It is important to take steps to protect your heart from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular heart disease. There are a variety of vitamins and supplements that are thought to have a beneficial effect on your heart health by reducing your cholesterol levels.
Some of the vitamins and herbs that have shown protective qualities specific to your heart include: Green tea, Niacin, Psyllium fiber, Fish oils, Red yeast rice, Plant sterols, Coenzyme Q10, and B-Complex vitamins including folic acid, B12 and B6.
Discussing Supplements with Your Doctor
It is recommended that you have a discussion with your doctor prior to introducing a new supplement into your health routine. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are breastfeeding or pregnant, certain supplements may not be suitable. Also some supplements may be contraindicated with other medical conditions or medications.
Read the Labels
It is best to purchase your supplements from a health food store or somewhere that is known to be reputable. Ensure that you read the labels to ensure that you are buying products that have a standardized dosage as approved or at least documentation showing that the bottle contains 95% to 100% of the active ingredient. Many less expensive brands contain fillers and other non-essential ingredients.
Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil: The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are easy to incorporate into your diet. They are found in algae oil, fish oil and flaxseeds. Omega-3 oils are important as they provide significant increases in “good” HDL cholesterol and reductions in triglyceride levels.
Studies show that Omega-3 oils also have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a key role in many diseases including: arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
In people who have a history of heart problems, studies have shown that those who eat oily fish like salmon on a regular basis or consume fish oil supplements reduce the risk of chest pain or angina, heart rhythm issues and heart attack.
Be Wary of Mercury
Since fish oil is derived from real fish, the amount of mercury it may contain is an issue. It is necessary to stick with reputable brands that consistently do mercury testing. Ask questions. Read the labels. The staff at your local health food store will be happy to assist you with finding the best product available.
The B-vitamin Niacin is also called nicotinic acid or B-3. It has been commonly used to treat high lipids as it lowers triglycerides and raises HDL levels. It is one of the most effective vitamins to benefit cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some patients experience hot flushes called niacin flush when they take it; therefore, it is important to start out with small doses and gradually increase under a doctor’s supervision.
Be conscious of any changes to your heart rhythm as a small percentage of patients experience an issue with this.
Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the seed husks of the Plantago ovata plant. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula. It is one of the best fiber sources for reducing your LDL cholesterol. It can be purchased in a powder form and easily mixed into drinks or eaten like porridge.
Red Yeast Rice
Adding Red Yeast Rice extract to your diet can help lower your cholesterol levels, which may reduces your risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack. Although Red Yeast Rice is popular for heart health, much depends on the brand and its formulation. This extract has been shown to increase blood flow, lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, and lower triglyceride levels.
People taking blood thinners should be cautious as it may increase bleeding and it also should not be used by individuals with liver disease.
There are many vitamins and herbal supplements that can help reduce your cholesterol levels. This in turn will improve heart health and vitality. Remember, it is important to talk to your doctor about your specific situation.