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Herbs and Supplements for Heart Disease

Overview

Highlights

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  2. Atherosclerosis is related to heart disease and causes plaque to build up in your arteries, blocking the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other organs.
  3. Many herbs and supplements can help prevent heart disease and reduce symptoms by lowering blood pressure, improving breathing, and clearing arteries.

Cardiovascular
disease, also known as heart disease, or coronary artery disease (CAD), is the
number one killer in the United States. Diet and lifestyle play an important
role in preventing and reversing heart disease, and certain herbs and supplements can help lower your risk for heart disease
and treat heart conditions you’ve already been diagnosed with.

Several
herbs and supplements may help in fighting atherosclerosis, the underlying
cause of most heart disease. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to build up in your
arteries, blocking the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other
organs. It can cause a heart attack and even death.

Atherosclerosis
is common in the developed world, but virtually unknown outside of it, due to
the different diets and lifestyles of people in the developing world.

Read more: What Do You Want to Know About Heart Disease? »

Herbs
and Supplements for Heart Disease

Here are
some nutritional supplements that may help decrease your risk of developing heart
disease:

Coenzyme Q10

CoenzymeQ10,
or CoQ10, or ubiquinone, is a chemical that plays a crucial role in a cell’s
ability to extract energy from food. Because the heart is the hardest working
muscle in your body, it’s essential that your heart have a constant supply of
CoQ10 so it has energy to do its work. This chemical decreases with age and low
cholesterol also depletes it.

This study
shows that taking CoQ10 supplements reduces oxidative stress and increases antioxidant
enzyme activity, relieving symptoms of cardiovascular disease. CoQ10 is safe
and well-tolerated and although it’s not readily absorbed orally, a more
“bioavailable” form, ubiquinol, offers better absorption into your bloodstream.

Statin
therapy can deplete CoQ10, therefore anyone taking a statin drug should
consider taking CoQ10 supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3
fatty acids are essential nutrients that help reduce inflammation caused by
atherosclerosis. They also lower levels of triglycerides, fatty blood
components that block your arteries. High triglyceride levels are linked to
atherosclerosis and diabetes.

This study
shows that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish, is
linked to lower blood pressure, better blood lipid profiles, including lower
triglycerides, and a reduced risk of death from heart disease.

Green Tea

For
centuries, people around the world have consumed green tea for its health
benefits. This study
looks at one of its chief components, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate
(EGCG), for its ability to protect the heart. The study shows significant
benefits with the consumption of five to six cups of green tea per day. Green
tea extract is also available as a supplement in capsule form.

Pomegranate

Like green
tea, pomegranate juice has been consumed for centuries, with the belief that
the ruby red fruit promotes health. Modern scientists prove this belief in this
study.
Powerful antioxidant chemicals in pomegranate fruit and juice may help reverse
atherosclerosis and lower blood pressure.

Magnesium and Potassium

One study
shows that taking magnesium supplements may reduce blood pressure and that they are good for
overall heart function and heart disease.

Another
study shows dietary intake of potassium to
improve heart function as well by helping to offset the rise in blood pressure
from a high-salt diet.

You may have
always been told that sodium chloride, or table salt, is bad, but substituting magnesium
and potassium salts for table salt can actually lower blood pressure, as shown
in this study.

Outlook

Heart
disease is a serious and dangerous disease in the United States. You can treat
and prevent heart disease by decreasing risk factors, such as maintaining a
healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level, managing stress, eating healthfully,
and getting plenty of exercise. Herbs and supplements can help prevent heart
disease and reduce its symptoms by lowering blood pressure, improving
breathing, and helping your heart to function better.

Posted by: Dr.Health

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