Top 3 Vitamin Supplements for Overall Heart Health
As we reach middle age, maintaining a healthy heart becomes more of a concern. The aging process leads to a decline in lean muscle mass, including the heart muscle, so anything that supports a healthy heart and cardiovascular system becomes increasingly important.
Three natural supplements have been found to protect the heart and support overall heart health. Let's take a look at the properties of each of these natural substances.
Your body already has L-carnitine in most cells in the body. Its primary function is to release energy from fat to fuel muscles and tissue. It is often referred to as the fuel pump of the heart. Those suffering from angina particularly need L-carnitine to energize the heart's metabolism and improve oxygen use. It allows the heart to function more effectively on a limited oxygen supply which in effect improves heart function. This is particularly important in those who may have already suffered heart damage.
A secondary benefit of taking L-carnitine as a supplement is that it boosts antioxidant enzyme levels, preventing a build-up of toxic byproducts and protecting cells in both the heart and arteries from harmful free radicals.
In addition, L-carnitine has been found to lower triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol, leading to improved overall cholesterol levels. L-carnitine is naturally found in red meat and dairy products and it is commonly taken as a heart supplement by athletes and vegetarians.
Nattokinase was discovered 20 years ago by a researcher at Chicago University who was looking for a natural alternative to the blood thinner, warfarin. Nattokinase is an enzyme produced from fermented soy beans called natto. It was found to help reduce the creation of blood clots in the circulatory system, which are a likely cause of strokes and heart attacks.
Nattokinase works by breaking down the adhesive component in the blood. It can be vital in preventing thrombosis and embolism which may later lead to a stroke or heart attack. Nattokinase has a distinct advantage over traditional blood thinners as it has the same ability to prevent blood clots but for a prolonged period and without any side effects. Studies comparing nattokinase with blood thinning drugs showed that the drugs interfere with the body's ability to produce fibrin which does not occur with nattokinase. Nattokinase was shown to break down existing blood clots by dissolving the fibrin that binds the platelets together.
Studies have shown that nattokinase also lowers blood pressure safely and naturally by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE). On average, it lowered systolic readings from 173.8 to 154.8 and diastolic readings from 101.0 to 91.2.
Bonito peptides are already commonly used to treat those with borderline to mild hypertension. Clinical trials showed that they were 64% effective in lowering blood pressure safely and naturally, with no adverse side effects. Made from naturally occurring peptides found in bonito fish, it is a natural ACE inhibitor without the side effects of similar drugs.
All in all, these three natural supplements are the "good guys" in the fight against heart disease. Safe and easy to take in supplement form, they offer multiple benefits for maintaining a healthy heart without unnatural side effects.