Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Heart Health Supplements

Q: Since February is Heart Health Month, what supplements can I take to help protect my heart?

A: Cardivoscular disease is a huge problem in this country. You are very smart to think about protecting your heart and prevention rather than waiting until the unthinkable happens. Of course, exercise and diet play a very important role in preventing heart disease. By adding a variety of supplements to support your heart health, you can do quite a bit to help keep your heart healthy.

Coenzyme Q10 or Co10 is very important in protecting your heart. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring nutrient found in virtually every cell in the human body. You can also find it in foods such as beef, chicken, pork, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, broccoli, spinach and nuts. It assists in energy production (ATP) at the cellular level and also functions as a fat-soluble antioxidant inhibiting oxidation of fats in cell membranes. It also guards the body from free radical stress. When CoQ10 levels are low, it has been found that is when heart attacks occur. Research has been shown that there is a strong correlation between the severity of heart failure and low blood and tissue levels of CoQ10. So, since the heart requires the highest amount of ATP activity to support its constant aerobic function, sufficient amounts of CoQ10 are essential for a healthy heart and critical for a failing heart.

Hawthorn Berries help improve the tone of the cardiac muscle, improves oxygen uptake by the heart, improves circulation and energizes the heart cells. This is an excellent choice to help build up the heart muscle.

Vitamin E is recommended for heart health. It may help delay heart disease by preventing the formation of blood clots. Keep in mind that there are different forms of Vitamin E and it is recommended that you take a mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols for the best results. Also look for the d-alpha form of E, not dl-alpha. It is important to keep in mind that Vitamin E is a blood thinner so if you are on blood thinning medications, consult with your doctor first.

B vitamins are helpful in lowering homocysteine levels and B6 may help prevent hardening of the arteries.

Magnesium seems to affect the muscle tone of the blood vessels and improves the balance of fats in the blood.

Garlic, L-Arginine and Omega 3’s are also very effective in keeping the heart healthy.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.