Heart Health Advice from Dr. Sherry Rogers’ Is Your Cardiologist Killing You?
By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC
In her latest book, Is Your Cardiologist Killing You?, Dr. Sherry Rogers empowers you to protect your heart with the help of nutrients as opposed to drugs (in most cases). She points to recent research as evidence of the effectiveness of nutrients over commonly prescribed heart “protection” medications. She boldfaces the research evidence and cites the specific studies, which makes this book a great tool for those who value the scientific backing of natural therapies.
Whether you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a type of arrhythmia, or even heart failure or a previous heart attack, Dr. Rogers offers many nutrient suggestions that can help you boost your heart health long-term. While Dr. Rogers discusses nutrient protocols that are very specific to each heart-related health condition, she emphasizes the important roles that magnesium and omega-3 essential fatty acids play across the board. She provides an immense amount of scientific evidence to back up these recommendations.
For high blood pressure, doctors often prescribe diuretics or fluid pills, which are harmful and may make your condition worse according to Dr. Rogers. Diuretics cause your body to lose potassium and magnesium. Mineral deficiencies are often the cause of high blood pressure in the first place, hence the reason why a diuretic may make your condition worse. Dr. Rogers points the reader to several studies that have found that more than half of Americans are deficient in magnesium and that the average American diet offers less than 1/10th the amount of magnesium that people need. The most potent form of magnesium that Dr. Rogers recommends is a magnesium chloride solution.
After prescribing diuretics for high blood pressure, doctors often prescribe calcium channel blockers. Dr. Rogers cites a study that found that calcium channel blockers actually shrink the brain and can cause a drop in IQ. The reason doctors prescribe calcium channel blockers in the first place is because cell membranes stop working due to nutrient deficiencies. Dr. Rogers recommends feeding omega-3 essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) to your cell membranes using fish oil. She also recommends that you stop feeding your cell membranes harmful fats (such as the trans fats found in many packaged food products). Repairing your cell membrane with fish oil can also lower high cholesterol.
If you have arrhythmias, guess what? Magnesium and essential fatty acids can help you too! Dr. Rogers cites studies that have found that magnesium deficiency is one of the most common causes of the common arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation. Even the USDA published a study in 2007 with strong evidence that magnesium deficiency induces arrhythmias. In fact, several studies have found magnesium to be more effective than any prescription drug at treating arrhythmias. Dr. Rogers recommends the magnesium chloride solution, for people who have arrhythmias.
One of the downfalls of living in an industrial society is that it’s difficult to escape some of the causes of heart damage, one of them being vehicular and industrial exhaust. Dr. Rogers cites studies that have found that “environmental chemicals damage the autonomic nervous system and can create any arrhythmia imaginable.” However, Dr. Rogers says there is hope; one teaspoon a day of fish oil can prevent chemicals from getting into the heart. She also cites studies that have found that fish oil can turn off arrhythmias if omega-3 is the causative deficiency.
Congestive heart failure is the most dangerous disease in our country. Close to 70 % of those diagnosed die within five years. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) quadruple your risk for heart failure; NSAIDs include aspirin, which many cardiologists recommend to stop unwanted blood clots. Just like the heart disease precursors discussed earlier, your heart needs essential fatty acids for protection. Again, Dr. Rogers recommends fish oil for those with congestive heart failure. One study found that cod liver oil was 10 times more effective than statins for those with heart failure. If you have high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels, you are at risk for heart failure. Correcting hidden magnesium deficiencies can lower your CRP levels
For those who’ve had heart attacks or stents, the importance of magnesium and omega-3 essential fatty acids is paramount. Sherry Rogers frankly claims “Magnesium is a major determinant of who walks out of the hospital in a few days [after a life-threatening arrhythmia or heart attack] and who is carried out in a body bag.” Dr. Rogers reiterates that there is a link between magnesium deficiency and many diseases beyond heart disease such as: asthma, migraines, depression, insomnia, irritable bowel, and more. As for the link between magnesium deficiency and heart disease, in addition to the research findings cited earlier, another study found that magnesium can cut coronary artery pain after exercise by as much as 21 %. Dr. Rogers believes that anyone who has had a heart attack or a stent needs 1000 mg of magnesium a day. Dr. Rogers says that fish oil is a must for anyone who has had a heart attack or stent.
Is Your Cardiologist Killing You is a great resource even for those who have never been to a cardiologist. If you have any risk factors for heart disease (such as high cholesterol, high levels of stress or anxiety, overweight, high blood pressure, alcohol consumption, and diabetes), you would certainly benefit from adding magnesium and fish oil into your supplement regimen, in addition to several other nutrients that Dr. Rogers discusses in this remarkable read!