Which supplements are good for heart health, which are not?

With a substantial rise in several cardio-metabolic diseases over the years, questions regarding which food supplements to take and which to avoid have become relevant, diet and nutrition being two of the most important factors in causing and preventing several long-term ailments. And it all begins with demolishing the devil called cholesterol.

Cardiometabolic diseases are a variety of common yet preventable ailments, including cardiovascular events like heart attack, stroke and metabolic disorders like diabetes, insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease among others. These present some of the most serious health challenges for the global healthcare system in the 21st century with cases rising rapidly every year. But research, technology and treatment modules have also evolved at a brisk pace over the years, making the conditions not only curable but also preventable.

Several studies have suggested that diets rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and Type-2 diabetes. On the contrary, diets rich in saturated fat and sodium up the threat quotient. Micronutrients consist of various vitamins and minerals like Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which tend to reduce the risk of CVD mortality, heart attacks and other heart diseases due to their anti-inflammatory effect while folic acid decreases the risk of strokes by lowering the blood total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations. Being a key family of polyunsaturated fats, Omega-3 fats not only prevent heart diseases and strokes but also help in controlling lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis while playing a major role in cancer and other conditions.

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Polyphenols like curcumin, genistein and quercetin have shown health benefits for preventing cardiovascular diseases as well as reducing HbA1c (a measure of longer-term blood sugar levels) and fasting blood insulin levels. And although several micronutrients have various health benefits, others like vitamin C, E and selenium have a neutral effect on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. It is also worth noting that Vitamin D reduces oxidative stress and improves cardiometabolic outcomes but still studies have been inconclusive about whether it can prevent heart disease.

In fact, Johns Hopkins researchers say that consuming too much of certain vitamins can be harmful. Too much calcium and vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nutrients like magnesium play a major role in muscle and nerve functioning. The heart is a muscle which requires a large amount of magnesium to keep

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