Vitamins & Minerals for Cardiovascular Health
Folic Acid and Homocysteine
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced in the blood during normal metabolism. Too much homocysteine can cause damage to blood vessels and be involved in the development of heart disease. People with high homocysteine have a greater risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease.
Taking dietary supplements, such as folic acid and vitamin B (B6 and B12), may help reduce blood homocysteine. But not all studies agree that using folic acid and other B vitamins (Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12) to reduce homocysteine helps to also reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Be sure to get the recommended levels of these nutrients. If you are concerned about homocysteine, speak to your doctor about your homocysteine level and specific treatments for high homocysteine.
Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium
These minerals, collectively known as electrolytes, are involved in regulating blood pressure. The DASH diet, a well-studied diet that helps lower high blood pressure, focuses on foods rich in these three minerals.
Based on dietary studies, these minerals can help keep blood pressure at healthy levels or help reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases. It is not know whether taking supplements of these minerals will help reduce your risk of heart disease. The best approach is to get plenty of these minerals from the foods you eat.
In quantities greater than basic requirements, niacin is known to reduce blood cholesterol. It is important to work with your doctor in taking niacin to reduce cholesterol.