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Heart disease is an epidemic in the United States and is the leading cause of death for both men and women, causing 1 in every 4 deaths. Keeping a healthy heart is, therefore, very important.
This can be accomplished in many ways, including living a heart-healthy lifestyle, following your doctor’s suggestions, and complementing your lifestyle with heart-healthy supplements.
We have investigated clinical trials for the best and most recent information about the best supplements for heart health and have identified the top 6 heart-healthy supplements on Amazon.
Living A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping heart-healthy involves many different lifestyle strategies, like:
-Eating a healthy diet: Eating high-fiber foods that are low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats can help prevent high cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart problems like a heart attack. Instead, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats as found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados are some of the best types of fats for the heart.
Limiting salt in the diet can help to lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Further, controlling sugar intake can help to prevent or manage diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart attacks.
-Limiting alcohol: Men should drink no more than 2 drinks per day, and women no more than one drink per day.
-Staying at a healthy weight: People who are overweight have a higher risk of heart disease.
-Exercising: Physical activity can help to control blood sugar, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
-Stopping smoking: Smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Every state has a phone quitline to help counsel you to stop smoking, reachable at 800-QUIT-NOW.
-Taking medications as instructed: If your doctor has recommended a medication for heart health, make sure to take it as directed. You should not stop taking a medication without discussing it with your doctor or pharmacist.
Understanding Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
It is important to understand your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers when you visit your doctor. Cholesterol tests are performed via a blood test that is often called a lipid panel, or lipid profile. This test will show levels of different lipids, or fats in the blood, including:
-Total cholesterol: This measures the sum of all the cholesterol in the blood. A total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL or above is high.
-High-density lipoprotein, or HDL: Often referred to as “good cholesterol,” an HDL level of at least 60 mg/dL is optimal.
-Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL: Often referred to as “bad cholesterol,” an LDL level of 100 mg/dL or lower is best. If you have a history of heart problems or risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may recommend a lower level like 70 mg/dL or lower.
-Triglycerides: This is a type of fat found in fat cells. A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or less is best.
Your doctor will often check your blood pressure at each visit. Depending on your age and medical history, your doctor may have a different blood pressure goal for you. Generally, a normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg or less. Keeping your blood pressure controlled lowers your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
The Best Supplements for Heart Health
Multiple studies have been conducted to figure out what are the best supplements for heart health. Some studies have shown that certain vitamins have no effect, including multivitamins, vitamins C, D, β-carotene, calcium, and selenium.
Further, other studies have pointed to possible increased heart risk with some supplements, including antioxidant mixtures and niacin when used with a statin drug. However, some supplements have shown benefit in helping a variety of cardiovascular conditions and risk factors. These include:
- Folic acid: Folic acid may be linked both to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease as well as a lower risk of stroke. Doctors think folic acid may work by decreasing levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease when found at high levels. However, some of the studies showing this were performed in places like China, where there is not routinely folic acid fortification in foods, unlike in the United States. Therefore, it is unclear if folic acid supplementation benefits people who already have a diet fortified in folic acid, and more studies are needed.
- B-vitamins: B-vitamins have been linked to a lower stroke risk. This family of vitamins includes micronutrients like Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, and Vitamin B12, or cobalamin. This family also includes folic acid, which itself has been linked to a lower stroke risk.
- Coenzyme Q-10: This substance is naturally produced by the human body and is necessary for proper function of the mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of cells in the body. However, coenzyme Q-10 levels decline as people age, including both coenzyme Q-10’s ubiquinone form and its active antioxidant form ubiquinol. Supplements may help to improve heart health. For example, people who have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure often have low levels of coenzyme Q-10, and may live longer when taking the supplement. Coenzyme Q-10 is often recommended to ease muscle discomfort in people who take statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Further, coenzyme Q-10 supplements can increase good cholesterol levels even in people taking statins, and can lower inflammatory markers which are risk factors for heart disease. In addition, coenzyme Q-10 may help to lower blood pressure, thereby protecting the heart. Coenzyme Q-10 was even shown to protect against repeat heart attacks in one study.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly sold as fish oils, have an increasing amount of data supporting their use in heart health. Two of the most common types of omega-3 fatty acids used in supplements are DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, and EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid. Three recent clinical trials have made doctors take note of omega-3s in recent years. In the VITAL trial, 840 mg of omega-3s a day reduced the risk of heart attacks and other coronary events. In the ASCEND trial, 840 mg of omega-3s reduced heart-related deaths. Lastly, in the REDUCE-IT trial, 4 grams a day of omega-3s reduced cardiovascular events even in people who were taking statins. Doctors think that omega-3s work by lowering triglycerides, a type of fat the body stores in fat cells. Omega-3s may also work in other ways to promote heart health, and research is ongoing.
