Alongside heart-healthy lifestyle habits and a more nutritious diet, people with cardiovascular conditions may take vitamins to improve their well-being. The push for supplements is growing in the healthcare field, but a lack of evidence makes it challenging to discern the exact cardiac benefits of these vitamins. To guide patients in finding the right supplements for improving their heart health, Richmond University Medical Center, in Staten Island, NY, explores several options.
What Vitamins Are Good for the Heart?
While data surrounding the effectiveness of supplements in supporting heart health is unclear, some vitamins decrease the symptoms of heart issues, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Discover the benefits of the following supplements in achieving better heart health:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for reducing triglycerides, unhealthy fat that builds up in the blood. Studies show these supplements can improve blood pressure and inflammation. Fish oil supplements are a common source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they also are found in flaxseed and canola oil. However, patients with atrial fibrillation should be cautious about taking fish oil as it may compound their symptoms.
While people should gain the most fiber from eating different foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, they may seek supplements to boost their daily intake. Evidence suggests that elements in fiber vitamins can lower the unfavorable LDL cholesterol and enhance the more beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Also referred to as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant the body generates for growth and maintenance purposes. Taken as a supplement, CoQ10 has been known to lower blood pressure and the risk of congestive heart failure. Some foods also increase the amount of CoQ10 in the body, including broccoli, tuna, cauliflower, and salmon.
Studies into magnesium link low levels of the substance with high cholesterol and hypertension. It also diminishes cortisol, a stress hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and inflammation. Those with a magnesium deficiency who take supplements may decrease their chances of experiencing these health concerns. Additionally, magnesium vitamins can help with arrhythmia, augment insulin resistance in patients with diabetes, and reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that minimizes the level of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with the hardening of arteries and heart disease. Evidence also indicates that folic acid may lower the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke in those with high blood pressure. Besides taking a supplement, people can increase their levels of folic acid by eating asparagus, spinach, and whole grains.
Vitamin D is important for boosting wellness in general. From a heart health perspective, these supplements help control insulin levels and may mitigate high blood pressure. Some studies have found it decreases the risk of diabetes and strokes, as well.
What Vitamins May Negatively Impact Heart Health?
Some supplements may have the opposite effect on patients and may worsen their health. Individuals should be careful when taking the following vitamins:
- Calcium: Although calcium is necessary for bone and heart health, excessive amounts of the element may cause cardiovascular In particular, calcium supplements can elevate plaque buildup in the aorta.
- Choline: Found in meat and dairy products, this nutrient increases the chance of platelets bunching together and forming clots. Heightened blood clots impede blood flow, which can result in heart attacks and strokes.
- Herbal supplements: Some substances may raise blood pressure and obstruct the effects of hypertension medicine.
- Grapefruit juice: People who take certain medications for cholesterol or high blood pressure may experience adverse side effects from drinking grapefruit juice.
Seek Cardiovascular Care at Richmond University Medical Center
Despite the various advantages of these heart health supplements and vitamins, individuals should consult their cardiology physicians to make the wisest decisions about their health. At Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, NY, patients receive compassionate and comprehensive care services from a team of physicians, nurses, and technicians dedicated to upholding the dignity of each patient. Contact us today to learn more about cardiovascular care and other services.