|Poor heart health affects two out of three Australian families. Many Australians over 40 are concerned about their general heart health, others may have specific cholesterol issues while older people need to replenish declining levels of CoQ10. Whatever your concern there are nutritional supplements that can help.
Nutritional Insurance For Your Heart
Your heart is designed to last a lifetime, but you have to do your bit to help ensure it stays in good working order. Healthy heart function is dependant on a number of factors – including antioxidant status and the fat in your blood. Supplements can provide nutritional insurance for your heart health.
In 2002, the American Heart Association released a scientific statement on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on heart function. Randomized clinical trials have shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce cardiovascular events including non-fatal heart attacks and non-fatal strokes. Omega-3 can also slow the progression of arteriosclerosis in coronary patients. However, coronary artery disease patients may not be able to get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their health care professional about taking a supplement. Supplements may also help people with high triglycerides, who need even higher doses.
It is recommended that we consume 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day from oily fish (2-3 serves a week) or fish oil capsules.
Plant Sterols Can Reduce Cholesterol Absorption
Cholesterol maintenance is an important part of many people’s diet and lifestyle regimes. Plant sterols are fat-like compounds with a chemical structure that is very similar to cholesterol. However compared to cholesterol, plant sterols are only minimally absorbed. During digestion, the plant sterols compete with cholesterol for absorption. This means that less cholesterol is absorbed and more cholesterol is excreted. Reduced cholesterol absorption leads to lower blood levels of cholesterol.
A daily dose of 2-3 grams of plant sterols is recommended to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It also helps in maintaining the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio within the normal range. Supplements are now available containing a relevant daily dose of 2 grams of plant sterols
CoQ10 Supports Heart Muscle Function
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring nutrient found in every cell of the body and has been extensively investigated for its benefits to the heart. It is a potent antioxidant and it helps protect heart cells from free-radical damage and therefore helps maintain healthy arteries. CoQ10 is produced in the body however the ability to produce CoQ10 declines with age, and so levels may drop at a time when they are most beneficial for health.
A daily dose of 100mg of CoQ10 has been shown to support healthy heart function and is recommended to maintain the body’s levels of CoQ10.
There are a number of new nutritional supplements that contain Omega-3, plant sterols or CoQ10. For a personal recommendation on supplements that can assist you maintain a healthy heart just ask the Naturopath at your local Healthy Life store.