+1(855) 228-9993 (M-F, 9-6)       Email: liftmode@liftmode.com 
Search Site

Your Wonderful Heart: Top 5 Supplements for Heart Health and Circulatory System

Supplements for heart health are regularly searched for online. This is because a growing number of people are becoming aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy circulatory system, and the benefits that some dietary supplements can offer.

In this article, we explore a little about how your heart can affect your perception of reality and why it is so important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. We also look into healthy eating habits and healthy activities to support a healthy heart. Finally, we explore the Top 5 supplements for heart health that are available today!

Supplements for a healthy heart - concept in hands Your heart and circulatory system require care and maintenance in order to function properly

Top Supplements for Heart Health Part 1: The Heart is a Brain!

Your heart has a far more important role in your body than just pumping blood around. In fact, your heart actually has its own nervous system – known as the cardiac nervous system. Your heart literally has a mind of its own! Numerous studies have shown that the heart can actually ‘feel’ for itself and that it causes important responses in our bodies. [1]

Supplements for heart health: heart-brain connection image The heart and brain are intimately connected

At the forefront of research about the heart-brain connection is Rollin McCraty, Ph.D. He is the director of The Institute of HeartMath, located in Boulder Creek, California. The research team at the HeartMath Institute has put together a comprehensive amount of information on the relationship between the heart and the brain. [2]

Your heart and brain are in constant two-way communication. However, most people don’t realize that the heart actually sends far more information to the brain than the brain does to the heart.

 

The signals sent from the heart to the brain are called afferent signals and have a regulatory effect on many aspects of the body’s automatic nervous system. The study of this relationship is called neurocardiology. [3]

Research has shown that the cardiovascular afferent system is linked to various parts of the brain, including the amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus, which regulate our perceptions and emotions. Due to this information, a growing number of scientists are drawn to the conclusion that our emotions are actually a result of the activity of our heart. [4]

A morbid example of this is called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy – also known as ‘Broken-heart syndrome’. This syndrome occurs almost exclusively in women and is defined by a physical weakening of the heart (especially the left ventricle) as a result of severe emotional or physical stress. The symptoms of ‘broken-heart syndrome’ are identical to those of a heart attack. [5]

 

Here's a great video from the researchers at the HeartMath Institute:

 Part 2: More than Just Arteries, Veins, and Capillaries

The heart is closely involved with the brain, and signals from the heart regulate emotions, perceptions, and control the automatic nervous system.

Although this might sound like a lot of things to remember – for example, the sympathetic vs parasympathetic nervous system, and so on – it actually has definite effects on your body that you can begin to understand today!

While scientists used to believe that emotions only affected the brain, it is now clear that emotions affect all parts of the body. The latest research shows that the heart is actually the best indicator of emotional states – each changing emotion results in a change in the heart’s rhythm. [6]

  1. Laughter and humor for immune function

Studies have shown that increased laughter and good humor improve our immune systems! Laughter is associated with good humor and a positive mood. Furthermore, people with a better ability to cope with stress using humor show improved levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) – an important immune system protein that helps defend your body against respiratory illness! [7]

  1. A positive outlook to improve your heart

Clinical research has shown that positive emotions have a potent effect on your cardiovascular health. In one study, the correlation between positive emotions and cardiovascular health was so strong that it was used as a predictor as to whether or not patients would be readmitted to hospital. The greater the positive emotions reported, the lower the chance of readmission! [8]

 

  1. Increased longevity through optimism

Finally, research has even shown that greater positive emotions in life can be used as an indicator for longevity. For example, the autobiographies of a selection of nuns and priests were studied and the positive emotional states predicted whether or not they would still be alive 6 decades later. [9]

Supplements for heart health are even better with optimism Studies have shown that positive emotions have a strong beneficial effect on your heart's heath

Supplements for Heart Health Part 3: Cardiovascular Diseases

Perhaps if we knew more about the importance of out heart in our everyday experiences, we would spend a little more effort ensuring that we kept our bodies healthy. It is unfortunate that heart diseases are so prevalent in today’s society – especially given the effects of an unhealthy heart on your perception of life itself! [10]

