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Written by Fintan Duggan QQI L5 Healthcare
Best Supplements for heart health
Did you know that the correct supplements can help prevent heart disease?
Your heart is essential for the smooth functioning of the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to all parts of your body. It is so important to know how to keep your heart healthy considering that heart disease is the most prominent cause of death amongst men and women worldwide.
Learning how to reduce the risks associated with heart disease can help you to live longer and stay healthier. Food supplements taken in addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress control can have a major impact on how your body reacts to the various stages of your life.
If you are overwhelmed or confused by the vast amounts of information found on the internet urging people to get heart healthier by taking supplements, then you need to read this article on Best supplements for heart health and why.
Do supplements work for heart disease?
Taking supplements for heart disease may work for one person and may not for another, a number of studies have been done on the effectiveness, side effects and dosage on some well-known supplements such as Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, Turmeric, Fish Oils, Coenzyme Q10 and others, results will vary health improvements should be expected over the longer term.
There are other considerations to look at before deciding to take supplements to boost your heart health for example:
1. Have you had a heart attack?
2. Is there a family history?
3. Are you taking heart medication?
4. Have you had a heart bypass?
5. Have you had a heart stent inserted?
6. What are you doing to keep heart healthy?
7. Have you high blood pressure?
Supplements come in various forms, you can eat them or drink them, supplements contain vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, herbs or other plants. Supplements are recommended as an addition to your diet not to be used instead of normal food.
Best Supplements for heart health and why
I have compiled my top 10 Best supplements for heart health, including benefits and possible side effects. I have also included a link to any scientific studies related to that supplement as well as a link to the Amazon store so you can avail of the best quality and best price supplement range
Coenzyme Q10 is a vital substance normally found in food because it is used by our cells to make energy, it is an antioxidant and protects our bodies from harmful molecules. Coenzyme Q10 is found in larger amounts in meat like beef, liver, kidney as well as mackerel, peanuts, sardines and soy oil. Q10 as it is also known as is known to boost energy, some people take it if they are on statin drugs to counteract some of the known side effects particularly a loss of energy.
Coenzyme Q10 benefits
Best for heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, side effects statin drugs.
Possible side effects include rash, insomnia, headaches, digestive issues.
According to Doctor Louis Ignarro a well-known scientist who wrote the book “No more heart disease” l-arginine is vital to clean the plaque build-up in our arteries. We get l-arginine from the foods that we eat, foods like dairy products, fish, meat, whole grains and beans.
The problem is when we age our bodies don’t produce enough l-arginine this causes problems in our arteries in the form of plaque build-up that sticks to the arterial walls, if the plaque breaks off it could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The plaque build-up can cause problems for the normal flow of blood putting pressure on the heart causing damage and heart disease.
L-arginine is used for congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, blocked arteries in the leg, erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease.
Possible side effects include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, allergies, low blood pressure
3.Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in certain oily fish and some plants they are known to lower triglycerides, high triglycerides are linked to heart disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. Our bodies don’t make these Omega 3 fatty acids so to have a healthy heart it is necessary to take a fish oil supplement, watch your diet and get regular exercise to keep your heart healthy.
One study of patients with chronic heart failure showed that when the patients were given fish oil supplements there was a corresponding improvement in their heart health notwithstanding the fact that it was a small decrease.
Omega 3 fatty acids benefits:
Used to lower triglycerides, blood pressure, slow arterial plaque build-up, reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Possible side effects include bad breath, heartburn, diarrhoea, headache, unpleasant taste and bad breath.
Research has shown that low levels of magnesium may be a sign of heart disease, elevated magnesium levels has been linked to high blood pressure, calcification of the arteries, plaque build-up, high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries.
Magnesium supplements are supplied in different forms, magnesium sulphate, magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate and magnesium hydroxide.
Note: Patients who suffer from kidney disease should consult with their doctor before considering Magnesium supplements.
Magnesium levels in the population are estimated to be 80% deficient so taking a magnesium supplement is a good idea for most of us, particularly in liquid form for better absorption.
Good for a healthy heart, relieves muscle ache and pain, calms nerves, increases energy, helps with relaxation, helps with migraine.
Too much may cause diarrhoea or digestive problems or nausea.
