Heart Health Supplements
Just a decade ago, the conventional wisdom was that supplements would compensate for dietary flaws and protect one’s heart and overall health. But, eventually the scenario has turnaround dramatically with the advancement in the field of medical science. Popping vitamins and minerals might seem like an easy way to foster heart health supplements, but that’s not the case usually. A number of elaborate studies over the past several years failed to explain that supplements of vitamin C and E as well as folic acid and other B vitamins, prevents strokes or heart attacks. In one study, verily, vitamin E was linked to an higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
So, unless we have better guidance from large, long-term studies, here is what we suggest you about some popular supplements that you have undoubtedly heard much about:
Heart Health Supplements
Fish Oil: The omega-3 fatty acids have withstood thorough study as a heart protector. The omega-3 fatty acids fish oil supplements, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been found to be most effective in lowering triglycerides, that is mainly an artery-clogging fat in the blood. They might also protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, slightly raising HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing inflammation.
The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram of omega-3s a day , to people with heart disease. However, people with high triglyceride levels might need 2 to 4 grams a day from multiple pills. While others should aim to eat two or more servings of fatty fish a week that are high in omega-3s and relatively low in mercury, such as wild mackerel, salmon and sardines. Or consider fish-oil pills or fortified foods.
Vitamin D: More positive studies on the cardiovascular benefits of vitamin D have been turning up, but still we are a few years away from clinical trials that explains better the link between taking vitamin D supplements to attain higher vitamin D levels, and lower cardiovascular risk. So, in that regard, 1,000 IU of vitamin D is recommended daily to patients, only if there is a deficiency even after eating D-fortified foods and getting 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily.
Resveratrol: This chemical found primarily in red grape skins and red wine, has been mostly touted as heart-healthy, but isn’t completely safe for a general recommendation as a supplement. That’s merely because data from human studies is extremely limited and vague, also the appropriate resveratrol dosage requires further study. Further, resveratrol makes platelets in the bloodstream less “sticky,” this could increase the risk of bleeding in people who take clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), ibuprofen, aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is always advised to go natural and get your daily dose of this chemical from red grapes, pistachios and blueberries, or by having a glass of your favorite red wine.
Turmeric: This spice contains a polyphenol called curcumin, which exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects and is also a powerful antioxidant. Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, so this could possibly relieve heart ailments. Studies have suggested that, curcumin may help prevent the buildup of plaque that can clog arteries and lead to strokes and heart attacks. However, it does have side effects, like it’s high concentration in blood may lead to abnormal heart rhythm. Thus, until more research in humans, documenting its benefits, is available; Enjoy turmeric in your cooking, instead of chocking down in pill form.
Antioxidants: Skip them. A trial with tens of thousands of participants who were given vitamins E and C and beta-carotene supplements failed to support early findings that were positive; other research concluded that if taken in large amounts, they may even be harmful (acting as pro-oxidants). Further research and studies are needed to get to the core of the subject and understand the real role of antioxidants in the body.
B Vitamins: Until and unless you have a specific deficiency and it is recommended by your physician, skip these, too. There is no accurate evidence that taking B6, B12, or folic acid supplements alone, or as multivitamin, can help prevent heart disease, even with lowering levels of the amino acid -product homocysteine is a proven risk marker for cardiovascular events.
A healthy, varied diet is always the best multivitamin. The secret to sound health is not consuming nutrients in the form of supplements but, rather, eating wholesome food rich in those multivitamins to keep your heart healthy. One thing that remains bedrock is the health benefit of eating fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. Howbeit, even if there is a need to take a heart supplements, always consult your doctor first!