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Facts About Supplements for Heart Health

Many people take vitamins and supplements to boost their heart health. Which supplements work best? How much should you take? Here are tips to help you shop wisely.

Supplements for Heart Health

Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and plant sterols may help lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to the heart.

Coenzyme Q10  

Coenzyme Q10 acts like an antioxidant, which helps protect cells from damage. Some studies show that CoQ10 supplements may lower blood pressure slightly and may help heart failure. CoQ10 may also help treat muscle pain that occurs in some people who take cholesterol drugs called statins.

Fiber (Psyllium)

Fiber lowers cholesterol, as well as the overall risk of heart disease and stroke, according to many studies. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol in the intestines and prevents it from being absorbed by the body.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil may lower cholesterol levels. It’s not yet clear whether it also lowers your overall risk of heart disease.

Folic Acid

Folic acid, a B vitamin, lowers levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been linked to heart disease. But studies have not proven that folic acid reduces the rate of repeat heart attacks and stroke.

Magnesium  

Magnesium helps keep blood pressure normal and is sometimes used by doctors to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can lower blood pressure and triglycerides, according to research. Omega-3s may also reduce your overall risk of death from heart disease.

Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice may lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and “bad” LDL cholesterol, according to several studies. One ingredient in red yeast rice – monacolin K – is identical as the active ingredient in a cholesterol drug.

Safe Upper Limits for Vitamins and Minerals

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, how much should you take? Find out the safe upper limits for the vitamins you take, as well as the recommended daily allowance you may need.

Vitamin and Supplement Glossary: Common Definitions

This glossary provides simple definitions for common terms such as antioxidants, fat soluble, or phytochemicals. Find out what the lingo really means.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on December 13, 2012

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