Book Reviews by Heidi Boudro

The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology

Reviewed by Heidi Boudro

By the time my father needed a heart transplant, he was too ill to qualify. His cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon who would have happily performed or ordered a heart transplant, wouldn't permit my father to take the nutritional supplement coenzyme Q10, although it had been prescribed in Japan and Europe for years. The cardiologist pronounced it "too experimental."

Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, board-certified cardiologist and author of The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology, would have recommended coenzyme Q10, as well as basic vitamins and three other specific nutrients. He is an "integrative cardiologist," as is Dr. James C. Roberts, MD, who wrote the introduction; he uses both standard drug therapy and nutrients that improve the cellular energy metabolism of the heart.

Dr. Sinatra's goal in the book is to clearly show the rationale for using these nutrients. In the heart's energy metabolism, the cells of the heart muscle produce the compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy source necessary for the beating of the heart. The performance of the heart depends on the cells' ability to synthesize ATP; ATP synthesis depends on the availability of specific nutrients. The Sinatra Solution covers this biochemistry in well-written, easy-to-understand detail.

Dr. Sinatra describes some of the clinical and experimental studies concerning the nutrients. You may be surprised at the amount and depth of peer-reviewed clinical research available on each nutrient, often in prestigious medical journals, some quite recent and some going back decades.

These nutrients have been shown by peer-reviewed clinical studies to improve symptoms and outcomes of all forms of cardiovascular disease--coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy--as well as precursors such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and "Syndrome X" or metabolic syndrome. Clinical experience also suggests use for diseases of energy metabolism deficiency such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and mitochondrial cytopathies.

Up until my parents' deaths in 1995, I witnessed at close hand what Dr. Roberts refers to as "revolving-door" cardiology: "No matter what we did, how many drugs we prescribed, or interventions we used, patients just kept coming back with more health problems." I am sure many readers are familiar with this process: the patient's progressive symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, weakness, blanching, and chest pain; the recurring medical crises and hospitalizations; and the experimenting and balancing act of drug therapy.

Dr. Roberts writes, "Now, twelve years out from being the number one cardiology emergency room admitter in my primary hospital, I don't have a single patient in the hospital the majority of the time. My heart failure readmission rate is nearly zero (and I haven't had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to see a sick patient in over a year)."

I believe it is time for patients to educate themselves about these nutrients and to demand that medical doctors do so as well.

See The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology at Amazon.

Copyright © 2008 by Heidi Boudro