Six Most Important Supplements for Heart Health
Your heart works hard. In fact, it never stops working, even when you’re at rest. It pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day. And if you live a healthy lifestyle, your heart will beat more than 3 billion times during your life.
But tragically, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and indeed in many other countries.
To avoid becoming part of that statistic, you need to adopt the correct healthy diet and to get enough of the key nutrients that support your cardiovascular system.
So, here are the top six supplements for heart health.
1. Omega-3 Fish Oil
The important parts of the fish oil are the fatty acids DHA and EPA. They’re found in cold water fatty fish and they normalize blood clotting, heart rhythm, triglyceride levels, as well as blood pressure. They also keep blood vessels healthy.
Recommendations for how much fish oil to take per day usually range between 850 mg of DHA and EPA (on the low end) up to 3,000 mg. When you’re reading supplement labels and looking at serving sizes, be aware of the tricky marketing of some of the cheaper store brands. Some brands will promote their products as containing 2,000 mg of fish oil per serving. You think might think that’s great because it’s the number you remember, however… read the supplement facts label on the bottle. You’ll likely see that one serving contains 2,000 mg of fish oil but that those 2,000 mg might only contain 300 mg of DHA and EPA. Be sure the daily serving has 2,000 to 3,000 mg of DHA and EPA combined.
The optimal ratio is two to two and a half times as much DHA as EPA. So, a good ratio might be a serving that has 800 mg of DHA and 300 mg of EPA. Then two servings per day would get you up over 2,000 total milligrams.
2. Vitamin D3
Low levels of vitamin D3 are linked to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension – all of which are major risk factors for heart disease. Vitamin D3 helps to combat the making of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are signaling molecules that make diseases worse. In one study, subjects with D3 levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter were twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years!
Ultimately, you want your vitamin D levels to be between 60 and 90. 20 is often considered to be the threshold for deficiency, while 60 to 90 is optimal.
3. Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
MCTs are an immediate fuel and energy source that are not stored like other fats. MCTs have anticoagulation and antioxidant properties and they support your heart by lowering blood cholesterol.
Your MCT supplements should always be sourced from non-hydrogenated coconut or palm oil.
4. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 supports your heart by ensuring calcium isn’t deposited into your arteries, where it can cause stiffness and plaque buildup.
The best form of K2 is called MK-7. It’s the natural form of the vitamin K2 and if your supplement maker uses this MK-7 form, they will be sure to put that on the supplement facts.
5. Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 for short. It’s a powerful antioxidant that’s produced in the mitochondria of your cells. You also need CoQ10 from your diet.
Inside your body, CoQ10 is heavily concentrated in your heart. Not surprisingly, a University of Texas study found that people with congestive heart failure who took CoQ10 had a 75% survival rate compared to only 25% in the study’s placebo group.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is the superhero antioxidant. Research shows that vitamin E significantly reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. In the absence of vitamin E, low-density proteins become damaged by free radicals, paving the way for plaque building up in your arteries. Of course, that’s a major risk factor for heart disease.
Taking These Supplements For Heart Health
Taking these six supplements that support cardiovascular health – in combination with a diet rich in vegetables, healthy fat, and a moderate amount of protein – can go a long way in helping you take control of your health.
Of course, if you’re already on heart medication, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any dietary supplements you’re considering. Some supplements can act as blood thinners or clotting agents. So, be absolutely certain that you’re not working against the medication that your doctor’s already prescribed for you.
Now, together let’s make some headway in terms of heart health. Our lives literally depend on it.
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