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best supplements for heart health support

Posted by DaVinci Healthcare Expert on Mar 4, 2022 9:23:54 AM

supplements for heart health

As we transition out of heart health month, cardiovascular wellbeing remains top of mind for many. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the foundation of a healthy heart, but several integrative medical doctors also recommend filling the gaps with certain key supplements.*

Here are seven supplements commonly recommended for cardiovascular support and information about why they can be so effective for maintaining heart health.*

seven best supplements for heart health

Before you begin any supplementation regimen, it’s important to speak with your provider about new supplements and make sure there are no potential drug-supplement interactions. The following supplements are commonly included in a heart-supportive supplement program.

What role does homocysteine play in your heart health? Read our white paper  for answers. 

magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral critical for hundreds of biochemical processes, including blood pressure regulation, soft tissue calcification, and hardening of the arteries.* Ongoing high stress levels can contribute to depleted magnesium levels, and inadequacy may occur. Magnesium glycinate is an especially useful form of supplementation for cardiovascular health.*[1]

omega-3 fatty acids

Abundant in wild, fatty fish like salmon, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are well-studied for their role in heart health*. Studies show that the omega-3 fats ALA, EPA, and DHA help to optimize triglyceride levels, especially when paired with a healthy diet and adequate exercise*. Eating fatty fish three times per week is one way to maintain healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids, along with possible supplementation with a high quality fish oil.[2]

methylated b complex

Methylation plays an essential role in multiple biochemical processes, including cardiovascular health*. Proper methylation is a primary contributor to optimal homocysteine levels, an important biomarker for heart health*. Undesirable homocysteine levels combined with low vitamin B status (especially folic acid and vitamins B6 and 12) can lead to decreased methylation of DNA and proteins necessary for vascular structure integrity.*[3]

coq10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has become a supplement that even conventional medical doctors regularly recommend to patients.* This coenzyme is critical for healthy heart function and balanced cholesterol levels and supports normal inflammatory pathways and blood sugar levels.*[4]

chromium

This mineral is widely known for its support of healthy blood sugar levels, but it’s also used for heart health*. One study found that men with the highest chromium levels had a 41% lesser risk for heart problems*. Chromium’s cardiovascular benefits likely derive from its ability to support a normal inflammatory response and healthy metabolism*.

Chromium's top food sources include oats, green beans, broccoli, barley, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce.

vitamins d3 and k2

Vitamins D3 and K2 have a synergistic connection, a key player in heart health*. Calcium is transported by vitamin D and absorbed by the bones. Vitamin K helps to direct calcium to the bones and can help avoid a toxic calcium accumulation in the arteries*.[5]

Vitamin K2, or menaquinone, is a unique form of vitamin K that plays a significant role in bone formation and heart health*. Its support in calcium distribution helps the arteries remain soft and flexible, allowing for optimal blood flow*.

policosanol

This lesser-known supplement for cardiovascular health is a mixture of isolated alcohols derived from sugar cane wax. Initial research has found that policosanol helps maintain high-density lipoprotein (HDL, aka “good” cholesterol) within optimal ranges while simultaneously protecting against lipid peroxidation.[6]*

diet and lifestyle tips for heart health

Research shows that adhering to four lifestyle strategies can reduce your risk of severe heart problems by 80%. They include not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising 3.5 hours per week, and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

A balanced diet for heart health translates to a diet aimed at normalizing inflammation. Contrary to the dated belief that a low-fat diet is heart-healthy, we now understand the importance of healthy fats for balanced cholesterol and hormones, lipid levels, and cardiovascular health. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and even occasional grass-fed butter, ghee, meat, and coconut oil. Multiple studies show that a Mediterranean-style diet is highly beneficial for heart health, consisting of a wide variety of colorful vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and whole grains.[7]

related content: cardiovascular health tips for adults over 50

final thoughts

While simultaneously focusing on a heart-healthy diet, exercise, and stress management, these seven supplements might have a place in your supplement plan to support cardiovascular wellbeing.* Always discuss any new supplements with your provider, and don’t underestimate the foundations of nourishing foods and movement.

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[1] Rosique-Esteban, N., Guasch-Ferré, M., Hernández-Alonso, P., & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2018). Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies. Nutrients, 10(2), 168. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020168

[2] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.015176

[3] Glier MB, Green TJ, Devlin AM. Methyl nutrients, DNA methylation, and cardiovascular.... Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Jan;58(1):172-82. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200636. Epub 2013 May 10. PMID: 23661599.

[4] Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, Dolliner P, Filipiak KJ, Pella D, Alehagen U, Steurer G, Littarru GP; Q-SYMBIO Study Investigators. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality… results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC Heart Fail. 2014 Dec;2(6):641-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Oct 1. PMID: 25282031.

[5] van Ballegooijen, A. J., Pilz, S., Tomaschitz, A., Grübler, M. R., & Verheyen, N. (2017). The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review. International journal of endocrinology, 2017, 7454376. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7454376

[6] Janikula M. Policosanol: a new treatment for cardiovascular…? Altern Med Rev. 2002 Jun;7(3):203-17. PMID: 12126462.

[7]  Dontas, A. S., Zerefos, N. S., Panagiotakos, D. B., Vlachou, C., & Valis, D. A. (2007). Mediterranean diet and prevention of…in the elderly. Clinical interventions in aging, 2(1), 109–115. https://doi.org/10.2147/ciia.2007.2.1.109

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