Regrettably, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of mortality on Earth today. An estimated 31% of all deaths on Earth in 2015 were due to heart disease. While heart disease was once thought to be the result of an opulent lifestyle, it is now prevalent throughout all socio-economic levels. In fact, over three-quarters of deaths from heart disease now occur in lower-to middle-income countries. [11]

In the US alone, heart disease accounted for around 25% of all deaths in 2008. The deadliest form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the global deaths from heart disease. In 2010, heart disease was estimated to cost the United States around $109 billion. [12]

 

According to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, heart disease risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure 

    A healthy heart comes from healthy food Healthy dietary choices are a great way to support a healthy heart
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes and pre-diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Genetic predisposition – a family history of heart disease
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Age [13]

 

Most of these risk factors are avoidable through dietary and lifestyle changes. The risk factor of age may be linked be an accumulation of negative dietary and lifestyle choices throughout life.

Given the positive benefits of a healthy heart on your well-being and your longevity, we urge all our readers to consider how they can improve the quality of their cardiovascular system. Also, check out our top supplements for heart health at the end of the article! [14]

Part 4: Be Careful Where You Get Your Information From

An important factor to consider when researching healthy diets for your heart is: “who sponsored this information?”

The agricultural industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, as is the pharmaceutical industry. [15] These industries form close bonds with state institutions that are supposed to be concerned with your health. [16]

An example is the American Heart Association (the AMA). Non-government sponsors of the AMA include:

Millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies Pharmaceutical companies fund government agencies that should be concerned with your health
  • Amgen
  • BMS/Pfizer
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Genentech
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • Monsanto Fund
  • Novartis
  • Subway
  • ZS Pharma [17]

 

Pharmaceutical companies donate millions of dollars to the AMA every year. [18] One key point is that pharmaceutical companies profit hugely from the sale of statins – drugs that are developed to counter high cholesterol. [19]

The use of statins is linked to numerous adverse health effects. These include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Breakdown of muscle tissue
  • Kidney damage
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Worsening asthma symptoms [20]

 

Furthermore, clinical research published in the Lancet indicates that the use of statins may increase your risk of developing diabetes. [21]

The agricultural industry also has a vested interest in the continuation of 'business as usual'. An important consideration is that the Texas Beef Board formed a partnership with the American Heart Association in 2011. [22]

The American Heart Association has over 800 search results for 'beef' – including dozens of recipes. [23] This is strange. Why?

 

Red meat has been listed as a class 2b carcinogen by the World Health Organization[24] and numerous studies have pointed to red meat as a direct causative agent in the development of heart disease [25] [26] [27], including statements from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – a group of over 12'000 practicing physicians. [28]

Find out more by watching the film What the Health, or reading more from the PCRM.

Vegetables for a healthy heart Tens of thousands of doctors and researchers suggest that more vegetables and less meat will help support a healthy heart - find out more at the end of this article.

Part 5: 3 Ways to Eat Better for a Healthy Heart

  1. More Fruits and Vegetables

fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins to support a healthy heart Fruits and vegetables help support a healthy heart

The more the merrier! Findings from the International Journal of Epidemiology show that eating more fruits and vegetables may help prevent millions of premature deaths around the world each year.

The research team from the College of London found that eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day help to reduce the risks of developing heart disease. But this was greatly improved by eating at least TEN servings every day! [29]

 

  1. More Grains and Fiber

healthy food - high in grains and fiber Wholegrain foods like rye bread and wholegrain rice are great sources of fiber

Studies have shown that fiber is an extremely important part of a healthy diet. Fiber helps to protect your heart from disease. In a study published in the British Medical Journal, diets that were high in fiber were associated with a 35% reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. [30]

Fiber helps to reduce inflammation and cholesterol and helps to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance your gut flora. High-fiber foods are high in vitamins and minerals, which are vital for the proper functioning of your immune system. [31]

 

  1. Less Meat and Animal Products

dairy cows drinking from buckets Avoiding animal products has been identified as a good way to improve heart health

Research points to reducing your intake of all animal products in order to improve the health of your heart. The PCRM notes that all cholesterol is of animal origin. Since high cholesterol is a major risk factor for the development of heart disease, lowering cholesterol intake (animal product intake) is a great way to reduce this risk. [32]

Research published in the Journal of Nutrients found that people who adhered to a vegetarian diet had lower risks for cardiovascular diseases and cancer than ‘omnivores’. Furthermore, those who followed a strict vegetarian diet (vegan) had increased protection against obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. [33]

