When looking at heart health there is no doubt that diet and lifestyle play an important role. Sticking to a healthy eating plan all the time isn’t easy, though, so many people turn to supplements.
According to Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, with 43,963 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2016. So we chatted with pharmacist Jamie Leong, owner of Elixir Compounding Pharmacy, based in Victoria, to find out which supplements are best for heart health.
While vitamin D is one of the best-known vitamins for strong bones, more and more studies have suggested that vitamin D supplements could also benefit your heart. Vitamin D is thought to impact the workings of muscles and blood vessels.
Alternatively, a lack of vitamin D can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sun, however the vitamin is also found in foods such as fish, and some dairy and grain products.
“A daily dose of magnesium could lower your risk of heart disease,” Leong says. Magnesium relaxes the arteries, which lowers blood pressure and makes it a lot easier for the heart to pump blood. It also strengthens the heart muscles.
Coenzyme Q10, shortened to CoQ10, is an enzyme that the body naturally produces. “It’s a very strong antioxidant that actually attacks all the free radicals in the body,” Leong explains. While the body naturally produces it, the production of CoQ10 slows down as we age, so it’s a good idea to add CoQ10 supplements to one’s diet.
Health experts have lauded the health benefits of omega-3 fats for years, and fish oil is one of the most widely used supplements in the world. Previous studies have found they can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and keep the heart beating steadily.