their stories. (Not all Support Volunteers are ‘cured’ of their A-Fib, but have found the best outcome for their situation.) Learn about our world-wide network and how to contact one or more of our volunteers.

My Top 5 Picks: When You’re Deficient in Magnesium & Potassium

A deficiency in Magnesium and Potassium can force the heart into fatal arrhythmias. Most A-Fib patients are lacking in both minerals.

Magnesium & Potassium Deficiencies are Common

Magnesium (Mg) is needed for proper muscle, nerve, and enzyme function. Lacking in most diets, it’s often necessary to take a magnesium supplement over several months to restore levels.

A-Fib patients are often deficient in Potassium (K), as well In fact, a deficiency of magnesium can lead to potassium depletion. Potassium is essential for normal nerve impulses and muscle function and maintaining normal cardiac function.

A Wish List: My Top 5 Recommendations

These are the Mg and K products I recommend (and use) along with a great book on magnesium. I’ve also added two Bonus Videos. These products are available from many online sources. You can see this ‘Wish List’ on Amazon.com. (Note: Use our Amazon portal link, and your purchases help support A-Fib.com.) For recommended dosages, go to Treatments/Mineral Deficiencies.

 Magnesium Mg Drs Best1. Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium

(200 Mg Elemental) 240-Count tablets. One form of easily absorbed magnesium is Magnesium glycinate a chelated amino acid. Look for the label ‘Albion Minerals.’ This is a patented process designed to limit bowel sensitivity.

 Potassium NOW bottle2. Now Foods Potassium Gluconate Pure Powder, 1-pound

Just like magnesium deficiency, A-Fib patients are usually deficient in Potassium as well. We recommend the powder in order to take the recommended 1600-2400mg/day. (Be cautious of tablets that list ‘540mg’ but only contain 99mg of Potassium.)

 Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil3. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil, 8 oz.

If oral magnesium causes bowel sensitivity (loose stools), an alternative is magnesium oil which bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. Spray on the skin and massage in. After 20-30 minutes, you can wipe off any powder residue (salt) or just jump in the shower!

(Tip: My wife applies 5-6 sprays of magnesium oil to each leg before bed to help with muscle ticks.)

 Epson Salts bag4. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) in bulk

Another way to supplement magnesium (or as an alternative) is an Epsom Salt bath. Add with 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a warm bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. (Caution: Epsom Salt baths can also cause loose stools.)

Note: Use any brand.

 The Magnesium Miracle book cover5 The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean

Comprehensive book on the importance and helpful benefits of magnesium as well as just what a magnesium deficiency causes. Easy to read with organized sections with dosing recommendations. Best seller on Amazon.com with over 600 reviews.

Dr. Carolyn DeanVIDEO BONUS:

From our A-Fib video library, two short videos with Carolyn Dean, the author of The Magnesium Miracle:

1.      The Best Way to Take Magnesium and
2.      The Importance of Balancing Calcium and Magnesium.

Learn More about Mineral Deficiencies

To read more about mineral deficiencies and how to use these products and recommended dosages, go to Treatments section on Mineral Deficiencies.

Caution: Consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your treatment plan.

Got A-Fib? You're not Alone. Check our list of online discussion groups

References for this article

Can I Take the Supplement Krill Oil While on Eliquis?

We’ve added a new FAQ and answer to our section, Mineral Deficiencies & Supplements:

“I’m taking Eliquis for my risk of A-Fib stroke. I’m interested in the supplement, Krill Oil, that has natural blood thinning properties. Is It OK to take Krill Oil along with Eliquis?

Krill Oil and Eliquis Work Differently

The supplement, Krill Oil, is similar to fish oil. Both contain omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are thought to make blood platelets less sticky, and thus are less likely to form clots. Krill Oil is considered superior to fish oil for not accumulating toxins the same way fish do.

Eliquis is an anticoagulant, a ‘Direct Factor Xa Inhibitor’, and affects only one stage in the anticoagulation process (the stage after platelets do their part). It works to slow or stop clotting proteins (like fibrin) from binding together and forming a clot.

Continue reading my answer

How Blood Clotting Works: First, platelets clump together to temporarily ‘plug’ the wound; Next, a cascade of coagulation stages reinforces the plug with fibrin threads that act as a ‘molecular glue’ during healing.

