Dealing with Irregular Heartbeat

I had open-heart surgery over 5 years ago. The surgery was successful, but I unfortunately ended up with an irregular heartbeat that produced some small clots to the brain. I take 100 mg slow-release aspirin and also consume an organic natural diet that contains garlic and turmeric.

Recently I ordered your CardioBeat (Magnesium-Potassium Aspartate), which I have started taking. I am also going to start Thyroplex for Men, soon. For brain regeneration, I also have Lithium Plus. I will start that in a week or so.

Are there any other products that you may have that I have missed, that can help?

GEORGE, Slacks Creek, Queensland, AUS

Dear George,

As you have experienced, the greatest fear of those with atrial fibrillation is the increased likelihood of stroke-inducing blood clots. That is the reason for the requirement to take aspirin, and perhaps other platelet aggregation inhibitors or anticoagulants.

Supplemental turmeric is a wise choice for your regimen, in that it will reduce fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is an inflammatory indicator, and is the last factor in the clotting cascade. Fibrinogen combines with thrombin to form fibrin, the substance of the clot. Elevated fibrinogen is a more significant indicator of cardiovascular risk than cholesterol levels. Keep your fibrinogen low with turmeric to reduce the likelihood of further stroke or heart attack-producing emboli.

Another suggestion is an enzyme-rich formulation containing Exclzyme® EN, a proprietary mixture of: the enzymes Peptizyme SP® EN (serrapeptase), bromelain, papain, amylase, and lipase; the flavonoid rutin; and an extract of amla (Indian gooseberry, Emblica officinalis). It also contains the enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin, and NattoSEB® (nattokinase) and an extract of Boswellia serrata, which will reduce intra-vascular and articular (joint) inflammation, as well as help to prevent further blood clots.1,2 To accomplish these goals, it is best to take such a formulation on an empty stomach (one hour before or two hours after a meal).

Berberine is an herb with a number of cardiovascular benefits. It has positive inotropic (increases the forces of the heart’s contractions), negative chronotropic (slows down the heart rate), antiarrhthmic, and vasodilator properties.3,4 For atrial fibrillation, it is more important to control the heart rate than the rhythm. Berberine helps by slowing the pulse, as well as by its demonstrated anti-arrhythmic effects.

Ward Dean, MD

References

  1. Jang JY, Kim TS, Cai J, et al. Nattokinase improves blood flow by inhibiting platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. Lab Anim Res. 2013 Dec;29(4):221–5.
  2. Kotb E. The biotechnological potential of fibrinolytic enzymes in the dissolution of endogenous blood thrombi. Biotechnol Prog. 2014 May-Jun;30(3):656–72.
  3. Lau CW, Yao XQ, Chen ZY, et al. Cardiovascular actions of berberine. Cardiovascular Drug Review. 2001, 19(3); 234–44.
  4. Marin-Neto JA, Maciel BC, Secches AL, Gallo Júnior L. Cardiovascular effects of berberine in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Clin Cardiol. 1988 Apr;11(4):253–60.

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