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Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failure

Posted by oakleif z6 AR (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 29, 08 at 23:35

Does any one take any herbs might help swelling of ankles, inlarged heart. Maybe something to improve lungs to help breath. Am taking Rhodiola rosea for energy improvement.iron tabs and B12 for anemia,carvedilol for high blood pressure,glipizide for diabetis,Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome. Am changing meds to generic for Prozac for Chronic Depression. I want to change all meds to herbs one at a time starting with CHF. Been diagnosed by doctors after excessive testing. and this is for me.
Any herbal ideas will help esp herbs i can grow. Can't grow Rhodiola but it is the best i could find so far and has helped.
TIA
vickie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Hawthorn (crataegus) is one herb that has been studied for congestive heart failure, with fairly good evidence. It's effects are modest - it isn't a quick cure, but with regular use, improvement is often seen. Not sure how it might interact with your prescriptions; I consider it more of a food than a pharmaceutical - but there still could be some interactions.

In my experience, it grows rather slowly - but maybe that is from the location (or neglect) in my yard. The leaves reportedly have more of the active ingredients (oligomeric proanthocyanidins, flavones, other polyphenols) than the fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: A randomised double blind placebo controlled clinical trial of a standardised extract of fresh Crataegus berries (Crataegisan) in the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure NYHA II.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I'm puzzled by the conclusions of this study.

Only one of several means of assessing the outcome of treatment was significantly in favor of the group that took the hawthorn extract. And what "8.3 watts" difference between the hawthorn and placebo groups in a bicycle exercise test means in one's daily life is open to question, seeing that both patients and investigators apparently didn't see any difference in their symptoms according to whether they were taking the hawthorn or placebo.

The study went for just 8 weeks, yet the study's authors conclude that "the recruited NYHA II patients may expect an improvement in their heart failure condition under long term therapy with the standardised extract of fresh Crataegus berries."

Are these results definitive enough so that patients should drop their prescribed meds for heart failure (as oakleif is proposing) and go with hawthorn?

Another note: the study dealt with a standardized extract of hawthorn, which could be a lot different from a preparation made by someone growing hawthorn in their yard.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>>Are these results definitive enough so that patients should drop their prescribed meds for heart failure (as oakleif is proposing) and go with hawthorn?

Probably not. I don't think hawthorn alone is sufficient for congestive heart failure. I think (and said in previous post) that it has a modest effect, but it that effect is real and beneficial. Hawthorn is useful for CHF, but I wasn't suggesting that it is enough for a sole treatment.

>> I'm puzzled by the conclusions of this study.

I'm not surprised. Time and time again, I post an article as an example. You pick the article apart and come to conclusions which are not supported by the larger body of research. So here are some other articles that you apparently are unaware of, or are ignoring:

Study: Cochrane Meta-Analysis on Hawthorn Extracts for Treating Chronic Heart Failure.
Conclusion: The best evidence that is available suggests that hawthorn extract has significant benefits, compared with placebo, as an adjunct treatment for patients with chronic heart failure." Benefits seen in exercise tolerance, heart pumping action, fatigue, breathlessness, quality of life, and other variables measured in 14 trials.

Study: Clinical efficacy of crataegus extract WS 1442 in congestive heart failure NYHA class II.
Conclusion: The data show that Crataegus extract is clinically effective in patients with congestive heart failure corresponding to NYHA class II.

Study: Crataegus special extract WS 1442 increases force of contraction in human myocardium cAMP-independently.
Conclusion: Hawthorn improves the force of the heartbeat

Study: Therapeutic effectiveness of Crataegus
Conclusion: It is therefore concluded that crataegus is an effective and safe therapeutic alternative for this indication "heart failure].

Study: German Commission E (herbal regulatory agency):
Conclusion: Hawthorn is indicated for NYHA stage I and II congestive heart failure.


>> Another note: the study dealt with a standardized extract of hawthorn, which could be a lot different from a preparation made by someone growing hawthorn in their yard.

Perhaps, perhaps not. To lower cholesterol, is it important to get a standardized extract of oatmeal, or is eating a bowl of oat porridge each morning enough? To get a caffeine boost, is it critical to take a standardized extract or 50 mg caffeine citrate tablet, or is a cuppa joe effective? Are standardized extracts of pomegranate proven better than pomegranate juice for improving vascular function in double blind, placebo controlled experiments? With some herbs the active constituents vary greatly, but with many plants, there is relatively little variation and it is enough simply to consume them.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Let's take a closer look at the Cochrane review of numerous controlled studies. Here's the key conclusion:

"Those trials that could be included in a meta-analysis showed improvements in heart failure symptoms and in the function of the heart. The results, therefore, are suggestive of a benefit from hawthorn extract used in addition to conventional treatments for chronic heart failure." (bolding added for emphasis)

As the initial poster was proposing dropping her prescription meds for herbs, it needs to be emphasized that an authoritative review did not find that hawthorn was effective as a substitute for conventional treatments. Perhaps you were unaware of this.

"With some herbs the active constituents vary greatly, but with many plants, there is relatively little variation and it is enough simply to consume them."

This is a dangerous general assumption, both in terms of efficacy and safety. Take for instance a classic drug for use in treating congestive heart failure - digoxin (containing an active principle originally derived from the digitalis plant). It has potentially serious side effects, but standardized prescription digoxin is relatively safe to use when carefully monitored. Would you suggest that it is OK "simply to consume" digitalis leaves from plants in your yard to get the same effect? Should we simply eat comfrey leaves from the yard, or consider whether commercial efforts to remove harmful alkaloids from comfrey might make for a safer product?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>>...an authoritative review did not find that hawthorn was effective as a substitute for conventional treatments. Perhaps you were unaware of this.

No, not unaware...I have said repeatedly that the effects of hawthorn are modest, and I have not suggested that it be the sole treatment, only that it can be of some use. It seems to work in different ways than other treatments and makes a good addition to a therapy plan.

Also, your use or interpretation of the the words "conventional treatments" in this case might be different from mine. For example, an ACE inhibitor is a common 'conventional treatment' although I suspect you would favor a prescription medicine for this, while I would favor diet/herbs.

>>Would you suggest that it is OK "simply to consume" digitalis leaves from plants in your yard to get the same effect?

No, every herbal book that I have read that discusses foxglove has noted that it can be deadly if too much is taken. In such cases, a standardized extract would make sense. Standardized extracts have their strengths and weaknesses, and are good for some herbs, not for others.

More importantly, hawthorn is nothing like foxglove in toxicity, side effects, or the way it works. A few weeks ago, I was in a rural grocery in a southern state. Hawthorn berries ("May Haws") were for sale in the produce section, as they are every spring. My original comparison of hawthorn to oatmeal makes more sense than your comparison to digitalis.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"(Hawthorn) seems to work in different ways than other treatments and makes a good addition to a therapy plan."

What do you mean by "therapy plan"? This gets back to the original question - should people with congestive heart failure discard their meds and substitute herbs and/or diet changes? What kind of plan did you have in mind, and what sort of caregiver should be consulted, if anyone?

"Standardized extracts have their strengths and weaknesses, and are good for some herbs, not for others. "

What is the "weakness" of knowing that harmful or interfering ingredients have been removed by purification/standardization, and that an effective dosage is present in a given product, whether it's a herbal or a non-herbal drug?
I hope you're aware that a problem with many supplements is that ingredients are not standardized, so that effective dosages may not be available to buyers (Consumer Reports, among others, has cited this problem). One recently studied example is echinacea:

"When it comes to many echinacea products, consumers may not be getting what they pay for.
Versions of the popular herb sold over-the-counter as a cold fighter and immune booster differ widely in their contents, and the labels often don't reflect what's inside the bottle, says a study in the March 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors of the study bought 59 different echinacea products from Denver-area retailers over two days during August 2000. The preparations were then sent to a lab in Connecticut for analysis.

Six of the products, or 10 percent, contained no measurable echinacea at all, according to the investigators. Labeling matched contents in only 52 percent of the samples. Of the 21 "standardized" preparations, 43 percent met the quality standard described on the label. And only 7 percent of the samples met all four of the federal government's labeling requirements."

I sometimes use echinacea in an attempt to prevent colds, one reason this variability is an important issue for me.

Another example is apple cider vinegar tablets, some of which have been demonstrated to have none of the supposedly "active" ingredient at all.

The problem can definitely affect herbs harvested from home gardens as well. Even culinary herbs show marked variance in flavor (reflecting internal composition) depending on type of soil and climate.

The amount of active agent in a medicinal herb might not matter too much if you're making a lotion to soothe irritated skin - but if a serious condition like congestive heart failure is involved, wide variance in activity could be critically important.

The argument typically made against standardized herb preparations comes from people who see a unique, magical benefit in the "whole herb", on the assumption that herbs were created to serve mankind - instead of them often being complex mixtures of various ingredients (beneficial, harmful or inert) which may interact in good or bad ways. There may be more than one active ingredient in a particular herb, but these can be isolated and purified by careful study.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> What is the "weakness" of knowing that harmful or interfering ingredients have been removed by purification/standardization, and that an effective dosage is present in a given product, whether it's a herbal or a non-herbal drug?

Nothing, assuming that what you suggest can in fact be done. For many herbs, the whole herb works, in spite of the fact that the exact active component(s) are not known. Standardizing to one component in that case makes little sense as the proxy marker of potency may or may not have a logical basis.

When St. Johns wort was first found effective for mild to moderate depression, there was a rush to produce extracts standardized to a hypericin. Subsequent studies have shown that hypericin is not the only active ingredient, that hyperforin is also important. Hypericin might actually be a minor player in the antidepressant effect. Yet few standardized extracts state the amount of hyperforin, or the ratio of hypericin to hyperforin. The absorption of some of the active ingredients from St. Johns wort is rather poor when they are isolated, yet markedly higher when they are consumed with the procyanidins naturally present in the herb. All of which suggests that a whole herb product is superior to sophomoric extracts in this case.

Ginseng is another example. It is common to state a percent saponin or milligrams of ginsenosides on the various extracts. Fine and dandy, but what does that really tell us? The various effects attributed to ginseng depend less on the amount of total ginsenosides than on the amounts of particular types of ginsenosides.

Rauwolfia is a third example - it had long been used for controlling blood pressure. Reductionists came along and proclaimed that there must be one and only one active chemical in that herb. They settled on resperpine, an alkaloid that does lower blood pressure. But purified reserpine has so many side effects compared to the whole herb that it was ultimately abandoned.

Such synergies are not universal - there are cases when isolating a single molecule makes sense. But the reductionist paradigm is wrong often enough to be wary of it ... the whole herb can be more effective and better tolerated.

Different chemicals used to extract an herb will result in very different extracts, based on the solubility of the many chemicals present in the herb. That isn't necessarily good or bad, but it is a fact. Looking at only one chemical marker in a whole herb or extract can be useful, or worse than useless. It really depends on the circumstances.

>> I sometimes use echinacea in an attempt to prevent colds, one reason this variability is an important issue for me.

If you use a tincture, you can do your own organoleptic assay. The alklamides in echinacea cause a prickly feeling on the tongue if you hold a few drops in your mouth. No prickle, and the tincture is low in alkamides. If you feel like you sprinkled Pop-Rock candy on your tongue, there are lots of alkamides. Of course, alkamides may not be the only ingredient in echinacea that modulates the immune system, but they do hit the CB2 receptors and cause certain changes. (Do they still make Pop-Rock candy? Or Zotz? I love fizzy candy!)

Echinacea is relatively easy to grow, it's attractive, and the bees love it. I grow my own.

>> What do you mean by "therapy plan"? This gets back to the original question - should people with congestive heart failure discard their meds and substitute herbs and/or diet changes?

No, that gets back to your question. The original question was "Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failure?" and I have been responding to that.

By therapy plan, I meant a collection of goals and actions to treat the disease and restore health on a variety of fronts, using whatever methods are considered appropriate and effective. If you do an internet search on ("congestive heart failure" and "therapy plan") you will find many different takes on this concept. I am not providing anyone with such a plan - they will have to figure out what they think is best for them, based on consultation with their own experts who are familiar with their particular circumstances.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"The absorption of some of the active ingredients from St. Johns wort is rather poor when they are isolated, yet markedly higher when they are consumed with the procyanidins naturally present in the herb."

I have not heard of any authoritative studies that show that 1) "active" ingredients of SJW are better absorbed in a whole herb preparation, and that as a result 2) whole herb preparations are more effective than extracts in relieving depression. Can you point to any such research?

If I understand you correctly, your main beef with standardization is that there may be multiple agents in an herb that are responsible for the desired effect, and purifying only one of them is insufficient. Doesn't that argue for researching the herb well enough to determine all the potential active agents, and creating a drug/supplement that maximizes the benefits while eliminating any harmful or interfering components?

