Omega-3 fatty acids, which we obtain from foods like fatty fish and cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, have long been linked to better heart health and beneficial anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is actually one of the most dangerous processes that can occur in the body. It activates reactions such as autoimmune diseases and harms your heart. A groundbreaking study by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2017) discovered the reason for the beneficial effects of these fatty acids. Omega-3s curb inflammation. They stop immune cells from activating inflammatory reactions in the body, helping cells destroy dysfunctional components within themselves. New research (2022) by the American College of Cardiology has found, meanwhile, that Omega-3, folic acid, and CoQ10 supplements can all help strengthen cardiovascular health.
Recent Research on Micronutrient Supplementation
The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved a review of 884 existing studies on micronutrients. The findings showed that while several micronutrients do reduce this risk, others have no benefit or can even be harmful. There was strong evidence for the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids (which lower mortality from cardiovascular disease), folic acid (which lowers the risk of strokes), and coenzyme Q10 (which lowers all-cause mortality risks).
What Makes Omega-3s So Healthy?
Numerous studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids are a key part of cell brains and thy affect the way that cell receptors in these membranes work. They provide the first step for the production of hormones that regulate processes such as inflammation, the relaxation of artery walls, and the regulation of blood clotting. They also bind to cell receptors that impact genetic function. The benefits of consuming an Omega-3-rich diets and (if recommended by a doctor) taking supplements include preventing heart disease and stroke; controlling rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and similar conditions; and helping stave off cancer and other diseases.
How Many Types of Omega-3s Exist?
There are three main types of Omega-3s. The first two, EPA and DHA, hail from fish (particularly fatty fish like tuna and wild Alaskan salmon). The third type is alpha-linolenic acid, which is encountered in abundance in typical diets in developed countries. ALAs can be found in flax seeds, the fat of grass-fed beef, extra-virgin olive oil, and walnuts and some other nuts. Most people in developed nations consume another type of essential fat (Omega-6s) in abundance. These fats can also positively promote heart health. However, Americans in general can recommend from consuming more Omega-3 fats than they currently do.
Folic Acid: Helping to Keep Cardiovascular Disease at Bay
Folic acid also helps prevent cardiovascular disease, by helping to control homocysteine levels i the blood. This acid works alongside two B vitamins (Vitamins B6 and B12) to reduce the risk of blood vessel disease. Some research also suggests that it can help in the prevention of some types of cancers. There is also evidence for its ability to prevent birth defects of the neural tube, and aid in the treatment of depression. For most people, folic acid can be obtained from food. Just a few of the many beneficial sources of folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, peanuts, beans, sunflower seeds, whole grains, seafood, and liver.
Coenzyme Q10: A Powerful Antioxidant
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble compound that your body makes and stores in the mitochondria (the powerhouse or battery of your cells). It is stored in vital organs such as the heart, liver, and lungs, and it functions as an antioxidant. This means that it protects cells against free radical damage that can lead to aging and serious disease. One of Coenzyme Q10’s most important functions is that of making adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is involved in energy transfer. Studies have also shown that it can improve symptoms of heart problems and reduce the risk of complications. It can also lower the likelihood of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. It is also thought that Coenzyme Q10 can reduce the harmful compounds that can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, it can potentially slow down the development of these diseases. The list of foods containing Coenzyme Q10 includes organ meats, fatty fish, soybeans, meat, nuts and seeds, and broccoli.
More Beneficial Supplements
Additional supplements that can be of aid include Vitamin D, L-arginine, L-citrulline, flavanol, alpha-lipoic acid, quercetin, melatonin, and quercetin. One benefit for consumers who are new to supplements is there is plenty of information on the companies behind the ingredients these products contain and the companies that make them. Companies also offer coupons for snacks and supplements, affording buyers with the chance to buy larger quantities for less. It is important to obtain doctor approval when you introduce supplements into your daily routine, to ensure your dosage is correct. This is especially true if you are taking medications for chronic conditions, to avoid taking supplements that are contraindicated.
Embracing the Mediterranean Diet
In addition to supplementation, those in pursuit of better cardiovascular health should consume more plant-based foods, and/or follow the tenets of the Mediterranean Diet. This regimen comprises lean proteins, healthy Omega-3-rich fatty foods like salmon and tuna, fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and some nuts. It also generally avoids eating less red meat. Research published at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego showed that adults who closely follow this diet are 47 per cent less likely to develop heart disease over a 10-year period, compared to similar adults who did not adopt this diet. Research by scientists at the Universitat de Barcelona, meanwhile, found that the Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin oil and tree nuts, reduces the chance of suffering cardiovascular death or stroke by an impressive 30 per cent.
Recent research indicates that Omega-3, Folic Acid, and CoQ10 supplements can all be beneficial when it comes to maintaining cardiovascular health. The diet you follow can also make a big difference in boosting your heart and overall health. Aim to consume more plant-based foods and adhere to the Mediterranean diet, while also reducing your consumption of red meat. Of course, if this meat is organic and grass-fed, then it could actually be a good source of Omega-3s.