Dear Pharmacist,

Both my father and brother have suffered a heart attack. I’m worried because I’m 52 years old and my blood pressure is slightly elevated, but other than that, I am pretty healthy. All my tests are okay, but I am scared. Any suggestions?

--P.A. Denver, Colorado

Answer: Just because your relatives have suffered a heart attack, doesn’t mean you will so realize that in this moment, you are still healthy. Positive thoughts reduce stress hormones like cortisol which damage the heart.

Because you have a family history of heart disease, remain vigilant eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, doing aerobic exercise and taking essential nutrients that help maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol.

Most Americans take blood pressure drugs. Pharmaceutically-speaking, there are over 100 different pills to tackle high blood pressure. In some instances, these are helpful, but they relax blood vessels temporarily, while the disease process continues. Many drugs used to lower blood pressure just so happen to be drug muggers of magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron so taking a multi-mineral supplement, or a trace mineral supplement a few hours after you take your medicine can mitigate side effects.

While blood pressure or cholesterol medications, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and digoxin may be prescribed by your physician, it’s important to realize that their effect on your body is only temporary. The underlying disease and inflammation will continue to destroy the delicate pipeline, your blood vessels, arteries and capillaries. This is why vitamin C, lysine and proline help, because they keep your blood vessels flexible and help reduce plaquing.

I wrote a whole chapter on heart disease in my diabetes book, and right now, I’d like to share some of the most important supplements that could help a person reduce their risk of heart attack. Obviously, ask your physician which supplement(s) are right for your individual condition:

Arginine- It’s an amino acid that the body makes on its own. You can buy it too. In 2009, researchers at the University of Virginia found that it could help people with heart failure.

Ribose- Its a naturally-occurring sugar that the body uses to make ATP, your energy molecule. Ribose improves blood flow and provides much-needed oxygen to the heart.

Hawthorn- Its an herb that increases the amount of blood your heart pumps, and it lowers blood pressure over time. Hawthorne turns on an anti-aging switch in your body (a gene called PGC-1 alpha) which helps you burn fat more efficiently.

Fish Oils- They improve cholesterol ratios and reduce risk of blood clot formation.

Taurine- It’s an amino acid that helps regulate heart rhythm, regulate blood pressure and lower blood pressure.

Sometimes potassium deficiency contributes to heart problems. If your doctor has told you that you’re low in this mineral, check in your medicine cabinet because some medications are drug muggers and can actually reduce potassium levels.

Did You Know?

Certain antidepressants, decongestants and pain-relieving narcotics can alter heart rhythm.

Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen, is known as America’s Pharmacist. She has been a licensed pharmacist for 24 years and is a Functional Medicine practitioner. She’s the author of 6 books, including her most recent Amazon #1 best-seller, “Thyroid Healthy: Lose Weight, Look Beautiful and Live the Life You Imagine.”

She was the host of The Thyroid Summit which broadcast worldwide in June 2014. Suzy has been a syndicated columnist for 19 years reaching 20 million in circulation each week. She is a Huffington Post writer, and also hosts her own syndicated medical minute on TV. Suzy has been featured on The Dr OZ Show 6 times, and has appeared on The View, Good Morning America Health, The Doctors and hundreds of other networks. She is a member of The Institute of Functional Medicine, also the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, The American Pharmacists Association and ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. You can read free articles and receive your free newsletter by visiting her website,

Books authored by Suzy Cohen include:

  • Thyroid Healthy
  • Headache Free
  • Drug Muggers
  • Diabetes Without Drugs
  • The 24-Hour Pharmacist
  • Eczema: Itchin’ for a Cure (kindle only)
  • Understanding Pancreatitis & Pancreatic Cancer (kindle only)