Top Two Supplements for Heart Health
By Melanie Beasley, RD, LD
February 3, 2020
February is heart month, meaning we’ve got cardiovascular health on the brain. Correction, we always have cardiovascular health front of mind because we want to stay vital and strong. One supplement supports good heart health, while the other is targeted to help those who are struggling with cholesterol.
Supplement to Keep Heart Healthy
Omega-3 is probably our most recommended supplement, to anyone, at any time. Let us explain.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is critical for heart health and for reducing inflammation overall. Many people do not eat enough omega-3 fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines) to maintain a healthy level of omega-3. 98% of the people in a recent study were found to be deficient in this essential fatty acid. Said another way, only 2% of those studied had adequate levels!
Supplementing with omega-3 may also help increase HDL cholesterol, your “good cholesterol.” Along with increasing your HDL, it may help to lower your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. The number one cause of heart disease is inflammation, and because omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory, they may help reduce your risk of heart disease, in addition to helping with atherosclerosis, lowering blood pressure and normalizing heart rhythms. Beyond heart health, it’s helpful to know that omega-3 can help restore the condition of nerves damaged from diabetes, help reduce cortisol levels from stress, and can even help heal concussions. The Omega-3 Extra Strength (capsules and liquid) are perfect for those that prefer to take a minimum of supplements or have difficulty swallowing.
Omega-3 Dosage Recommendations
We find that most people need about 3,000 mg of omega-3 daily (one capsule with each meal is a good start). Some individuals dealing with aggressive diseases or health conditions (heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, Crohn’s or Alzheimer’s for instance) may benefit from supplementing with more. Omega 3 Extra Strength allows for a higher dosage in each capsule so you can take fewer capsules and receive the same benefit.
Supplement to Fight High Cholesterol
Think of CoQ10 as the spark plug in your body; without it, you’re not going anywhere; and as we age our bodies naturally produce less and less. CoQ10 works by igniting the mitochondria in our cells, which are like little furnaces. These “furnaces” produce energy in the form of ATP, which is important since 95% of the body’s energy is made that way. One client found she was felt more energized when she incorporated CoQ10 into her routine. Plus, her leg pain from her medication resolved and her blood pressure came down!
Often, our clients take CoQ10 to counteract the side effects of cholesterol-lowering medications, such as aching muscles, general fatigue and memory issues. Certain statin medications stop the liver's production of CoQ10 and leading to those unwanted side effects, so much so that when a statin is prescribed in Europe, they also prescribe CoQ10.
CoQ10 supports energy as mentioned above, in addition to metabolism, immune function, cardiovascular and gum health, in addition to helping protect your cells from free radical damage caused by smoking, alcohol, pesticides, and processed food. Those with diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis or other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and ALS, may benefit from taking this supplement since they tend to have low levels of CoQ10 to start.
CoQ10 Dosage Recommendations
Our nutritionists suggest supplementing with 100 or 200 mg daily. If you’re on a statin drug, take at least 200 mg in the morning or early afternoon (later in the day may disrupt your sleep). You’ll start to notice CoQ10 working if you feel more energetic with less muscle pain.
Think Before You Buy
No doubt you’ve seen these supplements on the shelves at your local big box store and may be thinking about adding them to your shopping list. We’d like to caution against that, because you truly get what you pay for. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness we only sell pharmaceutical-grade supplements, meaning that they are actually audited, meet a robust list of standards and are third-party tested (more on that here if you’re interested). So what you are getting is a clean, contaminant-free supplement. On the flipside, supplements sold at big box stores, and from unreputable sellers online, are not audited and often contain fillers that don’t do anything and may actually be harmful to your health goals.