I’d like to support my heart health – could an omega-3 supplement help?
Looking after your heart health is very important in order to help protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD); a variety of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia. An unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and the harmful use of alcohol can all contribute to CVD – but by implementing changes to ensure a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can greatly reduce the risk and support a healthy heart.
The ability of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to exert several cardioprotective effects has been well proven. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can result in their incorporation into the walls of your cells, having a stabilising effect at the expense of the omega-6 Arachidonic Acid which can cause an inflammatory cascade. While inflammation is a normal biological response to infection or injury, it can contribute to several chronic conditions, including CVD. Inflammation is also implicated in several of the risk factors of CVD, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Omega-3 fatty acids can exert a variety of anti-inflammatory actions within the body, therefore supporting heart health.
Another potential contributor to CVD is oxidative stress; an imbalance between the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and our body’s internal defence mechanisms. In low concentrations, ROS play an important role in maintaining health, but in excessive levels they can cause cell damage and can directly impair the function of the cardiovascular system. Chronic inflammation can trigger oxidative stress, and vice versa, so an omega-3 supplement with additional antioxidant support may provide the most effective cardioprotective properties.
Co-Enzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant, and its essential role in energy production can help to meet the huge energy demands of the heart muscle.
Please note that if you are taking any prescribed medication, particularly blood thinners, you should have a chat with one of our nutritional therapists before taking supplements.