Heart disease falls into several classes: Coronary disease is the most frequent , but valvular  is not far behind: Who doesn’t have a relative or friend who had some heart valve replaced or bypass surgery?
Actually  is giving epidemiology statistics:
“…Aortic valve sclerosis (aortic valve thickening and calcification) seem to affect about one fourth of adults over 65 years of age, while aortic valve stenosis is present in 2–9% of general population over 65 years of age; an increased prevalence of both sclerosis and stenosis with aging (48% and 4% in those over 85 years) is observed…”
- labtestsonline ; “common heart diseases” ; 2011
- Cardiovascular Ultrasound ;”Epidemiology and Cardiovascular Risk Factors of Aortic stenosis” ; 2006
Nutraceuticals are foods or food supplements taken to prevent or treat a disease. This post will examine whether some nutraceuticals can help in the fight against heart disease, particularly the stenosis or narrowing of the heart valves.
First some background: In aortic stenosis (AS), the heart’s aortic valve narrows, making the heart work harder, and can result in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), fainting (syncope), or chest pains (angina due to the lack of blood supply). These are serious issues.
- Journal Of American Cardiology ; “Progression of Aortic Stenosis in 394 Patients: Relation to Changes in Myocardial and Mitral Valve Dysfunction.”
Most Cardiologists will recommend surgery to replace the valve, and there are two type of surgeries available:
- The classical way is “Open Heart” (OH) . Although obviously a serious surgery, it has now been performed for many years. OH is obviously fully invasive but a proven technique if the patient is fairly is robust. 
- A more recent procedure is the Trancatheter Aortic Replacement or TAVR or TAVI . TAVR is less invasive, but relatively new. In TAVR, a replacement valve is passed through a hole in the groin by a puncture of the femoral artery and advanced up to the ascending aorta of the patient. Usually the method is for more frail patients. You still have to qualify, since the the vascular system has to be sturdy enough, and the surgeon has to bring in and set up the new prosthetic valve through the twists and turns of the heart itself albeit to different standards than the Open Heart. For example, severe aortic aneurisms that have the aortic valve blown up like a balloon and relatively thin walls, often preclude TAVR 
- Cleveland Clinic ; “Aortic Valve Surgery” ; March 2012
- CardioBrief ; “Consensus Document Provides Roadmap To Uptake Of TAVI In US” ; Jan 2012
There are two kinds of circumstances when a pharmaceutical or nutraceutical treatment would be of interest:
- When somebody is declared a non-candidate both for the OH and TAVR procedures
- When the cardiologist declares the AS is too small to be worthy of surgery
Are there treatments for Aortic Stenosis?
Possible causes and processes of AS
Let us now examine the possible causes and processes of AS to see if some nutraceuticals might help slow down the progression.
But what is inflammation?
Beneficial inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and white blood cells from the blood into the injured tissues.
But then, there is mitochondrial inflammation: Mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for generating biochemical energy. That kind of inflammation results in mitochondrial dysfunction.
Summarizing: Under oxidative stress, the cell membranes leak some mitochondria components which are mistaken by the body’s immune system as threats. The body’s response is inflammation to get rid of the intruder, which bear some commonality with some autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. 
Since mitochondria is such a basic component of our bodies, its malfunction through inflammation brings about all sorts of diseases: From cancer, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, to cardiovascular issues.[2,3,4]…
More details about inflammation can be found in the excellent expose of LifeExtension 
- MayoClinic ; “Aortic Valve Stenosis: Treatments and Drugs”; 2012
- “Studies Provide Strongest Evidence To Date For Causative Role of Inflammation in Heart Disease” http://cardiobrief.org/2012/03/15/studies-provide-strongest-evidence-to-date-for-causative-role-of-inflammation-in-heart-disease/
- “Spectrum of Calcific Aortic Valve Disease Pathogenesis, Disease Progression, and Treatment Strategies” ; Rosario V. Freeman, MD, MS; Catherine M. Otto, MD http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/24/3316/T5.expansion.html
- “Aortic valve stenosis: an active atheroinflammatory process.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17885417
- Life Extension; Chronic Inflammation; 2012
Quoting New Horizon 
- “Oxidation, Inflammation, and Aortic Valve Calcification: Peroxide Paves An Osteogenic Path” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2559856
- Dysregulation of antioxidant mechanisms contributes to increased oxidative stress in calcific aortic valvular stenosis in humans”. http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1139184
- Journal Of American Cardiology ; “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2559856/
- New Horizon ; “Nutritional Antioxidants and the Modulation of Inflammation: Theory and Practice.” ; 1994 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7922442
It was therefore natural to look at antioxidants to fight inflammation, and there are many studies that back up this approach.
Antioxidants Nutrients and Heart Disease:
CoenzymeQ10, Selenium are antioxidants of choice [ 1,2], but the list is much longer. Treatment with full spectrum vitamin E has been abandoned by many because of negative results of large scale studies , but still has some defenders [4,5]. The consensus on Resveratrol is that it might help, but more studies are needed (as usual..) 