Your statements on rauwolfia suggest that you think the whole herb worked fine and that we only got into trouble when isolating reserpine from the herb and using that to treat hypertension. In reality, the whole herb is linked to a long list of drug interactions and potential side effects:

"Indian snakeroot is linked with many side effects such as decreased heart rate, low blood pressure, decreased sex drive and performance, increased appetite, weight gain, swelling, stomach complaints, diarrhea, stuffy nose, nightmares, hallucinations, stomach or intestinal ulcers, poor coordination, dizziness, and dry mouth. Indian snakeroot can also impair physical abilities and occasionally cause depression severe enough that the person loses touch with reality."

It may be "reductionist" and "sophomoric" in your view to want purified drugs/supplements with known and dependable quantities of the active substance(s), but there are many of us who think this is a good thing.

I can see I'm not going to get a direct answer as to whether it's a good idea for the initial poster (or others with congestive heart failure) to drop their meds and rely on diet and herb recommendations, or what sorts of "experts" should be consulted. Personally, I think anyone who's being treated by a physician for this or another serious disorder should sit down with the physician, discuss his/her concerns and get advice on a state-of-the-art treatment plan (whether or not this includes some herb or supplement), which he/she can then decide whether or not to follow.

In one sense, there's no real difference between what you and a typical primary care physician would recommend for treating this condition - dietary/lifestyle modifications and drugs. What difference exists has mostly to do with perceptions of the importance of evidence-based therapy.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Too many questions, not enough time. A few thoughts.

>> If I understand you correctly, your main beef with standardization is that there may be multiple agents in an herb that are responsible for the desired effect, and purifying only one of them is insufficient. Doesn't that argue for researching the herb well enough to determine all the potential active agents, and creating a drug/supplement that maximizes the benefits while eliminating any harmful or interfering components?

I am all for better understanding and possible fine tuning of an extract, but until that understanding is present (and it may take decades), why mess with something if it works? And should the same approach be taken for diet? Don't tell people to eat more vegetables, tell them to eat a pill with beta-carotene? Oops, purified beta-carotene may actually increases the risk of certain diseases we thought it would prevent. We thought that the fact that beta-carotene in the blood was inversely correlated with cancer justified concentrating that one proxy marker, but it seems that either beta-carotene wasn't the active ingredient, or that it behaves differently when mixed with other phytochemicals.

>> I can see I'm not going to get a direct answer as to whether it's a good idea for the initial poster (or others with congestive heart failure) to drop their meds...

If I say it again, it will be the third time. Here goes... I don't think hawthorn alone is sufficient. What the other needed components are ... it depends. I personally wouldn't not refuse to take pharmaceuticals just because they are pharmaceuticals. And I wouldn't take herbs unless I had a reasonable expectation that it worked for what I needed.

>> What difference exists has mostly to do with perceptions of the importance of evidence-based therapy.

No, with how you (and many others) define evidence-based medicine, and how that can be misused to make decisions. If something is reasonably safe, if there is reasonable evidence that it may work for condition x, and if the risk from it not working is acceptable to me, I might be inclined to try it. As the consequences of something not working increases, I would expect a higher level of support before using something (all things being equal).

Your approach to 'evidence-based medicine' presumes that something is ineffective until there is overwhelming proof that it is. Which is a fine approach for some people, but which has problems of its own...

If everyone thought like that, Echinacea and St. Johns wort would have been completely abandoned long before there was enough interest to generate experiments which led to enough evidence that it actually works.

The Folic acid and neural tube birth defects story involves human tragedy that can be laid squarely at the feet of the 'evidence-based' community. Folic acid is a safe, inexpensive vitamin. For decades, some people were saying that adding it to cereals would lower birth defects. "Not enough evidence" was the standard reply, and meanwhile, thousands of children were born with crippling defects. Eventually, the evidence accumulated to a point where action was taken, at which point, the evidence-based community began patting themselves on the back, proud that so many birth defects had been avoided since they signed on to supplementation, ignoring the fact that a prudent person might have taken action much earlier and avoided even more human suffering.

The folic acid fiasco shows that it is often prudent to take a course of action even when information is limited and certainty is not possible (indeed, it rarely is, and making the decision to take no action is itself a decision that has consequences).

The biggest problem with the so called 'evidence-based' gang is that they are so afraid of type I error (accepting a false hypothesis) that they dramatically increase type II error (they effectively reject true hypotheses - ideas with some evidence to support them are rejected as unproven, therefore possibly suitable for further research, but not for acting upon otherwise). They build a very high wall and only let ideas in when proof raises the idea over that wall. Which means that the ideas in their fiefdom are relatively good, but the total number of ideas there is a very small subset of what is actually true.

A single article on the serotonin-altering properties of kudzu in vitro sparked an informal trial of its use for cluster headaches - about 100 people reported their results online, and about 70% reported dramatic improvement. The first person to try it had been suffering from multiple daily headaches for years, and the headaches were shut off. Many doctors who work with the cluster headache group that did this 'research' are aware of the results, yet not a single article has been published. The evidence based group will be rejecting as 'unproven' the notion that an inexpensive herb can have such beneficial effect for decades. Instead, they will point to patented triptans that cost $50 a dose and can only be taken a few times a week as the 'proven' medicine that doctors should prescribe and that insurance companies should pay for and that people should take. Experience of people who tried kudzu to so called 'evidence-based' medicine? Value = zero. Clinical opinion of headache specialists who will admit that kudzu helps people? Value = zero. Room to try something that might work? Zero if one is strictly 'evidence-based'. The truth of the matter is something very different from what the evidence based people are willing to accept.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I am all for better understanding and possible fine tuning of an extract, but until that understanding is present (and it may take decades), why mess with something if it works?"

That's the big question - does it work? And can we remove doubt about whether it works or take a weak and inconsistent effect and make it robust through what you call "fine tuning"?

"Don't tell people to eat more vegetables, tell them to eat a pill with beta-carotene? Oops, purified beta-carotene may actually increases the risk of certain diseases we thought it would prevent."

This is a strawman argument, as nutritionists and physicians have long been recommending that we incorporate more vegetables and fruits into our diet. Supplement promoters, on the other hand, encourage the belief that we can take short cuts by swallowing a pill.

"Your approach to 'evidence-based medicine' presumes that something is ineffective until there is overwhelming proof that it is. Which is a fine approach for some people, but which has problems of its own...

If everyone thought like that, Echinacea and St. Johns wort would have been completely abandoned long before there was enough interest to generate experiments which led to enough evidence that it actually works."

This is another example of a strawman argument. "Overwhelming" proof is nice, but that doesn't mean we need big multicenter placebo-controlled trials to accept, for instance, that external use of witch hazel is OK. On the other hand, some pretty rigorous evidence is desirable before we encourage people to stop taking proven meds for congestive heart failure in favor of hawthorn (or herbs with even less scientific backing).
Echinacea and SJW would not have "disappeared" without proper investigation. It's nice that we have some evidence backing their use before large numbers of people are encouraged to consume them.
On the other hand, if publicity about the hazards associated with consumption of aristolochia, chaparral and comfrey are helping to overcome credulous folklore promotion of their use and lead to their decreased popularity, that's a good thing.

With regard adding folate to cereals, I think you're engaging in more than a bit of hyperbole here in blaming evidence-based medicine for "thousands of children born with crippling defects". And if high dose supplementation of vitamins and nutrients is something we should undertake if there's even a suggestion it might be a good idea, how do you explain the recent evidence showing that boosting vitamin E supplementation may increase the death rate?

"The evidence based group will be rejecting as 'unproven' the notion that an inexpensive herb (kudzu) can have such beneficial effect for decades. Instead, they will point to patented triptans that cost $50 a dose and can only be taken a few times a week as the 'proven' medicine that doctors should prescribe and that insurance companies should pay for and that people should take."

Ah, we're back to "they don't want us to know" and the realm of conspiracy theory. In reality, physicians would be delighted if there was an inexpensive over-the-counter remedy for cluster headaches or migraines, especially one that had more going for it than self-reporting through an Internet survey.

Oddly, the same people who want us to jump on the bandwagon every time there are a few testimonials for a supplement or a tiny uncontrolled trial, are often the same folks who jump to denounce pharmaceutical companies when a drug proven to work through extensive testing turns out to have an undesirable side effect that was unforeseen.

Testimonials are not completely worthless. By themselves, however, they are no more than a starting point for investigation.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

lots of debate here, but to answer your question...

there are fruits and vegetables known to have a diuretic effect, asparagus comes to mind, but i would not attempt to replace your prescription medications with herbal supplements.

from the medications listed in your original question, it appears you have many medical conditions requiring prescription therapy. a good nutrition consult could help you increase foods good for your conditions and avoid those that are detrimental.

again, i would discourage the idea of phasing out your prescriptions to replace them with herbs.

anette


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Ah, we're back to "they don't want us to know" and the realm of conspiracy theory. In reality, physicians would be delighted if there was an inexpensive over-the-counter remedy for cluster headaches or migraines, especially one that had more going for it than self-reporting through an Internet survey.

No, they really don't seem to care, and I am not suggesting a conspiracy is behind it. You are resorting to the most worn-out ad hominem: dismissing someone as a conspiracy nut. No need for further discussion or consideration, that person is crazy.

You may not put much value in the experience of the people who have lived with this conditions for years, preferring instead to rely on the fact that studies have not been done as proof that such ideas are unproven, therefore need not be considered seriously. I have no doubt that kudzu (which has documented major effects on serotonin and calcium channels) does have significant benefits for cluster headaches. Taurine is another inexpensive agent with a very low side-effects profile that people are using to cut down the cluster headache pain.

Yes, too much vitamin E (400 to 800 mg per day) might indeed not be beneficial. However, it is problematic to compare studies involving mega-doses of vitamin E (1200% to 2400% of the RDA, an amount essentially never encountered through diet) to previous proposals to bring the diets of women up to somewhere close to the RDA for folate (levels which could easily be obtained by that 'healthy' that almost no one eats). Long term studies involving age-related conditions like heart disease and cancer risk require far more time (often decades) are also far more difficult to conduct than a study on neural tube birth defects, which would start to bear data in a little over 9 months.

At such high doses as 800 mg, vitamin E supplements may increase blood pressure, thin blood, or turn on genes that maybe shouldn't be turned on so often. I would suggest that again, this is an effect of reductionist thinking. Many, many epidemiological studies in people who don't take vitamin E supplements show that increasing vitamin E in the blood is associated with better health, but it is not known for sure that vitamin E is the key (could be a variety of other things that occur in foods naturally with vitamin E).

Nor do we know that the particular defined forms of vitamin E are equivalent to what is found in a healthy diet. The most common form in supplements is semi-synthetic vitamin E which contains equal amounts of the D and L isomers; in plants, only the D isomer is found. We know at a minimum that the L isomer does not have biological activity, and there are some suggestions that it may actually interfere with normal vitamin E activity. The relative amounts of different tocopherols (alpha, gamma, etc) does not appear to be the same in most defined supplements as would be found in a healthy diet. It is also very uncommon to include tocotrienols (the unsaturated form of vitamin E) in supplements, although these are present in a healthy diet.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"You are resorting to the most worn-out ad hominem: dismissing someone as a conspiracy nut."

I did not describe you as a "conspiracy nut". Your statements do reflect a conspiratorial mindset with the suggestion that physicians don't want people to have access to cheap, highly effective remedies (which basically do not exist). This goes along with the canard that physicians don't care about their patients (not just some physicians, mind you, but a blanket denunciation of all physicians.

"You may not put much value in the experience of the people who have lived with this conditions for years"

This "experience" consists of a small sampling of people who took part in an Internet survey (the unreliability of this sort of "evidence" can be gauged by the documented unreliability of Internet polls, which are easily stacked by participants with an axe to grind).
With regard to severe, life-altering chronic headaches, I myself have a history of migraines, and have close relatives who've suffered badly from migraines. I've counseled them about dealing with migraines, including recommendations for nutritional supplements and feverfew. One went through trials of several different supplements in an effort to reduce reliance on triptans, before discovering marked relief through a daily prophylactic dose of a relatively cheap calcium channel blocker.

So please don't suggest to me that I don't care or that I ignore the concerns of headache sufferers.

As for your statements about vitamin E, there had been a lot of enthusiasm (much of it from alt med enthusiasts and supplement makers) that vitamin E and other antioxidants were the solution to many health problems. It's only been with better study that we're realizing that antioxidants have their down side as well.

