* Coezyme Q10 - found in soya oil, peanuts, spinach, mackerel, pork, sardines, sesame seed and walnuts - can help the symptoms related to angina, mitral valve prolapse and congestive heart failure (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1985; 82: 901-4; Drugs Exp Clin Res, 1984; 10: 487-502). Suggested dosage: 60-100 mg/day.
* Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the essential fatty acid found in many plant-derived oils, such as evening primrose, borage and blackcurrant seed oils, increases the activity of anticoagulants and platelet inhibitors as well as protects against atherosclerotic disease (Pharmaceut J, 1988; Jun: 723-5). In one study, 3 g/day of GLA supplementation over four months thinned the blood by 45 per cent and increased bleeding time by 40 per cent (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 1994; 51: 311-6).
* Garlic prevents blood coagulation and reduces blood viscosity (Indian Heart J, 2004; 56: 176). Suggested dosage: 4000 mcg/day (total allicin content; equivalent to one to four fresh garlic cloves a day), 600-800 mg/day.
* Ginger at high doses (10 g) reduces platelet aggregation (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 1997; 56: 379-84).
* Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and cod liver oils, can prevent arterial disease (Ann Intern Med, 1999; 130: 554-62). Suggested dosage: 1 g three times a day or at least one meal a day that includes fatty fish.
* Onions exhibit antiplatelet activity, dilate blood vessels and thin the blood (Arzneim Forsch, 2000; 50: 795-801).
* Selenium, an antioxidant, may help to limit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol), aiding in the prevention of heart disease (J Cardiovasc Risk, 1996; 3: 42-7). It is relatively easy to get enough selenium by eating meats and bread; Brazil nuts and walnuts are especially good sources. Suggested dosage: up to 200 mcg/day.
* Vitamin E is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts and vegetable oils, and is associated with lower rates of heart disease (Biochem Mol Biol Int, 1995; 35: 117-24; Can J Cardiol, 1997; 13: 957-65; Am J Epidemiol, 1994; 139: 1180-9). Suggested dosage: take up to 1000 IU/day for up to four weeks, or 400 IU/day for up to six months.