Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for all conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. Unfortunately, cardiovascular disease is one of the most significant causes of death in developed countries. It can affect every organ system and covers a broad range of conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Men and women often suffer heart disease silently until they experience strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure. This morbid fact is causing the demand for heart health supplements to be stronger than ever. Here is our list of the best heart health supplements to take and information on where you can buy them.

Can Nutritional Supplements Prevent & Treat Cardiovascular Disease?

Research suggests that some nutritional supplements may lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and help prevent other conditions that put you at risk of developing heart disease. Of course, you should always pair any nutritional supplement you’re using with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep habits. You should also consult your primary care physician before starting any supplements so they can provide the best course of action depending on your specific needs. 

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 may be the most overlooked vitamin used to help with cardiovascular issues. It’s shown that vitamin D3 may:

  • Lower the risk of thrombosis, or clotting inside veins 
  • Lower the risk of recurrent atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that is a risk factor for stroke
  • Help reduce blood pressure 
  • Promote collateralization, the growth of new blood vessels around blocked arteries 

Specific forms of vitamin D3 can contain allergens and trigger ingredients such as peanut or soybean oil, sugar, aspartame, or certain food dyes. Check with your doctor that you do not have any allergies or diabetes before starting a vitamin D3 regimen. You should also talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as too much vitamin D3 can harm the baby. If you require vitamin D3 supplements, your doctor will be able to prescribe a healthy dose. 

Recommended daily dose: this is best checked with a serum level by your doctor, which is a routine test. While most ranges show the normal range of 20-100 ng/ml, Dr. Hendricks believes 20ng/ml is far too low (a little lower than this is a risk factor for rickets), and the level should be maintained in the 50-75ng/ml range for optimal health and prevention benefits. In Dr. Hendrick’s practice, we suggest a dose of 5,000 IU daily to sustain this level.

Probiotics

Probiotics are not the first supplement many people think about for heart disease, even though they are among the most popular nutritional supplements. Probiotics help with digestive issues, bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, weight management, mental clarity, mood disorders, and skin problems.  Emerging research now suggests probiotics may play a significant role in the prevention and progression of cardiovascular diseases. In particular, through several mechanisms still being fully described, probiotics may improve lipid metabolism and even lower blood pressure.  

Recommended daily dose: Take 30-70 billion CFU of a multi-strain probiotic in the morning or before bed. 

Coenzyme Q-10-(CoQ-10) 

The mitochondria are known as the powerhouse of the cell and for a good reason. This organelle produces all our daily energy in the form of ATP, adenosine triphosphate. CoQ-10 is a vital part of this pathway and, therefore, a significant contributor to energy production. ATP is the cellular “currency” of energy used to perform virtually all bodily functions, from cardiac contractility to muscle strength, stamina, cognition, and digestion. CoQ10 production decreases with age, some medical conditions, and as a side effect of medications. In particular, ‘statin’ drugs are a commonly prescribed class of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors and are notorious for depleting Co-Q10. According to Dr. Hendricks, “coenzyme Q-10 supplementation of at least 100mg/day should be a requirement and prerequisite to any prescription written for a statin drug.”   

Recommended daily dose: 100-300mg 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There is a plethora of data supporting the usage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s), or omega-3 fatty acids, to promote cardiovascular health.  Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most researched beneficial PUFA’s. Part of the reason omega-3-fatty acids are so helpful is that they are an essential component of every single cell membrane in the human body. The more polyunsaturated fatty acids that we have in our cell membranes, the better our cells function.  This presence of omega-3s in cell membranes is why we see such a wide array of benefits when appropriately supplemented. Obtain benefits either from purified fish oil or through the newer vegan algae-based oils. Virtually all systems in the body are affected, including the heart, cholesterol, and triglycerides

The Reduce-It trial, a massive randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, which used a high dose of esterified EPA, demonstrated significant clinical efficacy in reducing triglycerides, cardiac events, and cardiovascular deaths. Amarin, the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the study and created the EPA, was awarded drug status for icosapent ethyl. Icosapent ethyl is essentially just an ethyl ester of EPA, not unlike the many other ethyl ester fish oil preparations available to the public. However, it was used at a very high dose and was EPA only, not EPA/DHA. 

Omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the typical blood clotting cascade and increase the risk of bleeding for medical procedures.  For this reason, if you are taking fish oil or a vegan omega-3 or consuming it with baby aspirin, please discuss usage with your physician.  You may also need to change or temporarily discontinue use before surgery.  

Recommended daily dose: 1,000 mg once a day or 500mg twice a day

Magnesium

In some clinical trials, low magnesium levels can be a predictor of heart disease. Magnesium plays a role in regulating blood vessel tone and helps relax blood vessels to facilitate flow. Low or sub-optimal magnesium can magnify cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, arterial plaque build-up, calcification of soft tissues, cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries.

Side effects vary as there are many different forms of magnesium. However, too much can cause loose stools. Kidney patients also need to be cautious with magnesium and discuss it with their nephrologist before starting any supplementation.

Recommended daily dose: 100-200mg (If 200mg causes adverse reactions, you should lessen the quantity to 100mg or as tolerated)

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an amino acid needed to transport fats into the mitochondria, where they can be metabolized to produce energy. Several studies showed L-carnitine might improve heart function, mainly left ventricular contractility, which can reduce symptoms of congestive heart failure. Other trials have demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of angina or chest pain. There is also further evidence that L-carnitine might play a role in minimizing damage and complications following a heart attack. 

Acetyl-L-carnitine is the preferred form of this supplement because it can cross the blood-brain barrier and assist energy production in the brain. 

Recommended daily dose: 500-750mg 

Multivitamins

An excellent broad-spectrum multivitamin provides an array of antioxidant compounds. Antioxidant compounds help fight against oxidation. Think of taking a bite of an apple, and a few minutes later, you see the apple turning brown, that is oxidation damage in real-time.   Oxidation is damaging to tissues and accelerates aging. The vascular system, especially the tiny capillaries, is very susceptible to this potential damage.

Our body constantly forms free radicals (they form during digestion, exercise, stress, detox, drug metabolism, inflammation, etc.), and they are an unavoidable occurrence. However, the faster we “quench” these free radicals, the less damage they cause.  Sometimes we can prevent this damage altogether by having a good team of antioxidants at the ready.  Therefore, a multivitamin is beneficial even though you may not feel any effect from taking one. 

A broad-spectrum multivitamin may also impact the various inflammatory responses related to the development and progression of heart disease. For this reason, we recommend a basic broad-spectrum multivitamin for most people.

Recommended daily dose: one to two tablets depending on the brand and brand instructions. Look for the MDRC seal to see which brands Dr. Hendricks has approved.

Find The Best Nutritional Supplements On WellRabbit

It’s essential to know which supplements have sound research behind them, how often to take supplements, and if they are safe. After all, you wouldn’t want them to affect your current medications or cause an adverse reaction. Here at WellRabbit, we vet all our supplements and hold them to the highest standards. The information we provide on our products is there to help you live the healthiest life possible. Visit our website to purchase the best heart health supplements and more!

Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks, MD

Jeffrey Hendricks, M.D., CEO Dr. Jeffrey Hendricks has an extensive research background in nutritional biochemistry and epigenetics and has developed over 1,000 nutritional products for companies in the U.S. and around the world. After spending four years at the University of Michigan’s Human Genetics Lab, he conducted research at the National Institutes of Health’s Laboratory for Gene Transfer. He’s served as a medical director in family medicine, integrative medicine, and occupational medicine, and is an advisory board member for many U.S. and international companies. The inspiration to start WellRabbit came about when helping his sister beat breast cancer, in which she took integrative medicine throughout her cancer treatment and never became ill. With WellRabbit, Dr. Hendricks has made it his mission to ensure those who are searching for quality nutritional supplements have a place they can trust. Dr. Hendricks’ clinical experience includes the treatment of over 50,000 patients, and his background, experience, and commitment to quality ideally suit his role as the Chief Executive Officer of WellRabbit.

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