The idea that negative effects or lack of efficacy found with certain herbs and supplements are due to their not being the "natural" form is heavily exaggerated in my view. Whenever something doesn't work out in larger, better-conducted trials, someone is sure to turn up to say that they tested the wrong dose, a less pure product, or should have used a whole herb extract instead. Sometimes it is reasonable to question formulations, but more often I think it's a convenient tactic to dismiss unwelcome evidence.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Thanks for the response,apolleg,Thanks for the Hawthorn suggestion and links. I'll start research tomorrow. you are one smart person.I really admire the fact you don't have tunnel vision. I suspect you are into research in some field. Anette,thanks for your input also. You mentioned aspergus. Did you know asparagus is high in potassium. I've noticed most herbal diaurtics are and diurtics lower K levels.Thus herbels are 2 in one and medicines are'nt. I wonder why. Really.

A bicycle exercise test would be pretty important if you had CHF since carrying 2 watering cans with fertilizer water can take a lot out of me. If something improves my ability to use energy for the good. i would consider taking it barring bad side effects.Would'nt you?

I'm glad to say there are standard recipes for herbal meds from other countrys that are federally controlled,unlike the US.
I would not eat a foxglove leaf(digitoxin) but if a native american healer who'd studied from his ancestors ways said eat a 2cm by 4cm piece of leaf. I'd consider it. Would'nt eat comfrey tho. I just use it for compresses. I grow both plants plus purple cone flower. If you're wise no one will say Native american witch doctors were dumb, please. These people were very smart and knew as much or more about medicine than we do. They knew more about medicine when we europeans first crawled out of caves than we probably do now. You do realize we from europeans were the last to come out of caves and the majority of the knowledge today comes from or is built upon knowledge from other civilizations.Hey! If its out there use it.

All herbs can fluxuate as to chemical constituancy according to soil chemistry, albedo, climate, amt of sun etc. Medical drugs can vary according to mechinacal variations, human mistakes and greed,temp controll, humidity controll etc. Who's going to test each pill?
Speaking of a cup of joe. Did you read of the study of at least 65,000 nurses that 2 cups of coffee a day can prolong the life of women by several years. Sorry fellows don't seem to effect men. good study, look it up.:)

I can't see the differance in the majical benefits of herbals and the majical benefits of medical pills thus the placebo effect. Herbs are complex mixtures and so is medicines besides the active ingredients,you have to have a chemical delivery system and most times an extra time release system. Which is why generac drugs do not always work as well or at all. The activedrug is regulated but the delivery chemicals are not. (figure that one out for our gov) thus generecs are not made the same as name brand drugs nor will the meds act the same in your body. Some companys follow the meds mostly the same as the original, like Mylar company but other companys use a cheap filler and can be dangerous in my opionon or inaffective.

I could say a lot more but i promised to behave.
Yes i'm highly prejudiced against the American Medical System. I do research things before i say them however.

A closing note, Have you ever considered that scientificaly an experiment has to be %100 or its not worth anything but to start over again. Ever seen medical research come up %100? ever!

Thanks again appoleg and annette.
vickie


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> So please don't suggest to me that I don't care or that I ignore the concerns of headache sufferers.

Not suggesting that you don't care, merely that that approach you have taken on this board to discount any approach without overwhelming evidence can lead to rejecting approaches that do work.

>> This goes along with the canard that physicians don't care about their patients (not just some physicians, mind you, but a blanket denunciation of all physicians.

Sorry you have taken it personally, but all evidence I have suggests that both taurine and kudzu are quite effective, innexpensive, and that the side effects profile is low (although obviously, potential rare side effects may not come out until many people use something). And these reports have not been the impetus for more discussion and investigation, merely ignored by the medical community for what ever reasons.

>> The idea that negative effects or lack of efficacy found with certain herbs and supplements are due to their not being the "natural" form is heavily exaggerated in my view. Whenever something doesn't work out in larger, better-conducted trials, someone is sure to turn up to say that they tested the wrong dose, a less pure product, or should have used a whole herb extract instead. Sometimes it is reasonable to question formulations, but more often I think it's a convenient tactic to dismiss unwelcome evidence.

No, I've acknowledged the idea that very large doses of vitamin E might have effects that are not beneficial - excess thinning of the blood, raising blood pressure, etc. This may be from the dose alone, it may be from the chemical form of the supplement, or some combination, or from some other factor.

>> This "experience" consists of a small sampling of people who took part in an Internet survey (the unreliability of this sort of "evidence" can be gauged by the documented unreliability of Internet polls, which are easily stacked by participants with an axe to grind).

What axe did they have to grind? This was on a forum of people with cluster headaches, many of whom were skeptical of alternative medicine. Their primary concern is getting relief. Again, you seem to be dismissing evidence that you are unfamiliar with based on faulty generalizations.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

oakleif,

i think where most people get into trouble with herbs and natural remedies is by thinking "if it is natural, it cant hurt me". they fail to respect the chemicals in the herbs, and to treat them as they would any prescribed medication. you are wise to research any changes you intend to make.

does your medical provider know what your wishes are, and are they on board with this plan? so many of my patients would start taking herbs without asking/telling us.

if you have an openminded provider, and you can provide them with reliable information on the changes you want to make, i think you will be pleased. most medical providers dont have/take the time to do all the research. others are not at all open to discussing alternative therapies.

best of luck,

anette


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Annette, Bless your heart. You're one of the few medics on here with a little commen sense. Yes the med provider i have at the moment is very openminded. Don't know where he was earlier during all my problems.Not the town i was going to.

I do all the research on me and some for him.
Thanks again.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

apollog: "...all evidence I have suggests that both taurine and kudzu are quite effective, innexpensive, and that the side effects profile is low (although obviously, potential rare side effects may not come out until many people use something)."

Any evidence apart from an Internet survey would be appreciated (probably best in a separate thread on headache relief). We've had discussions in which the evidence for feverfew and various supplements for headache (chiefly migraine) relief have been discussed, but kudzu and taurine haven't been mentioned to my recollection. Some people in online forums claim that drinking Red Bull and other energy drinks with taurine is great for headaches. The taurine level in such drinks tends to be quite low and probably doesn't contribute to any physiologic effects; what probably does is caffeine (which can both relieve and promote headaches, depending on the individual and the dose).

Once again, please note that anecdotes, comments in Internet surveys and testimonials are not absolutely to be dismissed - they're just insufficient grounds on which to base health recommendations without more compelling evidence. From reading product ads most people realize that testimonials are not an unbiased source of information. However many consumers still are swayed by these cherry-picked comments.

We get lots of testimonials in this forum, many from people who join GardenWeb and then immediately begin promoting a product. Should we automatically assume all such comments are genuine recommendations from consumers, or be skeptical enough to look for independent evidence? The same goes for Internet surveys, which are susceptible to planted comments by marketers.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> The taurine level in such drinks tends to be quite low and probably doesn't contribute to any physiologic effects; what probably does is caffeine (which can both relieve and promote headaches, depending on the individual and the dose).

Red Bull and several other drinks of that ilk contain 1000 mg of taurine, which I would not describe as quite low or physiologically inactive.

Caffeine is an obvious candidate to consider for the action of such beverages, but Red Bull contains only ~70 mg, about the amount in half a cup of coffee. Red Bull works better than a half-cup or cup of coffee (which is typically considered to turn the pain down slightly, but which will not abort a headache with any consistency).

Getting back to the topic of congestive heart, below is a link to a summary article that mentions carnitine and arginine (2 amino acids) as having some evidence of being beneficial.

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbs and dietary supplements in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Here's more on the nutritional approach to congestive heart.

The article linked to below indicates that 3 nutritional factors seem to have an effect (taurine, carnitine, CoQ10). In both animal and human studies, the degree of loss of function is linked to lowered levels of those nutrients. In 2 double-blind studies (1 animal, 1 human(?? not sure)), administering these led to improvements in heart function.

Here is a link that might be useful: Conditioned nutritional requirements: therapeutic relevance to heart failure.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I think we've been over this before, but a can of Red Bull contains more caffeine than a cup of instant coffee, and close to the amount found in a cup of brewed coffee. And not everyone is high on these "energy drinks". When you slip some herb or supplement into a drink high in caffeine and sugar, you have to wonder what the overall benefit will be.

I agree with the conclusions of your linked article on herbs and supplements in cardiovascular disease:

"There is a need for definitive research on the potential risks and benefits of these compounds, including appropriate dosages and formulations, and delineation of adverse events and interactions."


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Other nutrients of interest to congestive heart failure: magnesium. See link at end of article.

And what about the conclusion of the other article: "These experiments suggest that a comprehensive restoration of adequate myocyte nutrition may be important to any therapeutic strategy designed to benefit patients suffering from congestive heart failure. Future studies in this area are of clinical importance." Should everyone wait for a definitive answer that may not come in our lifetime, or do you think it is ok for a person to consider nutritional ingredients that appear to help and have a relatively low risk??

Can of red bull: 80 mg caffeine; 7 ounces drip Coffee (most common type prepared in US): 115 -175 mg (according to Bunker and McWilliams, J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979). Which, as I said before, puts RB on par with half a cup of coffee (or a whole cup of weak coffee). Enough to have some effects, but not enough to quickly shut down a cluster headache, as hundreds of people have found that taurine drinks can do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Magnesium orotate in severe congestive heart failure (MACH).


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Well, let's look at magnesium supplementation (it's not an herb, but what the heck):

You might be interested to know that numerous studies have looked at magnesium levels in heart failure patients. And there's evidence that elevated magnesium is a bad thing. A recent report finds that it lowers survival.

Here's another correlating bad outcomes with higher serum magnesium.

"Patients with hypermagnesemia had more severe symptoms, greater neurohormonal activation and worse renal function than did patients with a normal serum magnesium concentration"

In the face of this evidence, should we take as gospel a small Russian study indicating a benefit for a particular kind of magnesium and encourage people to take magnesium supplements on an unsupervised basis? Or should those with congestive heart failure wait for more compelling evidence before discarding their meds and jumping on a magnesium bandwagon?

Speaking of eliminating proven meds (as the original poster wants to do), did you notice this statement in the Russian study's abstract?:

"CONCLUSION: Magnesium orotate may be used as adjuvant therapy in patients on optimal treatment for severe congestive heart failure, increasing survival rate and improving clinical symptoms and patient's quality of life.

So they think you need to be on "optimal" therapy to begin with, to get any benefit from this supplementation.

Once again we're left with these alternatives:

1) Phasing out all proven meds for herbs and/or supplements on one's own, based on recommendations in Internet forums and web searches, or

2) Discussing concerns with one's physician, including dissatisfaction with current treatment and the possible role of added herbs or supplements, in order to arrive at an optimal treatment plan.

Which do you favor?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

There he goes again ... being misleading by suggesting that there was only one small foreign study suggesting that magnesium is beneficial for congestive heart failure. Eric, are you limited to taking the links I provide completely out of context and then distorting them, or are you capable of discussing a topic based on an understanding of the research?? There are many studies suggesting that magnesium levels are lower in CHF, and that some of the serious problems (arrhythmia, sudden death) can be reduced with magnesium.

Your attempt to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt brings out an interesting statement:

>> "Patients with hypermagnesemia had more severe symptoms, greater neurohormonal activation and ~worse renal function~ than did patients with a normal serum magnesium concentration"

Are you suggesting that in patients with higher magnesium levels, the magnesium caused the poor prognosis? Did magnesium cause the kidneys to decline?? Or is it the other way around?? ... people who happened to have kidney failure or poor renal function had higher magnesium levels, and they didn't do as well? If they have poor renal function, a wide variety of their blood chemistry parameters are slipping out of whack, and it should come as no surprise that they would not do as well.

>> A recent report finds that it lowers survival.

Yes, and the people who had lower survival were those who took large doses of laxatives or antacids - which are indications of other health problems.

Here is a more representative description of the role of magnesium in CHF:

"Magnesium deficit and other electrolyte abnormalities is a frequent disorder in patients with congestive heart failure. Overstimulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, long-term administration of diuretics, digoxin, poor oral intake and impaired absorption contribute to these electrolytes abnormalities. Hypomagnesaemia and depletion of intracellular magnesium stores have been held responsible for a variety of cardiovascular and other functional abnormalities, including various arrhythmias, impairment of cardiac contractility, and vasoconstriction."

"there was significant difference in serum magnesium between CHF patients without arrhythmias (0.69 +/- 0.11 mmol x L(-1)) and those with arrhythmias (0.50 +/- 0.01 mmol x L(-1)), P < 0.0001. Results obtained suggest that CHF patients having hypomagnesemia had higher prevalence of ventricular arrhythmias"

Here is a link that might be useful: otassium and magnesium depletions in congestive heart failure--pathophysiology, consequences and replenishment.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I'll pass on the ad hominems, thanks, while noting that I responded to the link you provided.

"Are you suggesting that in patients with higher magnesium levels, the magnesium caused the poor prognosis? Did magnesium cause the kidneys to decline?? Or is it the other way around?? ... people who happened to have kidney failure or poor renal function had higher magnesium levels, and they didn't do as well?"