- Coenzyme Q10 in patients with end-stage heart failure awaiting cardiac transplantation: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15188947
- Selenium and CoenzymeQ10: Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22626835
- JAMA ;”Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular Events and Cancer”; HOPE Trials ; March 2005 http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=200541
- Genes and Nutrition ; ” Multifaceted role of tocotrienols in cardioprotection supports their structure: function relation” ; Jan 2012 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250529
- Linus Pauling Institute, U. of Oregon ; “FATALLY FLAWED” CLINICAL TRIALS OF VITAMIN E” ; http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/ss08/vitamine.html
- Mayo Clinic ; “”Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart?”; March 2011
Valvular calcification is similar to Atherosclerotic and is an organized, regulated process similar to bone formation [1-2]
After oxidation has brought about inflammation, both combine to generate a tissue structure attractive to calcification.Quoting  “…In addition , oxidation and inflammation bring about Oxidized LDL (“bad” Cholesterol) stimulates valvular fibroblasts [biostructures] to release matrix vesicles, a nidus [nest] for early calcification…” Let us also translate ’s title in plain English : “…Peroxide Paves An Osteogenic Path” : Peroxide [a potent oxidant] provides an osteogenic path [a path for the generation of bone like structures]. In broader terms, an oxidant is misleading your body into generating bone where it should not, your aorta! Refs.
- Oxford Journals ; “Vascular calcification and osteoporosis: inflammatory responses to oxidized lipids” ; 2002 ; http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/4/737.full
- Circulation ; “Coronary Artery Calcification: Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Imaging Methods, and Clinical Implications” ; 1996 ; http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/94/5/1175.full
- Circulation ; “Spectrum of Calcific Aortic Valve Disease Pathogenesis, Disease Progression, and Treatment Strategies”
- Journal of American Cardiology ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2559856/Oxidation, “Inflammation, and Aortic Valve Calcification: Peroxide Paves An Osteogenic Path”
- WebMD ; Calcium
- Livestrong ; ” WHAT CAUSES CALCIUM DEPOSITS AND CALCIFICATION? “http://www.livestrong.com/article/259570-what-causes-calcium-deposits-and-calcification/
- Calcium supplements: Bad for the heart? “….evidence that calcium supplements exacerbated vascular calcification and contributed to the very high cardiovascular mortality experienced by those patients…” http://heart.bmj.com/content/98/12/895.extract
- Nutrients 2010, 2(5), 505-522; doi:10.3390/nu2050505 “ReviewIs Excess Calcium Harmful to Health?”; “…findings from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (currently published in abstract form only) revealed that the use of calcium supplements was associated with an ~30% increased risk of myocardial infarction….” http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/2/5/505/htm
- NutraIngredients ; “New analysis slams calcium supplements over heart problems”; 2011 http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/New-analysis-slams-calcium-supplements-over-heart-problems
- Yoplait ; Advertisement about vitamin D and Calcium supplementation ; “Osteoporosis And Calcium – Calcium is Vital To Our Health.” 2012
- Journal of Nutrition ; ” Appropriate Calcium Fortification of the Food Supply Presents a Challenge 2003; http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/7/2232.long
- Medical News Digest ; “About Heart Risks, Calcium, and Food Fortification”; July , 2012
- Wikipedia ; soy milk ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_milk#Health_and_nutrition
- British Journal Of Anesthesia ; “Magnesium Physiology and Pharmacology ; 1999
- Journal of Molecular Medicine ; “”Dietary magnesium, not calcium, prevents vascular calcification in a mouse model for pseudoxanthoma elasticum” ; Feb 2010
Vitamin D regulate the availability of Calcium and its absosorption into the blood through the intestine .
- Colorado state U. ;Vitamin D (Calcitriol) ; http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/otherendo/vitamind.html
- AmedNews ; “Vitamin D’s impact on cancer and heart health needs more research” ; http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/09/hlsa0109.htm
- Thrombosis and Haematostasis ; “Matrix Gla-protein: the calcification inhibitor in need of vitamin K”; 2008 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18841280
- “Vitamin K-dependent Calcium Binding Proteins in Aortic Valve Calcification” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC371395/ Quoting: “…These results suggest that calcific valvar disease may result in part from vitamin K-dependent processes…”
- The role of vitamin K in soft-tissue calcification. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22516724
- WebMD ; Integrative Medicine and Wellness ; “Vitamin K – Keeping Calcium in Your Bones and Out of Your Blood Vessels” ; Joe Pizzorno, Jr., ND http://blogs.webmd.com/integrative-medicine-wellness/2007/11/vitamin-k-keeping-calcium-in-your-bones-and-out-of-your-blood-vessels.html
- WebMD ; Integrative Medicine and Wellness ; “Vitamin K2, but Not Vitamin K1, is Helpful for Bone Density” ; Joe Pizzorno, Jr., ND http://blogs.webmd.com/integrative-medicine-wellness/2008/10/vitamin-k2-but-not-vitamin-k1-is-helpful-for-bone-density.html
Talk to your Doctor about this strategy against Coronary Heart Disease in general and and Valvular Heart Disease:
Antioxidant supplements: CoQ10, Selenium
Anti-inflammatory: Omega-3 Fish Oil
Anti-Calcification: Limit your Calcium intake to RDA, take Vitamin K 2 and Magnesium
CoQ10, and vitamin K can “thicken” your blood and interfere with blood thinners like Warfarin or aspirin. So people on those medications, and many heart patients are, who want to take these antioxidants will be advised by their MD to test for their prothrombin time (PT) test. .
Selenium can be toxic at high doses
Vitamin E will cause blood pressure to rise
Taking nutraceutical is more serious than most people believe!
Get help from your health practitioner before embarking on nutraceuticals treatments!