Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Taking Advanced Cardio Solution

Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:06 AM

Question: I'm 58 years old and started taking Advanced Cardio Solution about a month-and-a-half ago. I had one 95 percent blockage two years ago.
My cholesterol has always been 140 to 150, and my doctor had me on 40 mg of pravastatin. I stopped taking it when I started the solution. I had one stent in the past and am not on any meds now. My question is when is the best time to take it? My doctor tells me even though my cholesterol is low, it's only a matter of time before I get another blockage.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Unfortunately, your doctor is right. The supplement you are using contains CoQ10, magnesium, taurine, and hawthorn. Its health claims are unregulated and unsubstantiated, and it is marketed as a food supplement, not as a therapeutic supplement or treatment. You will note it is available via the Internet and not at your local pharmacy.

I couldn't find any specified dose recommended or the amounts of active and inactive ingredients listed in their literature. Labeling a product as a food supplement is a common way companies proclaim benefits that the FDA would otherwise require rigid tests to prove or force the product off the shelves. Unregulated health claims often subject a company to a fine and a cease and desist order for consumer and health fraud by the FDA.

Timing of lipid medications use may make a significant difference for many patients. Prescription cholesterol medication is best taken before bedtime, while food supplements are best taken with meals beginning with breakfast. I concur with and have no argument with suitable B vitamin and CoQ10 supplementation, but at least know how much you are buying!

You are at risk for additional cardiovascular events, and you are well-advised to consult a cardiologist and lipid specialist if you wish to prevent another event similar to the one that you were salvaged from by a stent.

You are probably one of those patients who appear to have OK cholesterol values, but I'd bet you are a ticking time bomb. If your initial lipid values have an LDL of 80 or less and an HDL of over 60 and triglycerides of less than 150, I would consider having a more detailed lipid evaluation to evaluate for high risk micro-particles that would respond to selective therapy.

Remember that vascular disease is a generalized process that will appear initially in your coronary and cerebral blood vessels, but will show up later in your retina and kidneys as well as other areas. You need to institute a proper preventive regimen for coronary artery disease that includes exercise, dietary management, and risk reduction strategies that go well beyond lipid management alone and include quitting smoking and controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar.

Your future will depend upon your selection of consultants. You have the choice between yourself with self-management and Internet sources or trained board-certified experts in vascular disease who devote their lives to improving the quality of life and life expectancy. My bet is with the experts. You may wish to reconsider your present preventive strategy.

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