Health

Omega-3, Folic Acid, and CoQ10 Supplements Can Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Introduction

Ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are the two biggest causes of death for individuals living with CVDs. Dietary modifications including increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, use of lean proteins, increased physical activity, and avoiding smoking and the use of alcohol and other substances have also been found to help in the prevention of CVDs as well as using omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and coenzyme Q10. This article looks at some of the proof behind these statements and offers advice on how you can incorporate more of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and CoQ10 into your diet naturally and/or through supplements.

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Protect Your Heart

This publication is about the significant anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3s.

There are polyunsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, commonly sourced from fish oil but also present in plant sources, and demonstrate strong anti-inflammatory effects, which are useful for the heart. Chronic inflammation is a major determinant of long-term diseases and is a primary cause of atherosclerosis, deposition of plaques in the arteries. Multiple studies demonstrate omega-3’s abilities to:Multiple studies demonstrate omega-3’s abilities to:

  • Increase HDL cholesterol, reduce triglycerides and blood pressure
  • It is also useful in cutting down atherosclerotic plaque and the risk of blood clots.
  • Enhance overall cardiovascular health and blood vessel elasticity
  • To regulate heart rhythm and may help to prevent sudden cardiac death following a heart attack

By moderating inflammation and providing these cardioprotective benefits, attaining sufficient amounts of omega-3 cuts the risk of CVDs such as heart attacks, strokes, and death due to coronary artery disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is beneficial to health, but how much should you be consuming?

Most health organizations urge that for CVD prevention, people should take at least 500 mg daily of combined EPA and DHA omega-3s. For high triglyceride patients, the recommended intake is 2 to 4 grams per day and it must be taken in consultation with the physician. It may be difficult to obtain these recommendations solely through fish, and many people consume fish or algal oil to obtain sufficient amounts of heart-healthy omega-3s.

Dietary Sources of Omega-3s

Some excellent dietary sources include:Some excellent dietary sources include:

  • Fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel rich in omega-3 are found to be effective in reducing the risks of heart diseases.
  • Protein food items include fortified eggs, yogurts, and milk.
  • Nuts, such as walnuts; whole grains, notably flax; and chia seeds.
  • The major edible oils include soybean oil, canola oil and flaxseed oil.
  • Algal oil supplements

Beyond Omega-3s: Some of the other nutrients that has been found to possess heart healthy properties include

Reduction of Homocysteine Level by Folic Acid & B Vitamin

Hyperhomocysteinemia has been noted to be an independent risk predictor of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Elevated circulating homocysteine can be prevented by folate and other B vitamins as they assist in converting it to less toxic byproducts. Several trails provide evidence that both food folate and supplements can lower homocysteine biomarkers, normally associated with high red cell count.

Studies also indicate that, by using extremely high doses of B vitamins far in excess of the DRI, outcomes are positive when applied to patients with existing CVD. Coadministration of 800 mcg -5 mg of folic acid with B6 and B12 has been found to retard the progression of atherosclerosis in case secondary prevention of CVD.

Folic acid supplements are essential during pregnancy due to the critical role folic acid plays in the development of the fetus.

Consuming 400-800 mg every day from bioavailable foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds assist in maintaining the healthy biomarkers permanently. Foods highest in folate include:Foods highest in folate include:

  • Processed grains and cereals that are appropriately fortified
  • Pectoral vegetables such as spinach
  • Asparagus, broccoli, avocado
  • Orange and any kind of citrus fruits or their juices
  • Beans and lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Beef liver

CoQ10 – The Vital Antioxidant for Healthy Hearts

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat soluble derivative of ubiquinone that is synthesized in the human body and is found in highest concentration in the mitochondrial membranes where it functions as an antioxidant. For example, CoQ10 is known to decrease with age and when the patient is taking statin drugs which contribute to the increased oxidative stress and progression of CVD. Multiple clinical studies demonstrate that supplementing with CoQ10 significantly improves heart health by:Multiple clinical studies demonstrate that supplementing with CoQ10 significantly improves heart health by:

  • Positive change in ejection fraction in heart failure patients
  • Managing the symptoms of chest pain which characterize angina
  • Having a positive impact on biomarkers such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Increasing energy and doing exercises

The doses used in the studies were 100-300 mg/day for enhancing CoQ10 to significantly improved levels especially where the individual was on statins or had systolic heart failure. More than 300 mg can yield extra CVD reduction to high risk populations and more intensive guidelines may be suitable for such populations.

Foods Containing CoQ10

Although our bodies make some naturally, you can also get small amounts of CoQ10 from animal foods such as:Although our bodies make some naturally, you can also get small amounts of CoQ10 from animal foods such as:

  • Beef, chicken, pork
  • Mediterranean fat fish such as trout, mackerel
  • Examples of meats from different organs include liver, kidney,
  • Meat and products made from animal milk

Due to the relatively low levels which come from foods, those who want the optimum heart health, subsequently supplement with ubiquinone CoQ10 to increase the blood, cellular and tissue concentrations.

The Bottom Line

Omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and CoQ10 from a healthy diet and good supplements also offer another layer of defense to the cardiovascular system. Such heart healthy nutrients along with exercise, use of stress management techniques, abstinence from smoking and other positive lifestyle interventions provide safe evidenced based approaches towards prevention of CVD and associated mortality. Bring an effective omega-3, B vitamins, CoQ10, and integrative approach with your doctor and learn how to manage your heart health together today.

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