The American Heart Association(AHA) may be wrong, but their scientific position about supplements and the heart remain the same – they do not recommend using antioxidant vitamin supplements. The AHA insists that the best heart care is to eat right, exercise right and basically avoid all bad health habits. Despite this however, supplements to improve heart functions seem to have a notable POSITIVE effect for most people who use them.
After all the most reliable reasearches have proven that antioxident vitamins reduce heart disease. Antioxident vitamins, specifically Vitamins E, C and Beta Carotene (a type of Vit A) have good properties that help the heart. Though admittedly, the data about these researches are yet to be completed, there are about 35% of the American population that take these vitamins regularly.
There are however a group of legitimate physicians who believe that these vitamins help ALONG WITH foods in low saturated fat and cholesterol. The question however of cholesterol is another “problematic issue” – because there are a lot of physicians and scientists who have found out that not all cholesterl is bad and that there is such a thing as “good” cholesterol. Most, of not all these physicians however agree that fruits, vegetables, nuts and most natural foods are great for the heart.
Vit E is an antioxidant. These keep the cholesterol at check and prevents blood clots and blood thickening. It goes well with Vit C which keeps the blood and cell fats “healthy” because it promotes blood circulation.
Lately, researches have been released which claim that Vit E along with Omega-3 oils prevents heart problems. Take note however that these researches have mentioned VIT E and Omega-3 as “prevention measure” and NOT a cure. The only cure for a bad heart (after a surgery for instance) is to exercise and eat right. Exercise, in a latest study, has been medically proven to strenthen the heart muscle and even encourage the growth of new healthier cells within the cardiac muscles.
Magnesium is not a vitamin but rather a mineral. It is also recommended by some as a heart supplement because it is essential for heart function. Potassium, along with Magnesium, regulates the heartbeat. Selenium is also important for the heart (and other diseases such as viruses and even cancer) because Selenium works along with Vit E and C.
Coenzyme or Q10 is the latest supplement “HIT” for the heart. Some say that CQ10 is essential. Researches about CQ10 however have proven that this supplement is beneficial for the heart and helps normalize high blood pressure. It goes well with Vit B and magnesium and is recommended for those taking statin (blood thinning) drugs.
Omega 3 (type alpha linoleic acid) could be the REAL essential supplement for the heart, brain and body because the American diet does not usually include enough fish oil. Fish oil is “good oil” and lowers tryglycerides. Since the western diet isn’t anything like the Meditterenean diet or even the Asian diets of whih fish is one of the main staples, Omega 3 oils can be taken in supplement form.
To supplement or NOT? Though there is no conclusive research that supplements directly benefit the heart, vitamins and minerals do undoubtedly HELP strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system means a strong body, including the heart. Also, the latest medical researches are now beginning to admit that some supplements like Omega 3 and CQ10, do help the heart and brain function better. My personal take : take those suplements and cut on the doctor’s bill.