Supplements can help you get nutrients that may otherwise be lacking in your diet. Research tells us that some of these supplements may help lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, reduce chances of stroke, and assist in the prevention of heart attacks.
Here are five nutrients that may be a good addition to your heart-healthy lifestyle and diet. For expert information about these, it is a good idea to get further advice from your GP.
1) Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10)
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin. It is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. CoQ10 is naturally present in small amounts in a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.
Coenzymes help enzymes work to help protect the heart and skeletal muscles.
CoQ10 is also said to help heart failure, as well as boost energy, and speed recovery from exercise. Some people take it to help reduce the effects certain medicines can have on the heart, muscles and other organs. Ubiquinol, the active form of Coenzyme Q10, is one of the most powerful antioxidants found naturally in the body
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in oil from certain types of fish, vegetables, and other plant sources. These fatty acids are not made by the body and must be consumed in the diet or through supplements, often “fish oil. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids work by lowering the body's production of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids used together with diet and exercise help lower triglyceride levels in the blood. In a double-blind study of patients with chronic heart failure, supplementation with fish oil resulted in a small but statistically significant decrease in the number of patients who died or were hospitalized for cardiovascular reasons. In another double-blind trial, supplementation improved heart function and decreased the number of hospitalizations in some patients.
Low magnesium levels can be a predictor of heart disease, research has revealed. Low magnesium has been linked with cardiovascular risk factors such as, high blood pressure, arterial plaque build-up, calcification of soft tissues, cholesterol and hardening of the arteries. Please note: Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious with magnesium and talk with their GP or doctor.
4) Green tea
Green tea has been enjoyed for centuries and used as a likely effective aid in treating high cholesterol. Green tea has been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels according to several preliminary and controlled trials. Doctors recommend three cups per day, rather than extract since contamination can be a concern as a supplement.
Besides making food taste good for many people, garlic taken orally as a supplement has been used as a possibly effective aid in treating high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Garlic can affect blood-clotting and may increase your risk of bleeding. If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking garlic at least two weeks ahead of time.
· Not all supplements are safe. If you are unsure about the safety of a supplement or herb, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian.
· Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement.
This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
· Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and non-prescription medicines or other supplements you might be taking. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make other health conditions worse.