I'm suggesting that it's a really, really poor idea to suggest that magnesium supplementation is just the ticket for people with congestive heart failure (including those reading this thread), when 1) we have no idea what their current magnesium levels might be, 2) magnesium supplements might push harmless levels into an abnormally high range, 3) such high levels are correlated with excess mortality and other negative health consequences, and 4) we lack evidence that people with congestive heart failure can benefit by self-medicating with magnesium supplements without any supervision by a physician.

'Yes, and the people who had lower survival were those who took large doses of laxatives or antacids - which are indications of other health problems."

No, that doesn't explain why the people with high magnesium did poorly. The point the authors were making is twofold - that significant numbers of people with congestive heart failure were shown to be at risk from abnormally high magnesium levels, and that often these people were taking too many laxatives and/or antacids - which contain magnesium. It doesn't take much thought to realize that if over-the-counter products like these can boost magnesium levels into a dangerous range, then taking magnesium supplements could easily do the same thing.

There can be too much of a good thing.

Yes, having abnormally low magnesium (i.e. due to malnutrition) can be harmful because of the risk of abnormal heart rhythms. But how would you know that levels are low without testing by a competent lab, or that adequate diet wouldn't take care of the problem?

This discussion reinforces the need for intelligent choices made with the help of a good doctor. Don't take my word or that of apollog - check things out for yourself and run it past your physician before making potentially life-altering decisions.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> I'm suggesting that it's a really, really poor idea to suggest that magnesium supplementation is just the ticket for people with congestive heart failure

And yet no one has done that here. You are mis-characterizing anything anyone says, unless they go to a doctor and do whatever she tells you to do.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Plus you need to learn more about the study itself - who were the participants (men? women? Russians? Smokers? Drinkers (Russians have a huge alcohol problem and did the study take that into account?), etc. etc. In any case, CHF is very often part of a larger, more complex problem called Metabolic Syndrome, which is known not only to show low levels of healthy lipids, and high ones of 'bad' cholesterol, but also diabetes and other problems. MD's are just learning about it as a syndrome (vs its individual components) and there are hundreds of scientific papers generated every day all over the world on every minute aspect of it - in other words a vast amount of research, following accepted regulated, specific criteria is published daily, minus 'testimonials', minus obscure, small trials done by unknown researchers in remote areas of the world (the traditional medical research community is pretty well known to each other on an ongoing basis) and their findings consistently put under new 'microscopes' by colleagues and others to be sure they can be duplicated with consistently similar (same) results and then published again, and again, and again before coming out to the public with recommendations for any kind of treatment. Do you seriously think that we should ignore all of this in favor of one small, obscure 'study' by relatively unknown 'researchers' showing that one already exhaustively well understood chemical (magnesium), touted by a couple of internet based companies selling themselves like soap?


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A new story

Hi, sorry, me again ... it's late at night here and I realize that my previous note does not read very well grammatically... please just try to ignore that part of it. Thanks.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

apollog:"You are mis-characterizing anything anyone says, unless they go to a doctor and do whatever she tells you to do."

Speaking of mischaracterization, here's what I said a few posts ago:

"Once again we're left with these alternatives:

1) Phasing out all proven meds for herbs and/or supplements on one's own, based on recommendations in Internet forums and web searches, or

2) Discussing concerns with one's physician, including dissatisfaction with current treatment and the possible role of added herbs or supplements, in order to arrive at an optimal treatment plan.

Which do you favor?"

Nowhere in there (or anywhere else in this forum) have I ever said that one must follow exactly what a physician recommends. When one is suffering from a serious medical disorder, it is a very good idea to get it properly diagnosed and a treatment plan worked out in consultation with competent professionals. One can then choose what path to take, armed with good knowledge of one's options.

Your own link on magnesium orotate specifies that it should be combined with optimum therapy for congestive heart failure, meaning the best medical therapy available.

Apart from general disdain for doctors based on personal experience, is there some other reason you don't like the idea of people with a major medical problem consulting with physicians before deciding on a course of action?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> ... In any case, CHF is very often part of a larger, more complex problem called Metabolic Syndrome, which is known not only to show low levels of healthy lipids, and high ones of 'bad' cholesterol, but also diabetes and other problems...

Agreed. And there are ways to deal with each of the components of metabolic syndrome - exercise and diet are the biggest restorative factors in general, although other strategies may also be needed. Blood pressure needs to be controlled to prevent heart remodeling, reduce the risk of stroke, etc. Triglycerides need to be at normal levels and insulin resistance needs to be reversed. HDL needs to be above certain levels, while LDL and total cholesterol need to be below certain levels. Obesity needs to start going down.

>> Do you seriously think that we should ignore all of this in favor of one small, obscure 'study' by relatively unknown 'researchers' showing that one already exhaustively well understood chemical (magnesium), touted by a couple of internet based companies selling themselves like soap?

You are pulling the same trick as Eric - if I put a link in the box at the end of the article, you two suggest that it is the only study ever done on the subject. You don't actually do any research to determine if that is true, you don't display any knowledge on the topic, you merely dismiss it automatically as obscure and irrelevant, or pick it apart for various spurious reasons.

Further, it is ludicrous to say that Magnesium is "exhaustively well understood" ... there are entire journals devoted to the importance of magnesium in living organisms, and new discoveries are being made all the time. If magnesium is completely understood, why do these journals continue to publish research? Shouldn't they call it quits and close the journals?

As far as the economic motives of companies selling magnesium supplements, how do they differ from companies selling patented medicines for $50 a pill? Are you suggesting that supplement manufacturers are inherently suspect, while the others are inherently noble?? And does that really have any bearing on a discussion of the research?

I have raised discussion of hawthorn, taurine, creatine, magnesium, CoQ10, diet and exercise in this thread as potential strategies. Anyone have others??


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"As far as the economic motives of companies selling magnesium supplements, how do they differ from companies selling patented medicines for $50 a pill?"

Answer: they don't. The difference is that supplements are marketed with far less oversight, minimal to zero requirement that related health claims are backed with evidence of efficacy and safety, and much poorer standardization so you often don't know what you're getting in a pill or capsule.

I don't know what specific reference lucy might have been making in her post, but magnesium orotate supplements seem to be one of the hot new items on the market today, especially when you check out bodybuilding and sports supplement-related websites. Lots of testimonials and unsupported claims, not much evidence.

As for "$50 a pill", which of the medications described in the opening post do you believe cost this much? I think your estimate is a bit high. ;)

"You are pulling the same trick as Eric - if I put a link in the box at the end of the article, you two suggest that it is the only study ever done on the subject. You don't actually do any research to determine if that is true, you don't display any knowledge on the topic, you merely dismiss it automatically as obscure and irrelevant, or pick it apart for various spurious reasons."

Readers can only assume that you are posting the best evidence you've got for a claim. If it's substandard, it's only fair to point out the flaws. We can't be expected to run around trying to find more solid evidence, especially when it doesn't exist or has been debunked by better quality work.

As for your last statement, I agree with you on diet and exercise, and possibly one or more of your suggested supplements, coordinated with the physician(s) responsible for treating the congestive heart failure. I've raised the importance of discussing medical therapy with the physician who can advise on optimal care, which will also include information on what drug-supplement interactions and side effects may need to be watched for.

Who do you think is qualified to take on this role and oversee care, if not a physician?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I came homefrom Texas yesterday and read the belicose drivel from the pathetic US medical idiots and was so angry i waited untill today to post. Just what kind of redneck ethnic racist are you missy nurse. That you would make such an ignorant untrue blanket statement about Russians. 1 They do not have an alchol problem there. The US DOES HAVE ONE PLUS A DRUG PROBLEM.Just where in US studies does it say how many alcholics and drug abusers are in the study, In fact the US medical Business has a problem with alcohol and drugs itself. How many med researchers are on drugs or alcohol? The way you two act. It would not surprise me if you two do.I don't know and i don't care. So don't throw stones at anyone else.

A couple of facts about Russia for ignorant racists.

1- The literacy rate for Russians is %99.4 literate. The US IS %99 So they are a fraction more literate than us.

2 They have an overabundance of oil, Export and production goes up every year from $12 BILLION IN 1999 TO $470 BILLION in 2007. tHE 3RD IN THE WORLD. Of course everyone knows where the US stand in this area.

3- GDP- in Russia GDP grew at a rate of 8.15. Ours was 3.5 last year.The idiots in Washington are giving Russia 982.7 million a
year in economic aid. They're doing so much better than us they should be giving us aid.
4- Russia exports autos, clothing, medicine, medical supplies,furniture,toys military equipment scientific equipment. The US imports autos,clothing,medicine, medical supplys,furniture, toys and scientific equipment.
The US DOES EXPORT MILITARY SUPPLYS.

5- Russia ended it's 9th straigt year of growth. Consumer demand and investments are up as is oil export. We all know about where the US stands
About Russia,s scientific accomplishments. Who had the first artificial satilite? Who is on equal footing with the US in space at the moment. All sciences are up and getting more improved every year.

I have no Russian ties or relations.But i detest racial or ethnic slurs and I'm of French ancestry.France has the #1 medical health care system in the world, The US IS IN #37TH PLACE. I do not like the Russian Government.However they are getting more democratic and we are getting less so. Also the pitiful studies of the US can't begin to compare with the thousands of years of collective studies done by qualified herbalogists across the world.
By the way missy nurse have you not noticied how the supposed doctor on this forum ignores your comments always and oppolog does'nt.That remark about RN.s in another thread should have alerted you to his being a possible sexist also.
Be sure and read the link below. It's a perfect description of you two.
I was e-mailed a link to another garden forum site. It costs some to join but they do not allow people like you on the forums and they moniter regularly. So i'm going over there, though i feel like i still have unfinished business here so i'll be around for awhile,off and on.
You'll have to scroll down to see link to article. Don't know if it's my fault or MSNBC,s

Here is a link that might be useful: Hospital Bullies Take a Toll on Patient Safety


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Ha ha! You have SO done a knee jerk reaction here without knowing anything else at all about me or where I've come from (in various ways). You need to do some reading up on the current situation there, and what happened to many people who fell between the cracks after Glasnost - nowhere to go after having been 'taken care of' for all their lives, but lots of comfort in a bottle. Alcoholism is a fact of life in Russia today, a serious one, whatever problems the U.S. has or not, and whatever you may (validly) think of Russia, good or bad, that's one problem no one disputes. It has nothing to do with anyone's politics, just a phenomenon, or consequence of the major changes that took place in '91. I made no racial or ethnic slurs on Russians, because I referred to it only as a nation, and did not 'slur' any one ethnic group. I am not a nurse BTW. I do think you might be quite surprised though, to know what my personal politics are, and they are not those of either present day Russia, or of the '50's-60's U.S. Just because someone points out a problem somewhere doesn't mean they are in any way anti that 'somewhere' in any respect, only that their eyes may be open to that individual problem. One thing I know for sure though is that I won't be paying Dave's Garden anytime soon for the 'privilege' of using their right wing, born-again website to be preached at when all I want is gardening info!


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

RE-READ YOUR STATEMENT MADAM.
Would you like to make a statement on New Orleans and Katrina, madam. You are probably unaware of it?

It's amazing the games you medics play to avoid the real issue. I notice you did'nt address the other uncomfortable issues.


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I Was Wrong!!!

I stand corrected. After googling, I concede Russia has a drinking problem.

After googling drug and alcohol abuse in USA, i found the government does not publish statistics on alcohol or drug abuse. Intresting!! I wonder why. But count on it the US has a problem too.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Oaklief... what is your problem (with me)? And where or where did you get the idea I'm racist (which you've mentioned in another thread and referenced - I assume - in Katrina and N.O.? What's wrong with you? And why do you call me/us bullies (I saw that article BTW and totally agree that arrogance and bad manners need to be addressed - I've been a victim of them on various occasions)? Working in a hospital doesn't automatically make one a bully anymore than expressing opinions on this forum does, nor does any of it preclude anyone at all from joining the forums and putting out as many posts as they like on any subjects. It's preposterous to think that just because I (and Eric or anyone else here) are somehow driving away poor timid little souls wanting herbal information just because we also express our views on occasion. How could I possibly make the slightest dent in their posts, or anyone else's replies just because I advocate caution in taking drugs without knowing enough about them, without understanding that just testimonials or so-called 'research' (from sources the medical community is totally unfamiliar with) may not be adequate background for dosing oneself or (and I really hate this) one's children with who knows what. I have NO axe to grind about natural medicines that have come down through word of mouth for even centuries, only that one needs to be careful, and particularly when it comes to 'new' stuff from other countries where standards are not as good as ours. Get over it/me/us already!


