Does heart supplements lower bad cholesterol level?

Dietary supplements touted as good for your heart may not be as valuable, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2022 Science Session.

Results from other studies show that six commonly used dietary or heart supplements for heart health contribute to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or plaque build-up in the cardiovascular system. It has been shown that it does not help lower “bad” cholesterol thus causing blood clots and in severe cases heart attacks too.

For this study, scientists wanted to see if supplements such as fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols, and red yeast rice could reduce “bad” types of cholesterol, random 190 adults with no history of heart disease to receive one of six dietary supplements, a placebo, or a low-dose statin (cholesterol-lowering drug) daily for four weeks.

At the end of the study, none of the supplements lowered LDL cholesterol levels significantly more than placebo. However, 5 milligrams of rosuvastatin (Crestor), a statin pill, lowered LDL cholesterol by about 35% over placebo.

Dietary supplements may just add an unnecessary layer to many things people can do to promote proven heart health, cardiologists said. “The main harm is that they cause disruption and lead to less use of things that help improve heart health.” 

Ways to keep yor heart healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is largely preventable through lifestyle changes and risk factor management.

Here are top seven ways to keep your heart healthy.

  1. Move your body

The heart is a just muscle, and like any other muscle, exercising makes it stronger, same goes wth heart too, with a much emphasis, since it delivers blood to the entire body. The first step is to determine your target heart rate and then find an activity that you enjoy and can sustain for the long term.

  1. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking is difficult. But you know that smoking cessation is important. One of the main reasons is that smoking cessation is associated with heart disease.

  1. Lose weight

Losing weight isn’t just about diet and exercise, doctors and nutritionists say. It’s a personal journey to find what you love and what suits you. 

  1. Eat heart-healthy foods

Salmon and guacamole are full of heart-healthy fats. Nit just this, nuts and berries are proven to contain good fats, that are heart friendly.

  1. Don’t forget chocolate

Good news is that chocolate and wine contribute to heart health, but keep in mind to consume these products in moderation. Alcohol and cocoa (the main ingredients in chocolate) contain antioxidants that have been shown to increase good cholesterol, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve blood clotting.

  1. Don’t overeat

This advice applies mostly during the holidays, but it applies year-round when heart attack deaths rise thanks to large amounts of food and temptation. If you eat too much at once, the blood movement happens in such a way that, the blood moves from heart to the digestive system. Not just this, it can also lead to faster and irregular heart rhythm that can lead to heart attack or heart failure

  1. Don’t stress yourself

There are over 1,400 biochemical responses to stress, such as increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. If you don’t manage your stress, you can create more stress and fall into a stress cycle, and in worst case scenarios, you might take anti-depressants or any other medicated tranquilizers, which is harmful for long term.

Try to lower your cholesterol. Whole grains are the healthiest grains. Additionally, whole grains have been associated with lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems.

“Apart from the various vitamins and minerals that whole grains can provide in your diet. One of the main reasons why whole grains are proven to be useful for lowering blood cholesterol is because they tend to be high in fiber,” say doctors and researchers. “Dietary fiber is particularly important for shaping the gut microbiome, which has become an area of ​​interest because of its ability to influence lipid metabolism.” 

Lastly, if you plan on taking heart supplements, then consult with your doctor first.

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