These Specific Supplements Reduce Cardiovascular Risk, According To Research
To say that our country struggles with heart health is an understatement. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, more than 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) every year. That's one in three deaths.
Luckily, there are many ways we can utilize nutritional strategies to improve our heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease—including staying physically active, not smoking, getting adequate quality sleep, and eating nutrient-dense foods that help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, enhance blood flow, and bolster blood vessel health.
While we know certain foods support cardiovascular health (think oats, salmon, walnuts, and blueberries), less research has been conducted on which specific nutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids) and phytochemicals (e.g., antioxidants and polyphenols) are responsible for their heart health benefits.
Reducing cardiovascular risk through dietary supplementation.
Cardiovascular disease risk factors:
- High systolic blood pressure (SBP)
- High diastolic blood pressure (DBP)
- High total cholesterol
- High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
- Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- High triglyceride levels
- High hemoglobin A1C
- High fasting blood glucose
- High fasting blood insulin
Cardiovascular disease & Type 2 diabetes events
- All-cause mortality
- Cardiovascular disease mortality
- Heart attack
- Coronary heart disease (CHD)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Type 2 diabetes
Which supplements reduce cardiovascular risk?
Of the supplements tested, approximately 60% demonstrated moderate- to high-quality evidence for reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors. These nutrients and phytochemicals include:
Evidence shows that supplementing with these incredible nutrients and phytochemicals can do wonders in reducing your CVD risk by lowering your blood pressure and promoting healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
That said, only three of these supplements demonstrated the ability to reduce cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes events in RCTs:
If you're looking to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes events, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, or CoQ10 is a smart and effective solution.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.