FAQs Minerals & Supplements: Can I Take Krill Oil with Eliquis?

 FAQs Minerals & Supplements: Krill Oil

Minerals & Supplements

Minerals & Supplements

13. “I’m taking Eliquis for my risk of A-Fib stroke. I’m interested in the supplement, Krill Oil, that has natural blood thinning properties. Is It OK to take Krill Oil along with Eliquis?

I wish I had a more definitive answer for you. Here’s what we know.

Krill Oil and Eliquis Work Differently

The supplement, Krill Oil, is similar to fish oil. Both contain omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are thought to make blood platelets less sticky, and thus are less likely to form clots. Krill Oil is considered superior to fish oil for not accumulating toxins the same way fish do.

How Blood Clotting Works: First, platelets clump together to temporarily ‘plug’ the wound; Next, a cascade of coagulation stages reinforces the plug with fibrin threads that act as a ‘molecular glue’ during healing.
Eliquis is an anticoagulant, a ‘Direct Factor Xa Inhibitor’, and affects only one stage in the anticoagulation process (the stage after platelets do their part). It works to slow or stop clotting proteins (like fibrin) from binding together and forming a clot.

Eliquis: No Method to Measure Anticoagulant Effect

The anticoagulant, warfarin, has ‘one’ but Eliquis doesn’t. The effectiveness of warfarin can be determined by blood tests measuring INR levels. By comparison, there’s no method to measure Eliquis’ anticoagulant effect (or any of the new NOACs).

Unlike warfarin, there’s no method to measure Eliquis’ anticoagulant effect.

Antiplatelets vs Anticoagulants

We know that Krill Oil and Eliquis work differently. Krill Oil affects the clumping of blood platelets. Eliquis (and all NOACs) affect the anticoagulant process.

Intuitively one would think that since Eliquis and Krill Oil affect different stages in the anticoagulant process, it might be OK to use them together. But Eliquis is so new we have little research to definitively say this.

Bottom line: We can’t measure how Krill Oil affects the anticoagulation process when taking Eliquis.

Discuss with your Doctors

Ask your doctors about taking Krill Oil along with Eliquis (but they probably won’t know the answer). Most doctors consider nutritional supplements, like Krill Oil, of dubious value and little more than ‘snake oil’. (But this is changing in today’s medical schools.)

Most doctors consider nutritional supplements of dubious value and little more than ‘snake oil’.

If you and your doctor agree to start Krill Oil, begin with a low dosage, then increase it gradually.

IMPORTANT: Keep accurate, scrupulous records of how you react to taking Krill Oil with Eliquis. Be prepared to stop the Krill Oil, if necessary.

(Thanks, Ralph, for this question. Please share your experience with us.)

References for this article

Last updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Return to FAQ Mineral Deficiencies and Supplements

Success with Dr. Dean’s Liquid Magnesium Supplement ‘ReMag’

Dianne T. from Mesquite, Nevada, wrote me about how magnesium supplementation has mostly eliminated her A-Fib symptoms and restored her to normal sinus rhythm (NSR). She recommends liquid magnesium:

“I was diagnosed with A-Fib about 18 months ago, but as it turned out, I have PAC’s.  Of course I was told that these PACs will eventually turn into A-Fib. But I believe that irregular heartbeats, even A-Fib, can often be caused by a magnesium deficiency. After about a year on ReMag, my heart is mostly in NSR. It works!
Diane T. and Magnesium Deficiency at A-Fib.com

Dianne T.

Dr. Carolyn Dean has written an eBook about A-Fib and the magnesium connection: Atrial Fibrillation: Remineralize Your Heart [July 2015]. The good thing about her liquid magnesium product, REMAG™, is that you can take a therapeutic dose without the laxative effect. I was taking 900 mg daily but now I need less. I take about 600-750 daily.
I have heard many testimonials from others suffering from A-Fib and other arrhythmia disorders who have had the same experience as I have had. But it does take time. It took me about 6-8 months before I really noticed a big difference. It doesn’t work over night, and it can get complicated when taking meds. I wasn’t on any meds, so I didn’t have that issue.”

I’m thankful to Dianne for sharing her A-Fib success story of replenishing her Magnesium levels. Magnesium is useful for many muscle-related ailments and has rightfully been called the ‘miracle’ supplement.

Considering a Magnesium Supplement?