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Why are natural herbs better than active compound purified out of the same plant and measured for dose? Get on digitalis, its just foxglove but with out the wildly variable natural dose problem, its got fewer side effects than the herb and its safer, and it comes out of an herbal tradition if you care about that sort of thing. You still cook with sugar not with sorghum, its the same thing only instead of your cake being sweet the upside to this one is that you don't die.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"Why are natural herbs better than active compound purified out of the same plant and measured for dose?"

This claim is common among those who rely on a kind of magical/religious perception of herbs - that they were put on earth for man's benefit (we've had posters here before who believed this) and that "tampering" with them to purify and/or standardize their active ingredients is somehow bad.

What they don't see is that herbs in general contain a complex array of chemical compounds - some inert, some beneficial, some harmful. These compounds might act syngergistically to boost an effect, or might antagonize each other to diminish an effect. There's nothing intrinsically wonderful about such mixtures in a "whole herb" - except possibly in how they might benefit the plant that evolved them. It's only through careful study that we can tell what constituents of a herb are useful in humans.

This "whole herb good, purified extract bad" claim comes up in an otherwise pretty good article on growing your own medicinal herbs, which appears in the current issue of Mother Earth News.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

We can dismiss thoughts of magic, but not of evolution. We evolved to eat certain whole foods (including many herbs) - and in the past few thousand years of the agricultural revolution, our diet has narrowed dramatically (with negative consequences). Two species of grass (wheat and corn) account for a huge portion of our plant intake. It doesn't require magical thinking that suggests that this might be unhealthy, it is a line of reasoning based on evolutionary biology, supported by research, and intuitive to boot.

While some herbs are drugs, others are best regarded as foods. Do you think we should eat a defined tablet containing a certain amount of sugar, a particular amount of potassium, and an exact amount of a few purified chemicals - or an apple?? Did God or nature or chance put exactly what is needed in an apple, or should we reduce all foods to individual chemical components, and then choose which ones we would like to consume?

If it is apparent that a herb contains toxic ingredients that are not involved in the therapeutic effect, then by all means, remove them. If a particular herb can lead to overdose, then by all means, use appropriate caution and look into standardizing it in some fashion to prevent overdose. But where is the logic to suggest that dandelion root tea is inferior to some hypothetical standardized extract of dandelion root??


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Speaking of CHF, whole foods and herbs: here is an article I came across that found that explains some of the mechanism where olive leaf (and unrefined olive oil) can have beneficial effects on the heart, including hypertension, arrhythmia, heart rate and congestive issues.

Many researchers have focused solely on the types of fat in olive oil, to the exclusion of other important ingredients. A diet with olive leaf tea and virgin olive oil seems to offer benefits that refined olive oil does not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cardiotonic and antidysrhythmic effects of oleanolic and ursolic acids, methyl maslinate and uvaol.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

The article to which you linked does not recommend consuming olive oil for your heart.

What it refers to are potential beneficial effects of extracts of certain olive tree leaves (interestingly, it does not postulate a greater benefit for a crude herbal extract than for a purified product). And since the study refers to chemically "induced" arrhythmias, I wonder if it involves study in humans.

The type of fat in olive oil isn't as bad as some other cooking oils in regard to health, but it isn't the greatest thing either.

"Consuming two tablespoons of (olive oil) fat each day in addition to meals could easily increase your calorie consumption by about 240 calories a day. If you consume, over time, 3,500 calories more than you expend, you'll gain a pound. So, unless you restrict other calories throughout the day, that oil could actually cause you to gain a pound every two weeks or so."

That excess weight would be detrimental to a patient with heart disease.

"While some herbs are drugs, others are best regarded as foods. Do you think we should eat a defined tablet containing a certain amount of sugar, a particular amount of potassium, and an exact amount of a few purified chemicals - or an apple?? Did God or nature or chance put exactly what is needed in an apple, or should we reduce all foods to individual chemical components, and then choose which ones we would like to consume?"

Foods are a different matter than drugs intended to treat a specific problem (although some time you'll have to tell us why you think an apple contains "exactly what is needed". ;) However, I'd agree that consuming a balanced, calorie-limited diet including lots of fruits and vegetables is superior to a fatty high-calorie diet with a bunch of supplements thrown in.

"But where is the logic to suggest that dandelion root tea is inferior to some hypothetical standardized extract of dandelion root??"

I don't know. Has someone been talking about dandelion root tea?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Brendon, You asked "Why are natural compounds better than active compounds purified out of the same plant an measured for dose.... digitalis....foxglove." In some cases they are similar in others they're not. You have to take into consideration tho the side affects of the chemical compound of each. They're both chemical compounds, both Herbal and medical.
Digitalis is in the medicine digoxin. I wont even mention the minor side affects. The major side affects are disorientation, enlarged and painful breasts,hallucinations,loss of appitite,mental depression,severe stomach pain,nausia.palpations,slowed heart rate,blured vision, vomiting. Some of these symptoms could kill too. It also interacts with 36 different drugs. Two of which are diuretics and anti-acids. There simply are no easy answers Brendon. I guess it's pick your poison.

One of the reasons i decided herbs were more to my liking was because Herbs have been tested for thousands of years and the farther back we go the more incentive herbalists had to perfect their drugs and doses. Their life was on the line if they failed.plus a tortued death. That would make anyone want to test an herbal out to the best of their ability. These men had a brain the same size as ours and shaped the same, In no way were they ignorant. Thus had same areas of brain in same places as ours. Some of them probably did use a majical or religious practice to persuade people to use their services. So does modern medicine. They use fear as
did some ancient medicine men. "See your doctor" Something you hear every time you turn around.TV,books,magazines,mail,internet. With doctors officies full everyday and most with patients with no serious problem other than that they heard "you better see your doctor. that quarter inch scratch looks bad." Nuts!!! Get a tetunis shot every 5 years (thats a med i go for) and put some mercurachrome (SP) or vinager on it. and stay out of hospitals unless it gets infected. HOSPITAL BORNE STAPH runs around hospitals.For eric, thats nosocomial infections.
One Has to put in alot of time and study no matter which way they go. There are books on ancient herbs by ancient well known,intelligent knowledgable herbal doctors. There are also books on medical knowledge. I try to get used text books from universitys. There are also places on line.

Hope i've not sounded too onesided here. There are arguments for both types of healing. Must be getting old, i like the old ways.
oakleif


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>>The article to which you linked does not recommend consuming olive oil for your heart.

>>What it refers to are potential beneficial effects of extracts of certain olive tree leaves (interestingly, it does not postulate a greater benefit for a crude herbal extract than for a purified product). And since the study refers to chemically "induced" arrhythmias, I wonder if it involves study in humans.

Again, you are either unable to think beyond the ink on the page, or attempting to mislead. The compounds that article discusses are present in olive leaf, and in olives, and virgin olive oil, while the refining process removes most of them from highly processed olive oil.

>> Foods are a different matter than drugs intended to treat a specific problem (although some time you'll have to tell us why you think an apple contains "exactly what is needed". ;)

Where is the hard and fast delineation between food and medicine? Where are the double-blind placebo controlled studies that prove such a concept? If diet and exercise can reverse heart disease, then your perspective is proven wrong. And of course, many studies have shown that diet and exercise can reverse different types of heart disease.

My statement based on apples (and other foods) containing exactly what we need is based on evolution. We evolved to eat certain foods, and adjusted to that. The koala evolved to eat eucalyptus leaves (which can be toxic to other animals in large doses). Yet over time, the koala changed to actually need eucalyptus leaves, and fails to thrive without them.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"The compounds that article discusses are present in olive leaf, and in olives, and virgin olive oil, while the refining process removes most of them from highly processed olive oil."

You advised consuming olive oil, which your link does not recommend. It's high in calories as noted, and I can't find any recommendations by the American Heart Association or sources in the literature documenting that this is a good idea for heart failure patients. As for olive leaf tea (which you also suggested), it's unclear that it would contain the supposedly beneficial compounds that the article describes as being present in purified or crude extracts from certain kinds of olive leaves.

"Think(ing) beyond the ink on the page" means guessing - I hope you can supply this missing information for us.

As for humans eating apples and koalas relying on eucalyptus leaves, I think we can see the differences there without further discussion. Interesting diversion, though. :)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

eric, i don't see the difference. Please tell me. koala and eucaliptus, humans and apples.Should i eat eucliptus and a koala eat apples. Or is there not a genetic difference between us and koalas. Probably a simple question. I'm just a simple person who really wants to know.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> You advised consuming olive oil, which your link does not recommend.

Actually, what I said was: "A diet with olive leaf tea and virgin olive oil seems to offer benefits that refined olive oil does not." I agree that simply adding olive oil on top of an existing diet may lead to weight gain - but replacing less healthy sources of fat with olive oil does not mean an increase in calories.

The link is about oleanolic and ursolic acids, methyl maslinate and uvaol. In that study, these were derived from olive leaf. They are also present in olives and virgin olive oil. Are you suggesting that ursolic acid has different effects when taken with olive leaf extract than when consumed as a tea or in olives or olive oil?? Is this some synergism you are proposing? Where is the evidence for that?

>> As for olive leaf tea (which you also suggested), it's unclear that it would contain the supposedly beneficial compounds that the article describes as being present in purified or crude extracts from certain kinds of olive leaves.

What you mean by "its unclear" is that you would like to raise uncertainty and doubt, even though you have not bothered to research the subject at hand.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

The link is about oleanolic and ursolic acids, methyl maslinate and uvaol. In that study, these were derived from olive leaf. They are also present in olives and virgin olive oil. Are you suggesting that ursolic acid has different effects when taken with olive leaf extract than when consumed as a tea or in olives or olive oil??

Are you suggesting that the chemical composition of fruits is always comparable to that of extracts obtained from their leaves? I haven't found that to be the case. We still have unanswered questions, including 1) whether either using olive oil or drinking olive leaf tea provides significant health benefits (including, in the case of olive oil, overcoming disadvantages of the high calories involved, and 2) whether the study you cited was even done in human beings. Since it refers to experimental chemically-induced heart arrhythmias (something no responsible institution would ever allow in people), it's likely the study involved animals (rats, maybe?). As you know, drugs that show a possibly useful effect in rodents and other experimental animals cannot be assumed safe and effective in humans.

As for your personal attack, it is unwarranted and detracts from helping us to understand this issue.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Are you suggesting that the chemical composition of fruits is always comparable to that of extracts obtained from their leaves?

If we have studied ursolic and oleanic acids, and they exert multiple beneficial effects, and if we know that olives contain significant amounts of ursolic and oleanic acids, then I would argue that we know something about olives. Just as if a newly discovered plant contained large amounts of nicotine ... it would be possible to know some things about the effects of that plant based simply on the fact that it contained nicotine. As to whether that makes it 'always comparable' in your unpredictable system of logic, I have no idea.

>> We still have unanswered questions, including 1) whether either using olive oil or drinking olive leaf tea provides significant health benefits ...

If you are still wondering if olive oil has significant health benefits (or is merely a concentrated source of calories), then I guess I will just leave you to sit and wonder. And who is this 'we' that you speak for?? Is there a mouse in your shirt pocket?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I think Eric was referring to other people on the forum.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"And who is this 'we' that you speak for?? Is there a mouse in your shirt pocket?"

Oh My Goodness! As soon as I read that last line in Apollog's last post, "Her name is Lucy" popped into my head as a response. THEN I scroll down to the next post... Sorry, but I just had to giggle...


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I think the only rodents involved are the ones in apollog's study. ;)

I won't bother commenting further about the differences in chemical composition often found when looking at plant leaves, roots or fruits. But anyone who's studied herbs to any extent knows about this phenomenon. Seeing that not even the authors in apollog's study are claiming that olive oil and olive leaf tea cause the positive effects described in the study, that should be food for thought.

There are other cooking oils that may well be better for you than olive oil - for instance canola oil, which contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (which have been linked to lower incidence of coronary artery disease and heart attacks). These components are also thought to have potential in controlling abnormal heart rhythms.

At least we're talking about different types of oils that offer reasonable choices for cooking - unlike awhile back when a couple of posters (including someone involving in running a coconut plantation) were hyping coconut oil as a cure-all (coconut oil is very high in saturated fat and a bad choice for those concerned about cholesterol levels).


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Tasymo, you're allowed to giggle at all the posts on this thread. I do often.

eric, you have to quit talking to that mouse. Did you reread your statment above.

