FDA endorses vitamins for heart and blood pressure health-The doctors weigh in


As doctors and vitamin experts people often ask us what vitamins can help reduce their risk of heart disease? It turns out that some vitamins and  minerals can play a role in reducing cardiac risk and in blood pressure control. We have known this from many years of clinical practice. The newest official endorsement of this comes in the FDA’s recent acknowledgement re the role of magnesium in reducing high blood pressure.

 

Well controlled blood pressure is an important factor in reducing risk of heart disease, stroke and other health risks with age.  Certain nutrients are known to be helpful. For many years the American Heart Association has endorsed the DASH diet as a form of using nutrients to help control blood pressure. This diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes is known to be high in potassium. Likewise magnesium is a key component in good blood pressure control. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finally granted an official qualified health claim for the ability of magnesium in foods and supplements to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

It turns out that magnesium is a mineral that can help with many aspects of health including not only blood pressure and heart health, but migraine reduction, muscle strength and a role for irritable bowel syndrome.  Magnesium is essential to cellular function and it is in no way surprising that getting optimal levels helps maintain physiologic balance. Magnesium can be obtained from many food sources including a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.  However, some people do not absorb it from food as well as others. This can be exacerbated by certain medications such as those for acid reflux, or metformin for diabetes. Magnesium is often best obtained by a high quality supplement. Dosing varies and a personalized daily vitamin is the best way to meet your individual needs.

When it comes to other vitamins and supplements for heart health, no conversation would be complete without mention of omega 3s. These important fats have good data to suggest they can help prevent heart disease and alter cholesterol and triglycerides to help with this cause. Omega 3s are often found as part of fish oil supplements or can be obtained in vegan forms. See our algae based omega 3 as a part of a personalized daily vitamin regimen. Omega3s are not only useful for heart health but they also play roles in inflammation, brian health, arthritis and more

Other vitamins that may help reduce cardiac risk include the antioxident vitamins such as A, C, D and E.  These theoretically help reduce oxidizing forces that damage heart and artery tissues. However, they need to be taken with caution, as in some cases taking too much of a good thing can in fact be harmful.  Vitamin A, for example, is not something most Americans need to take as a supplement. Our diet is rich in vitamin A and it is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in your body for long periods of time. Taking supplemental vitamin A has in fact been shown to cause potential harm, such as thinning hair, bone loss and an increased risk of cancer.

Vitamin D is a very important vitamin that is actually a hormone. It’s role in heart health is no surprise given it is essential to many aspects of bodily function. Most of us are in fact deficient in vitamin D if we do not take a supplement. But taking too much can also be harmful. Thus getting a safe and useful dose is important. Our vitamin quiz can help determine your unique vitamin needs.

Certain B vitamins may also be helpful in optimizing heart health as their deficiencies can manifest in various forms of heart failure. Likewise iodine, used for thyroid support can indirectly support the heart given an underactive thyroid can manifest with heart failure.

The bottom line is many vitamins and nutrients are important for hearth health. The FDA’s recent recognition of magnesium’s role in blood pressure just lends to this concept that taking the right vitamins can be helpful in supporting your own cardiac health.  The best way to get the right vitamins for your individual diet, lifestyle and health concerns is via a personalized multivitamin. Take our vitamin quiz now to get the right nutrients for your health.

 

 

Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health.  She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients.  After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take,  Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin quiz now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice.  The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment.  You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.



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