Dietary modification and supplements may be worthwhile complements to standard care for congestive heart failure (CHF).
The following dietary modifications are recommended for people with CHF:
- Consume a diet that helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put a strain on the heart muscle, which can eventually lead to CHF. If you are overweight, adopt a sensible eating plan that will enable you to lose weight gradually and maintain your weight at the desired level. One indicator of healthy weight is body mass index. BMI of 25 and above is associated with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease.
- Limit fats and cholesterol: Diets that are high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol—such as animal products, cream, lard, palm and coconut oils—can increase your risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to and complicate CHF.
- Eat a low sodium diet: Foods that are high in sodium (salt) cause your body to retain fluids. This results in an increased workload for your heart, and it can worsen your shortness of breath and swelling in the ankles, legs, and feet.
- Decrease or discontinue alcohol consumption: Excessive use of alcohol can weaken the heart and predispose it to abnormal rhythms. Alcohol also may react with certain heart medications. You should reduce alcohol intake if you are at risk of developing CHF; you will definitely need to discontinue alcohol consumption if you develop CHF. Talk with your doctor about how best to accomplish this.
For more lifestyle modifications for CHF, click here.
In addition, the following supplements have demonstrated promise as treatments for CHF:
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
- Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
Other supplements that are sometimes recommended for CHF include:
- Carnitine, possibly combined with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)24-28
Note: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious disease that absolutely requires conventional medical evaluation and supervision. No one should self-treat for CHF. However, natural treatments such as dietary modification and supplements may complement standard medical care when monitored by an appropriate healthcare professional. Consult with your physician regarding all dosage and safety issues.Treatments include:
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Coenzyme Q10
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Thiamin
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Magnesium
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Fish Oil
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Taurine
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Arginine
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Creatine
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Heart-Healthy Diet
Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
The exact effect of CoQ10 on congestive heart failure is not entirely clear. Some evidence suggests that CoQ10 might assist the heart during times of stress on the heart muscle, perhaps by helping it...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Coenzyme Q10.
Effect of Vitamin B1 on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Every cell in your body needs vitamin B1 to make adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the body's main energy-carrying molecule. The heart, in particular, has considerable need for vitamin B1 in order to...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Thiamin.
Effect of Magnesium on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Magnesium may have many beneficial effects on the heart. Our bodies need mangesium for healthy functioning, including muscle relaxation, blood clotting, and the manufacture of ATP (adenosine...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Magnesium.
Effect of Essential Fatty Acids on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Fish oil may have a number of beneficial effects on congestive heart failure. Fish oil has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, "thin" the blood, lower...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Fish Oil.
Effect of Taurine on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Taurine may help treat congestive heart failure by helping to regulate heartbeat and maintain cell membranes.
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Taurine.
Effect of Arginine on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
The body uses arginine for many processes, including making nitric oxide (NO), a substance that relaxes blood vessels and also exerts numerous other effects in the body. Based on this, arginine has...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Arginine.
Effect of Creatine on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that plays an important role in the production of energy in the body. The body converts it to phosphocreatine, a form of stored energy used by muscles. The...
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Creatine.
Effect of Heart-Healthy Diet on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
This diet is believed to have many benefits for the heart, including helping to keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in a healthy range.
Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Heart-Healthy Diet.
- Caponnetto S, Canale C, Masperone MA, et al. Efficacy of L-propionylcarnitine treatment in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Eur Heart J. 1994;15:1267-1273.
- Mancini M, Rengo F, Lingetti M, et al. Controlled study on the therapeutic efficacy of propionyl-L-carnitine in patients with congestive heart failure. Arzneimittelforschung. 1992;42:1101-1104.
- Cacciatore L, Cerio R, Ciarimboli M, et al. The therapeutic effect of L-carnitine in patients with exercise-induced stable angina: a controlled study. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1991;17:225-235.
- Pucciarelli G, Mastursi M, Latte S, et al. The clinical and hemodynamic effects of propionyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of congestive heart failure [in Italian; English abstract]. Clin Ther. 1992;141:379-384.
- Loster H, Miehe K, Punzel M, et al. Prolonged oral L-carnitine substitution increases bicycle ergometer performance in patients with severe, ischemically induced cardiac insufficiency. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1999;13:537-546.
- Omran H, Illien S, MacCarter D, et al. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. Eur J Heart Fail. 2003;5:615-619.
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