Heart problems have some non modifiable risk factors, such as age, sex, family history, some ethnic groups etc. We cannot control these risk factors.
But there are some other very important risk factors, which can be controlled by us, like diet, physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, alcohol consumption, tobacco intake, mental stress etc. These are easily modifiable by proper diet, physical activities or light exercises, controlling other diseases and avoiding smoking or high alcohol intake. It means appropriate life style changing is the key factor for avoiding heart disease.
There are also some supplements found worldwide to reduce and control heart diseases. Among them Aspirin, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, Co enzyme Q10, Niacin are important. These supplements are now very known health products to all. Our inappropriate fast food rich diet habit playing the key role to become dependent on these supplements. But they are really good for health if you are using a quality product. Here are some supplements which are heart healthy.
Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), that thins your blood and prevent blood clotting in blood vessels.
If you have a history of previous episodes of cardiac problem you should use aspirin for lifelong with a prescription of your physician.
But if you have asthma, COPD, Peptic or gastric ulcer or any bleeding disorder must inform your physician and you have to change your medication.
This fatty acid is found in fish oil like salmon, tuna, and mackerel and it can be helpful in balancing blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
It also prevents atherosclerosis and heart attack or coronary artery diseases.
Omega 3 also found as a food supplement. It is really helpful to a cardiac patient. If you have high triglycerides or cholesterol level in blood or a family history of heart disease you can use this supplement.
Vitamin D appears to play a role in reducing heart attack risk, regulating plaque buildup, and lowering blood pressure. It also prevents left ventricular hypertrophy and proteinuria.
Maximum people are suffering from vitamin D deficiency due to inappropriate and fast food dependent diet habit. Daily requirement of vitamin D3 is 400 to 800 IU. With regular diet we can use a vitamin D3 supplement to meet our deficiencies.
Coenzyme Q 10
Our body produces endogenously Coenzyme Q10 and is necessary for basic cell functioning. It may reduce anginal chest pain. It also helps to prevent arterial coagulation and ischemic heart disease.
It also prevents side effects of statin, a drug used for hyper cholestremia, like muscle pain and liver damage.
Niacin is also known as vitamin B-3 or nicotinic acid. Niacin is used worldwide to treat high blood cholesterol level.
Niacin can significantly improve HDL (high density lipid) level which is a healthy lipid for our body. HDL helps to reduce harmful lipid in the blood and prevents cardiac problem and brain stroke.
Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is derived from specific yeast that grows on rice.
This red yeast rice helps to lower total and LDL (low density lipid) cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are harmful to our body and helps to prevent heart attack, and improve blood flow.
It should not be used by the people with liver disease and it may increase the risk of bleeding.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is now well used for weight reduction and heart disease prevention. But there is no strong evidance to prove it yet.
But some ingredients of green tea like caffeine are a stimulant to our cells which causes excess ATP consumption and decreases our net calorie and decrease weight.
B Vitamins: B-6 (pyridoxine), B-12, and Folic Acid
B-complex vitamins, including folic acid are necessary vitamins for maintaining proper function of nervous system and red blood cells.
It is believed that they may also lower homocysteine levels in the blood, which causes heart disease, heart attack, and strokes.
Policosanol is a natural plant mixture. Policosanol helps to reduce LDL cholesterol. Policosanol also improved total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels more favorably than other plant sterols.
Though, strong evidences are not found, many companies branding it as cardiac healthy supplements.
Soy has been shown to decrease total and LDL cholesterol, with smaller benefits to triglycerides.
But women with cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine cancer) or endometriosis should not take it. It causes bleeding disorders. So, who is taking blood thinner like aspirin, should take soy after consulting with his or her doctor.
Regarding heart healthy supplements you have 5 things to know:
- There are many cardiac healthy products are found in local markets. But maximum are not strongly scientifically proved and used on some hypothetical or experimental basis. But you can hope that they will work.
- Some products like Niacin, Coenzyme Q 10, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acid have strong evidences that they can be really heart healthy supplements.
- Most of the heart healthy supplements are manufactured as food supplements, so FDA doesn’t regulate them and the quality may not be ensured.
- Though supplements are used as food supplements, a consultation with your doctor regarding using these is needed. Because they have many other side effects.
- The most important thing that you have to be concern, without life style modification using a heart healthy supplement may be a waste. You can improve your heart health by taking proper nutrition, increasing physical activities or taking light exercises, controlling other diseases and avoiding smoking or high alcohol intake.
So, you should choose a supplement carefully and live with a healthy heart.