Top 3 Supplements to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Even at rest, your heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute.[1] It works hard to make sure that the oxygen and nutrients in your blood are delivered to the cells and organs throughout your body. Your entire body depends on a well-functioning heart, which is why it’s critical that you keep it healthy.

In addition to managing stress, exercising regularly, and eating a varied diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, certain supplements can provide extra support for your heart’s health. The top three are omega-3 essential fatty acids, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin K2.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are considered essential because the body does not make them in sufficient quantities and they must be obtained through food or supplements for normal growth, development, and maintenance of good health.[1] Experts recognize that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are especially important for heart health. A scientific study found that people who consumed EPA/DHA regularly had an 18% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease – especially people with high triglycerides or bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.[2]

Sources of EPA and DHA

The oil from cold water fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and anchovies, contains a direct and concentrated source of EPA and DHA. These forms do not need to be converted from the shorter chain omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), as with most plant-based sources, and are readily available for the body to use. This is why Health Canada recommends that you eat two or more servings of fish per week. But if you’re like most Canadians and do not consume enough omega-3s through your diet to fulfill your body’s needs, supplementation is a crucial step.[3]

ISURA and IFOS certification

Natural Factors offers a range of omega-3 fish oils that are ISURA™ and International Fish Oil Standards™ (IFOS®) certified. This guarantees that the omega-3 fish oils are of the highest quality, rigorously tested for purity and stability, and meet international standards for freedom from heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins, and other contaminants. Here are two great choices:

  • SeaRich™ Omega-3 is a liquid formula made using the freshest and highest-quality omega-3 fish oil. By blending it with non-GMO lemon meringue flavours, we created the most delicious fish oil around! It tastes great taken directly from the spoon or added to smoothies. Each teaspoon contains 750 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA that is sustainably sourced from sardines, anchovies, and/or mackerel, and certified by ISURA™ and IFOS®.
  • Extra Strength RxOmega-3 is a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil extracted from a safe, pure source of cold-water anchovy, sardine, and/or mackerel oils. Each dose provides 600 mg of high potency EPA/DHA in an optimal 2:1 ratio. The RxOmega-3 Enteripure™ softgels offer targeted delivery using a technology that embeds pure and natural ingredients into the softgel casing to prevent them from breaking down in the stomach, ensuring no fishy aftertaste.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential vitamin-like nutrient that every cell in your body relies on for cellular energy production. CoQ10 plays a critical role in your cardiovascular health because it:

  • Lowers oxidative stress and supports healthy blood pressure[1]
  • Helps counteract the build-up of arterial plaque[2]
  • Provides antioxidant protection against the free radicals responsible for converting blood lipoproteins into dangerous reactive forms of LDL (bad) cholesterol[3]
  • Helps support healthy heart function[4]

The challenge with CoQ10 is that your body’s production declines naturally with age. People with high cholesterol who are taking statin drugs can also suffer from declining CoQ10 levels because these drugs tend to inhibit the body’s natural CoQ10 production. Depleted CoQ10 levels have a negative impact on the health and activity of the heart and other muscles.[5]

Because there are only trace amounts of CoQ10 available in food, such as meat, poultry, and fish, supplementation plays an important role in replenishing healthy levels.[6]

  • Coenzyme Q10 100 mg is naturally fermented from yeast, consisting only of the natural trans isomer identical to the body’s own CoQ10 for superior effectiveness. Each daily softgel contains 100 mg of CoQ10 ubiquinone blended in a base of rice bran oil and vitamin E for enhanced absorption. Anyone over the age of 40, individuals with high cholesterol who are taking statin drugs, as well as people with a family history of cardiovascular disease can benefit from a daily CoQ10 supplement.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 might not be as well-known as other vitamins, but it’s just as important for your health. This fat-soluble vitamin plays a critical role in vascular health by helping to prevent arterial calcification and hardening of the arteries. It works by helping to direct calcium into the bones and teeth where it is needed most, while inhibiting its build-up on arterial walls and other soft tissues.[1]

A study found that for every 10 mcg of vitamin K2 consumed, the risk of coronary heart disease in healthy 49- to 70-year-old women was reduced by 9%.[2]

Dietary sources of vitamin K2 include the fermented soybean food natto, egg yolk, and dairy products from animals fed primarily on grass. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough vitamin K2 in our diet to meet our complete needs.

  • Vitamin K2 100 mcg is a vegetarian-friendly, non-GMO supplement providing vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7), naturally sourced from natto. MK-7 is a long-chain form of vitamin K and the most bioavailable and bioactive form of vitamin K2. Each daily dose of MK-7 provides 24-hour protection. It is an easy and convenient way to ensure an ideal intake of this important nutrient. Everyone can benefit from taking a daily vitamin K2 supplement, especially adults who are predisposed to calcification of the arteries.

Prioritizing heart health

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best ways to keep your heart healthy. With the right heart-healthy supplements, you can help fill nutritional gaps and compensate for age-related declines in nutrients that your heart, arteries, and cardiovascular system need to work at their full potential.

 

 

References

[1] Health Link BC. (2019). Change in heartbeat. Available from: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/aa53422 [Accessed 20th January 2020].

[2] Swanson D, Block R, Mousa SA. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(1):1-7.

[3] Alexander DD, Miller PE, Van Elswyk ME, et al. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease risk. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(1):15-29.

[4] Langlois K, Ratnayake WN. Omega-3 index of Canadian adults. Health Reports. 2015;26(11):3-11.

[5] Rosenfeldt F, Hass S, Krum H, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials. J Hum Hypertens. 2007;21(4):297-306.

[6] Zeb I, Ahmadi N, Nasir K, et al. Aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A randomized clinical trial. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2012;3(3):185-90.

[7] Bruge F, Bacchetti T, Principi F, et al. Olive oil supplemented with coenzyme Q10: Effect on plasma and lipoprotein oxidative status. BioFactors. 2012;38(3):249-56.

[8] Mortensen S, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial. JACC: Heart Failure. 2014;2(6):641-9.

[9] Rundek T, Naini A, Sacco R, et al. Atorvastatin decreases the coenzyme Q10 level in the blood of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(6):889-892.

[10] Mattila P & Kumpulainen J. Coenzymes Q9 and Q10: Contents in foods and dietary intake. J Food Comp Anal. 2001;14:409-17.

[11] Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: The Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5.

[12] Gast GC, de Roos NM, Sluijs I, et al. A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009;19(7):504-10.