"I wont bother commenting further about the differences in chemical composition often found when looking at plant leaves,roots, or fruits But anyone who has studied herbs to any extent knows this phenomenon.

eric, From the first grade on everyone knows there is a different chem. comp. between leaf,root, fruit. Where's the phenomenon? Duh!!!
Appolo was also right. There can be the same chems in each part. There are after all thousands of different molecules and atoms in every herb.
apollo,Will you quit baiting eric than sit back chuckling and plotting your next chess move. You could use your grey cells answering these everyday herbalism questions that pop up or do you think that is above you guys and this is your own private chess board and people who ask questions about herbalism ar'nt worth s%#t.Hello in there!! Are you awake? There are very nice people in the world who would like to ask YOU a simple question and would like a polite answer back from preferably several people. Are any of you up to that task? Please! Please! Please consider people who come here asking questions. It simply can't be that hard. So come on and set a good example for someone else. PLEASE

I'm going to try and contact daisyduckworth and get her back on here. She's studied herbalism for many years and wrote at least 2 and maybe 3 books on the subject.If she don't know the answer it's not worth knowing. Anyone who is nasty to her is going to answer to several other of us.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> At least we're talking about different types of oils that offer reasonable choices for cooking - unlike awhile back when a couple of posters (including someone involving in running a coconut plantation) were hyping coconut oil as a cure-all (coconut oil is very high in saturated fat and a bad choice for those concerned about cholesterol levels).

Again, you are making faulty generalizations, and your ideas of reasonable are quite wrong. But I'm glad you brought up coconut oil, which I would consume (in reasonable amount, although more than I do now) if I had congestive heart issues.

When interest in fats and cholesterol first developed in the 1970s, people were told to cut back on eggs, avocados and shrimp. Since then, it has become clear that eating even two eggs a day does not raise cholesterol, that avocado fat is healthy (provided it isn't eaten to the point of causing obesity), and that eating shrimp raises good cholesterol (HDL) more than it raises bad (LDL) cholesterol.

And then there is coconut oil, which contains 'saturated fat' and has been equated with pork lard, in spite of obvious differences in the fats and how they are handled by the body. The truth is that most of the 'saturated fats' in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides, which are very different from the saturated fat in meat and dairy products.

In fact, medium chain tryglcerides are being used to treat heart disease, including cardiomyopathies (of which, CHF is one type):

"INTRODUCTION: Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) have physical and metabolic properties that are distinct from those of long-chain fatty acids, which make them a readily available cellular energy source. These properties have been used advantageously in the clinics for more than 50 years for treating lipid absorption disorders, undernourished patients, and more recently subjects with long-chain fatty acid oxidation defects. In these latter subjects, nutritional interventions with MCFA-containing triglycerides have been shown to improve clinical symptoms, particularly cardiomyopathies. POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MCFA METABOLISM IN CARDIAC DISEASES: There is, however, only a limited number of studies that have considered the potential use of MCFAs as metabolic therapy for cardiac diseases in general. Nevertheless, current experimental evidence does support the notion that the diseased heart is energy deficient and that alterations in myocardial energy substrate metabolism contribute to contractile dysfunction and cardiac disease development and progression." (Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2008 Feb 6; Medium-chain Fatty Acids as Metabolic Therapy in Cardiac Disease.)

"Yet most of the saturated fats in coconut are medium chain fatty acids whose properties and metabolism are different to those of animal origin. Medium chain fatty acids do not undergo degradation and re-esterification processes and are directly used in the body to produce energy. They are not as 'bad for health' as saturated fats. There is the need to clarify issues relating to intake of coconut fats and health, more particularly for populations that still depend on coconut fats for much of their fat intake. This paper describes the metabolism of coconut fats and its potential benefits, and attempts to highlight its benefits to remove certain misconceptions regarding its use." (Ceylon Med J. 2006 Jun;51(2):47-51. Coconut fats.)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

If heart disease a concern with coconut oil consumption, how can anyone explain Sri Lanka?? That country uses coconut as the primary source of fat, yet has the lowest rate of ischemic heart disease (caused by blockages and clots).

"Feeding of MCT to rats resulted in animals of low body weight, small fat deposits and excellent survival rate. This deserves emphasis because of the beneficial influence of low body weight on aging and arteriosclerosis. MCT feeding was associated with low linoleate and low tocopherol requirements in rats. This may lead to reduced formation of those linoleate derived prostaglandins which favor thrombosis formation. Lower linoleate requirements may also lead to the presence of fewer uncontrolled free radicals in the cells. MCT feeding is associated with low levels of serum and liver cholesterol involving speculations that tissue conditions are such that an adaptive increase of cholesterol is unnecessary. The Demographic Yearbook of the United Nations (1978) reported that Sri Lanka has the lowest death rate from ischemic heart disease. Sri Lanka is the only of the countries giving reliable data where coconut oil (containing over 50% medium chain fatty acids) is the main dietary fat." (J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 1986 Mar-Apr;6(3-4):115-21. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in aging and arteriosclerosis.)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

If your primary source of fat is coconut then you aren't getting much fat probably, the Sri Lankan diet is fairly calorie restricted so heart disease is less of an issue, also life expectancy just recently hit the high 60's/ low 70's the population is fairly young. You will note how it is the lowest death rate not the lowest prevalence, that could be assumed to be because other things were killing them first at that time, like a medical system based solely on herbalism which yields a life expectancy of about 45 years at best (its true, no one broke that number until science based medicine came along).


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Total fat intake may indeed be one factor. But coconut oil is easily extracted and widely used in Sri Lanka.

The biggest effect on life expectancy comes from infant mortality - averaging in a few more zeros or ones brings the average down quickly. In terms of 'modern' changes, the two biggest factors are clean water and antibiotics.

While many consider the use of antibiotics as antithetic to herbalism, I do not. I think fungi are great - I ferment foods, I eat mushrooms. Red rice and oyster mushrooms ('natural') are loaded with statins, and have been around for a while before they were extracted, tableted, and billed as 'modern western medicine.' In fact, until recently, most medicines were derived or inspired by plants; recently the trend has been more towards molecules found in the body or variants thereof.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

An interesting fact is that one of the highest rates of cardiac disease in the world is in India. It is also believed to be a genetic problem and is being studied, so it's not necessarily directly related to any food, but if a lot of coconut oil is used (I'm assuming Sri Lankan diets are not a lot different from Indian) as well as the clarified butter used in so many dishes there, it could have an aggravating effect, if nothing else.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Clarified butter could have a possible role (especially when it is highly oxidized), and ghee is more widely consumed in India. I think 'modernization' is the biggest factor in the increase in the increase in India (and China, and other countries) - people have given up physical activity and are eating more processed foods, which leads to obesity, hypertension, cholesterol issues, diabetes, impaired vascular function, hypercoagulation of the blood, and a few other things.

The thing about MCTs in coconut oil is that they can pass directly into the energy centers of the cell and be used. I mentioned previously the link between carnitine deficiency and CHF - without carnitine, larger fats cannot pass into mitochondria and there is an energy deficit. Smaller fats (including the MCTs in coconut) do not need carnitine dependent transport. So increasing carnitine levels is one strategy to increase metabolic function of the heart; another is to take MCTs that get absorbed and used regardless of carnitine transport.

"Indians use a lot of ghee (clarified butter), garlic and yoghurt for cooking and Sri Lankans use coconut milk instead and ghee only sparingly." http://www.lavenderhill.co.uk/index.php/food/food-the-ceylon-tavern.html


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"Western Medicine" really means medicine that uses the scientific method, typically isolation is used because at this point we aren't advanced enough to study much synergy, but eventually it will get to that point; now a days people just guess as to synergistic effect, and use magical thinking. Western medicine does not mince words about it and accepts that most of the medicine is found in plants and fungi, it wasn't pulled out of thin air, it was improved. Also, flush toilets and dental care account for a huge extension in lifespan, if you don't get a wound and have clean water those two factors count for more than antibiotics.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Your conclusions on synergism are interesting but I'm not sure that I agree.

Here's a curiousity: I did a search for CHF and synergy, and came across the article below that suggests that diuretics result in rapid improvements of symptoms for CHF, but generally don't stop progression of the disease (they probably disturb the renin-angiotensin systems, so an ACE inhibitor is also a good idea). Which led me to dust off my notes on hibiscus, and as I suspected, that herb has both diuretic and ACE inhibition properties!

How's that for synergy?? A drink that may have been the original 'Kool-Aid' (until red coal tar dyes were discovered) lowers blood pressure in two different ways, and those 2 ways are coincidentally both useful to treat CHF. I suspect that the co-occurrence of diuretics and ACE inhibitors is not so rare in herbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Refocus on diuretics in the treatment of heart failure.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

OK! Guess no one can answer simple Questions about herbs. Shame too.

Anyone want to add sunflower oil to the equation? That's what i use.

Lucy, Does Canadians use mostly lard for cooking. A canadian told me that it,s even hard to find veggie oils on store shelves. I use lard myself sometimes since recently and think it is a good thing. I'm allowed my own taste in foods.

Brendon, I know you have to be or have taken Chemistry. Can you really relate scientific method as relates to real science and the methods used in medical studies as anywhere near the same thing. In real science it's all or nothing. So how can an experiment that proves %10 did and %12 did,nt and the other %68 were inconclusive. I know... an exaggerated number. But still..... and an Up Quark will always be a %100 lepton.No doubt about it, even if you get into string theory or W theory.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Coconut oil is still not viewed as a healthy choice when consumed on a regular basis.

"Trans fat has received a lot of well-deserved scrutiny -- at the same time, while it's critical that we continue to push aggressively to minimize its consumption, trans fat is just one part of the 'big fat picture,'" said Robert H. Eckel, M.D., immediate past president of the American Heart Association, chair of its trans fat task force and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at Denver. "It's equally important that we avoid increasing saturated fat in its place. Both trans and saturated fats raise LDLs, the bad cholesterol, and increase the risk of developing heart disease...The American Heart Association's campaign helps break down complex fat information, focusing initially on the bad fats and healthier alternatives. It's important for consumers to eat all fats in moderation, and eat foods with the "bad" fats as treats only -- once in a while -- rather than often.

BAD fats: Trans and saturated fats...Some plant foods, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, also contain saturated fat."

Coconut oil and other tropicals oils are products to limit in trying to control your fat intake:

"Both men and women should keep their total fat consumption below 30%35% of daily calories. Since fat is the most calorie-dense food (9 calories per gram), levels as low as 20%25% are appropriate when weight is an issue.

To achieve these goals, cut down on saturated fat from animal products and certain vegetable products palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, and coconut. And its just as important to reduce your consumption of trans fatty acids, the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in stick margarine, fried foods, and many commercially baked goods and snack foods."

As the Harvard Medical Letter notes, coconut oil substantially increases levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, though it also boosts "good" (HDL) cholesterol. The overall recommendation is not that coconut and coconut oil have to be completely avoided, but regarded as occasional components of treats, not as something to be consumed every day.

I think the advice of experts in the field of nutrition and heart disease outweigh what the coconut industry and a few studies that don't apply to Western nations and diet are claiming. As for Sri Lanka, it'd be interesting to see how their total calorie and fat load as well as genetic and lifestyle factors compare to that of Americans, before we start assuming that switching to coconut oil for cooking is what supposedly reduces one type of heart disease (their life expectancy still trails that of Americans).


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> OK! Guess no one can answer simple Questions about herbs. Shame too.

Which question are you referring to, Oakleif? Did you catch my previous post mentioning hibiscus and its effect on two different mechanisms of congestive heart failure??

>> I think the advice of experts in the field of nutrition and heart disease outweigh what the coconut industry and a few studies that don't apply to Western nations

Appeal to authority is a fallacy, particularly when the authorities consistently generalize all saturated fats, and when they routinely equate hydrogenated coconut oil with ordinary coconut oil.

Your welcome to ignore all the research on the benefits of medium chain triglycerides and heart disease and the fact that coconut is the richest source of MCTs.

>> "Both men and women should keep their total fat consumption below 30%35% of daily calories. Since fat is the most calorie-dense food (9 calories per gram), levels as low as 20%25% are appropriate when weight is an issue.

While this generality may be more or less true under average circumstances, it ignores the fact that medium chain triglycerides do more to turn off hunger than other types of calories. MCTs have shown the ability to improve satiety, reduce calorie consumption, increase energy expenditure, reduce fat deposition in arteries, and other beneficial effects, even though they fall into the 'saturated fat' category. Chemically, they are saturated, but they are quite different from longer chain fats. Just as HDL is cholesterol, but is quite different from LDL. Maybe in decade or two, the AHA will be able to make such a distinction; they went from saying all cholesterol was bad to understanding that there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The same is true for saturated fats.

"Furthermore, both animal and human trials suggest a greater satiating effect of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) compared with long-chain triglycerides (LCT)... Clinical trials (23,24) have shown that MCT consumption can lead to lower energy intakes ..." (Physiological Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides: Potential Agents in the Prevention of Obesity; http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/3/329)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Oaklief - Canadians (unless they live in a shack thousands of miles from anywhere civilized at all) have everything you have and more (lots from the UK and Europe). I've never heard such nonsense, but then anything's possible. We're very health conscious and possibly the majority of food using oil in any capacity has been changed to non-trans fat versions. I guess you could find e.g. some locally made donuts or something in a little rural area that are made with lard (yuck!) but highly unlikely in a supermkt.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Ok, here is a 15 year study on 80,000+ women in North America that found that short and medium chained saturated fats carried no increased risk of heart disease, while long chain saturated fats (from meat and milk) clearly did increase the risk of heart disease.