While Dianne is using Dr. Dean’s Remag product (about $18/month), I recommend you first try these less costly magnesium supplements. I take and recommend:

What's working for you? Share your tips at A-Fib.com

Email us what’s working for you.

Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium (200 Mg Elemental), 240-Count (2-4 tablets a day). On Amazon.com that’s $13.84 for a 2–4 month supply (includes Free shipping for Prime Members). About $3.50 to $7 a month.

If sensitive to the laxative effect of Magnesium, I recommend:

Magnesium oil; Spray and rub into the skin; examples: Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil and Life-flo Pure Magnesium Oil; 8 oz spray bottle lasts about 4 months. About: $2 to $4 a month.

Epson salt (magnesium sulfate); Any brand in bulk. $1.50 to $4.50 a pound. Less than $1 a bath. Dissolve 1 to 3 cups (or three handfuls) in full tub bath and soak for 30 minutes.

These Magnesium products can be used in tandem to maximize your Mg absorption. Read more about Atrial Fibrillation and Mineral Deficiencies in our Treatments section.

Be patient when supplementing Magnesium. It takes three to six months, or more, to replenish your depleted levels of Magnesium.

‘Doctor Health’ Radio: A-Fib Patients & Common Mineral Deficiencies

INTERVIEW: Dr David Snow, host of Doctor Health Radio, talks with Steve S. Ryan, PhD, publisher of A-Fib.com, about magnesium and potassium deficiencies, both common among A-Fib patients; how ‘calcium overload’ can actually bring on Atrial Fibrillation; other supplements to promote a healthy heart; and a few warnings for A-Fib patients.

See our library of videos about Atrial Fibrillation

Video Format: radio interview with lower third graphic titles.
Length: 5:27 min. Click to listen in.

VIDEO LIBRARY: We have loads of A-Fib-related videos in our Video Library. For the reader who learns visually through motion graphics, audio, and personal interviews, these videos are organized loosely into three levels: introductory/basic, intermediate and in-depth/advanced.

See our video library for more videos featuring Steve S. Ryan, PhD.

Taking Warfarin? The Myth about Foods with Vitamin K

Are you taking the blood thinner warfarin to manage your risk of clots and A-Fib stroke? Have you been told to avoid foods with vitamin K to prevent excess clotting? Want to know the facts about warfarin and vitamin K? Take our 5 question quiz to separate the facts from the myths.

A 5 Question Quiz about Warfarin and Vitamin K

1. True or False: Warfarin and vitamin K actually work against each other in your body.
True. Vitamin K helps your blood clot. Warfarin makes your blood clot more slowly. Your INR level is monitored to keep them in balance.

2. True or False: When taking warfarin, you should limit foods with high levels of vitamin K like dark, leafy greens.
False. You don’t need to avoid foods with vitamin K. The key is to consistently maintain your daily level of vitamin K.

Don’t confuse vitamin K with the K on the periodic table for potassium. One’s a vitamin, the other is a mineral.

3. True or False: Vitamin K information is not included on most packaged food nutritional labels.
True. So it’s often hard to determine the amount of vitamin K in your food.

… Continue with the quiz…->

Our Top 3 Sources for Reliable, Unbiased Info on Vitamins and Supplements

Interested in ‘natural’ ways to treatment your A-Fib symptoms? Are you researching minerals and supplements? You aren’t alone. An A-Fib.com reader wrote us:

“Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

We agree that the most reliable information is from unbiased sites—often the best are non-commercial sites.

Drugs.com MedFacts Natural Products menu

Drugs.com MedFacts Natural Products menu

In our search for unbiased sources, we looked at many, many informational directories. Three searchable databases rose to the top of our list. In order of preference, here are our favorites:

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute/Integrative Medicine: ‘About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products’
2. Drugs.com: ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database’
3. The ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database’ at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

To read our complete report with links to each database, go to FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research.

If you find other useful resources, send us an email and we’ll share them with our readers.

Videos: Dr. Carolyn Dean Discusses Magnesium Deficiency

Video: Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium Dr. Carolyn Dean.

Video: Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium Dr. Carolyn Dean.

