Learn how low levels of vitamin C can affect heart health. Antioxidant activity, supporting healthy vascular smooth muscle cells, healthy collagen production and healthy lipid profiles are just some of the ways vitamin C supports cardiovascular health.
The scientific literature is clear: low levels of vitamin C can affect heart health. Vitamin C supports heart health via several important mechanisms:
In an interview featured in Element magazine, naturopathic cardiologist Daniel Chong, ND explains research on this connection:
“The idea that vitamin C may be a key component in cardiovascular health was first conceptualized by Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath in 1990. Humans are one of the few animals on the planet that are unable to make vitamin C. They are also one of the few animals to develop cardiovascular disease. The only animals that have heart attacks like we do are guinea pigs, and they don’t make vitamin C either.”
Chong continues: “Vitamin C is required for collagen production. Pauling and Rath suggested that vitamin C insufficiency weakens blood vessel walls which triggers a biological repair process leading to plaque formation. They noticed that one of the most effective repair molecules to be mobilized during the process was lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)]. They observed an inverse relationship between production of Lp(a) and vitamin C levels, and proposed that Lp(a) might act as a surrogate to protect the blood vessels when vitamin C levels decline.”
The Dr. Rath Research Institute then developed a mouse model to imitate human metabolism. The mice were genetically altered to lose the ability to produce vitamin C and at the same time gain the ability to produce Lp(a). Mice were placed on a consistent diet with varied amounts of vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid).”
The study results showed that mice consuming less vitamin C produced more Lp(a). Also, the production of Lp(a) paralleled the development of atherogenic plaques. Even more exciting is that the researchers were able to achieve a level of vitamin C where the mice had no plaque formation at all.”
Vitamin C is a nutrient vital to human health. As integrative practitioners know, determining how much vitamin C to recommend can be highly individualized, based on a person’s age and health status. “I don’t feel many of the human studies of vitamin C supplementation have been useful in estimating the amount that’s sufficient to support cardiovascular health because they rarely use dosages of more than 1,000 mg per day,” explains Chong. He says this is inconsistent when compared to amounts produced endogenously in animals. “For example, goats produce a baseline amount of vitamin C of a few thousand milligrams per day when they’re healthy and not under stress,” says Chong. “Interestingly, when they are exposed to stress of any kind, goats increase production of vitamin C to over 10,000 mg per day.”
All experts agree that when taking vitamin C, regardless of the dose recommended, it’s always best to consume multiple doses throughout the day versus one large daily dose. This mimics nature, says Chong, who often recommends 2,000 mg per day. “Some patients may need more, depending on their diet and lifestyle,” says Chong.
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For over 26 years, Treasure of the East has served the American TCM community, and especially the Chinese American TCM community, with over 500 varieties of single herbs and formulas.
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The herbs were initially brought to the US by Dr. Ann Wang, CMD, LAc, a practicing acupuncturist in New York State and former faculty member at China’s Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, for her own patients. However, demand grew rapidly by word-of-mouth in the Chinese American TCM community and the Treasure of the East brand was born.
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So, the COVID-19 coronavirus is most likely going to be in your community in the next few weeks if it isn’t already and I am repeatedly being asked by patients what they can do to protect their families besides stocking up on toilet paper.
The biggest thing that we can do for our families and ourselves is boost innate immunity against viruses; do things to help prime our immune system so it is ready to shut the virus down. There is no need to panic- for most people it will be a mild illness and so the very same measures that we take against a flu can help with respect to immune building for the coronavirus. I have to start by saying make sure you are doing the basics- good nutrition (largely plant based whole foods diet), good sleep (try to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night), decrease stress (meditate, laugh, be social), exercise, and wash hands regularly. All of these things seem so basic, but really do affect the health of our immune system.
Now that that is out of the way- what else can you do naturally? This is kind of an easy one for me because I have used it for so long with my own family, friends and patients and I know that it works. There are a few ingredients that have many good studies and medical literature supporting the fact that they can measurably increase our immune system efficacy against viruses. It specifically works by increasing the potency of our Natural Killer Cells, which besides having an awesome name, are one of our biggest defenses against viruses. Although I make an antiviral cocktail from different supplements that I keep in my fridge when my family is sick; the one ingredient that always goes in is the Immunoberry liquid by Designs For Health. It is a one stop shop of the studied powerhouse antiviral ingredients; Elderberry, Astralagus, Cherry Bark, Maitake and Shitake mushrooms, and Beta Glucans.
