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Supplements Guide in later life

No. 3 - Alternatives for heart disease - August 2003



Alternatives for heart disease  

Continuing our series on supplements  

By Helen Franks


You can now buy supplements from Nutri Centre (the major suppliers of supplements in the UK) via laterlife with a special 10% discount for UK laterlife visitors. Simply click on the product title below for a specific product or click to browse the full range of Nutri Centre products.

For products listed below discount is  automatically given as long as you use the laterlife links. For other products make sure you quote the coupon code LL010 (that's LL zero one zero) in order to receive your 10% discount.               



Heart protectors: not just a case of lowering cholesterol

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary heart disease and stroke, kills millions every year. Fundamental to these conditions is atherosclerosis, a progressive deterioration of arterial blood circulation, rather better known as thickening of the arteries. This deterioration is caused by a mix of environmental and lifestyle factors, genetic inheritence and biochemical processes. Many of the lifestyle factors which contribute to CVD have been known for some time: a high animal fat diet with too much red meat, extreme overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of fruit, vegetables, fibre and oily fish in the diet.   

Within the last few years however, scientific research has identified certain key biological markers shared by individuals who are at greater than normal risk of developing heart disease. 

Reducing cholesterol has long been thought to be the way to reduce risk, but  the evidence is pointing more and more to homocysteine, an amino acid, according to reports from the famous Framingham Heart Study (reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association).

Researchers studied the records of 2,491 adults with an average age of 72 who had no previous heart problems, and found that the first heart attack was closely linked to high levels of homocysteine. The link was more evident in women, but it is thought that both women and men with relatively high levels of homocysteine have a greatly increased risk of developing CVD. A high homocysteine level is a good predictor of a heart attack.

Earlier research supports the Framingham conclusion. Victims of homocysteinuria, a rare genetic disease where the liver is unable to dispose of homocysteine, often die from blood clots in the brain, heart and kidneys. The arteries are also abnormal, and tend to harden and lose their elasticity.

If you have any reason to suspect that you have high levels of homocysteine, perhaps because others in the family have suffered from CVD, then discuss the problem with your doctor.  In healthy people,  homocysteine is converted to methionine, an amino acid found in all proteins. But this complicated process needs vitamin B12 and folic acid. It looks increasingly as if our diets needs to be high in B12 and folic acid to ensure a healthy cardiovascular system, both of which come into the category of alternative supplements.

B vitamins to reduce homocysteine levels

B vitamins that speed up a metabolic pathway involving homocysteine have been shown to reduce homocysteine levels. Daily supplementation with folic acid and B 12 in the range of 500 to I 000 mcg each, and 50 - 100mg of B6 can return homocysteine levels to normal ranges.

HomoCysteine Metabolite Formula

This special formula is designed to sustain healthy low homocysteine levels. Each capsule contains: vitamin B6, folic acid 400 mcg, vitamin B12, 400 mcg. As a dietary supplement, you need to take 1 capsule per day with a meal, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.  Made by Solgar, the formula costs 8.95   



Evolve (P25 tocotrienol)  lowers 3 major risk factors

This product contains a  variant of vitamin E (P25 tocotrienol is the vitamin E factor). It may help reduce high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) the bad form of cholesterol associated with heart disease.  The makers claim that it helps prevent oxidation of LDL ... it is oxidized LDL that has been established as the villain which  damages  the lining of arteries.

Evolve is thought to reduce blood coagulation, and so reduce risk of formation of clots.   The special form of vitamin E is thought to have 40-60 times higher antioxidant activity than other forms of the vitamin.  Antioxidants, present in fruits and vegetables, help reduce dangerous free radicals though an oxidizing process. Evolve contains 25 mg of the patented P25 tocotrienol complex, and is available in the UK exclusively from The Nutri Centre. Suggested use is 1-2 capsules per day depending on cholesterol levels. The makers say that it is alright to take Evolve and other forms of vitamin E, but there are some dangers associated with overdosing, so if you are already taking vitamin E, it would be wise to consult your doctor. Evolve costs 49.95   


Complete Heart II  - a comprehensive cardiovascular support formula 

This comes in a powder form, containing a variety of herbs and nutrients though to protect against heart disease.  Ingredients include garlic, co enzyme Q10, tocotrienols, hawthorne , lipoic acid, bromelain, grape skin extract and amino acids.

As a dietary supplement, makers recommend 1 scoop (20g) daily, mixed with juice or other beverages.  



This is designed to maintain normal cholesterol levels. 

Many people who are concerned about their cholesterol are turning to the new margarines and yoghurts that contain plant sterols and stanols.  Research has shown that these natural compounds can block the absorption of cholesterol from the gut and so reduce blood cholesterol levels.  

Now these plant sterols and stanols are available in tablet form called Lestrin.  Taken daily, Lestrin may help to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Initially take 2 tablets twice a day with meals but after a few weeks intake may be reduced to 2 tablets daily.  

All of the above are available from the Nutricentre…..


We recommend if you are taking any prescription drugs that you check compatability with your doctor or practice nurse for any drug interaction.

Check quantities of any supplements to ensure the amounts you are taking are safe for you.

Ensure you follow directions supplied with products.             


Nutricentre4.jpg (4081 bytes)

To purchase any item from Nutri Centre simply click on the product title above or on the links opposite.

For products listed above discount is automatically given as long as you use the laterlife links. For other products make sure you quote the coupon code LL010 (that's LL zero one zero) in order to receive your 10% discount).

B vitamins

HomoCysteine Metabolite Formula  

Evolve (P25 tocotrienol)

Complete Heart II  - a comprehensive cardiovascular support formula 



Browse the full range (make a note of the coupon code opposite to obtain your discount)




Other articles in this series

Edition 1 - Multivitamins

Edition 2 - Alternatives for allergies



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