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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
According to the CDC, 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack every year. This breaks down into 525,000 people having their first heart attack, and 210,000 suffering their second attack.
Heart attack symptoms can include:
Comprehensive Cardiac panel includes:
If you think you're experiencing the onset of a heart attack, chew a single tablet of 325mg non-enteric coated aspirin and call 911.
Recently, you might have seen something on the news about the New York attorney general’s office conducting an investigation into various retailers selling adulterated supplements.
Adulterants are foreign substances that are not listed on the ingredients label, and are considered impure substances that contaminate, or degrade an otherwise pure material.
Among the stores being investigated, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target, and GNC, all received cease and desist letters to discontinue selling supplements contaminated with material not listed on the label. These and other retailers across the U.S., not just in New York; are doing this. It just so happens that the New York attorney general’s office is taking steps to do something about this serious problem, which unfortunately, which has been occurring for decades.
In addition, over the past few years there have been more than one instance of this type of supplement fraud involving both a brick and mortar retailer and on-line sellers.
In 2013, counterfeit supplements were being sold on Amazon.com. This was very alarming, because the counterfeit supplements had labels with name brands on them, but were in fact adulterated. The problem with over – the – counter (OTC) supplements or those purchased from an on-line retailer is that, “you don’t know what you’re getting and the products are of low-quality at best.” “Basically, you get what you pay for.”
Even though Amazon acknowledged the problem and took steps to try and counteract the counterfeiters, its going to be a very difficult issue to regulate for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are millions of sellers who sell their products through Amazon, many of whom operate outside the US. Secondly, there is the fact that Amazon makes a lot of money in commissions from the products sold on their website. Just as a side note, you also have to worry about OTC name brands that are intentionally adulterating their products in order to increase their profit margins; sadly this is not uncommon.
When you buy these cheaper brands you also have to take into consideration that you’re not getting exactly what you’re paying for. Standardization of ingredients has long been a problem, one thought to be reconciled; but many brands still skimp on the ingredients. One case in point was brought to light in 2013, when an independent study was conducted on 12 different OTC brands of vitamin D. What they found was the level of vitamin D was most often much lower than what was reported on the label, and sometimes there was a difference between capsules within the same bottle. (ABC News Report, 2013)
These are perfect examples of why we always recommend that patients purchase products from the clinic, because we receive our products directly from the manufacturer; no middle guys or unknowns. Of course, I can’t speak for all practitioners, but based on my own integrity, when I recommend a supplement from a brand that we carry, it’s because I’ve done the research and validated the quality of the products, as well as, reputation of the company; and those same products I would personally use myself.
All the brands offered by Healing Lotus Acupuncture do rigorous DNA testing to ensure a high - quality product that contains exactly what’s listed on the label’s ingredients. All the active ingredients are standardized so you get the same amount in every dosage. The brands we use also adhere to strict monitoring & management of quality control.
You can view these brands and their websites here. (Brands we use) Knowing what’s in the product can be very important, especially for those patients out there who have allergic reactions to particular substances. What would happen if you had an allergic reaction to a supplement, but the ingredients weren't accurate? You wouldn't be able to tell the doctor what exactly you took.
I hope this has been helpful for those looking to expand there knowledge on what you should know before buying a supplement. If you have any questions, please send me an email and I will be more than happy to respond.
If you're interested in buying high-quality supplements from a reputable company, we recommend Thorne Research.
Enjoy quick and convenient delivery of pharmaceutical grade supplements to your home.
When you make your first purchase please let them know we sent you by using our referral code: HCP1071726.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc
It’s very likely that your doctor didn’t tell you this, but if you are taking a stain drug, especially long-term use, it’s very important that you also supplement with CoQ10 (ubiquinol). The reason for this is due to the mechanism by which statin drugs lower cholesterol.
Statin drugs lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which converts to HMG-CoA, and then mevalonate (from mevalonic acid); which is the precursor to ubiquinone (CoQ10) and cholesterol.