So please don't tell us that it is just the natives in their thatched huts on the other side of the world that might be able to tolerate coconut oil. There is no evidence that coconut oil is a culprit in heart disease - that is a dogma you cling to, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. As a food rich in medium chained triglycerides, coconut oil is of interest to congestive heart failure, malabsorption syndrome, and a variety of other conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dietary saturated fats and their food sources in relation to the risk of coronary heart disease in women.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I'm not sure where you're getting the impressions you've drawn from that last linked study.

Its conclusions are that a particular type of saturated fat (stearic acid) isn't any different than other types of saturated fat when it comes to the risk of heart disease. While the study's abstract says nothing about coconut oil, the authors do warn of heart risk in general from saturated fat - and we know that coconut oil is high in saturated fat.

The study you refer to in your previous post doesn't seem to refer to heart disease at all. As far as I can tell, wading through all the discussion of MCT, LCT, white leghorn cockerels, rats and occasionally humans (I can sense tasymo's eyes glazing over at all the jargon and acronyms), they're saying that a certain type of fatty acid might help in weight loss, though not if you ingest it for more than a week or so.

No doubt you'll once again criticize me for responding to your linked studies and ignoring scads of other research that backs you up, except that it never seems to be forthcoming.

apollog: "Appeal to authority is a fallacy"

This is a puzzling statement. I've lost count of how many research paper abstracts you've linked to, most recently from the Harvard School of Public Health. Those are certainly "authorities". Did you mean to say "Appeal to authority is a fallacy if I don't agree with those authorities"? ;)

Of course, not all "authorities" are created equal. There's a world of difference between, say, the American Heart Association and some guy who publishes diatribes on a website and sells supplements on the side. There's tremendous difference between the New England Journal of Medicine and the Ceylon Medical Journal. There's a huge difference between long-term multicenter double-blind clinical trials and the advice of the co-worker in the next cubicle.

A lot depends on who the "authority" is, what their training and expertise is, and whether their conclusions are relevant to the matter under discussion.

This sounds like a good subject for a future thread...


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Its conclusions are that a particular type of saturated fat (stearic acid) isn't any different than other types of saturated fat when it comes to the risk of heart disease. While the study's abstract says nothing about coconut oil, the authors do warn of heart risk in general from saturated fat - and we know that coconut oil is high in saturated fat.

The study found ".. intakes of short- to medium-chain saturated fatty acids (4:0-10:0) were not significantly associated with the risk of CHD." This is completely at variance with your dogmatic insistence that all saturated fats are bad for the heart, but it is in agreement with other studies that have looked at coconuts and heart disease around the world.

It did not warn that all saturated fats are equally bad, merely that stearic acid was no better than the saturated fats found in a typical diet (ie, stearic acid is no better than the other saturated fats found in a diet rich in meat and milk, which are long chain fatty acids).

>> This is a puzzling statement. I've lost count of how many research paper abstracts you've linked to, most recently from the Harvard School of Public Health. Those are certainly "authorities". Did you mean to say "Appeal to authority is a fallacy if I don't agree with those authorities"? ;)

Obviously, you either don't understand the difference between research and opinion, or you are being dense on purpose. I suspect it is the latter. Citing research is quite different from citing authoritative opinion. You are the flexitarian who is switching between the need for 'evidence' and opinion. When the evidence from a 15 year study involving 80,000 women in North America coincidentally agrees with the research conducted in a number of other studies worldwide, you sweep the results away and cast more innuendo.

Which isn't surprising, as you are here as a troll. People here understand that you have no intention of honestly discussing herbs. You are an ideologue who plays dirty, and then when you are called on it, you play the martyr and act indignant that anyone would question your motives or character.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Wha... Huh? Did you guys say something? Dozed off for a minute there!

Seriously, I am doggedly wading through your posts because this topic is of interest to me- My Father died of congestive heart failure, and my Mother in Law is currently struggling with it. At this point She is on a series of meds. prescribed by her Doctor and is working hard to make major changes in her diet.

I am very aware that if I am to avoid the same struggle, NOW is the time for me to be eating the proper kinds of foods. I cut trans fats as completely from my diet as I possibly can (and I curse the FDA regularly for allowing packaging to claim "zero trans fats" when there is 1/2 gram or less per serving...) and am very pleased that in doing so, managed to bring my LDL level down and HDL up.

Question: What's up with this "interestified fat" I'm finding where so much trans fat used to be. My feeling is that food Scientist are once again fooling around with normal fats and I DON'T TRUST THEM! If I see interestified fats, I don't by the product.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

The interesterified fats have been constructed to have all the properties of partially hydrogenated oils, but which technically are not. The food industry is looking for fats that are semi-solid at room temperature, and which have a long shelf life and a high boiling point for frying.

Too soon to say how bad they are, but some preliminary research indicates they are on par with trans-fats as far as having negative effects on health. How the body will react after eating them for 30 years is not fully known ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia page on interesterified fats - a good overview


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Thanks Apollog- that's pretty much what I figured. I will continue to avoid interestified fats along with trans fats.

Interesting information about Hibiscus. I wonder if there us enough Hibiscus in the "Red Zinger" tea to be effective? I've always enjoyed the tang the Hibiscus adds to that blend.

Another point I meant to make awhile back when you two were debating the amount of caffiene in a "can of Red Bull". Are you aware that they sell that stuff in two different sized cans? Both 16 oz. and 8 oz. cans are available.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Perhaps apollog is not aware that groups such as the American Heart Association base their recommendations on years of careful, quality research. They do not revise those opinions overnight based on a handful of papers that look at rat studies or what a published in the Ceylon Medical Journal claims. They look at the sum total of the available evidence. They are not "authorities" who advise us on heart-healthy strategies because they like bossing us around. They're concerned with keeping us as healthy as possible.

"When the evidence from a 15 year study involving 80,000 women in North America coincidentally agrees with the research conducted in a number of other studies worldwide, you sweep the results away and cast more innuendo"

That "evidence" has nothing to do with heart disease, which is the subject of this thread.

As to your latest personal attack, it is unwarranted and detracts from our understanding of the issues under discussion.

tasymo, the caffeine content I cited was for the 8-ounce can (76 mg., intermediate between the typical cup of instant and brewed coffees). 16 ounces of Red Bull would put you up at or exceeding the caffeine content of other energy drinks with names like "Full Throttle Fury" and "Monster Energy", and well over the caffeine content of a typical cup of brewed coffee. If people drink a can every once in awhile it's probably no different than coffee drinking. If someone with a heart condition is a regular drinker, though, you wonder if jittering up your system with all that caffeine might override what potential benefits the taurine content supposedly provides.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Perhaps apollog is not aware that groups such as the American Heart Association base their recommendations on years of careful, quality research. They do not revise those opinions overnight based on a handful of papers that look at rat studies or what a published in the Ceylon Medical Journal claims. They look at the sum total of the available evidence. They are not "authorities" who advise us on heart-healthy strategies because they like bossing us around. They're concerned with keeping us as healthy as possible.

The AHA has a history of ignoring the evidence until it is overwhelming - in this decade, they have closed their eyes to evidence that carbohydrate restriction is beneficial for reversing insulin resistance and correcting lipid levels. As the following article (and a few thousand others) note, there is an irrational obsession with fat in the diet, which has not led to much improvement in patients.

"Current nutritional approaches to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes generally rely on reductions in dietary fat. The success of such approaches has been limited and therapy more generally relies on pharmacology. The argument is made that a re-evaluation of the role of carbohydrate restriction, the historical and intuitive approach to the problem, may provide an alternative and possibly superior dietary strategy. The rationale is that carbohydrate restriction improves glycemic control and reduces insulin fluctuations which are primary targets. Experiments are summarized showing that carbohydrate-restricted diets are at least as effective for weight loss as low-fat diets and that substitution of fat for carbohydrate is generally beneficial for risk of cardiovascular disease. These beneficial effects of carbohydrate restriction do not require weight loss. Finally, the point is reiterated that carbohydrate restriction improves all of the features of metabolic syndrome."

(Nutr Metab. 2008 Apr 8;5:9. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal. Accurso A, Bernstein RK, Dahlqvist A, Draznin B, Feinman RD, Fine EJ, Gleed A, Jacobs DB, Larson G, Lustig RH, Manninen AH, McFarlane SI, Morrison K, Nielsen JV, Ravnskov U, Roth KS, Silvestre R, Sowers JR, Sundberg R, Volek JS, Westman EC, Wood RJ, Wortman J, Vernon MC.)

>> That "evidence" has nothing to do with heart disease, which is the subject of this thread.

You may believe that the article has nothing to do with heart disease - but it was titled "Dietary saturated fats and their food sources in relation to the risk of coronary heart disease in women." Good luck persuading others that it isn't about heart disease.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Sorry...I was referring to the other study you cited, which had nothing to do with heart disease.

The paper you cited on coronary heart disease in women was also of questionable relevance; as I said in an earlier post:

"Its conclusions are that a particular type of saturated fat (stearic acid) isn't any different than other types of saturated fat when it comes to the risk of heart disease. While the study's abstract says nothing about coconut oil, the authors do warn of heart risk in general from saturated fat - and we know that coconut oil is high in saturated fat."

One can (a) cobble together a paper here and a study there that are outside the scientific consensus on diet and heart disease, play connect-the-dots and be a guinea pig for someone's untested theories.

Or we can (b) act on the basis of the best, up to date evidence from experts in the field.

I'll go with option (b).


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Or we can (b) act on the basis of the best, up to date evidence from experts in the field.

Again, you are confusing opinions and conclusions with evidence, while ignoring the social nature of determining 'expertise.' The notion that any one that disagrees with you is an amateur that is 'cobbling' something together in their basement is ridiculous.

The connection between dietary fat, blood lipids, and heart disease is weaker than many people assume. A high intake of carbohydrates, on the other hand, is strongly associated with disordered blood lipids and heart disease.

From the paper linked to below:


The diet-heart hypothesis states that dietary fat, or at least saturated fat, promotes CVD. There are, however, numerous counter-examples and the popular and scientific literature has seriously challenged many of the underlying assumptions of the hypothesis [28-33]. In fact, total fat in the diet is not associated with an increase in CVD, as shown by experiments going back to Ancel Keys's Seven Country Study [34]and, most recently and dramatically, the Women's Health Initiative [35].

...

A primary goal of current recommendations is to put limits on dietary saturated fat but published results are inconsistent (see e.g. [42]). Several critical reviews have pointed up the general failure to meet the kind of unambiguous outcomes that would justify blanket condemnation of saturated fat, per se [29,30,41,43,44]. ... Notably, during the obesity and diabetes epidemic, the proportion of dietary saturated fat decreased. In men, the absolute amount decreased by 14%. Perhaps most remarkable was a study by Mozaffarian [45] which showed that greater intake of saturated fat was associated with reduced progression of coronary atherosclerosis; greater carbohydrate intake was linked to increased progression.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dietary carbohydrate restriction, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and blood lipids.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

The study you cite is not about treating people with congestive heart failure (its focus is on diabetes and metabolic syndrome), does not recommend intake of coconut oil to treat CHF, and insofar as it refers to diet and heart disease, it relies on evidence that is considerably "weaker" than that influencing mainstream thinking.

For example - the Journal of the American Dietetic Association recently published a large-scale review of dietary factors important in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

"The review of more than 150 recent research studies and other articles "provide scientific rationale for food and nutrition professionals and other health professionals for counseling patients," according to the nationwide expert panel led by registered dietitian Linda Van Horn, professor and acting chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and editor-in-chief of the Journal.

The panel examined the state of current research on the effectiveness of foods, nutrients and food components in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors while also meeting a persons nutrient needs, and identified areas where further research is needed. The expert panels findings also provide the basis for ADAs Disorders of Lipid Metabolism Guides for Practice, a detailed resource for clinicians that is available to subscribers to ADAs Evidence Analysis Library, www.adaevidencelibrary.com.

"Numerous dietary factors/nutrients have been identified that affect (cardiovascular disease) risk factors," the researchers write. "An individualized dietary pattern is recommended to optimize CVD risk factor reduction while meeting nutrient needs."

The review identifies effective "dietary considerations" including a diet that:

Is low is saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids and dietary cholesterol;
Is "ample" in total dietary fiber with emphasis on soluble fiber;
Includes fat-free/low-fat dairy foods and/or other calcium/vitamin D-rich sources;
Is rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants from multiple servings of fruits and vegetables and low in sodium;

May include plant sterols and stanols* in high-risk individuals; and
Achieves a healthful body weight and calorie balance with the recommended dietary intervention by increasing physical activity and maintaining adequate calorie intake."

