August 13, 2012

7 Supplements For The Heart

 Supplements For The Heart

Supplements for the Heart

You would think with all the attention heart disease receives that it would no longer be the number one killer in the United States.

But, sadly heart disease remains number one, a perennial champion when it comes to death. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of men and women every day, about 1,700 deaths daily. Yet, heart disease is remarkably preventable, especially in those without a family history.

Don’t let it claim your life.  Eat smartly, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get a good night’s sleep and take our list of the top anti-aging supplements to protect your heart and improve your cardiovascular function.


Garlic lowers blood pressure functioning similar to the class of blood pressure lowering medications called ACE inhibitors. It also decreases oxidation of LDL cholesterol and in some can lower total cholesterol. One clove of garlic with or in your food is enough. If you don’t like eating garlic consider soft gel capsules 500 mg to 1,000 mg/day.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Nearly 40% of those individuals who have high blood pressure are deficient in coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  CoQ10 in doses of 100 mg to 200 mg/day has been shown to lower blood pressure, though individuals with heart failure should consider taking more. CoQ10 is beneficial in the treatment of heart failure, too, and can prevent cardiac arrhythmias. CoQ10 supports mitochondrial function, the organelles that produce energy for the body. CoQ10 also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Statin drugs prescribed to treat high cholesterol can deplete CoQ10 levels.  So it would be wise to consider supplementing with a 100 mg to 200 mg/day if you take a statin drug.


Magnesium is an important mineral in the body.  Only 1% of magnesium is found in the blood.  The rest of the magnesium is found within the cells.  Magnesium relaxes muscles including those muscles in our blood vessels enabling them to relax lowering blood pressure.  These benefits are usually obtained with a dose of 400 mg/day. Low magnesium is associated with diabetes/insulin resistance, another risk factor for heart disease. Insulin itself lowers magnesium levels.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning the body cannot make them; therefore we must get them through our diet.  Omega 3 fatty acids have several cardio-protective effects.  Omega 3s lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, reduce triglycerides (a fatty substance similar to cholesterol), and are natural anti-inflammatories.

Inflammation is front and center in the development of heart disease and triglycerides may be a more important heart disease risk factor than cholesterol.

The easiest way to get omega 3 fatty acids is to take fish oil or krill oil supplements.  Omega 3-fatty acid precursors are found in flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables, but the conversion to omega 3-fatty acids is variable from individual to individual. Fish and krill oil are better options. High-quality fish oil is safer than eating fish directly because of mercury in the water supply which can be filtered in the processing of fish oil.


Life is energy and death begins when energy ends. The body manufactures and uses ATP as its energy source that powers all functions of the body.  Ribose is a sugar (but does not contribute to the glycemic load) that is used to replenish ATP.  The heart is an amazing muscle that contracts roughly every second, using enormous amounts of ATP.

If you’re healthy 5 grams of D-ribose once or twice a day is adequate, but if you already suffer from heart disease consider 5 grams twice to three times a day. D-ribose and CoQ10 protect mitochondria. Mitochondria decline in numbers as we age, but supplements like d-ribose and CoQ10 can prevent that decline as does exercise.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid is unique in that it is both water-soluble and fat-soluble allowing it to be evenly distributed throughout the body.  It is a potent and universal antioxidant as it protects and conserves other antioxidants like vitamin C and E and coenzyme Q10. Alpha lipoic acid regenerates L-glutathione, a nutrient essential for cardiac health. Alpha lipoic acid has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory markers. A usual dose for alpha lipoic acid is 100 mg to 200 mg/day.

Red meat is a good source for alpha lipoic acid, but consumption of too much red meat can raise LDL or the bad cholesterol (though it raises the large fluffy LDL particles not thought to contribute to atherosclerosis) possibly raising the risk of heart disease.

Nitric Oxide Supporting Supplements

Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator and is produced by the one-cell-thick lining of blood vessels called endothelium. Cardiovascular health is directly related to one’s ability to make nitric oxide. Flavanols found in dark chocolate have been shown to support nitric oxide production.  One flavanol product on the market is CocoaVia™ made by Mars. Another product, NEO40®, by Neogenis also increases nitric oxide production. NEO40® is not a flavanol and increases nitric oxide through other mechanisms.

Put yourself in the best position to avoid heart disease. Eat properly, exercise and take these anti-aging supplements.

See related articles.

“Coenzyme Q10: Power Plant Protector”

“What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease: by Mark Houston, MD”

“Reverse Heart Disease NOW!: by Stephen Sinatra, MD and John Roberts, MD”

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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