Natural supplements for heart health

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When it comes to maintaining heart health, diet, exercise, and managing stress are at the forefront of prevention and care.

However, many also turn to natural supplements as an additional way to support heart health.

While these supplements can provide benefits, it’s important to understand which ones have the backing of scientific research and how they can be safely incorporated into your health regimen.

Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

One of the most well-researched supplements for heart health is fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3s are known for their role in heart health, primarily through reducing inflammation throughout the body and lowering triglycerides, which are a type of fat in the blood.

Several studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can also slightly lower blood pressure and reduce the risks associated with heart failure and heart attack.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna) at least two times per week, and fish oil supplements are a good alternative for those who don’t consume fish regularly.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an antioxidant that cells use for growth and maintenance. Levels of CoQ10 in the body decrease with age and may be low in people with heart failure, certain genetic disorders, diabetes, cancer, and with the use of statins, cholesterol-lowering medications.

Some studies suggest that CoQ10 supplements can help reduce blood pressure and are often recommended for people taking statins to help replenish what is lost from the use of these medications.


Garlic supplements have been studied for their potential cardiovascular benefits, including blood pressure reduction and improvement in cholesterol levels.

Garlic is believed to have a mild effect on lowering blood pressure, and research has shown it can also help slow the development of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in arteries, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice contains monacolin K, the same active ingredient found in certain prescription drugs for lowering cholesterol. Some studies have found that red yeast rice can significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and particularly LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

However, the FDA has concerns about the variability in strength and purity of red yeast rice sold as a supplement, so it’s essential to talk with a healthcare provider before starting it.

Green Tea

Green tea is high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect against inflammation and are believed to have a beneficial effect on heart health. Studies suggest that green tea can help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure.

Drinking green tea has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, although the evidence for green tea supplements is still developing.

Safety and Considerations

While these supplements can support heart health, it’s crucial to approach them with the same caution as any other medication. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA the same way as medications, which means their purity and potency can vary widely.

Moreover, supplements can interact with medications, including those for heart disease, and may not be suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women, those with medical conditions, or those already taking heart medications.

Always discuss with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

It’s also important to focus on a heart-healthy lifestyle as the foundation of cardiovascular health, with supplements as just one component of a broader approach.

In summary, certain natural supplements can support heart health by lowering risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

However, their use should be considered carefully and incorporated into an overall healthy lifestyle and under medical guidance to ensure safety and effectiveness.

If you care about heart health, please read studies that vitamin K helps cut heart disease risk by a third, and a year of exercise reversed worrisome heart failure.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about supplements that could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and results showing this food ingredient may strongly increase heart disease death risk.

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