Congestive Heart Failure

Also indexed as:CHF
CHF is a serious condition that requires support from health professionals. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful for supporting heart health.
Supplement Amount Why
Fish Oil
850 to 882 mg per day 3 stars [3 stars]
In a double-blind study of people with chronic heart failure, a combination of EPA and DHA for four years resulted in a small but statistically significant protection against death or hospitalization for cardiovascular reasons.
80 to 300 mg of standardized herbal extract two to three times per day with a doctor's supervision 3 stars [3 stars]
Antioxidant hawthorn appears to reduce symptoms and improve exercise capacity by increasing blood flow to the heart and the strength of heart contractions, and reducing resistance to blood flow in the extremities.
500 mg two to three times per day with a doctor's supervision 3 stars [3 stars]
Supplementing with L-carnitine can improve heart function and exercise capacity and reduce heart muscle damage due to insufficient oxygen.
300 mg daily with a doctor's supervision 3 stars [3 stars]
Supplementing with this essential mineral can prevent a deficiency that can lead to heart arrhythmias.
2 grams three times per day with a doctor's supervision 3 stars [3 stars]
Taurine, an amino acid, helps increase the force and effectiveness of heart muscle contractions.
5.6 to 15 grams per day with a doctor's supervision 2 stars [2 stars]
The body needs arginine to make nitric oxide, which increases blood flow. This process is impaired in people with CHF. It also has been shown to improve kidney function in people with CHF.
Arjun Bark Extract
500 mg of bark extract three times per day with a doctor's supervision 2 stars [2 stars]
A small trial found that supplementing with a bark extract of arjun improved heart function and lung congestion in patients with severe CHF.
300 to 500 mg four times per day with a doctor's supervision 2 stars [2 stars]
Berberine has been shown to significantly improve heart function and exercise capacity and reduce the frequency of arrhythmias in people with congestive heart failure.
Coenzyme Q10
0.9 mg daily per pound of body weight with a doctor's supervision 2 stars [2 stars]
CoQ10 enhances the production of energy in the heart muscle and has been reported to help people with CHF, sometimes dramatically.

160 to 900 mg daily of a standardized herbal extract with a doctor's supervision 2 stars [2 stars]
Studies have found hawthorn to be effective for the signs and symptoms of early-stage congestive heart failure, the main complication of cardiomyopathy.
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner 2 stars [2 stars]
Potassium can be beneficial for heart patients, but talk to your doctor first. Several drugs for CHF may cause potassium retention, making extra potassium dangerous.
Vitamin D
Refer to label instructions 2 stars [2 stars]
In preliminary research, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in patients with congestive heart failure than in patients without it.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Coleus contains forskolin, a substance that may help dilate blood vessels and improve the forcefulness with which the heart pumps blood.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.

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