Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States. But one simple supplement can slash your risk of death by a whopping 43 percent, as I’ll explain in a moment.
But first, I want to talk about the absurdity that exists within mainstream medicine’s standards for cardiovascular care. With all that we know about heart health in 2018, cardiologists still continue to dole out bad advice and ineffective, costly drugs to their patients with heart disease.
In recent years, cardiologists have been relying on the results of a 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine to justify the use of a new, experimental drug — LCZ696 (brand name: Entresto™) — instead of enalapril (brand name: Vasotec®), which The New York Times hailed as a “bedrock” treatment for patients with heart disease for more than 20 years.
For this study, patients with class II, III, or IV heart failure either took Entresto™ — which is a combination of sacubitril and valsartan — or the older, established enalapril for 27 months.
Death from cardiovascular events or hospitalization for heart failure occurred in 22 percent of patients who took Entresto™. By comparison, death from cardiovascular events or hospitalization for heart failure occurred in 27 percent of patients taking the older drug enalapril.
That’s a miniscule 5 percent difference. Sure, that small percentage is a big deal when it’s you who’s being affected. But then, there’s the multitude of side effects to consider…
According to the Entresto™ website, this newer drug can cause:
- Serious allergic reactions, causing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, and throat, which may result in breathing difficulty and death
- Dangerously low blood pressure
- Kidney problems
Of course, the big Swiss drug-maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals funded this 27-month study. And they used it to “fast-track” the approval of Entresto™ through the FDA.
But, as I often report, when drugs rush through the approval process, there isn’t sufficient time to uncover all the side effects. Those sad discoveries are made after years of “post-marketing surveillance,” when a new drug is unleashed on millions of unsuspecting patients. (I always advise steering clear of any new drug until it’s already been on the market for at least seven years). Needless to say, I have a strong hunch we’ll discover more about the dangers of Entresto™ the longer it’s on the market.
Despite these elevated risks and underwhelming results, the delusional duo of heart health, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), now push Entresto™ as the new drug of choice for moderate to severe heart failure.
But in my view — it’s much ado about nothing.
Except when it comes to the costs.
The new drug costs an estimated $ 4,500 per year and seems to require longer, costlier hospital stays.
Plus, while all the attention and money goes to the dubious “progress” represented by Entresto™, another study looked at the simple nutritional supplement CoQ10…
Simple heart supplement outperforms costly, dangerous drugs
The same year the Entresto™ study appeared in the NEJM, a study on the natural heart supplement CoQ10 appeared in the prestigious Journal of American College of Cardiology.
But it’s a shame — some cardiologists I’ve met are more likely to pay attention to the drug ads than to the scientific data about a natural compound… even if it appears in their own specialized journal!
(In fairness, CoQ10 is the No. 1 recommended supplement by cardiologists. But they continue to keep their heads in the sand about other effective, natural approaches, as I’ll explain in a moment.)
In this CoQ10 study, researchers looked at 420 patients with moderate to severe heart failure, similar to the group of patients in the Entresto™ study.
Patients received either 100 mg capsules of CoQ10 three times daily (300 mg per day) or a placebo.
As it turns out, death from cardiovascular disease occurred in just 9 percent of patients who took CoQ10 over the two-year study. Plus, death from all-causes occurred in just 10 percent of patients who took CoQ10. And the CoQ10 group had 43 percent lower all-cause mortality compared to the placebo group.
(Remember, as I stated earlier, 22 to 27 percent of patients who took the drugs — either new or old — died or were hospitalized because of cardiovascular events. And they didn’t even track all-cause mortality rates.)
Additionally, only 15 percent of the CoQ10 patients experienced heart disease events over two years compared to 26 percent in the placebo group. And only 8 percent of the CoQ10 group required hospitalization for heart disease. By comparison, 14 percent of the placebo group required hospitalization.
Overall, CoQ10 posed a safe, effective, and cost-effective treatment for patients with heart failure. It reduced major heart disease events, hospitalizations, and death.
Never take a dangerous heart med again
We rarely get direct comparisons between the effectiveness of drugs and dietary supplements — let alone cost-effectiveness. But these two studies do allow a comparison.
And the results are pretty clear…
CoQ10 outperformed BOTH the old drug and the new drug in terms of effectiveness, safety, and cost.
Unfortunately, the CoQ10 study didn’t garner attention from the AHA or the ACC. (No surprise there, though.)
Worse yet, the AHA and ACC continue to push cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which actually reduce your body’s natural levels of CoQ10. These toxic drugs don’t prevent heart disease or heart failure — they cause it.
So, be sure to take your CoQ10 for a healthy heart. A few notes while you’re supplement shopping:
- You can find this supplement in most grocery stores, pharmacies, health supplement retailers, or online. But you’re taking your chances with quality if you don’t trust the source.
- For general heart health, I recommend just 100 mg per day. (In the study for heart patients, the researchers used a dose of 300 mg per day, which isn’t entirely necessary for general heart health.)
- Look for a product that specifically says Ubiquinol on the label. If the bottle only says “Coenzyme Q10” or “CoQ10,” it’s probably Ubiquinone — the less well-absorbed biochemical form.
Next month, I’ll tell you more about a new study showing the heart health benefits of B vitamins and vitamin D (but you must look beyond the fake headlines). You can learn more about all the effective, natural approaches for preventing and reversing heart disease — including the importance of CoQ10 — in my Heart Attack Prevention & Repair Protocol. To learn more about it or enroll today, simply click here.
“Angiotensin–Neprilysin Inhibition versus Enalapril in Heart Failure,” New England Journal of Medicine 2014; 371:993-1004
“The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial,” JACC Heart Fail. 2014 Dec;2(6):641-9
“New Novartis Drug Effective in Treating Heart Failure,” The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) 8/30/2014