Magnesium information for A-Fib patients. We’ve two videos to our A-Fib Video Library featuring Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, talking about magnesium deficiency and calcium overload:

The Best Way to Supplement Magnesium” with Dr. Carolyn Dean. Getting nutrients through food is not always possible; discusses side effects of too much Mg and how you can tell if you have a deficiency.(3:39) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium”. Dr. Dean discusses the importance of balancing your intake of magnesium and calcium (2:1); the benefits of both and why you need to have both in the body; the problem of ‘calcium overload’. (2:30) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Reassuring: No Deaths from Vitamin Supplements. Absolutely None.

During my resent research, I found this press release and report about the safety of minerals and vitamin supplements.

31 Years of Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America’s Largest Database

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 14, 2015) There were no deaths whatsoever from vitamins in the year 2013. The 31st annual report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins. And, there were no deaths whatsoever from vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B-6, any other B-vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, or any vitamin at all.

Zero deaths from vitamins. Want to bet this will never be on the evening news?

Prescription Meds Don’t Fare So Well

I wish prescription medications could claim the same excellent safety record as vitamins. Alas, in an average year, there are at least 106,000 deaths and over 450,000 adverse events reported due to prescription drugs

References for this article

FAQs Natural Therapies: NOACs vs. Natural Blood Thinners Tests?

Complementary & Natural Therapies

Complementary & Natural Therapies

 FAQs Natural Therapies: NOACs vs Natural Blood Thinners?

10. “Have there been any tests comparing natural blood thinners to the new anticoagulants (NOACs) in terms of efficacy and speed of onset?”

Comparison testing is unlikely. It’s highly improbable that pharmaceutical companies and the FDA will one day pay for unbiased tests comparing their products to natural blood thinners. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Clinical trials are expensive, so it’s unlikely any others (i.e., the nutritional supplements industry) will have a financial incentive to pursue it either.

Last updated: Sunday, October 25, 2015 

Return to FAQ Natural Therapies

Arterial Calcification From Warfarin: Vitamin K May Reverse it

The blood thinner, warfarin (Coumadin) is a “vitamin K-antagonist” which works by blocking vitamin K thereby affecting several steps in the anticoagulation pathway and decreasing clotting proteins in the blood.

Graphic: Warfarin and vitamin KBut vitamin K is essential for heart and bone health. Without enough K-2, osteocalcin, a protein that binds calcium to bone, doesn’t function. “When calcium doesn’t stay in bones, it can end up clogging your arteries, causing a heart attack or stroke.” Vitamin K functions to keep calcium out of soft tissues.

In one study, people with the lowest blood levels of vitamin K-2 had a 57% greater risk of dying from heart disease than those with the highest levels. They were also at increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Why I Warn Against Taking Warfarin

In a study of 451 women using mammograms to measure arterial calcification, after just one month of warfarin use, arterial calcification increased by 50% compared to untreated women. After five years, arterial calcification increased almost 3-fold.

To avoid arterial calcification, if you are on warfarin (Coumadin), talk to your doctor about switching to Eliquis (apixaban) which tested the best of the NOACs and has the best safety test results. (See my article, Warfarin and the New Anticoagulants.)

Research: Vitamin K Reverses Arterial Calcification from Warfarin

If you have been on warfarin for a while, you will be interested in the evidence that high doses of vitamin K may reverse arterial calcification.

An analysis of kidney failure patients on dialysis found over 50% had vascular calcification (one devastating side effect). A clinical study tested supplementation with vitamin K2 (MK-7) over a six-week period. In the group given 360 mcg of MK-7, the favorable response rate was a remarkable 93%. (When supplementation ceased, these high-risk patients were once again vulnerable to vascular calcification.)

There are three forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1, vitamin K2(MK-4) and vitamin K2(MK-7).

An animal study involved groups of rats who were all initially fed a six-week diet of warfarin to induce calcium buildup in the blood vessels. This was followed by some groups receiving high-dose vitamin K1 or K2 (MK-4).

In six weeks, not only was there no further arterial calcium accumulation, there was a 37% reduction of previously accumulated arterial calcification. After 12 weeks, there was a 53% reduction. The high-dose vitamin K1 and K2 groups also showed a reversal in carotid artery stiffness.

Warfarin - Coumadin tablets various dosages

Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) various dosages

If on Warfarin, You’re Deficient in Vitamin K

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the recommended range of normal vitamin K intake ranges between 60-80 micrograms for women and 80-120 micrograms for men. (The typical recommended supplement dosage is 90 mcg females, 120 mcg males.)

