Did you know that the heart consumes more energy per gram than any other organ? Did you know that it takes more energy to fill the heart up with blood than to contract and empty the heart chambers of blood? What about the fact that mitochondria are 25 times more dense in heart cells than in biceps muscle cells?
Sinatra covers the basics of cardiac energy metabolism, with a lot of talk about ATP (an energy transfer molecule), ADP and dephosphorylation pathways. He goes on to talk about energy starvation in failing hearts, with energy demand outstripping energy synthesis and heart failure being associated with "overstretched, thickened, and enlarged left ventricle" that "overtaxes the heart muscle with each contraction."
Sigh, I suffer through the charts and chemistry discussions, as I'm not precisely the target audience. My interest is often confined to the overview and summary of such articles, skimming the body for interesting concepts and facts about nutrition and prevention versus absorbing all the details of cellular chemistry and dysfunction.
Given the premise that congestive heart failure (CHF) is due to energy (ATP) deficits, Sinatra goes on to make the case for boosting cellular energy in the heart with three vital nutritional supplements: D-ribose, Coenzyme Q10, and L-Carnitine. He cites many research studies that have validated the use of these nutrients in reducing cardiac death as well as arrhythmia and angina. Sinatra ends his article with some imperatives:
"It is no longer enough that physicians focus on the fluid retention aspects of 'pump failure.' For instance, diuretic therapies target the kidneys indirectly to relieve the dequelae of CHF without addressing the root cause....Metabolic solutions, on the other hand, treat the heart muscle cells directly.'"
"Cardiologists must learn that the heart is all about ATP, and the bottom line in the treatment of any form of cardiovascular disease, especially CHF and cardiomyopathy, is restoration of the heart's energy reserve."
"D-ribose, L-carnitine, and CoQ10 act to promote cardiac energy metabolism...(and)...are recommended as adjunctive metabolic therapies in the treatment of heart failure and cardiomyopathy."
"An understanding of this metabolic support for the heart provides the 'missing link' that has been eluding cardiologists for decades. Metabolic cardiology offers hope for the future treatment of CHF, cardiomyopathy, and any other form of cardiovascular disease."
My dear friend, Dr. Hugo Rodier, loves to talk about all diseases being issues of " energy and information" at the cellular level.
Dr. Sinatra is singing from the same hymn book, identifying energy metabolism as a critical "missing link" in treating cardiovascular disease. You can buy the whole article if you want to share it with your cardiologist directly through Alternative Therapies. Just mention that you want " Metabolic Cardiology: An Integrative Strategy in the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure" from the May/June 2009, Vol. 15, No. 3 journal.
Perhaps we should add D-ribose, but we won't know for sure until after our next member survey later this summer. If you don't subscribe to our newsletter, sign up to get notification of our upcoming survey, coupon for completing the survey, and other specials coming this summer.