Heart 101: Seven Vitamins for Heart Health
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
At some point, we all start thinking about heart health. Maybe you began thinking about it in your 30s, but for most of us, hitting age 40 naturally makes us think about our health, longevity, and the hearts that beat in our chests.
We want to do everything we can to keep our hearts healthy, and many of the factors that contribute to heart health are lifestyle habits that we can actively choose to adopt.
Let’s talk about what vitamins we can add to our health stack to keep our hearts healthy and strong.
What Keeps Our Hearts Healthy?
Unless we’re born with a health condition that affects our hearts, most of us experience no heart-related issues in our youth. As we get older, heart-health problems can pile up quickly. It’s important to be proactive in the fight to keep our hearts healthy.
Here are the ways our heart stays healthy.
Your doctor is right; you need cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, much like lifting weights strengthens other muscles in your body. Cardio exercise also increases endurance, keeps blood pressure levels in a healthy range, and helps your heart move blood through your body more efficiently.
You should aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day, at least five days per week. Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that elevates your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a prolonged period of time.
Healthy Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the measure of pressure placed on the walls of your arteries by the blood pumping through them. High blood pressure places you at a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range is important. Your blood pressure naturally rises and falls throughout the day, but if you have continually high blood pressure readings, your doctor may suggest you increase your exercise, change your diet, or take a new medication.
Limited Alcohol Use
Excessive alcohol use is damaging to your heart. Not only can it raise your blood pressure, but it also places you at a high risk of stroke and heart failure. Alcohol can also contribute to obesity, which increases your risk of heart disease.
If you drink alcohol, it’s best to drink in moderation only.
Smoking raises triglycerides, which contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels. It can also simultaneously lower your HDL or “good” cholesterol level. Smoking increases your risk for stroke by causing your blood to become more likely to clot. Smoking is also extremely damaging to your arteries, causing them to harden, and encouraging the build-up of plaque.
Healthy cholesterol levels are a marker of good health. There are two different measurements for cholesterol: LDL and HDL.
- LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the most abundant type of cholesterol found in your body. High levels of LDL cholesterol place you at a higher risk for developing heart disease and stroke.
- HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, carries cholesterol to your liver where it is flushed from the body. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Healthy Stress Management
Some stress is good for you, but chronic stress can be bad for your heart, and your entire body. Managing stress can help keep your heart healthy. High stress levels can increase inflammation, which is a precursor for illness and poorer health. Blood pressure increases when you are stressed, and levels of good cholesterol begin to taper.
Additionally, when you’re in a stressful situation, you may make poor health decisions, like avoiding exercise, overeating, consuming more alcohol than normal, and smoking.
A healthy diet can help encourage your heart health. Your diet plays a major role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and keeping your weight balanced. You’ll also ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your heart needs by eating a balanced diet.
If your diet lacks variety, or if you’d like to support your heart health even further, you can take a heart-healthy supplement.
Seven Vitamins for Heart Health
There are numerous supplements available that claim to support your heart health. Here are the ones that have research behind them and science that say they really work.
There are 13 essential vitamins your heart and body need to function. Your body can’t make them on its own, so you have to get them from food sources or from a supplement. If you eat a balanced diet, you’ll get the vitamins and minerals you need from your food.
If you eat a restricted diet, you may be deficient in some vitamins. A simple blood test can reveal whether or not there are gaps in your diet a multivitamin could fill.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies need. They can help lower your number of triglycerides, which supports healthy cholesterol numbers. There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA, and DHA.
EPA and DHA are the most essential omega-3s for promoting heart health.
Some ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, but the process isn’t efficient, so taking an omega-3 supplement may be a better option.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an enzyme made naturally in every cell of your body. CoQ10 helps power your cells and keep them energized.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells against oxidative damage from free radicals. Research shows that CoQ10 may even be effective in helping reverse heart failure.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that helps ensure your cells’ mitochondria are fully stocked with fat to burn as fuel. Adequate energy in your heart cells’ mitochondria is essential for keeping your heart functioning properly.
You can find L-carnitine in meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. If you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, it may be harder for you to get enough of this amino acid in your body.
While we often think of fiber as purely a digestive health supplement, it’s incredibly beneficial for your heart. Certain types of fiber help support healthy cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and even decrease inflammation.
It’s important your fiber comes from sources like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or quality supplements.
Magnesium helps transport electrolytes to the cells in your heart. This helps ensure proper heart rhythm. Higher levels of circulating magnesium are also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Being deficient in magnesium can cause your electrolytes to become imbalanced, which can lead to irregular heart rhythm.
While magnesium can support your heart health, it can also be hard on your kidneys. If you have kidney disease, speak to your doctor about whether a magnesium supplement is a good option for you to support your heart health.
7. Pentadecanoic Acid
Pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0, is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid. At first glance, you might think saturated fat is bad for your heart. Turns out, not all saturated fatty acids are bad for you.
Odd-chain, saturated fatty acids, like C15:0, are associated with heart-healthy markers like:†
- Healthy cholesterol
- Balanced immunity
- Lower blood pressure levels
- Red blood cell health
C15:0 helps support your heart health by deep-diving into your cells to strengthen them:*
- C15:0 strengthens cell membranes. As we age, our cell walls become flimsy and fragile. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that deep dives into our cell membranes, fortifying them and keeping them protected from external stressors.
- C15:0 boosts mitochondrial function. Heart function can decline as the cells of the heart lose their ability to function correctly, and that can start inside the mitochondria. Research shows that C15:0 improves mitochondrial function by 45%, so your heart cells are energized and able to carry out essential processes.
C15:0 supports more than just heart health, it supports the cells that make up your entire body.† Also, by binding to PPAR receptors that regulate sleep, mood, appetite, immunity, and metabolism, C15:0 helps support these functions which can promote your overall health and wellness.†*
C15:0 is found in trace amounts in whole dairy products and some fish. As such, it can be hard to get enough C15:0 through your diet alone. Fatty15 is the once-a-day, vegan supplement to give you your daily dose of C15:0. Fatty15 contains pure FA15™ , the pure powder form of C15:0.
Support Your Heart With Fatty15
There are numerous ways to support your heart health, and taking a heart-healthy supplement, like fatty15, can help you keep your heart and body healthy and strong.*
Aging is inevitable, but you can keep your heart young and age on your own terms with the right lifestyle choices and the best supplement for supporting your heart’s cellular health, fatty15.*
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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