Heart Health: Supplement Perks

  • February 22, 2021
Heart Health: Supplement Perks

Preventative care for heart health, like maintaining a healthy diet, is important, but sometimes it’s hard to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need. That’s where supplements come in. Supplements are super simple additions to your daily routine that can help you improve the overall quality of life and help you live life without limits. 

Is your body lacking vitamins or nutrients?

Symptoms of vitamin deficiency include digestive issues, extreme fatigue, and brittle nails. A body low in certain vitamins is usually the result of an unhealthy diet (too many processed foods, not enough whole fruits and vegetables) or a more serious underlying condition.  Never diagnose yourself and add supplements to your diet without consulting your primary care physician. Once your PCP determines the deficiency, they will suggest an appropriate supplement. 

When it comes to the heart, there are a handful of vitamin deficiencies that can affect cardiovascular health. Iodine deficiency can enlarge the thyroid gland, causing the heart rate to increase. Calcium serves as a signaling molecule, and without it, the heart and surrounding muscles would not be able to function properly. Low levels of magnesium also increase risk of heart disease, as a major symptom is an abnormal heart rhythm. 

Supplements are exactly that: something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. They are not a catch-all solution to some of the above conditions or symptoms. Supplements work best when coupled with a healthy diet, an active lifestyle, and a healthy sleep schedule. As part of our Heart Health Month, take a look at the following supplements that can greatly improve the symptoms of heart disease:

Supplement Spotlight: Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, and prevent arterial plaque.

Three recent clinical trials have shown benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular disease. The VITAL (the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial) showed consumption of 840 mg omega-3 fatty acids resulted in a 28% reduced risk for heart attacks, 50% reduced risk for fatal heart attacks, and 17% reduced risk for total coronary heart disease events

In the ASCEND trial (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes), cardiovascular disease death was significantly reduced by 19% with 840 mg omega-3s. 

In REDUCE-IT (the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl–Intervention Trial), there was a 25% decrease in the primary end point of major cardiovascular events with 4 grams a day of omega-3s in patients with elevated triglycerides.

Supplement Spotlight: Coenzyme Group 10

Unfortunately as we age, natural levels of Coenzyme Group 10, otherwise known as CoQ10, decrease. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has chemical, metabolic, and physiological properties that are beneficial in two clinical settings: statinssociated myopathy syndrome (SAMS) and congestive heart failure (CHF). 

You can replenish some levels of CoQ10 through diet by eating meat, fish and nuts. However, the amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources, isn't enough to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in your body. But don’t worry, that’s where supplements come into play.

You can easily get these supplements at the Vitamin Shoppe or CVS and it’s available in capsules, chewable tablets, liquid syrups or wafers to help prevent or treat certain heart conditions.

Here’s how it helps prevent or treat heart conditions. CoQ10 increases the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which can reduce problems involving tissues with high metabolic requirements, such as heart muscle. CoQ10 may also have a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients with heart failure by reducing oxidative stress, a marker of mortality in heart failure. In patients with heart failure, there is a measurable deficiency of CoQ10 in both blood and myocardial tissue. 

Supplement Spotlight: Red Rice Yeast

Experts consider high total cholesterol and high LDL (bad) cholesterol to be the most important in the development of coronary heart disease. While doctors typically use prescription medications (“statins”) to improve a person’s cholesterol profile in order to lower their heart disease risk. However, there’s also an OTC supplement that can lower high cholesterol: red rice yeast. 

Red rice yeast contains a substance called monacolin K. When monacolin K is used daily, it can reduce LDL cholesterol by 15-25% within 6 to 8 weeks. It can also lower total cholesterol by a similar amount. Doctors consider it to be a safe and effective supplement for those who have mild to moderate elevation of their cholesterol levels and no other heart disease risk factors.

As with any new food or supplement, consult your doctor before adding to or removing any component from your diet. Heart disease and its symptoms can be scary, but it’s important to take the right precautions as we age. Part of preventative care is maintaining our independence and happiness while monitoring any new signs of heart disease. The Mini Guardian is a portable medical alert device that can prevent life-threatening emergencies while you maintain your quality of life-- learn more about how the Mini Guardian could help you! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative medical alert systems that empower people to live a life without limits.

KEYWORDS: heart health, supplements, aging, aging in place

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