Nothing in there recommending coconut oil.

I've no idea what "the social nature of expertise" is. I think what it boils down to is you're OK with expert opinion, as long as those particular experts agree with you (and regardless of what the great preponderance of evidence and expert opinion based on it concludes).

Finally, I did not say that anyone who disagrees with me is an "amateur". Please refrain from the use of strawmen.


*you can get plant sterols/stanols in your diet by eating many kinds of fruits, vegetables and nuts, as well as through consumption of sterol/stanol-enriched margarines.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> The study you cite is not about treating people with congestive heart failure (its focus is on diabetes and metabolic syndrome), does not recommend intake of coconut oil to treat CHF, ...

Of course not. I connect the dots, and you try to erase them: * insulin resistance is a major independent risk factor for congestive heart issues; * insulin resistance is essential for the development of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. * Insulin levels are more important in determining serum cholesterol than diet, because one's own liver produces more cholesterol than one eats, and * high insulin levels stimulates cholesterol synthesis, and * carbohydrates stimulate insulin production.

The AHA and other mainstream experts dismissed and warned against carb-restricted or low-carb diets because it flies against their theories that fat in the diet leads to more cholesterol and fat in the blood, and that saturated fats are always bad. But what is the evidence on carbohydrate restricted diet? They lower cardiovascular risk factors and they reverse insulin resistance - even more than the low fat diet that most doctors recommend.


    "A low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style regimen helped people lose more weight than a traditional low-fat diet in one of the longest and largest studies to compare the dueling weight-loss techniques.

    A bigger surprise: The low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. Some critics had predicted the opposite."

That's only a surprise if one rejects the theory with greater predictive value: the one I presented. It fits better with the facts.

Guess what Eric? That study doesn't specifically recommend coconut oil either ... it merely provides proof that many of your theories and objections are disconnected from reality, and that saturated fat in the diet does not necessarily translate to unhealthy arteries (particularly when carbs are restricted). In fact, it is often the opposite - a lower risk profile with a diet higher in fat and saturated fat.

Combine that with the fact that coconut oil is rich is medium-chain triglyercides (which are metabolized differently than the typical saturated fat), which can pass into muscles even when the carnitine transport mechanism is faulty - as it often is in congestive heart disease - and that amounts to a reasonable rationale for including coconut in the diet of people with congestive hearts.

>> Finally, I did not say that anyone who disagrees with me is an "amateur". Please refrain from the use of strawmen.

No, merely that they cobble ... if you don't like how I characterized your statement, please clarify ... what is the definition of cobble? Does it not imply shoddy? Webster's seems to think so .... "to make or put together roughly or hastily". Isn't that how you are describing the things you disagree with?

Here is a link that might be useful: Low-carb diet found best for weight, cholesterol


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Your latest linked study deals with weight loss.

It's not about treating congestive heart failure.

It makes no recommendation for using coconut oil.

It does not recommend discarding proven therapeutic interventions in favor of any of the supplements you've suggested in this thread.

Your dots remain unconnected.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Lucy said something that I just can't let stand "I guess you could find e.g. some locally made donuts or something in a little rural area that are made with lard (yuck!) but highly unlikely in a supermkt."

For the record I'd just like to say that lard is delicious and if you disagree you should keep it to your self; cows and pigs have ears too and you might hurt their feelings.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Brendan, what are you smoking so early in the day?


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Meat, probably.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

It was only 12:45, which really classifies as late at night in my book, time zones.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I find Apollog's dots pretty easy to connect. Apparently Eric requires that the "experts" connect them for him.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Connect-the-dots just doesn't cut it in any aspect of science. Patients don't take to it very well when they see the doctor, either.

"What's that ma'am? Is this drug safe and effective in treating your ailment? Well, there are some promising results in rats. And a related drug might be beneficial in a disease that's kind of like yours, but not exactly. So if you connect the dots in just the right way...

Wait...where are you going? Don't you want to be on the cutting edge of therapeutics?"

:)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> Connect-the-dots just doesn't cut it in any aspect of science.

To the contrary. Extrapolation, interpolation, and deductive logic are part of science, as is literally connecting the dots. Here's a nice page on the topic. ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Shawn's Super Science Project: How to Connect the Dots.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"Extrapolation, interpolation, and deductive logic are part of science"

They are for predictive purposes, hypothesis generation. They do not count for beans in the conclusion department. Extrapolation is especially dicey because it involves statistics and statisticians say "DO NOT extrapolate very far" Extrapolation is highly risky, and the further you go the more risky you get. Medicine is set up to reduce unnecessary risk, thats the whole point of medicine, making living less of a risk of dying.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Having an inquiring mind is a key attribute for anyone doing original work in a scientific field. But you can't stop there.

"Let's see - I deduce that the HIV virus would make a great vehicle for delivering my new cancer drug. And I extrapolate that a drug that works in a test tube would perform just as well in humans. Whee! Let's go get some beer!"

You can brag on your impeccable deductive logic and extrapolative/interpolative skills all you want in front of your PhD defense committee, to the peer review panel in the journal where you want your article printed, or to the foundation that you want to give you money for research. They'll all come back with some variation of these far more powerful words in science:

"Show me the money." :)


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

>> They [the American Heart Association] are not 'authorities' who advise us on heart-healthy strategies because they like bossing us around. They're concerned with keeping us as healthy as possible.

There's no evidence that they are better than snake oil salesmen, although there is evidence that they are better at playing the game:

'The article, about stroke victims, said that the clot-buster 'tPA was shown in 1996 to save lives.' Yet in 2001, the American Heart Association (AHA) had withdrawn the claim that the drug 'saves lives' from its promotion of tPA for stroke after the group was challenged to provide scientific evidence to support that claim. The AHA was also the subject of scrutiny when it was revealed that in the decade prior to its recommendation that doctors use tPA for stroke victims, the heart association had received $11 million from Genentech, tPAs manufacturer.'

They endorse products without having any real evidence that the product really is safe and effective, and they just happen to accept 'donations' of millions of dollars from the company that makes the product. And you think we should trust them?

Here is a link that might be useful: Discover Magazine - Wonder Drugs that can Kill


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Of course, the above has nothing to do with the unproven claims for various herbs/supplements and treating heart failure made previously in this thread. But it's a common tactic among alt med proponents when arguments fail, to attempt to change the subject and attack the messenger, in this case the American Heart Association:

apollog: They endorse products without having any real evidence that the product really is safe and effective"

So, clot-buster drugs like tPA are just nasty things foisted on us by Big Pharma and don't save lives?

"Research has shown that, althongh thrombolysis for AIS is associated with increased short-term mortality, this is offset by a signficant benefit in terms of reduced long-term death and disability. Recent observational data have shown that it can be safely and effectively delivered in the "normal" clinical setting (ie, a non-research environment). Furthermore, thrombolysis for AIS is supported by the Royal College of Physicians and the National Insititute for Health and Clinical Excellence."

And a Cochrane review of 18 research trials on anti-clot agents found that the evidence suggested tPA was safer than the other drugs tested and yielded more benefit:

"Overall, thrombolytic therapy given within 6 hours of stroke reduced death or dependency (ie, more patients alive and independent) at 3 to 6 months."

tPA is not for everybody, but yes, it's a potential lifesaver and can keep you from being permanently paralyzed in some cases.

Maybe you should broaden your reading beyond Discover magazine.

Let us know when you find any real evidence supporting your contention that it's a good idea to treat congestive heart failure with coconut oil.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

The (non-herbal) supplement L-carnitine has been promoted for a variety of medical conditions, but for most of them (including heart failure) there's a lack of good evidence that they're effective. Most people's bodies make all the L-carnitine they need.

L-carnitine is also contained in a number of foods:

"Red meat (particularly lamb) and dairy products are the primary sources of carnitine. It can also be found in fish, poultry, tempeh, wheat, asparagus, avocados, and peanut butter."

So a proper balanced diet can be used to obtain carnitine, without having to buy supplements. For those with certain common medical conditions (including hypertension, diabetes and peripheral vascular disease) it's recommended that you consult with your doctor before taking L-carnitine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carnitine and health claims


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Can't beleive this has come up again!!!
I have CHF. Have had for years.
I take nothing for it except a sensible diabetic diet. I have actually improved. I suggest you find the old diet sheet(Not the new one)and follow it religiously.
It's fine to see a doctor but please check on internet for acurate advise. More and more netsites are coming online complaining of the wrong meds and advice from the medical establishment. American health care is a very sick puppy.
I do have something good to say for surgeons. I recently had cataract surgery on both eyes, A complete success.
Also more and more people are unable to afford medical care in the US. If you are middle income or less you as an American are very likely to be priced out of any health care period. It seems to me the only choice we have is to go to herbal care or a foreign country.(Except for surgery.) You'll be paying the rest of your life(insurance or not)for possible inaccurate care. It sure is not going to hurt anyone to study herbal cures and never just one source. Use at least six.Search out the truthful sites. Not the herbal sellers nor the medical profession. They have their own axes to grind. You have a mind! Use it!
This site is probably the worst site to come for info.
If anyone is intrested in other sites LMK. I'll post a couple. Garden Web is a great place, Jut not this forum.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

If only going to a half-dozen websites for advice on "cures" guaranteed you'd find accurate information. Instead, you're likely to get conflicting sales pitches for various supplements, based only on worthless testimonials or maybe some small study on what cells did in a test tube. Assuming that someone offering treatment is trustworthy because they're located abroad is another recipe for failure.

Much better not to rely on quantity of sources (or any that are out to sell you something) or country of origin, but to consult a few trusted and reliable ones that are staffed by professionals and list documentation (i.e. research) that you can check out yourself. They'll give you solid advice on what treatments offer the best chance of living a long, healthy and active life with CHF, instead of promising "cures" that don't exist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Congestive heart failure, causes and treatment


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

As far as diet goes, a lot of alt med sources try to give the impression that mainstream medicine ignores the role of diet in disease while on the other hand they pay proper attention to it (which usually means promoting unproven supplements and fad diets).

The reality is that proper diet has long been emphasized by mainstream medicine as a key part of preventing and treating heart disease (and numerous other medical conditions).

A recent review by the American Dietetic Association stressed the following keys to a heart-healthy diet:

"The panel examined the state of current research on the effectiveness of foods, nutrients and food components in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors while also meeting a person's nutrient needs, and identified areas where further research is needed.

"Numerous dietary factors/nutrients have been identified that affect (cardiovascular disease) risk factors," the researchers write. "An individualized dietary pattern is recommended to optimize CVD risk factor reduction while meeting nutrient needs."

The review identifies effective "dietary considerations" including a diet that:

Is low is saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids and dietary cholesterol;
Is "ample" in total dietary fiber with emphasis on soluble fiber;
Includes fat-free/low-fat dairy foods and/or other calcium/vitamin D-rich sources;
Is rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants from multiple servings of fruits and vegetables and low in sodium;
May include plant sterols and stanols in high-risk individuals; and
Achieves a healthful body weight and calorie balance with the recommended dietary intervention by increasing physical activity and maintaining adequate calorie intake. "

Here's another good article on the basics of a heart-healthy diet.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Darlin, Like i said "It's the same as a good ole fashioned diabetic diet." Glad to see you on the ball eric.
Has anyone thought about starting a new thread on this subject? It takes forever to get down this far on this thread. And link to it of course.
Trusted and reliable professional sources are totally unreliable in this country when the American Health Care SYSTEM IS RANKED 37(Just ahead of Cuba and falling almost every year.) Have to admit that Herbalism is'nt much better here.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

"Trusted and reliable professional sources are totally unreliable in this country"

So now you're saying that we should ignore recommendations for a heart-healthy diet, since they come from those same professionally trained and experienced sources whom you view as "totally unreliable"?

Very puzzling.


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

I take fish oil caplets, when I remember to take them or can choke down the pills. They are huge and I don't swallow, so I chew them. They are supposed to be good for heart conditions.

Here's a list of herbs listed, if they haven't already been. Also getting rid of red meat out your diet is usually recommended for heart disease. You should ask your doctor what kinds of vitamins and diet he approves of, or just tell him what you are interested in to see if he says it might help.

I don't think doctors are taught anything about herbal cures. They preach diet, but nothing on herbal stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: herbs


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

People with heart disease would be well advised to consult their doctor and take the path of effective treatment through diet, drugs, perhaps light exercise and for some, surgery.

Heart disease is not the realm of herbal medicine practitioners as they have no proven remediation for it.

Reghards, John


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RE: Are There Herbs that Help middle stage Congestive Heart Failu

Typically the signs of HIV can be felt earlier or later which differs from one person to other.

Here is a link that might be useful: Early Symptoms of HIV


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