3 commonly used supplements for heart and blood vessels
There are a lot of supplements for heart and blood vessels available on the market today. They come in all kinds of different forms, from combination pills to drops or capsules. However, not all of them work equally well, and there is even evidence that others can be harmful.
In this article, we look at three commonly used cardiovascular supplements that have been proven to be effective, and show you which ones to avoid.
The content of this article is based on scientific publications and was written in collaboration with medical specialists / nutritionists.
Which cardiovascular supplements are effective?
Because there is now a lot of attention for the use of supplements, there is also a lot of misinformation to be found. It is therefore important to know which supplements are actually effective and which only seem to have effectiveness. When it comes to cardiovascular supplements, there are three different types that have been proven effective for heart health. We explain what those are here.
1. Red rice yeast
This is one of the lesser known cardiovascular supplements that is effective. Red rice yeast contains monacolin K, a compound similar to the regularly prescribed lovastatin. Monacolin K helps lower your LDL cholesterol, the variant of cholesterol that sticks to your arteries. With prolonged accumulation, it can lead to problems with blood pressure.
When you take 3 to 10 mg of monacolin K daily, this supplement has the same effect as the prescribed statins. And it can lower your LDL cholesterol by up to 25% within 8 weeks. However, make sure that you take red rice yeast supplements from a reputable source and take into account possible side effects.
2. Omega-3 Supplements for Heart and Blood Vessels
As we wrote before, omega-3 fatty acids help fight triglycerides. Triglycerides are necessary for our health, but too much of these particles can cause arteriosclerosis. The omega-3 fatty acids help prevent this. Research has even shown that taking these fatty acids can reduce the risk of a heart attack by up to 28%. It also reduces the lethality of a heart attack.
When using omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to pay attention to the origin of the fatty acids. Some supplements may contain heavy metals. Prescribed fish oil or plankton supplements do not have this.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Q10 is most commonly used on the packaging of skin care products, but it can also benefit your heart and blood vessel health. If you use a lot of statins for the health of your heart, you can suffer from SAMS. This stands for statin-associated muscle symptoms. Taking Coenzyme Q10 helps to prevent SAMS and can also relieve symptoms if you already have them.
In addition to helping prevent and relieve SAMS, Q10 is also effective in preventing congestive heart failure . Many people who experience congestive heart failure are deficient in coenzyme Q10. A 2019 study showed that taking Q10 could significantly reduce symptoms.
Are there also ineffective supplements for heart and blood vessels?
There have been many different studies on the effectiveness of certain other supplements on the health of our heart and blood vessels. Yet many studies are not clear enough or have no results at all. This mainly concerns the use of antioxidants, multivitamins, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
A deficiency of vitamin D does seem to be linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the advice is to take supplements if there is a vitamin D deficiency.
What else can you do for a healthy heart and blood vessels?
Ultimately, prevention is better than cure and there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In some cases, however, it is still necessary to use cardiovascular supplements. Not only because these are good for your heart, but also because they have other health benefits. Always do this in consultation with your doctor. Other ways to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy include:
- Do not consume too many products with a lot of LDL cholesterol
- Get enough exercise
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- Get enough sleep
- Follow a healthy diet with lots of vegetables
- Eating fatty fish every now and then
- Limit your stress
- Monitor your blood pressure
There are a number of factors that can influence the risk of cardiovascular disease beyond your control. These factors have to do with your gender, age, origin and whether there are hereditary disorders in your family. In that case, it is wise to keep a close eye on your health and to consult your doctor if in doubt.