By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer
Lots of people take supplements like fish oils, multivitamin tablets and minerals daily, presumably, that they will prevent heart disease. Research do not prove that they do. They may be beneficial for general health.
18 studies conducted between 1970 and 2016, after tracking more than 2 million participants, the studies revealed that they have no effect on heart disease (study author- Dr. Joonseok Kim).
Kim added that supplements do not improve cardiovascular health and should not be taken for that purpose.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing supplement manufacturers also stressed that such supplements are meant as nutritional aids, not as a means of preventing or treating diseases.
These supplements- multivitamins and minerals may have a place after chronic illnesses, to build your nutritional imbalances, and in such countries where malnutrition is rampant. But paradoxically, it is the well to do affluent class of people who indulge in taking them for wellbeing and prevent heart disease.
It is possible that taking supplements may be detrimental as you may avoid taking natural products. It must be stressed that they do not lower the risk of any disease, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, among others. The supplement industry is not regulated, and they are doing a booming business by projecting through advertising and canvassing.
It is advisable to eat fruits and vegetables for your vitamin, and mineral intake, rather than swallowing a capsule to improve cardiovascular health.
It is more important to maintain a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels in your blood, controlling your body weight, engaging in daily physical activities, rather than been complacent by taking supplements.
Statins are still recommended for those who need it, to lower their cholesterol levels, if cannot be controlled by dietetic measures, by taking whole grain oats, nuts, tea, garlic, legumes (lentil), olive oil, unprocessed foods, among others. Quitting smoking and increasing your exercise regime are also essential to lower your cholesterol levels.
Fibre found naturally in fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes cuts down the amount of cholesterol your body soaks up from food.
Mediterranean Diet-considered one of the healthiest diets on the planet, this diet consists of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans, along with eliminating excess salt and limiting red meat intake to 1-2 times per month.
Then what supplements should healthy people take for cardiovascular disease and general wellbeing?
Vitamin A, D3 and K2 are the unsung heroes for your cardiovascular system. They are fat soluble vitamins beneficial to proper working of the heart and the 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body.
These fat-soluble vitamins do keep your calcium within your bones and out of arteries found in your plaques and lining your coronary and other arteries. They prevent dangerous clots, heart attacks and high blood pressure, keeps your arteries flexible (rubbery) and reduces inflammation.
Other vitamins to be taken to prevent cardiovascular disease in men are vitamin E and C. Supplements of vitamin E 400 IU should be taken every other day and 500 mg of vitamin C daily.
Then, again you do not require taking them as supplements when they are found naturally in your daily foods. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds (82 percent of the daily value of vitamin E), Swiss chard, which is a green leafy vegetable as is spinach, has 22 percent DV of vitamin E. Avocado has 21 percent, while peanuts have 20 percent.
Other sources of vitamin E include shrimps, bell peppers, chili peppers, kale, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, cranberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, green beans, carrots and leeks, among others.
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant.
Just like vitamin E, vitamin C also reduce the risk of major heart events. They are found in fruits in plenty. Eggs have no vitamin C. It is also an antioxidant.
Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids)
People have been gulping fish oil capsules for years, recommended by cardiologists to lower the risk of heart disease. It is proved that they can slash your triglyceride level and improve blood pressure, but it is not clear that fish oil supplements lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
They are beneficial in keeping your blood thin, reduces inflammation throughout the body, reduce irregular heart-beats, in addition to many other health benefits.
Eating at least one to servings a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease. The risk of getting too much mercury or other contaminants from fish is generally outweighed by the health benefits that omega-3 fatty acids have. Though, fish oil has its benefits, taking of supplements is widely disputed in scientific studies, according to Harvard Health Publications. Eating fresh fish is more recommended.
The new review analyzed data from 10 studies involving a total of nearly 78,000 people. These people were randomly assigned to take daily doses of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, or a placebo.
The researchers found that, after about 4 years, participants who were given the supplements were just as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke, or die from complications of heart disease, as those who didn’t take the supplement but only the placebo.
Summarizing: we consider that taking supplements such as multivitamins and minerals are a waste of money, as far as taking to lower your risk of heart disease, though required in certain circumstances and for general wellbeing. They say that your taking supplements benefits the fish in the ocean than yourself.
Think about it!
(Ref: medicine.net article by Alan Mozes)
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