February is Heart Health Awareness month and of course this always raises floods of questions for us doctors such as “How can I help prevent heart disease? What vitamins should I take for heart health?” As with many questions related to finding your best health the answers are not always simple, nor are they the same for everyone. Finding the right vitamins for heart health requires an individual approach.
First, let’s talk about a few nonvitamin options for heart disease prevention. The role of lifestyle should not be underestimated in protecting your heart. Keeping an active lifestyle with regular exercise (goal of 30 minutes most days of the week), a healthy diet (see here for some suggestions, we strongly recommend a Mediterranean diet) and adequate sleep. Do not underestimate the role of sleep in health and longevity, especially treating sleep apnea if not diagnosed. Of course the most essential lifestyle intervention in improving and maintaining heart disease is to quit smoking. Stopping this nasty habit is likely the fastest way to reduce your risk of heart disease. Smoking raises risk several fold and stopping smoking can bring you back to an average risk of heart disease within two years.
While everyone would like to know what vitamin to take for heart health, the answer is not necessarily the same for each person. There are certain vitamins which have been shown to help prevent heart disease but we each have our own needs. Take our personalized vitamin quiz to find out what you need.
In looking at what are the best vitamins for heart health, a few come to mind. Omega 3s (often found in the form of fish oil) are often mentioned. It turns out that they can play a role in preventing heart disease among other things. Omega 3s likely help with this is via their reducing triglycerides and raising HDL cholesterol. Several studies show compelling roles for Omega3s in helping with heart health. See more about our Vegan Omega3s that can be added to any custom all in one daily vitamin here.
Another essential vitamin for heart health is magnesium. Magnesium is an element that has many roles in health. It is a key component in helping cells function optimally and has been shown to be beneficial for numerous conditions from migraine to IBS to muscle aches. It is no surprise that magnesium is one of the best vitamins for heart health. It has been shown to help reduce blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias and possibly prevent heart disease. Many of us are deficient in magnesium (even with normal blood testing!) and can benefit from taking this supplement as part of a personalized vitamin plan (take our personalized vitamin quiz here).
Vitamin D has also been shown to be and important vitamin to take for heart health. People who are deficient in vitamin D (which actually turns out to be the majority of Americans) have higher rates of heart disease. Most of us need to take supplemental vitamin D in order to raise our levels but taking too much can also be bad for your heart. Too much vitamin D may cause excess serum calcium, and in theory this can cause deposition of calcium in blood vessels. So finding that safe and helpful amount of vitamin D is essential. This can be determined based on factors about you including where you live, your ethnicity and diet. Take our personalized vitamin quiz here.
No discussion of heart health vitamins and supplements would be complete without CoQ10. This enzyme has had some data to suggest it’s useful in heart disease prevention. It also is known to help prevent muscle aches in those who take statin drugs for cholesterol lowering. CoQ 10 on its own in high doses is probably not needed or essential (and gets costly) but it can be helpful as a part of a personalized all in one daily vitamin.
While each of these individual vitamins for heart health are useful and may help prevent heart disease. It is essential to remember that the best way to improve your health is to get the vitamins that you need based on your diet, lifestyle and health issues. Your vitamin needs are not likely the same as your friends or neighbors. Taking too much of even the right vitamins can be harmful, so make sure your regimen is doctor endorsed and safe.
It turns out that taking multivitamins has been shown to help prevent heart disease. A study done in the Journal of American Nutrition showed a significant reduction in mortality from heart disease in a group taking multivitamins as compared to those not taking them. Think what taking the right vitamins for your needs could do for you! Take our personalized vitamin quiz to find out.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.