If the brain is the central processing unit of the human body, consider the heart and its associated blood vessels as the motherboard that supplies the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the body. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the world’s top killers among adults, especially those in their middle ages and up. And while scientists and experts agree that the key to good heart health is in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and the management of risk factors, many individuals have taken it upon themselves to establish and maintain cardiovascular health.
One of the fastest-growing markets today is in the nutraceutical and vitamin and mineral supplementation. While not everyone believes in the benefits of supplementation especially in heart health, many agree that these products offer certain advantages over ordinary food alone. This is due to the fact that not everyone can have a truly nutritious and well-balanced diet. Not everyone is as skilled and knowledgeable as licensed dieticians and nutritionists to account for every bit of calories, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in their diet. As such, many consider nutrient supplementation as a very viable alternative to healthy feeding.
Essentialhealthfoods.com.au and other similar online health stores are expanding their inventory in order to meet the increasing demand for nutritional and dietary supplementation products.
Taking Supplements for Heart Health
It should be noted that there are no strict regulatory requirements imposed on dietary supplements. This is because they are viewed not as therapeutic agents but rather as ‘additives’ to healthy diet. As such, many in the medical community distrust the claims of dietary supplement manufacturers because their health claims may not really be proven by science. It is therefore imperative that, if you are going to purchase a dietary supplement, you need to conduct your own research first on the scientific underpinnings of these health claims.
Another issue that you have to understand is that dietary supplements are not treatments or cures to heart problems. As such, do not expect that you will be treated of your cardiovascular problem simply because you are taking dietary supplements. Sadly, it does not work that way. Heart health is best achieved by a good mix of regular exercise, healthy diet, and sensible lifestyle modification that aims to reduce the risks associated with heart conditions. Just look at dietary supplements as an additional protection in case one of the primary management methods fails.
Dietary supplements can interact with other substances like drugs, alcohol, and medications. It is thus imperative that before you take a dietary supplement, you need to check with your doctor if it is safe to do so.
You need to understand these things before you start flocking to your favourite health food shop.
Dietary Supplements Proven to Help in the Promotion of a Healthy Heart
Now, not all supplements are created equal. As was discussed earlier, manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required by law to undergo strict scientific testing of their products. As such, there are some that are dubious at best. The following, however, are known and have been proven in many scientific studies of their beneficial effects on the human heart.
- Vitamin B complex, especially Vitamins B6 and B12, have been shown to be particularly helpful in reducing the levels of homocysteine which has been implicated in the formation of blood clots. This can significantly affect coronary blood flow leading to angina and heart attack.
- Calcium is not only good for the bones but is also important for the health of the blood clotting system, the heart, and the nerves. It is shown to modestly lower blood pressure on people with hypertension but not among healthy individuals.
- Coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to reduce blood pressure in moderate amounts but large enough to lessen the dosage of anti-hypertensive drugs.
- Niacin has been shown to reduce triglycerides and help lower cholesterol levels to aid in the reduction of this heart health risk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a significant effect in the reduction of triglycerides by as much as 50 percent as well as modest reductions in blood pressure.
There are other dietary supplements that are being marketed as good for heart health. However, because studies show mixed results, it is often advised to be particularly cautious. If you do not have a heart condition yet, consider the supplement as an additional protection. If you already have a heart ailment, check with your doctor first if dietary supplements will not interact with your heart medications.
Anything for good health is considered a quality investment. This is the key to buying dietary supplements for heart health.
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