Past research demonstrates that by inhibiting the biosynthesis of cholesterol you disrupt the endogenous production of CoQ10,[i] which is a vital nutrient needed for cardiovascular health. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report that warned the public and doctors of statin induced CoQ10 depletion, and doctors should recommend their patients supplement with CoQ10.[ii]
If a person, especially over the age of 45, is already CoQ10 deficient and they’re taking a statin, there is a greater cause for concern for developing myocardial dysfunction. CoQ10 deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly congestive heart Failure.[iii]
CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant, so it reduces oxidative stress by attacking pro-inflammatory cytokines. It has been found to inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and thereby decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis. It also plays a crucial role in the production of cellular energy within the mitochondria, and for this reason is very important for cells with a high energy requirements like those found in the heart.[iv]
Previous studies have also shown that CoQ10 supplementation increases serum CoQ10 levels that have been reduced by statin drugs,[v] Research has also shown that CoQ10 decreases blood viscosity and reduces hypertension.[vi],[vii]
Even though CoQ10 can be found in dietary sources, the quantity of the nutrient is not sufficient to elicit a therapeutic response. Therefore, it is required to supplement orally with a high quality form of CoQ10 available from your physician.
There are two forms of CoQ10 available to consumers, ubiquinone and ubiquinol. It’s recommended that you take the ubiquinol form, because it's the form your body uses and is more easily absorbed.
One last note, DO NOT supplement CoQ10 on your own, because there are known drug – supplement interactions, and effectiveness is dose dependent; so please consult with your acupuncturist on these matters, or your treating physician.
If you're interested in buying high-quality COQ10 from a reputable company, we recommend Thorne Research.
Enjoy quick and convenient delivery of pharmaceutical grade COQ10 to your home.
When you make your first purchase please let them know we sent you by using our referral code: HCP1071726.
Exclusive crystal-freeCoQ10 for superior absorption
coenzyme Q10 with minerals, amino acids, and botanicals to benefit the heart*
[i] Smith, Colleen M., Allan D. Marks, M. A. Lieberman, Dawn B. Marks, and Dawn B. Marks. Marks' Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. 635-43. Print.
[ii] Langsjoen PH1, Langsjoen AM. The clinical use of HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors and the associated depletion of coenzyme Q10. A review of animal and human publications. Biofactors. 2003;18(1-4):101-11.
[iii] KARL FOLKERS*, SURASI VADHANAVIKIT*, AND SVEND A. MORTENSEN. Biochemical rationale and myocardial tissue data on the effective therapy of cardiomyopathy with coenzyme Q10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Feb;82(3):901-4.
[iv] Kumar A1, Kaur H, Devi P, Mohan V. Role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in cardiac disease, hypertension and Meniere-like syndrome. Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Dec;124(3):259-68. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2009.07.003. Epub 2009 Jul 25.
[v] A.M. Bargossi, G. Grossi, P.L. Fiorella, A. Gaddi, R. Di Giulio, M. Battino. Exogenous CoQ10 supplementation prevents plasma ubiquinone reduction induced by HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Molecular Aspects of Medicine.
Volume 15, Supplement 1, 1994, Pages s187–s193.
[vi] Langsjoen P1, Langsjoen P, Willis R, Folkers K. Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:S265-72.
[vii] Burke BE1, Neuenschwander R, Olson RD. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension. South Med J. 2001 Nov;94(11):1112-7.
How Acupuncture Regulates Blood Pressure
Acupuncture regulates blood pressure by exploiting a complex system known as the neuroendocrine system, which is composed of the endocrine system (primarily the hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid / adrenals), and the intricate working relationship it has with the nervous system. The endocrine system regulates hormones and metabolism. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is divided into two arms, a sympathetic branch (fight or flight), which plays a role in helping regulate the vascular tone and blood volume of the heart; and a parasympathetic branch (rest and digest), that regulates body processes like blood pressure and breathing. The central nervous system (CNS) is a two – way communication network consisting of the brain and spinal cord, which processes all the information from the body and external stimuli. Information is collected by the nervous system, relayed through the spinal cord to the brain, and then the brain sends signals to the body through the same mechanism.
