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Supplement Perspectives

Reevaluating the Building Blocks of Cardiovascular Health--Part II

To read part one, click here

Frequently Used Supplements Bad for the Heart?

Interestingly, two of the most common supplements consumed by people worldwide, calcium and Vitamin D, have come under fire as possibly bad for the heart. For years, people have been taking calcium supplements for bone and heart health. However, a recent study has found that calcium supplements can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study of nearly 24,000 people in Europe, ages 35 to 64, took place over an 11-year period. When the research team looked specifically at calcium supplements, they found an 86 percent increase in heart attacks among study participants who took them regularly compared with those who did not take the supplements. An increase in strokes was also reported for those taking higher-dose calcium supplements. Bear in mind, this is only one study and is not conclusive.

Now more than ever health-conscious people are paying attention to their vitamin D levels, especially those who live in climates where there is less sun exposure. These people are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases consistent with vitamin D deficiency.

Studies have confirmed the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and peripheral artery disease. In addition, studies have linked low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of heart attack in men.

However, a very recent study is questioning whether Vitamin D supplements actually have any “clinically meaningful changes in lipid concentrations,” which are your LDL, HDL, and triglyceride numbers. Numerous clinical trials are currently under way to look more closely at Vitamin D supplements with results expected in a few years.

If you have high cholesterol or you're at high risk for heart disease, certain supplements can help significantly improve your cardiovascular health. I highlighted a few earlier. There are many others. As is always the case, do your due diligence and research the various compounds that claim to promote heart health. Are they clinically validated? Are the products you’re considering sourcing from quality suppliers? There are a number of other things to consider. Moreover, I urge you to consult a health professional who genuinely understands natural solutions to health. This person will be a great resource.

Finally, with the U.S. health care system a mess, it is vitally important to take a proactive approach to your health. Remember that supplements are nutrients that enable the body to do wonderful things. I know this first hand. Conversely, it’s important to understand that pharmaceuticals are drugs that block a process and have numerous side effects which create other health challenges. Which path will you take? 

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