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Congestive Heart Failure- Integrative Therapy

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“The results indicate that addition of taurine to conventional therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure.”

I am a long-term cancer survivor. Cardiotoxic chemotherapies taken during my conventional cancer treatment in 1995 caused a late stage side effect called chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy as well as atrial fibrillation approximately fifteen years later. 

When the cardiologist explained my diagnosis to me there was no discussion of evidence-based non-conventional heart therapies such as:

  • moderate exercise
  • nutrition
  • supplementation, etc. 

my doctor simply prescribed metroprolol. To be clear, I have nothing against heart meds. There are many FDA approved heart therapies and many people live much longer than they would otherwise.

I had a reaction to metoprolol and after years of struggling with the short, long-term and late stage side effects from my conventional cancer therapies, I decided to research evidence-based non-conventional heart therapies.

The study linked and excerpted below talks about taurine synergizing with conventional heart meds to make these medications work more effectively.

I take exercise daily (moderately) and take taurine, CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids, cacao powder, eat little red meat all in an effort to manage my cardiomyopathy so that I do not have to add conventional heart medications to my regimen.

My non-conventional heart therapies have worked well since my diagnosis in 2010. The post I wrote about chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy explains those heart metrics that have stabilized and those that have improved. 

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), also known as heart failure, is a chronic medical condition where the heart is unable to pump blood effectively to meet the body’s needs. It does not mean that the heart has stopped working, but rather that it is not pumping blood as efficiently as it should. This condition can affect the heart’s ability to fill with blood or pump blood out, leading to a backup of fluid in the lungs, abdomen, and other tissues.

There are two main types of heart failure:

  1. Systolic Heart Failure: This occurs when the heart’s left ventricle is weakened and cannot pump blood effectively, leading to a reduced ejection fraction (the percentage of blood pumped out with each contraction).
  2. Diastolic Heart Failure: This occurs when the heart’s left ventricle becomes stiff and does not relax properly during the filling phase, leading to a decreased ability to fill with blood.

Common causes of heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle)
  • Valvular heart diseases
  • Infections affecting the heart muscle
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes

Symptoms of congestive heart failure can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and abdomen (edema)
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Reduced ability to exercise

Congestive heart failure medications may include diuretics to reduce fluid buildup, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers to relax blood vessels, beta-blockers to decrease the heart’s workload, and other drugs to manage specific symptoms.

My point is that there is much more to heart therapies than conventional heart medications. Many of which come with side effects. Consider integrative therapies or complementary therapies.

Have you been diagnosed with chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy? To learn more about possible side effects reach out to me at David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: a double-blind crossover trial.

1985 May;8(5):276-82.

In a double-blind, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled study, we investigated the effects of adding taurine to the conventional treatment in 14 patients with congestive heart failure for a 4-week period. Compared with placebo, taurine significantly improved the New York Heart Association functional class (p less than 0.02), pulmonary crackles (p less than 0.02), and chest film abnormalities (p less than 0.01).

A benefit of taurine over placebo was demonstrated when an overall treatment response for each patient was evaluated on the basis of clinical examination (p less than 0.05). No patient worsened during taurine administration, but four patients did during placebo.

Pre-ejection period (corrected for heart rate) decreased from 148 +/- 14 ms before taurine treatment to 137 +/- 12 ms after taurine (p less than 0.001), and the quotient pre-ejection period/left ventricular ejection time decreased from 47 +/- 9 to 42 +/- 8% (p less than 0.001). Side effects did not occur in the patients during taurine. The results indicate that addition of taurine to conventional therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure.”

Usefulness of taurine in chronic congestive heart failure and its prospective application.

We compared the effect of oral administration of taurine (3 g/day) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (30 mg/day) in 17 patients with congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, whose ejection fraction assessed by echocardiography was less than 50%. The changes in echocardiographic parameters produced by 6 weeks of treatment were evaluated in a double-blind fashion. In the taurine-treated group significant treatment effect was observed on systolic left ventricular function after 6 weeks. Such an effect was not observed in the CoQ10-treated group.”


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