- Red yeast rice: Red yeast rice is a traditional ingredient in Chinese food. It is produced by culturing rice with strains of the yeast Monascus purpureus. Many red yeast rice products contain a chemical called monacolin K which is chemically the same as the cholesterol-lowering statin drug lovastatin, also known under its brand name Mevacor. As a result, products with a high amount of monacolin K have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels in clinical studies. Like statin drugs, monacolin K works by preventing the body from making cholesterol. It is difficult to tell how much monacolin K is contained in any given product. For this reason, red yeast rice should not be taken alongside some prescription cholesterol-lowering medications including statins and fibrates. If you are taking a cholesterol-lowering medication and considering red yeast rice, it is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure there are no drug interactions. It should also be avoided in pregnancy. Red yeast rice is generally safe, although some cultures may contain the impurity citrinin which can cause kidney damage. Because the active ingredient is chemically identical to a statin, red yeast rice can lead to some of the same side effects as statins such as muscle pain.
The Top 6 Best Heart Health Supplements
We have searched the internet for the best healthy heart supplements and examined the clinical data and ingredients of some of the best-selling supplements for liver health on Amazon. The name of each supplement is linked to the product on Amazon. We have also included a description of why the supplement was one of our top-ranked choices.
Why we love it: Nordic Naturals focuses on two of the best-researched supplements for heart health with Coenzyme Q-10 and Omega-3 fatty acids in this product. The supplement should be given as 2 capsules once daily with food. This product is available in different package sizes of 60, 90, and 120 capsules. Each serving is 20 calories and is a total of 2 grams of fat, including 0.1 mg of saturated fat. A serving provides:
-Coenzyme Q-10 100 mg in ubiquinone form
-Omega-3 fatty acids 1280 mg in triglyceride form, including 650 mg of EPA and 450 mg of DHA. Other Omega-3 fatty acids comprise the remaining 180 mg of the fatty acid dose.
Other ingredients include fish oil, a gelatin capsule, beeswax, d-alpha tocopherol and rosemary extract which is a natural preservative.
The product is non-GMO, meaning that it contains no genetically modified organisms, and carries a label to this effect. A third-party manufacturer tests the product for quality and purity as well as to ensure the absence of contaminants like heavy metals. The product includes a label that the manufacturer is NSF Certified, meaning that NSF International, a public health and safety organization, certifies that the product complies with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices.
As the product is derived from wild-caught anchovies and sardines, it is not vegan-friendly. Further, as the gelatin in the product is derived from cows, it is not vegetarian-friendly. However, the product is free of gluten, dairy, and artificial colors and flavors. The manufacturer recommends consulting with a doctor before using this product if you are allergic to iodine or use blood thinners.
Amazon users tend to like this product, with several noting that it had helped improve their cholesterol levels. Several users noted in their reviews however that they were surprised when they first got the product in the mail, as the capsules are large and black, as opposed to an amber color like many other fish oil supplements. Overall, users said that the product was easy to swallow and did not leave an aftertaste.
Why we love it: This product is the second Nordic Naturals item on our list. This particular supplement combines several ingredients that have been shown to benefit heart health, like red yeast rice, coenzyme Q-10 and omega-3 fatty acids in triglyceride form. A serving of this product is 3 capsules once daily with food, which is 15 calories and includes 1.8 grams of total fat. Because a bottle contains 60 capsules, the product will last for 20 days. A 3-capsule dose provides:
-Red yeast rice powder 1200 mg
-Coenzyme Q-10 30 mg
-Omega-3 fatty acids 1152 mg, including 585 mg of EPA and 405 mg of DHA. It contains smaller amounts of other omega-3s, totaling 162 mg.
Other ingredients include fish oil, a gelatin capsule, beeswax, d-alpha tocopherol and rosemary extract which is a natural preservative.
Since the omega-3 oils in the product are from wild-caught anchovies and sardines, the product is not vegan-friendly. Further, as the gelatin in the product is derived from cows, it is not vegetarian-friendly. The product does not contain gluten, dairy or artificial colors or flavors. Further, the process by which the red yeast rice was created in this product means that there is none of an impurity called citrinin, which can cause kidney damage. Lastly, the product is non-GMO, meaning that it contains no genetically modified organisms, and carries a label to this effect.
