Several nutrients help patients immediately after a heart attack. The four nutrients below can help anyone who has had a heart attack or is at risk for one. People who are not at risk but who want to prevent a heart attack can take the first two supplements. Except as noted, most of these nutrients are safe to take with other medications and there are no side effects. They all are available at health-food stores.

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Heart cells cannot produce energy without CoQ10. This nutrient has been found to reduce the risk for subsequent cardiac events, which usually are increased in people who have had a heart attack. I recommend that patients take 100 milligrams (mg)—and optimally 300 mg-daily of CoQ10 with food.

Caution: CoQ10 may interfere with some blood-thinning and blood pressure medications (and heart attack patients often are on both), so take CoQ10 only while supervised by a physician.

  • Magnesium. This mineral enables the heart to manufacture enough energy to beat properly. It also contributes to blood-clot prevention. I usually suggest 200 mg of supplemental mag. nesium glycinate twice daily for long-term heart protection.
  • L-carnitine. This supplement helps to fuel heart cells. Studies have found that L-carnitine minimizes damage to heart cells after a heart attack by strengthening the heart muscle and can reduce the likelihood of a repeat heart attack. I recommend L-carnitine in combination with CoQ10. Together, these supplements can maintain normal heart energy levels. For most people, taking 2,000 mg of L-carnitine daily helps strengthen the heart.
  • D-ribose. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells are deprived of oxygen, and afterward they require large amounts of energy to repair damaged tissue and restore blood flow. D-ribose helps to generate energy in heart cells. I often recommend that heart attack patients take 5 grams two to three times daily.

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