Are dietary supplements a good idea?

Dietary supplements are not meant to replace eating whole foods. There are micro-nutrients in whole foods that cannot be replaced by supplements.  Lets take a look at spinach as an example. Everyone is familiar with the fact that spinach has iron, but what else can we find in spinach that would not be found in an iron supplement?


*B1 (thiamin)

*B2 (riboflavin)

*B3 (niacin)

*B6 (pyridoxine)


*C (ascorbic acid)






This is not to say that supplements do not have a place in heart health. Cardiologist, physicians and nutritionist work together to make sure the patient is getting all the nutrients they need for a healthy lifestyle.

When one selects a dietary supplement there are some key things to look for. Supplements should have USP listed on the label.  This means that the supplement has been tested by the U.S. Pharmacopeia.  The tests verify that the product meets standards in strength, purity, disintegration, and dissolution.

Check the expiration date. It really does matter. If they are expired, throw them out.

Check for advisories and alerts from the Food and Drug Administration.  They keep a constant list of  issues that are under review.

~Omega-3 formulas

The key to this supplement is the correct ratio of EPA to DHA. It is a 2 to 1 ratio. Sometimes this is recommended if fish is not available. Omega-3’s have been associated with

*reducing atherosclerosis

*lowering triglycerides

*lowering blood pressure


~ CoQ10

CoQ10 is found in every cell in our bodies.  This means it is an ubiquinone.  Coq10 is a coenzyme that is used for the production of cellular energy.  The connection with the heart is that the heart has a high metabolic demand.  It is also a strong antioxidant.

There are claims that CoQ10 reverses the symptoms of congestive heart  failure.  This claim cannot be documented enough to pass  the Food and Drug Administration standards.

~ Vitamin-E

Many people take Vitamin-E to help reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

~ Fiber

Again, it is best to get fiber through the food we eat,  If for some reason a heart patient cannot get enough fiber there are supplements.

The most important thing about taking “any’ supplements for heart patients is that they are doctor approved.  There is a place for supplements, herbs, and holistic medications.  However, complications are common if the physician is unaware of the items a patient is taking. Keep great records and ask before starting any new treatments.




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