Should You Be Taking Supplements for Your Heart Health?
With the news that many of our tickers aren’t up to snuff, heart health is more important than ever. Because February is Heart Health Month, we were interested in learning more about this dangerous disease. We spoke with Dr. Mark Menolascino, MD, internal medicine specialist, and key medical opinion leader at Lycored, to find out about the role supplements play and how to know which ones might be for you. He highlighted four things to keep in mind.
1. The importance of supplements
Our nation is seriously failing when it comes to proper eating habits, given all the processed and fast food we consume. Most people aren’t getting enough nutrients from food alone, so incorporating supplements into your diet may be the way to go. “We know from population studies that most of us are nutrient deficient,” Menolascino said. “Up to 60% of Americans are magnesium deficient, for example, based on USDA information.” He also added, “Due to the nutrient poor soil depletion, the nutritional benefit of food is decreasing.”
2. What to look for
Quality is always key, especially when it comes to what you put in your body. A sub-par product could have the opposite effect you’re going for, so make sure you do your research and discuss with your doctor before taking any new pills. According to Menolascino, the high-quality supplements have no fillers, binders, or dyes. But be careful. Even one of the leading multivitamins has over 40 “other ingredients” that include these additives, so you can’t go on brand name alone. Be sure to read labels carefully and with a discerning eye. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you should probably stay away.
3. Are supplements right for you?
It’d be nice to live a totally pill-free existence, but it’s not realistic for everyone. “With the nutrient depletion of our food, the stress of our lives, the toxic environment we are living in, and individual health challenges, we all need some support,” Menolascino said. “Also, people that take certain medications need to supplement the nutrients that the medications deplete from your body. One of the most well-known examples is that the cholesterol drugs deplete the body of coenzyme Q10, which is needed for heart health and energy needs.”
4. Best supplements for men’s heart health
Low-quality antioxidants or omega-3 fish oil will do you no good according to Menolascino, so again, make sure you’re choosing a high-quality product. Look for trusted brands with ingredients that have been tested in trials. Menolascino said, “Lycopene is a carotenoid-type of antioxidant from tomato that has the highest antioxidant potential and has long been used for heart health.” Lycored, the company Menolascino is a key medical opinion leader for, regularly tests farm soil, batch production, and finished products to ensure quality. Be sure you know all the research that goes into making a product before consuming it.
For heart health, there are several products that are well-known and highly recommended. “Coenzyme Q10, omega-3, ribose, carnitine, and magnesium are my favorite heart-health supplements,” Menolascino said. “If you have ever had a heart attack or have atrial fibrillation you should consider being on this program. It has actually been shown to increase the heart function in certain patients by 20 to 30% when using high quality products,” he added.