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Health healthy supplements formed into a heart shape

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in adults in the United States, surpassing death from all forms of cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and accidents. Your lifestyle plays an integral role in your risk for heart disease and stroke. We all know adhering to a heart-healthy diet and maintaining a cardiovascular exercise program are beneficial for your heart, but what role do the best supplements for heart health play?

One of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s 8 Steps to Get Cooperized™ is “Take the Right Supplements for You.” We spoke with Cooper Clinic Cardiologist John S. Ho, MD, to explain how the best supplements for heart health can help support optimal health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Lower Triglycerides and Reducing Heart Attacks

The American Heart Association recommends adults consume at least two servings of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or trout each week. These types of fish provide long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA), which research shows can improve heart health.

Omega-3 Lowers Triglycerides Levels

Someone with elevated triglyceride levels may also benefit from omega-3 supplements for heart health. Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in the blood and elevated levels are considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

“The data on omega-3 as it relates to decreasing triglycerides is very strong,” says Ho. “I take Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 because I have high triglycerides myself. I also have calcification, which omega-3 can help with.”

Omega-3 Supplement to Reduce Heart Attacks

An ongoing VITAL study is following 25,871 adults aged 50+ as they supplement vitamin D and 1000 mg (25 mcg) of fish oil per day.

According to the first round of findings, people who consumed less than the AHA recommendation for fatty fish but took the omega-3 supplement experienced a 28% decreased risk of heart attacks. Also, for people with low fish intake, a reduction of any cardiovascular event was reduced by 19%.

Not getting enough fatty fish through your diet? Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 contains 1,200 mg of EPA and DHA in each two-softgel serving, which can be beneficial.

“Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 has among the highest levels of EPA and DHA,” explains Ho. “That’s why I recommend it to my patients.”

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to Protect the Heart Muscles and Blood Vessels

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Statistics show approximately one in three American adults have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

When cholesterol levels are too high, fatty deposits or plaque can build up in the blood vessels and eventually make it difficult for blood to flow freely through arteries. This can increase the likelihood of a heart attack.

Effects of CoQ10 Deficiency on the Body

Along with diet modifications and increased exercise, doctors often prescribe medications called statins to help lower cholesterol. While statin drugs can help bring cholesterol to an optimal range, it can also deplete the body’s level of CoQ10, which is necessary to convert the food we eat into cellular energy.

This deficiency can lead to one of the negative side effects of statin therapy—muscle aches and pains. CoQ10 supplements for heart health can help restore levels and reduce statin side effects.

“If my patient complains about statin side effects, I always recommend CoQ10,” says Ho. He says about 30-40 percent of his patients will see relief once they begin taking the supplement.

Cooper Complete CoQ10 is in the ubiquinol form, which is the active, antioxidant form. Some research suggests this form is better absorbed by the body. Cooper Complete CoQ10 is available in 50 or 100 mg options.

“I always start my patients who complain of statin side effects on 100 mg of CoQ10,” says Ho. “If it begins to work, I go up to 150 mg, possibly even 200 mg.”

That being said, Ho strongly reinforces to his patients who have been prescribed statins they must stay on the medication no matter what. If CoQ10 doesn’t help alleviate statin side effects, he’ll explore other methods.

Vitamin D for Better Heart Function

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a hormone in the body. It regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood and promotes healthy bone formation and mineralization throughout the lifespan.

Benefits of adequate amounts of vitamin D include cardiovascular health. Specifically, the Cooper Clinic tests vitamin D level during a preventive exam and recommends 50 mcg (2,000 IU) of vitamin D per day.

Research suggests people with low levels of vitamin D elevate their risk of heart attack. In a study conducted in Denmark, researchers found troubling results for people with extremely low blood levels of vitamin D. These groups have an 81 percent increased risk of fatal heart disease. On top of this, they have a 64 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to people with higher vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D Level Research From Harvard

The Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted a study on heart health. Researchers followed 454 health professionals 40- to 75 who had suffered a nonfatal heart attack as well as 900 men with no history of cardiovascular disease over 10 years. Men with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of heart attack and heart failure.

Based on this and other research, Cooper Complete multivitamins contain 50 mcg (2,000 IU) vitamin D. In addition, we also offer standalone vitamin D  25 mcg (1,0000 IU) and Vitamin D 125 mcg (5000 IU) supplements for heart health.

Multivitamins to Control Inflammation

If you’ve had a comprehensive blood panel run anytime recently, it likely included a blood test that measures levels of a protein called the C-reactive protein.

For physicians, the C-reactive protein made from the liver is an inflammatory marker for the body. Overall, it helps measure inflammation from all kinds of events – getting a cold or the flu, breaking an arm or suffering a bad fall, developing cancer, or having a heart attack. In detail, when the body undergoes any of these types of stress, the amount of C-reactive protein rises.

Since experts believe hardening of the arteries is an inflammatory process, C-reactive protein levels may predict heart disease along with the standard cholesterol screening tests. The C-reactive protein measure may indicate whether cholesterol plaque is about to rupture, releasing clots in the bloodstream.

A number of conditions and drugs can affect C-reactive protein levels. For example, aspirin, beta-blockers, niacin, and statins can lower C-reactive protein levels. In addition, multivitamins that contain vitamin B6 and vitamin C, also lower C-reactive protein.

C-Reactive Protein and Multivitamin Research

One of the first research studies conducted on Cooper Complete looked at the impact of a multivitamin on C-reactive protein. The Iron Free A clinical trial (reported in December 2003 American Journal of Medicine) found Cooper Complete Original Iron Free lowered C-reactive protein levels by 32 percent. Cooper Complete adult multivitamins contain 10 mg vitamin B6. Cooper Complete Original contains 500 mg vitamin C and Basic One contains 150 mg.

As a reminder, your physician understands your health profile best, so it’s important to talk to him/her about which supplements are best for you.

Click here to buy vitamins online and shop for the entire line of Cooper Complete supplements.

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