My kids even ask for “the mushroom stuff” when they are starting to feel under the weather or are sick. I believe everyone should keep a bottle of this in their fridge. You should check with your physician, however this supplement is generally very safe for children as well as adults and very easy to take -about one ml (one dropper full) every day when you are sick or getting sick to boost your natural immunity. Although, you could use it every day – I don’t recommend that because if you are otherwise healthy you don’t need an immunity boost every day. The taste is “earthy” and for those who don’t like eating dirt it can easily be masked in another liquid. (Read: you can get your kids to take it).
You can find it in our shop for much cheaper than you will find anywhere else. One bottle lasts my family of six 4 months. Any supplement in our shop is quality checked and you can be certain that you are getting what you paid for. We really want our patients to afford and use the supplements that matter so we tried to pass on as big of a discount as we can to you. Please forward this along to anyone else who you think might benefit from this information. I will include the studies below if anyone wants to do some light reading.
If you are convinced here is a link to our shop: If you have already registered with us just sign in, otherwise it only takes a minute to create an account and you can have access to all of our quality tested supplements.
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Sleep is important for many reasons. During sleep our brain is hard at work cleaning up and organizing all of the activity from the day. The ideal amount of sleep for longevity, decreased risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia is 7 to 9 hours.
Many people struggle with sleep issues and it is important to dig in and unroot where the problem lies: is it sleep initiation? sleep latency? or both? Sleep initiation is having trouble falling asleep and sleep latency is having trouble staying asleep or achieving deep levels of sleep. Sleep initiation tends to be related to anxiety, elevated cortisol levels, exercising too close to bedtime, caffeine intake, temperature, screen time, inadequate morning light, or decreased natural melatonin production. Sleep latency can be caused by excessive ambient light, screen time, alcohol use, bedroom temperature, pets, or children in the bed, hormonal imbalances, prescription medications, and nighttime urination. I often hear patients say, “it’s normal to get less sleep as you age,” but that isn’t entirely true; regardless of your age, you should be able to get very close to the recommended hours of sleep.
Common supplements that can help with sleep initiation are melatonin, valerian root, passionflower and lemon balm. Common supplements that can help with sleep latency are glycine and l-theanine. Honokiol or dihydrohonokiol-B (DHHb), derived from magnolia bark, can work for both.
– Kinder Fayssoux MD
Common supplements that can help with sleep initiation are melatonin, valerian root, passionflower and lemon balm. Common supplements that can help with sleep latency are glycine and l-theanine. Honokiol or dihydrohonokiol-B (DHHb), derived from magnolia bark, can work for both. You should check with your physician prior to trying these supplements, especially if you are on any other prescription medications, but generally speaking, they are safe substances. Tylenol PM or Nyquil should not be used for sleep as they have many other ingredients in them besides the antihistamine, usually Benadryl, which is putting you to sleep. However, I also don’t recommend patients use Benadryl or antihistamines alone as a sleep aid as there are other side effects of those medications that can make sleep worse; the most common being increased nighttime urination.
Other activities that are conducive to restful sleep are meditation and gentle stretching or yoga before bed. Another recommendation supported by science is to do a controlled sleep deprivation for 24 hours in order to reset the sleep cycle. If your sleep pattern is off, stay awake for 24 hours, and then go to sleep between 9 and 10 p.m. to reset the cycle and maintain this bedtime. Excessive napping also can interfere with a solid sleep routine.
Often overlooked, another easy fix is to review your prescription medications. For example, if you take a medication that makes you urinate more, ask your doctor if you can take that medication in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening to decrease the likelihood that you will need to urinate in the middle of the night. Reviewing the sleep-disturbing effects of all your prescription medications is paramount.
Sometimes prescription medications are necessary to help with sleep, but they should primarily be looked at as a temporary solution for most. There is no consensus as to whether they produce deep sleep at a level that is beneficial for health. Also, some of these products, particularly benzodiazepines, steeply increase your risk for dementia – even with occasional use. That being said, occasional use of prescription sleep aids can be necessary at times to reset and regulate the sleep cycle.