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Prevention Is Key! Here Are the Top 10 Supplements for Heart Health

     

top supplements for heart health Heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S. and it’s important to have a heart protection strategy, especially as you get older. It should include exercise and a healthy diet, plus supplements for as needed. All of the supplements we recommend here are proven helpful for . Most can be safely taken in combination. However, and high-dose niacin are best used with medical supervision.

1.

Fish provides both primary and secondary protection—that is, it can help prevent a first heart attack, or a second one. Fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation that can cause harmful clotting, reduce high triglycerides that can lead to fatty liver, reduce the risk of clogged arteries after angioplasty or bypass surgery, lower your risk for an irregular heartbeat, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for stroke.

Recent study findings also indicate that fish oil may protect against aging in heart cells by preserving the length of structures called telomeres, which determine cellular lifespan. Researchers found that the more omega-3s coronary heart disease patients consumed, the slower their cells aged.

What to Take: 1,000-3,000 mg a day, or more with medical supervision.

2. CoQ10

Adding this natural, energy-boosting biochemical to other treatments for congestive heart failure improves quality of life, such as breathlessness, swollen legs, enlarged liver and insomnia. Taking CoQ10 along with blood-pressure lowering drugs improves their effectiveness and may allow you to reduce dosages. Taking CoQ10 after a heart attack significantly lowers your risk of another heart attack. CoQ10 helps to reduce muscle-related pain and weakness that are side effects of statin drugs.

What to Take: 100-300 mg a day, in divided doses.

3. Red Yeast Rice

Like statin drugs, red yeast rice reduces cholesterol levels. It contains HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, the same active ingredient as statin drugs such as lovastatin, red yeast also contains sterols, isoflavones and monounsaturated fatty acids, all ingredients that provide additional heart protection.

What to Take: 600 mg twice a day or 1,200 mg once a day. It can take 8-12 weeks to see full results. It’s best to take under medical supervision, and to have your liver function checked regularly. Note: Like statin drugs, red yeast rice can deplete CoQ10 levels in the body. Therefore, at least 200 mg of CoQ10 should be taken concurrently with red yeast rice to ensure optimal cardiovascular health.

4. Vitamin D

Low levels have been linked to significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. People with low vitamin D levels are more likely to have the risk factors that cause heart disease: type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Vitamin D also affects how well your body absorbs two minerals important for a healthy heart: calcium and magnesium.

What to Take: 1,000-2,000 IU a day, or even more with medical supervision, may be needed.

5.

Research has shown that resveratrol, the compound known to be the secret behind red wine’s heart health benefits, affects age-related gene expression changes in heart tissue. Like calorie restriction, resveratrol switches the body’s biochemical pathways towards tissue maintenance, which confers an advantage when the body is under the effects of stress. (Resveratrol is produced in plants when they are under stress.) This unique effect has been found to protect cardiovascular health and extend life by cutting down on the degenerative diseases of aging.

What to Take: At least 400 mg of standardized trans-resveratrol daily.

6. B Vitamins

The combination of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 reduces harmful homocysteine levels. A recent double-blind placebo-controlled study at the University of Southern California found that these three B vitamins reduced the progression of early subclinical atherosclerosis, as measured by thickness of the carotid artery in the neck, even in people at low risk for cardiovascular disease.

Niacin, another B vitamin, is prescribed in large doses (500 mg or more a day) for treating high cholesterol. It acts on high cholesterol differently than statin drugs and is a first choice for people who need to increase their HDL.

What to Take: 500 mcg of folic acid, 400 mcg of B12, and 50 mg of B6. About 50 mg of niacin daily can modestly increase HDL cholesterol. For the higher doses you need to reduce total cholesterol (500-3,000 mg a day), medical supervision is advised. Niacin can cause flushing, itching, and sometimes liver problems when taken in large doses.

7. Phytosterols

These plant compounds help to reduce cholesterol by competing for absorption in the intestines. They can reduce total and LDL cholesterol by 10-15%. They can be used along with statins or a cholesterol-lowering diet, and are often added to vegetable oil spreads or other “functional” foods.

What to Take: For phytosterols, take at least 300 mg per day, divided and taken before meals.

8. Vitamin E

When you’re taking the right kind of vitamin E—natural, full-spectrum—it can be a big benefit to your heart. It helps prevent blood platelets from sticking together, a big factor in blood clotting; stop oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a factor in hardening of the arteries; lower blood pressure by promoting production of blood vessel-relaxing nitric oxide, and inhibit cholesterol production in the liver.

