Angina is a serious heart problem associated with poor blood flow to the heart. During an angina attack the heart ‘cramps’ in the way your legs do after a long walk. The heart muscle doesn’t receive enough oxygen to function properly and finds it difficult to pump blood round the lungs and body. It is a very serious condition and in the first instance the very best advice is to listen to your doctor!
Double Blind Randomised Control Trial
Angina reduces your ability to exercise. A diet of steak and nuts may seem amusing, but this has serious research behind it. This piece will examine what has been shown in the highest form of scientific research (the double blind, randomised control trial) and what evidence there is for natural treatments to aid what your doctor gives you in treatment.
The double blind randomised control trial (RCT) usually consists of three groups of patients. One group will receive the medicine being tested, another a pretend medicine called a ‘placebo’ and the third will receive medication that is already licensed for treatment. Neither the doctors administering the treatment or those receiving the treatment will know, so the study is not biased. In testing this way, the research is very rigorous, particularly if a large number of patients are tested so a good average of the results can be worked out.
Steak is one of the things that many say you shouldn’t eat if you have a bad heart. It is high in cholesterol which contributes to things like angina. However, it contains high concentrations of an important chemical called ‘L carnetine’.
The best research on L carnetine was done up to the year 2000, but nothing has been done since. The research suggested that with supplements on top of their medication, angina sufferers did better than those who hadn’t taken the supplements.
Your own body makes L carnetine itself and the chemical is used to release energy from fat. Because of this job, it can help the heart beat better. You can buy L carnetine from a health food shop as a supplement. However the US doctors’ website Medpage Today suggests: “Bioavailability from dietary sources is about 75%. Supplements are less efficiently absorbed with a bioavailability of 5%-18%.” Bioavailability is a term describing how much of a chemical can be absorbed in a particular delivery method. This suggests that a steak every so often will increase the amount of L carnetine in your body far more efficiently than swallowing a pill.
Steak contains up to 40 milligrams of L carnetine per ounce of beef. According to Medpage Today, that would mean you will absorb 30 milligrams of L carnetine from every ounce.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that you should consume every day anyway. An RCT suggested that 730 mg of magnesium taken every day helped with angina problems. It is shown that magnesium does something similar to a medication given by doctors called a ‘calcium channel blocker’ because it does pretty much the same thing as the medications. Medications do the job better than magnesium so again, speak to your doctor about adding this to your diet.
One of the foods that contains the most magnesium are almonds. However, the table that links to suggests that you’d have to eat 10 oz of almonds every day to compare to the doses given to the trial! Other foods containing magnesium are wheat bran, spinach and lentils. By eating a balance of these food you can have a high magnesium diet without ploughing through a pound of nuts every day.
If you live in a home where you need to get upstairs after such a diagnosis, it is important you should consider getting modifications to your home. Seek advice on things like stairlifts to avoid the potential of an attack as you go to bed.
You can get stairlift advice from Acorn who wrote this guest post. Trading for over 30 years, Acorn have installed thousands of stairlifts worldwide.Google+