Nearly everyone is deficient in vitamin K. While most of us may get just enough vitamin K from our diet to maintain adequate blood clotting, most of us should increase our intake of vitamin K through foods like leafy greens, or take vitamin K supplements.

You must always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since vitamin K is fat-soluble and won’t be absorbed without it. Dr. J. Mercola

But if you’re on warfarin, you are NOT getting enough vitamin K to protect you from arterial calcification and a variety of other heart health problems. And certainly not enough to reverse the effects of warfarin on soft tissue calcification.

Counteract Arterial Calcification: What Dosage of Vitamin K?

So the question arises, is there anything we can do to reverse arterial calcification? What amount of vitamin K should you be getting? Sadly, we don’t have enough human research as to the correct dosage, but we do have some indications.

Referring back to the study above with rats, the human equivalent of the vitamin K dose given to the rats is in the range of 52,000 mcg (52mg) to 97,000 MCG) (97mg) per day. Also, in Japan, a 45,000 mcg (45mg) daily dose of the MK-4 form of vitamin K2 is approved as a drug to treat osteoporosis. Admittedly, these are high doses compared to the dietary industry standards. 

Consider a high quality MK-7 form of vitamin K2. And as they are inexpensive, include vitamin K1 and MK-4 to help inhibit and possibly reverse vascular calcification.

Although the exact dosage of vitamin K is yet to be determined, one of the world’s top vitamin K researchers, Dr. Cees Vermeer recommends between 45 mcg and 185 mcg daily for adults. (LifeExtension magazine recommends 200 mcg.)

Consider a high quality MK-7 form of vitamin K2. And since vitamin K1 and MK-4 are inexpensive, it makes sense to include them to inhibit and possibly reverse as much arterial calcification as possible. One product to look at is Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex Softgels, 90-Count available from Amazon.com

Balancing Vitamin K and Warfarin for Proper INR Ratio

People taking warfarin are often told to lower their intake of vitamin K foods like leafy greens, liver, etc., because they interfere with the anti-blood clotting effect of warfarin. Not true.

Prolific A-Fib blogger Dr John Mandrola (Dr. John M.), posted about misinformation surrounding warfarin patients and vitamin K. He wrote:

“I am so utterly tired of correcting this mistake….Patients on warfarin can indeed eat green vegetables; they should just eat them consistently. I have vegetarians who do beautifully on warfarin. The problem comes when people vary the weekly dose of vegetables.

So, if you and your doctor decide that you should take warfarin, take more vitamin K, not less! You can take vitamin K. The key is to be consistent on a daily schedule. If consumption of vitamin K does affect your INR, your doctor can always adjust the warfarin dosage.

Your Bottom Line Goal

If you continue to take warfarin, your goal is to maintain the highest healthy levels of vitamin K to counteract the effects of warfarin on your arterial and bone health.

If you change from warfarin to a NOAC, your goal is to restore your arterial and bone health from the effects of warfarin by maintaining the highest healthy levels of vitamin K.

References for this article

Preventing A-Fib: Taurine & L-Arginine “Essential” Nutrients

Our body’s production of Taurine and L-Arginine decline with age. Considered “conditional” nutrients when we are young, as we age Taurine and L-Argenine may become “essential” nutrients to prevent morbidity and mortality. 

Cardiac arrhythmias like A-Fib with no known cause (Lone A-Fib) may actually result from deficiencies of Taurine and L-Argenine.

Researchers at George Eby Research Institute searched for nutrient deficiencies that could cause irregular heartbeats such as PACs and PVCs and atrial fibrillation. They found a wealth of literature supporting the amino acids taurine and arginine as common nutrients deficient in people with irregular heartbeats.

The researchers studied case histories of people with very frequent irregular heartbeats and found that adding 10-20g of Taurine/day reduced PACs by 50% and prevented all PVCs―but didn’t prevent pauses.

Adding 4-6g of L-Argenine immediately terminated the remaining pauses and PACs. Continuing this treatment maintained normal sinus rhythm.

The authors of this study hypothesized that cardiac arrhythmias like A-Fib with no known cause (Lone A-Fib) may actually result from deficiencies of Taurine and L-Argenine.