Of course, fibre is in the food that we eat, however you may not be getting enough fibre from this source, a fibre supplement like psyllium can have the added benefit of lowering cholesterol as well as providing the extra fibre that you need. A fibre supplement could also be used to lose weight in addition to an exercise program and a balanced diet.
Fibre supplement benefits
Fibre supplements have a range of health benefits, they include preventing constipation and helping to keep the bowel functioning normally. We should get enough fibre in our food, a fibre supplement won’t provide vitamins, nutrients and minerals but it will help to bring up your daily recommended intake.
May decrease the absorbency of certain medications like aspirin, abdominal bloating & gas. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist because fibre supplements may lower blood sugar levels.
L-Carnitine is also an amino acid, it brings the body’s cells into the mitochondria where they are converted into energy, the heart muscle needs an adequate supply of energy to pump blood around the veins and arteries. A damaged heart following a heart attack will need Carnitine supplement to help it recover.
Approved by the FDA for the treatment and prevention of Carnitine shortage in people with kidney disease. Good for heart failure, chest pain, high thyroid hormone levels, heart inflammation and Male infertility.
Not recommended for pregnant women, could make an underactive thyroid worse.
7. Multi vitamins and Minerals
An appropriate recommended dosage of multivitamin and mineral supplement has been shown through research to be of benefit where there is a lack of proper nutrition in the diet, especially where people don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. Multivitamins and minerals may also help in preventing heart disease, they are inexpensive and safe to take.
Studies have shown that people reduced their risk of heart disease by taking a multivitamin, multivitamins are a necessity each day when you consider how the food that we eat is so depleted of vital nutrients.
In general side effects are not an issue however it is important to look for a quality multivitamin and not just go for the cheapest.
Apart from being something healthy to add to your food and make it tastier, Garlic is a well-tolerated anti-inflammatory it is available in supplement form and has been used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and the common cold. Garlic is safe to take in recommended doses however it may cause problems where somebody is taking blood thinners.
Garlic or garlic supplements are used for many conditions such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart attack and high blood pressure. It has been used widely in some countries for long cancer prevention, stomach cancer, prostate and colon cancer.
Better not to use if pregnant or if you have a stomach ulcer, not suitable for those with digestive issues.
Potassium has been known for a long time as a blood pressure natural regulator.
The recommended daily intake of Potassium ( Food & Nutrition Board) is 4,70p mg, believe it or not potatoes have more potassium than bananas as much as twice as much, it is possible to obtain potassium in supplement form.
Potassium provides a range of health benefits including reducing high blood pressure, stroke relief, relief from kidney and heart disorders, enhancing muscle strength and balancing the nervous system.
Potassium may have a detrimental effect on those with kidney disease, it is advisable not too take more than the recommended dosage.
10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is often considered an essential nutrient that reduces blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves many more health disorders
A very underrated nutrient and one of the safest most effective supplements out there, Vitamin C may help to protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, eye disease and deficiencies in the immune system.
Vitamin C benefits
User where there is a known vit c deficiency also thought to help with keeping cancer away, preventing colds, cataracts, chronic pain, heart disease, reducing high blood pressure.
Outside of a known deficiency, vitamin C is believed by some to aid in the treatment or prevention of numerous diseases, including colds, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, chronic pain, cataracts, gastritis, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.
High doses can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, cramps, headaches and heartburn.
Talk to your Doctor
I always think that it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before embarking on any new supplement because your doctor may or may not know of any potential side effects, allergic reactions, interactions with your medications, any woman who is breast feeding should definitely look for the best advice. Having said that most supplement suppliers are aware of any reactions and will make the customer aware also, after all they want you to come back don’t, they?
I have given you as much information on each supplement as possible, I use heart supplements myself every day, up to this point I can say that I haven’t suffered any reaction when combining them with other medication, always read what ingredients are in each product, look for customer testimonial, weigh everything up before purchasing. Not all supplements are made the same always check if the supplier is reputable, is the product the one that you want, does it contain the correct ingredients, it quality approved.
PS: If you ever need any help or advice, I am here for you, just email me from the contact form at the top.
Coenzyme Q10 Study
Omega 3 Study
Multivitamin and minerals studies
Vitamin C studies