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Mega Study: Herb Extract Improves Symptoms of Heart Failure
Brought to you from the NEEDS Wellness Team

Cochrane researchers, an international group of scientists that evaluates medical research, recently reviewed 10 published studies on the herb, Crataegus oxyacantha, better known as hawthorn extract. The goal in this meta-analysis was to determine if the herb was better than a placebo for treating patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). CHF is caused by atherosclerosis, which puts stress on the heart and forces it to work harder. The heart struggles to pump adequately, and fluid accumulates in legs and lungs.

Overall, the researchers determined that hawthorn is significantly more effective than a placebo at improving exercise tolerance, and relieving shortness of breath and fatigue. It also causes a beneficial decrease in the "pressure-heart rate product," which measures how much oxygen the heart uses. Side effects were minor and infrequent.

Clinical research has identified the beneficial compounds responsible for hawthorn's activity. These compounds include flavonoids, such as vitexin 4'-rhamnoside, O-glycosides, luteolin-7 glucoside, hyperoside, quercetin, and rutin. The 500 mg of standardized hawthorn flower and berry used in the Nature's Way Hawthorn extract contains 1.8% vitexin.

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