16 Supplements That Significantly Reduce Heart Disease Risk

A review of dietary supplements on cardiovascular health reveals the nutrients that are beneficial, those with no effect, and those that are damaging.

A review of dietary supplements on cardiovascular health reveals the nutrients that are beneficial, those with no effect, and those that are damaging.

Vitamins, minerals, omega-3, amino acids, and other nutrients found in food all play their part to support our wellbeing and mental health.

What about dietary supplements containing these nutrients?

According to a review of 884 studies on nutritional supplements, some micronutrients can lower cardiovascular disease risk while others have no effect and some actually do harm to the body.

Diets rich in antioxidants such as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Also, antioxidant supplements have commonly been considered good for heart health.

The truth is that antioxidants are capable of neutralizing free radicals — these are thought to promote oxidative stress, which in turn causes cell damage, inflammation, and heart disease.

Yet, there is not enough scientific evidence whether antioxidant supplementation can lower the odds of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Simin Liu,¬† the study’s co-author, said:

“Research on micronutrient supplementation has mainly focused on the health effects of a single or a few vitamins and minerals.

We decided to take a comprehensive and systematic approach to evaluate all the publicly available and accessible studies reporting all micronutrients, including phytochemicals and antioxidant supplements and their effects on cardiovascular risk factors as well as multiple cardiovascular diseases.”

The research team analysed 884 studies on 27 different types of micronutrient supplements among 883,627 people.

The results suggest supplementation with vitamin D, melatonin, alpha-lipoic acid, zinc, folic acid, magnesium, l-citrulline, l-arginine, genistein, flavanol, quercetin, curcumin, catechin, CoQ10, omega -3, and omega- 6 fatty acids reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids supplementation was associated with reduced death from CVD.

Folic acid supplementation (folate) reduced the likelihood of stroke.

Antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation decreased death from any cause.

However not all supplements were heart healthy as selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E had no effect on CVD and type 2 diabetes.

Beta carotene supplementation increased the likelihood  of death from any cause.

Dr Liu concluded:

“Identifying the optimal mixture of micronutrients is important, as not all are beneficial, and some may even have harmful effects.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (An et al., 2022).

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