Amazon users generally like this product, saying it is easy to swallow. Some users expressed surprise that the capsules are black instead of an amber color as they were expecting. Many users said that their bad cholesterol levels dropped after starting this product.
Why we love it: This product is a standard multivitamin with an extra boost of ingredients known to help heart health, like B vitamins and folic acid, specifically:
-Vitamin B6 2.5 mg daily, 125% of the Recommended Daily Intake
-Folic Acid, or Vitamin B9, 200 mcg daily, 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake
-Vitamin B12 100 mcg daily, 1667% of the Recommended Daily Intake
As such, this product may be a good, heart-healthy replacement for an existing multivitamin. The serving size is 1 tablet twice daily with meals or snacks. The product comes in two different sizes containing 60 and 120 tablets, and therefore a single bottle will last one to two months. One downside to the product is that it is not all natural and contains a small amount of sugar. Further, the supplement contains soy and a variety of inactive ingredients including sucrose, preservatives and artificial coloring. However, the tablets are gluten-free, although the package does not carry a label to this effect.
Amazon users tend to like this product, with several saying that it helps keep energy up and does not upset the stomach. Amazon users also state this product is easy to swallow, as a tablet is just over 3/4 of an inch long.
Why we love it: Dr. Sinatra’s product was formulated by Dr. Sinatra, a cardiologist. It combines multiple ingredients known to help heart health, including:
-Vitamin B6 30 mg, 1765% of the Recommended Daily Intake
-Folic Acid 400 mcg, 167% of the Recommended Daily Intake
-Vitamin B12 750 mcg, 31,250% of the Recommended Daily Intake
-Omega-3 fatty acids 1250 mg, including DHA 200 mg and EPA 200 mg
-Coenzyme Q-10 50 mg
Other ingredients include gelatin, glycerin, gamma-cyclodextrin, medium chain triglycerides, beeswax, water, sunflower lecithin, mixed tocopherols, annatto, sunflower oil, mannitol, silica, lemon oil, and microcrystalline cellulose. As the omega-3 fatty acids are derived from squid, and as it is unclear if the gelatin is sourced from animals, the product is not vegan-friendly. However, the product is free of both gluten and soy.
A serving size is 2 capsules once daily with a meal. The product is available in multiple sizes, with Amazon providing both a 30 and 90 day supply. According to the manufacturer, the batches are triple-tested and the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Processes standards are met. However, the package does not carry a label to this effect.
Amazon users tend to like this product. Although several users described the capsules as large, they added that it was nonetheless easy to swallow.
Why we love it: Carlson Labs combines two of the best-studied supplements for heart health. Each serving is 2 soft gels daily. As the package is available in sizes of 30, 60, and 120 capsules, a bottle can last up to 2 months. A serving provides:
-Coenzyme Q-10 200 mg
-Omega-3 fatty acids 1200 mg, including 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA. Other Omega-3 fatty acids comprise the remaining 200 mg of the fatty acid dose.
As the fish oil is derived from wild-caught anchovy, sardine, and mackerel, and as the gelatin capsule is derived from beef, the product is neither vegetarian nor vegan-friendly. However, the product is free of artificial preservatives and is gluten-free. Other ingredients include glycerin, water, annatto, sunflower oil, titanium dioxide, mixed tocopherols, and beeswax. Amazon users tend to like this product, giving it high ratings.
Why we love it: Puritan’s Pride mixes Coenzyme Q-10 with red yeast rice in this supplement. A serving size is 2 capsules once or twice daily. As a bottle contains 120 capsules, one bottle will last up to 2 months. Each serving includes:
-Red yeast rice powder 1200 mg
-Coenzyme Q-10 120 mg, in ubiquinone form
Other ingredients include canola oil, gelatin, vegetable glycerin, soy lecithin, and natural caramel color. The product is free of artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, gluten, wheat, fish, and sodium. According to the manufacturer, the product is tested for citrinin and falls within specifications. As the gelatin is sourced from cows, the product is not vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Although the manufacturer states the product is not standardized to contain monacolin K, they state that it does naturally occur in the product.
Amazon users tend to like this product, leaving it good reviews. Several users state that it helped decrease their cholesterol levels. However, several users said that the capsules are large, and users are divided on whether that makes them hard to swallow or not.
Heart disease is an epidemic in the United States. However, it can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and working with your doctor to achieve your health goals. Recent clinical trials also show that some supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, may help to protect the heart. By talking with your doctor about what supplement may be right for you, you can live a healthy heart life.