In terms of research, there is an ongoing accumulation of data on the regulatory effect of acupuncture on the endocrine system, and how it can restore balance to hormone levels.[i] This includes studies on thyroid hormones, corticosteroids, and reproductive hormones. Modern research has also confirmed the effects of acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a wide array of studies on (ANS) disorders such as: anxiety, insomnia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cardiovascular disease, and epilepsy.[ii] Over the last decade, there has been an increase in neuroimaging studies on the effects of acupuncture on brain centers due to advancements in imaging technologies. In one study, electroacupuncture was used to activate specific parts of the brain eliciting a hypotensive effect via the (CNS).[iii]
Recent investigations have indicated that one of the major contributors to high blood pressure is an overactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS).[iv] When the (SNS) becomes over-stimulated or dominant, it can cause vasoconstriction of the arteries in the heart; thereby inducing a hypertensive state.[v] The latest studies show that one of the mechanisms by which acupuncture lowers blood pressure is by down - regulating the (SNS). One such study found that electroacupuncture activates neurons in the brain, which inhibits (SNS) activity by stimulating the opioid system (endorphins, enkephalins) and nociceptin.[vi] Endogenous opioids modulate the baroreflex control system, which is a feedback loop between the heart, brain, spinal cord (CNS), (SNS) and the (PNS.)[vii] When the (PNS) is stimulated in this feedback loop, it inhibits sympathetic nerve activity, and therefore lowers the blood pressure.
There have also been studies showing that acupuncture outperforms Captopril, a commonly prescribed angiotensin – converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE - inhibitor) for high blood pressure. One of these studies that compared electroacupuncture to Captopril concluded that electroacupuncture was significantly more effective than the Western medication at controlling blood pressure.[viii] A German study comparing true acupuncture to antihypertensive medications concluded that blood pressure reductions with acupuncture are comparable to monotherapies with ACE - inhibitors.[ix]
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
Nerves and Acupoints
When treating hypertension, we select a specific combination of acupoints, which vary depending on the particular clinical presentation of hypertension and any underlying causes. We have many options to choose from on either the front or back side of the body, distal points on the extremities, as well as, points on the ears. When we choose back points, some of which are referred to as back shu points or points that are organ specific, in this case Heart specific, we often choose Jueyinshu - BL 14 or Xinshu - BL15. These two points are specific for the pericardium and the heart respectively. Is this by coincidence? Not so much, because they’re located in the upper thoracic region at the level of T4 and T5 spinal vertebrae; which innervate the heart via sympathetic nerves. Their traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) actions are as follows[x]:
Jueyinshu - BL 14
Xinshu - BL15
Treatment with Eastern medicine
Eastern medicine is a dynamic system of medicine, which includes numerous forms and variations of treatments that the practitioner can choose from. For this reason, treatment protocols for blood pressure will vary from one practitioner to another depending on the disease presentation, and the style and perspective of the practitioner. Generally speaking, herbal therapy takes precedence in most treatment plans and acupuncture is used as an adjunct. This is because herbs work at a deeper level and continue the treatment while the patient is at home, while acupuncture works at a more superficial level. Together they formulate a cohesive treatment strategy that is very effective at treating the root cause of disease.
For any treatment to be truly effective, no matter what the cause of high blood pressure is, it requires great effort by the patient to make lifestyle modifications that will promote a heart healthy future. This includes:
According to the American Heart Association 1 out 3 or 77.9 million adults have high blood pressure, half of whom don't have it under control. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for both men and women. In the Quad Cities, the prevalence of heart disease is 9.2% compared to the national average of 6.1%.
Unfortunately, Western medicine's answer to high blood pressure is to suppress the symptom with prescription drugs, which you are expected to take for the rest of your life. That's not a treatment! Getting to the root of the problem and treating the root is the answer to better patient outcomes.
On February 10th at 6pm – 7pm inside Moline Chiropractic Clinic, Dr. Wayne Davis of Moline Chiropractic Clinic and Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc. of Healing Lotus Acupuncture will be giving a presentation on many of the often overlooked causes of high blood pressure, and the effectiveness of Eastern medicine and chiropractic care, along with lifestyle modifications, which can naturally lower blood pressure. There will also be a brief synopsis on how the mechanism of acupuncture and chiropractic care can modulate the body’s innate regulatory system, and thereby lower blood pressure.
These events fill - up fast, so be sure to reserve your seat. You can also call our office with any questions you might have, (309) 764.4753.
This is a great formula to have on hand, especially during the cold season. It’s an all – natural Chinese herbal formula designed to clear heat and toxins from the exterior of the body.
Take Gan Mao Ling as soon as you start to feel cold or flu symptoms; just follow the dosage on the bottle and take Gan Mao Ling to knock out colds before they go deeper into your body. And the best part - no drugs!
Taken as a Preventative, or general seasonal help, sore throat, cough, runny nose, swollen glands, accompanied by stiff upper neck & back. It can be taken at the earliest stages of a cold, for the duration of symptoms, and a few days after. Do not take – long term (for more than 7 days). If symptoms begin in the lungs, a different formula is needed.