What to Take: 400 IU of alpha-tocopherol and mixed tocopherols, along with 400 mg of mixed tocotrienols. If you’re on blood-thinning medications, such as Coumadin, ask your doctor about the safest way to add vitamin E to your regimen.

9. Garlic

Garlic extract can preserve elasticity in blood vessels and slow the development of atherosclerosis. It can modestly reduce blood pressure and high cholesterol.

What to Take: 600 to 1,200 mg a day, in divided doses.

10. Flavonoids

These compounds, found in berries, green tea, red wine, chocolate, nuts, onions, apples and citrus fruits, have a wide range of heart health benefits. They reduce the inflammation associated with heart disease, improve the ability of blood vessels to relax, strengthen capillaries and act as powerful antioxidants. They’re a must in your daily diet if you want to keep your heart healthy.

What to Take: Some of the best supplemental sources of flavonoids are extracts of green tea, açai and goji berry, pomegranate, blueberry, bilberry and cranberry. Quercetin and grape seed extract are also great flavonoid supplements. It’s best to take a mix.


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Article updated on: January 24th, 2014

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14 Responses to “ Prevention Is Key! Here Are the Top 10 Supplements for Heart Health ”

  1. [...] product of yeast grown on rice. In the last few years, research has found the ingredient to have heart health benefits; specifically, the ability to inhibit cholesterol [...]

  2. jose carlos on October 2, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    I have managed to get excellent numbers (LDL 99, HDL 45) taking 1000mg of Niaspan twice a day, with the occasional elevated liver enzyme. This problem has gone away by eliminating alcohol from the diet and keeping ibuprofen and other pain meds to the absolute minimum. There is some minimal flushing of the skin associated with this regimen, minimized by taking an 81mg aspirin with the morning dose at first.
    JCA
    Victorville, CA

  3. [...] study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, fish oil supplements may help improve heart function in heart failure [...]

  4. Anonymous on April 13, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    I am a 24 year old male and have been on a stain for about a year for high cholesterol (hereditary). I have always had a tough time losing weight since I can’t work out for long time (heat condition), but I would like to try and lower my calorie intake and hope that helps. Could you explain symptoms of congestive heart failure.

    • Casie on April 18, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      Hi there,

      Thank you for your question. Since that may require a more involved response, you can contact a Stop Aging Now Certified Nutrition Expert for guidance. That way you can have your specific questions address. http://www.stopagingnow.com/ask_the_expert/ask Thanks!

  5. [...] eating habits. Find a way to make exercise fun. Take a multivitamin, fish oil and consider other supplements for heart health support. Do your own research and come up with an individualized plan for you. Give it all a try for 6 to [...]

  6. [...] known for increasing circulation, helping to balance cholesterol levels and providing support for overall heart health. The immune benefits of garlic may get less hype, but are not to be [...]

  7. Trina Odom on May 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Hawthorn benefits??

  8. [...] Prevention is the Key! Here’s The Top 10 Supplements for Heart Health (liveinthenow.com [...]

  9. Doug Stables on April 18, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Gale good to see you rating Q10 so highly I had Chronic Cirrhosis after 14 months of taking Q10 I actually Reversed C.C. but you must take quality fermented Q10 that is unoxidised that only adds Magnesium Phosphate for cell transportation forget it if it contains preservatives, oils etc. as it is synthetic oxidised Q10 that doesn’t reach all cells in the system,and ends up excreted in urine.

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  12. […] Also read Prevention Is the Key! Here Are the Top 10 Supplements for Heart Health […]

  13. Tricia on March 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    The brand I take is Laminine Omega and I’m satisfied with it. It is made in California, USA. It’s patented and it has the highest quality sources for Omega Fatty Acids 3 (EPA and DHA), Vitamin K, CoQ10 (Extended Release) which is a powerful antioxidant. I order it online
    http://www.mylifepharm.com/spalding cuz it’s convenient and delivery is free in US (and I think also in Canada). Delivery varies from 3 to 7 days here in the States. You may click Join if you want to be a member and get the member’s price Or click RETAIL ORDER if you don’t want to be a member and just want to buy the product.

    The fish oil is sourced from Engraulis Ringens (a member of the anchovy family), found in the Humboldt Current off the coast of South America near Peru, where the waters are clean and clear. Phytoplankton that the Engraulis Ringens species consumes in this region is rich in DHA and EPA, giving the fish the highest naturally occurring ratios of DHA and EPA of any other fish species. The fish oil also undergoes molecular distillation, and is tested before and after the process to remove gunk and toxins and ensure the safety of the oil.