Today when you visit a vitamin shop, there’re plenty of bottles labeled with Heart Support. Are they actually working for some people? I’ve been asked such questions a lot. Well, for anyone who’s lucky enough not to born with a deficit with the heart, some substances are helpful to support heart health, that’s true. Although supplements are not medicines, they’re not used for cure disease, but to support on prevention.
The keywords for heart-protecting supplements are the following: lower cholesterol, stimulate the blood flow, protect cells. Let’s take a look at the formula of a few products that are sold in vitamin shops. The assumption is that the capsules or tablets contain exactly what they claim to contain.
Irwin Natural – Complete Cardio
The formula of Irwin Natural complete cardio include a few substances that are helpful to heart health. It contains Phytosterol 1300 mg, good for maintain normal cholesterol level. It contains omega-3 fatty acid 1200 mg, omega-3 is proved effective in reducing LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol. It contains extract from Crataegus pinnatifida/hawthorn, although lack of rigorous study, hawthorn is considered to increase blood supply to the heart and improve circulation to the extremities by decreasing arterial resistance. Hawthorn also has positive inotropic and beta-blocking effects, one human study shows hawthorn can lower blood pressure. This formula also include antioxidant from Pomegranate and CoQ10. This formula lowers cholesterol, improve blood supply and circulation, protect cells from oxidization.
Source Naturals – Heart Science
This is a complicated formula with many types of plant extract. Other than vitamins and minerals, the formula contains hawthorn extract from berry, leaf and flower, which improves circulation and provide beta-clocking effects. It contains Turmeric Rhizome Extract, which as some earlier studies said can prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. It contains Genistein-Rich Soy which can lower the level of LDL cholesterol. It contains Ginkgo Leaf Extract to improve the blood flow. It contains Nattokinase, an enzyme extracted from Natto. Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi from University of Chicago discoved Nattokinase is the core of Natto treating heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, peripheral artery disease, etc. It has an ability to decrease the blood clot. The formula also contains several types of antioxidant, like CoQ10, grape seed extract, resveratrols. The whole formula looks great, except that no one did studies how these plants would interact.
Overall, this formula should help on improve the condition of CAD patients or people with high risks of CAD.
Nature’s Plus, Heart Beat
This formula is similar to the first one. It contains Phytosterol to lower cholesterol, contains plant extract including hawthorn and grape seed for stimulating the circulation and increase the blood supply to heart, and protect cells. It also contains resveratrols and CoQ10.
After reading the above, you are aware of the names of substances that are good for heart. To summarize, these are:
- Hawthorn extract, or named Crataegus pinnatifida — increase blood supply, improve blood circulation, beta-blocking effect
- Ginkgo Leaf Extract – improve blood circulation
- Nattokinase – melt blood clot
- Phytosterol, or named sitosterol – lower bad cholesterol
- Soy extract – lower LDL cholesterol
- CoQ 10 – antioxidant
- Grape seed extract – antioxidant
- Resveratrols – antioxidant