How Taurine Works

Graphic of Taurine 3D molecule

Taurine 3D molecule

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid and is the most important and abundant amino acid in the heart. Taurine is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and blood cells called platelets. Taurine is found in eggs, fish, meat, and milk, but not in vegetable proteins.

Hypotheses of how Taurine reduces arrhythmias:

• Regulates potassium, calcium and sodium levels in blood and tissue
• Regulates the excitability of the myocardium
• Protects against free radical damage
• Dampens the activity of the sympathetic nervous system
• Dampens epinephrine release
• Restores energy and endurance

Graphic L-arginine 3D molecule

L-arginine 3D molecule

How L-Arginine Works

L-arginine (or Arginine) is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids. It is necessary for the body to make proteins. Foods that provide good amounts of L-arginine include carob, coconut, dairy products, gelatin, meat, oats, peanuts, soybeans, walnuts, wheat, and wheat germ. Chocolate craving may be a sign that arginine levels are low.

Hypotheses of how L-Argenine reduces arrhythmias:

• Works as a nitric oxide (NO) precursor which may have antiarrhythmic properties
• Restores sinus rhythm spontaneously
• NO stabilization of the sinus node thereby preventing cardiac arrhythmias

Don’t Try This at Home

Caution: The dosage of Taurine referenced in this study is a heavy dosage (10-20g of Taurine/day) requiring 10-20 pills a day. I think this dosage is too much and have heard that such a high level of Taurine can cause palpitations and high blood pressure. (But I’m still looking for studies that document this. Email me if you find related research.)

The Take-Away: As we age, our levels of Taurine and L-arginine naturally decline and at the same time become “essential nutrients” for maintaining good cardiovascular health. If you experience PACs and PVCs, try supplementing your intake of Taurine and L-arginine. To learn about the supplement Taurine, read my article ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.

References for this article

Sources of Unbiased Research on Vitamins and Supplements

FAQ: “Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

We agree that the most reliable information is from unbiased sites—often the best are non-commercial sites. We’ve looked at many, many informational directories. Three searchable databases rose to the top of our list. In order of preference, here are our favorites:

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute/Integrative Medicine: ‘About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products’
2. Drugs.com: ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database’
3. The ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database’ at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

To read our complete FAQ answer with links to each database, go to FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research.

If you find other useful resources, send us an email and we’ll share them with our readers.

TWO VIDEOS About Magnesium Deficiency with Dr. Carolyn Dean

We’ve added two videos to our A-Fib Video Library featuring Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, talking about magnesium deficiency and calcium overload:

See our library of videos about Atrial Fibrillation

See our library of videos

The Best Way to Supplement Magnesium” with Dr. Carolyn Dean. Getting nutrients through food is not always possible; discusses side effects of too much Mg and how you can tell if you have a deficiency.(3:39) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Importance of Balancing Calcium & Magnesium”. Dr. Dean discusses the importance of balancing your intake of magnesium and calcium (2:1); the benefits of both and why you need to have both in the body; the problem of ‘calcium overload’. (2:30) Go to video. From iHealthTube.com.

Subject Index to A-Fib.com Articles for Additional Reading

Book of heart 2 Red in box 150 x 96Subject Index to A-Fib.com Articles

This index is a growing list of articles found throughout the A-Fib.com site that augment or supplement the major topics (each subject title is a link). If you have a keyword or topic, you can also use the ‘Search’ feature in the upper right corner of every page. New posts are flagged in Red.

Select a subject to browse articles:

♥  Dealing with Atrial Fibrillation

♥  Diagnosis & Testing

♥  Minerals Deficiencies & Supplements

♥  Drug Therapies & Medications

♥  Catheter Ablation, CyroBalloon and Pulmonary Veins Isolation

♥  Surgeries: Maze/Mini-Maze, Convergent, LAA Closure

  AF Symposium Articles by Year: Steve’s Summary Reports

♥  Research and Innovations


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Last updated: Monday, March 2, 2015

Article Index: Minerals Deficiencies & Supplements

Book of heart 2 Red in box 150 x 96Article Index

Minerals Deficiencies & Supplements

Atrial Fibrillation Risk Linked with Low Serum Magnesium

Acupuncture Helps A-Fib—Specific Acupuncture Sites Identified

Alternative Remedies and Tips

Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart (Updated April 2014)


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Try the ‘Search our Site’ feature (top right of every page)


Return to Subject Index to A-Fib.com Articles
Last updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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