Among the Most Common Health Issues in the World
Without healthy cardiovascular function, blood cannot be oxygenated, nutrients cannot be transported throughout the body, and waste products cannot be filtered by the liver and kidneys. Unfortunately, however, cardiovascular health issues are increasingly common in the United States and worldwide. Understanding the role of nutrition in achieving and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health challenges is one of the most important issues facing the health sciences today.
Essential to All Other Organs and Systems of the Body
The cardiovascular system includes the heart (cardio) and the blood vessels (vascular), which include the arteries, veins, and capillaries. The heart is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of the body, while the veins and arteries are responsible for transporting the blood to all parts of the body. The arteries carry oxygen-filled blood to the cells, where the oxygen is used to create energy, producing carbon dioxide, and then the veins carry carbon dioxide-filled blood back to the lungs, where the oxygenation process starts again.
Nutrition is Crucial
By the time cardiovascular health issues are detectable, the problem is usually quite advanced, and prevention is therefore of primary importance. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, stress management, and avoiding smoking, there is general agreement within nutrition science and health practitioners that nutritional status can significantly affect cardiovascular health.
Research Supports Cardiovascular Benefits of Multivitamins
A 2010 study of more than 30,000 women aged 49–83 years old found that women who took a multivitamin were significantly less likely to experience cardiovascular health issues. Taking multivitamins long term, for over 5 years, was linked even more strongly with a reduced likelihood of cardiovascular health issues. (1)
Key Nutrients for Cardiovascular Health
An analysis of prospective studies including more than 290,000 adults who were followed for an average of ten years found that those who took more than 700 mg/day of supplemental vitamin C were 25% less likely to have cardiovascular health issues than those who did not take vitamin C supplements. (2)
Vitamins B6 and B12 and Folate regulate the amount of homocysteine in the blood; more than 80 studies indicate that even moderately elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood increase the likelihood of cardiovascular issues. (3) Although further research is needed, several large observational studies have shown an association between low vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and/or folate with increased blood homocysteine levels and increased likelihood of cardiovascular health issues. In particular, the methylated form of folate offers a direct source of L-5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate, the active metabolite found in the body after intake of both supplemental and food folate. Research has shown ingesting folate in its most active form can support the body’s ability to uptake this nutrient more efficiently.
Several recent prospective studies have consistently shown that low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased likelihood of cardiovascular issues. Research is still emerging, but current data suggests that the benefits of vitamin D likely depend upon intake levels much higher than the current reference intakes of 200–600 I.U./day for American adults. (6)
Recent research suggests that large doses of magnesium may improve blood vessel function in individuals with cardiovascular issues; supplementation has been shown to improve the dilation response of arteries and reduce measures of the propensity of blood to clot. Magnesium has also been shown to support healthy heart rhythm. (7,8)
Most experimental and clinical studies clearly show a beneficial effect of L-arginine on blood vessel function, suggesting a therapeutic role for L-arginine in people with compromised cardiovascular function. (9)
CoQ10 is highly concentrated in heart cells because of the high energy requirements of the heart muscle, and people with heart issues are often found to have a CoQ10 deficiency. Supplementing with CoQ10 can strengthen the heart’s contractions and support healthy heart rhythm. (10)
Many drugs commonly prescribed for cardiovascular health issues can increase depletion of these important nutrients. For example, diuretics can remove water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B1, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium, while beta-blockers and statins can deplete the body of CoQ10.
Not All Supplements are Equally Effective
Supplementation can be an important aspect of achieving and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health and function, but it’s crucial to remember that nutrients can only help us if our bodies are able to absorb them. The effervescent delivery system of Oxylent®’s 5-in-1 Multivitamin is better absorbed than pills or tablets, and offers nearly 100% bioavailability. With a full panel of cardio-supportive nutrients, and convenient single-serving packets that go anywhere and mix with water to create a delicious sparkling drink, Oxylent® is a great multivitamin for supporting cardiovascular health.
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