5 Supplements That May Help Improve Your Heart Health
Cardiovascular disease (heart and blood vessel disease) is a leading cause of mortality, making it essential to address and ideally prevent these conditions. Fortunately, several of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are modifiable, such as elevated blood pressure, irregular cholesterol levels, and being overweight or obese. Lifestyle modifications, including a heart-healthy diet, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and certain dietary supplements, can be implemented to support cardiovascular health.
The following are some of the top ingredients for cardiovascular support.
Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as CoQ10, is a fat-soluble antioxidant found in the body’s heart, kidneys, liver, and pancreas. CoQ10 provides heart cells with energy and protects them from free radical damage, supporting cardiovascular health. As a dietary supplement, CoQ10 may reduce inflammation and improve markers of cardiovascular function when used in conjunction with statin medication. It is especially important to take Coenzyme Q10 if you are taking prescribed statin drugs to decrease your cholesterol.
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Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, and more specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are well known for their anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects. Intake of EPA and DHA has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and fatal coronary heart disease. Additionally, omega-3 supplementation may improve peripheral artery disease (PAD) and atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by plaque buildup and narrowing of the arteries.
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Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)
Hawthorn is a genus of medicinal herbs that includes approximately 300 different species. Several beneficial effects of hawthorn have been identified, including antioxidant, hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering), and anti-atherosclerotic (to prevent or counteract atherosclerosis) effects. Research suggests that long-term hawthorn supplementation may help improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure.
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Garlic (Allium sativum)
A member of the allium plant family, garlic is a culinary and medicinal herb. Garlic has been shown to provide antimicrobial, antioxidant, hypoglycemic (blood sugar-reducing), and hypolipidemic (blood lipid-lowering) effects. Garlic supplements may help reduce total cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure in hypertensive patients, and lower C-reactive protein levels, an indicator of inflammation.
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An essential mineral, magnesium is required for over 300 reactions in the body, including blood pressure regulation, nerve function, and cardiac conduction. In Western countries, an estimated 68% of adults consume below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium daily. Supplementation with magnesium may provide several cardiovascular benefits and has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hypertension, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, mitral valve prolapse, and heart failure.
The list below outlines the established recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for daily intake of magnesium, based on age:
- Infants 0-6 months: 30 mg
- Infants 7-12 months: 75 mg
- Children 1-3 years: 80 mg
- Children 4-8 years: 130 mg
- Adolescents 9-13 years: 240 mg
- Adolescents 14-18 years (male): 410 mg
- Adolescents 14-18 years (female): 360 mg
- Adults 19-30 years (male): 400 mg
- Adults 19-30 years (female): 310 mg
- Adults 31+ years (male): 420 mg
- Adults 31+ years (female): 320 mg
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