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Prevention Of Heart Attack

The prevention of a heart attack is always the goal before, but also  after a heart attack.  Here are some steps that are useful for a preventative program.

Mediterranean type diet

A recent 12-year study showed that a Mediterranean diet can reduce mortality from heart attacks by 22% (Ref.12). We know for a long time from various arms of the Framingham study that heart attacks can be prevented to a large extent.

Nuts and olive oil

Nuts have just the right fatty acids and minerals and vitamins to independently lower your heart attack and stroke risk. In studies where this was examined, heart disease rates were down between 30 and 40% for all ethnic groups. There was a 23% reduction in ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes for all ethnic groups and it did not matter whether the participants of the study were obese or slim. What did matter were how many nuts they ate.

Various other factors of prevention

The various other factors of prevention are outlined under “Arteriosclerosis” found under (10 risk factors for heart attacks are listed there).
LDL cholesterol, which when elevated can cause about 40% of all heart attacks, is controlled well by the statins and by CoQ-10 in doses above 400 mg per day. However, low HDL cholesterol, a known risk factor for heart attacks, is NOT corrected by these medicines. Ref. 11 explains that exercise and Niacinamide do increase HDL cholesterol.


What is less known is the fact that D-ribose, a simple sugar that is needed for the energy metabolism of our mitochondria can reduce the size of a heart attack when taken within 6 to 9 hours (immediately following a heart attack) . The problem is that Big Pharma is always looking for a way to modify a natural molecule so that the new agent can be patented and sold for a much higher price (Ref.13). However, the moment this is done, the modified D-ribose molecule that has been part of the body chemistry for millions of years would no longer be recognized with all of its normal functions and serious side-effects would develop such as heart attacks or strokes, which would force the FDA to withdraw such a hypothetical modified D-ribose drug. So, let’s use common sense and stick to using D-ribose as the natural supplement. A placebo controlled study from the Department of Medicine of the Indiana University School of Medicine used D-ribose intravenously in patients who had developed cardiac failure as a result of a prior heart attack and found that D-ribose caused a 44% improvement of their heart failure classification (Ref. 14). The reason for this is that the mitochondria of the heart muscle cells provided extra ATP under the influence of D-ribose resulting in improved heart muscle contractility. The same process of ATP release happens in the brain when D-ribose is given as brain cells also contain an abundance of mitochondria. By supplementing with D-ribose daily (by mouth) people can stay younger for longer and avoid heart attacks and strokes.

What about nitric oxide?

Nitroglycerin works through release of nitric oxide and is a powerful medication that has been used for about 200 years as treatment for chest pain (stable angina). It can also be used for the treatment of a hypertensive crisis to lower extremely high blood pressure (in this case it is Nitroprusside, given as a drip intravenously). Many times nitroglycerine tablets are given sublingually following heart attacks and several authors including these (Ref. 15) have shown that it is a metabolite, nitric oxide that is responsible for the effect of widening the coronary arteries thus alleviating the chest pain. From these observations it is not surprising that a supplement has been developed (Neo40 daily), which has been shown to reduce triglycerides in 72% of patients who had elevated levels. It also dilates blood vessels and lowers high blood pressure (Ref. 16). In other words some of the known risk factors for heart attacks are reversed. Ref. 17 shows that overweight and obese patients run out of nitric oxide, which is exactly what one would expect in a high risk population for heart attacks.

 Prevention Of Heart Attack

Prevention Of Heart Attack

Fiber helps prevent heart attacks

In a June 2014 study a group of people who had one heart attack were now put on a high fiber diet and followed for 9 years and compared to a low fiber group. Fiber supplementation was associated with a 25% lower mortality rate in the high fiber group when compared to the low fiber control. Another study from Japan found similar benefits of fiber.

Trace mineral selenium

Several studies have shown that a small amount of selenium helps prevent heart attacks or improves the survival rate following a heart attack. At the same time one has to be cautious not to over treat with selenium to avoid elevated fasting blood sugar and metabolic syndrome. Taking selenium blood levels and supplementing with low dose selenium are of key importance.

Vitamin C reduces heart attacks and strokes

A Copenhagen study showed that vitamin C can reduce strokes and heart attacks:

Summary regarding heart attacks

Heart attacks need to be treated right away in a hospital setting to minimize the damage to the heart muscle and treat any life threatening arrhythmias. Ideally D-ribose would be included intravenously in the early treatment (Ref. 14) to minimize the infarct size. However, much more important than acute treatment is the progress that has been achieved by taking supplements such as niacinamide, D-ribose, CoQ-10 or Neo40 daily in combination with a Mediterranean diet and a regular exercise program so that the body mass index is well below 25.0. Ideally a person should weigh him/herself on a body composition monitor scale, which gives information about fat percentage, muscle mass percentage, BMI, weight and basic metabolic rate. Keeping track of these data on a regular basis helps a person to monitor directly how successful the diet and exercise program is. This will go a long way to prevent heart attacks!

Here is a link to 17 known causes of heart attacks and strokes:

A weak handgrip can point to a higher risk to get a heart attack or stroke:


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12. : Hoevenaar-Blom MP, Nooyens AC, Kromhout D, Spijkerman AM, Beulens JW, van der Schouw YT, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Verschuren WM: “Mediterranean Style Diet and 12-Year Incidence of Cardiovascular Diseases: The EPIC-NL Cohort Study.” PLoS One. 2012;7(9)

13. :Shecterle LM, Terry KR, St Cyr JA.: “The patented uses of D-ribose in cardiovascular diseases.” Recent Pat Cardiovasc Drug Discov. 2010 Jun;5(2):138-42.

14. : Sawada SG, Lewis S, Kovacs R, Khouri S, Gradus-Pizlo I, St Cyr JA, Feigenbaum H. “Evaluation of the anti-ischemic effects of D-ribose during dobutamine stress echocardiography: a pilot study.” Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2009 Feb 7;7:5.

15. : Ferreira JC, Mochly-Rosen D. “Nitroglycerin use in myocardial infarction patients.” Circ J. 2012;76(1):15-21.

16. : Zand J, Lanza F, Garg HK, Bryan NS. “All-natural nitrite and nitrate containing dietary supplement promotes nitric oxide production and reduces triglycerides in humans.” Nutr Res. 2011 Apr;31(4):262-9.

17. : Christou DD, Pierce GL, Walker AE, Hwang MH, Yoo JK, Luttrell M, Meade TH, English M, Seals DR. “Vascular smooth muscle responsiveness to nitric oxide is reduced in healthy adults with increased adiposity.” Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Sep;303(6):H743-50.

Last modified: December 30, 2015

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.