The Truth About Supplements for Your Heart

The Truth About Supplements for Your Heart

It’s well known that eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids is good for your heart – but does taking supplements have the same benefit? Recent research may suggest “maybe”. A report from the American Heart Association concluded that people who have experienced heart attacks or have been diagnosed with heart failure may benefit from a 1000mg daily Omega-3 supplement. For these people, the additional Omega-3s could reduce their risk of dying from heart failure by 10 percent.

Another heart-healthy compound is CoQ10, which is made naturally by the body and supplied by some food. It’s been promoted as good for managing heart failure and relieving muscle pain from statin medications, but solid proof as to its effectiveness has yet to be provided. No convincing evidence has yet to be found for CoQ10’s supposed heart-healthiness, nor for its muscle pain.

Red yeast rice – a kind of rice made by culturing rice using yeast – is supposed to lower LDL cholesterol, the “bad” kind. However, there’s no evidence that red yeast rice does this – or that it’s even safe to consume. Consumer Reports recommends that consumers never use red yeast rice, citing its dangers.

Supplements also tend to be loaded with additives, with little regulation and no way to confirm product purity. Supplements can also have unwanted side effects; CoQ10 can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners, and red yeast rice can cause kidney damage. Omega-3 supplements can also cause bleeding problems with combined with blood thinners.

For best results, load your plate with Omega-3 rich foods, like fatty fish, spinach, and chia.

Key Points:

  • 1Beware some red yeast rice supplements can cause kidney damage.
  • 2CoQ10 may reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners.
  • 3Omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health.

A 2014 review of seven small clinical trials found “no convincing evidence to support or refute” CoQ10’s use for heart failure. Another analysis found no strong evidence it reduces statin-induced muscle pain.

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