Part 6: 4 Great Activities for a Healthy Heart

 

  1. Quit Smoking

It’s never too late to quit smoking! Smoking dramatically increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Research shows that these effects are more pronounced in men than in women. [34]

Importantly, your lungs are able to heal themselves after you quit smoking. Within weeks, the inflammation in your lungs goes down and breathing gets easier – making living a healthy lifestyle all the more feasible. [35]

 

  1. Exercise Regularly 

yoga at sunset on the water Regular exercise and stress reduction techniques like yoga and meditation help promote a healthy heart

Regular exercise is now considered an evidence-based therapy for the reduction of risk in heart disease. Research points to innovative training methods like interval training as being potentially more beneficial than the usual exercise regimes. [36]

Most studies on exercise and heart disease involve around 30 to 60 minutes of training, three times per week at around 60% to 75% of your heart rate capacity. It is estimated that around 250’000 deaths in the US annually are linked to a lack of exercise. [37]

 

  1. Reduce Stress

Stress is known to be an important factor in developing cardiovascular diseases. Evidence from many studies shows that the presence of chronic stress can be used as a predictor for cardiovascular disease – especially the dangerous coronary heart disease. [38]

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Studies have shown that meditation literally rewires your brain to form new neural pathways. [39]

 

  1. Be positive!

 We touched on this earlier – the prevalence of positive emotions can be used as an indicator for cardiovascular health. Harvard medical school published an interesting article about this, in which they explained that positive psychological well-being helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. So, take life with a pinch of salt and don’t forget to laugh! [40]

surfing for a healthy heart Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle are great ways to improve your heart's health

Part 7: Top 5 Supplements for Heart Health

 

1.     Quercetin

Liftmode's Quercetin - 95+% purity Quercetin, a top health supplement with anti-inflammatory properties

Quercetin is a phytochemical found in many fruits and vegetables. It is especially important in reducing inflammation and helping to improve your immune system. Research has pointed to Quercetin as being potent in destroying blood lipids like cholesterol and improving the blood flow through capillaries. [41]

For more information on Liftmode supplements that can help with inflammation and destroying free-radicals, check out our Top 3 Antioxidants.

In food, Quercetin is found in the highest concentrations in onions, grapes, and red wine. Quercetin is absorbed in the liver and may also provide psychoactive benefits like improved focus, memory, and mental stimulation. [42]

 

2.     Green Tea Extract

Best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplements Liftmode's Green tea extract, high purity polyphenols and EGCG

Green Tea Extract is one of the world’s most powerful antioxidant supplements. Green tea extract is comprised of catechins and polyphenols. Of particular importance is EGCG, a wonderful phytochemical with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea extract has been researched for its ability to improve your metabolism and hasten the fat-burning process. [43]

For more information about taking Green Tea Extract, take a read through our how to take Green Tea Extract article. To learn more about how you can benefit from taking a Green Tea Extract supplement, take a read through our article on the Top 3 Green Tea extract benefits. Studies have pointed to Green Tea Extract as being effective in:

  • Improving fat burning
  • Improving blood flow
  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Helping to reduce muscle soreness [44]

 

3.     Taurine

big tub of Liftmode taurine, 400 grams Supplements for heart health: Taurine, 99% purity

Taurine is a functional amino acid and a ‘semi-essential’ nutrient. Taurine has a wide range of benefits, including helping to reduce stress, to improving androgen levels and libido, to powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. One of its best-known uses is in reducing cramping. [45]

Research has shown that Taurine is highly effective in helping your body to reduce LDL-cholesterol levels, to reduce the risk of developing obesity, and to improve your baseline metabolism rate. [46]

For more information, take a read through our top 3 facts on how to take Taurine. This article helps to explain the importance of Taurine in maintaining a healthy body and supporting a functional cardiovascular system.

 

4.     Berberine HCl

200 grams of Berberine HCL Berberine HCl supplements for heart health, 99% pure

Berberine HCl is another phytochemical found in numerous herbs and plant species. Berberine has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where it was once used as a treatment for diabetes and to maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol. Today, Berberine is a wonderful health supplement that can be used for multiple health benefits. [47]

For more information about how you can benefit from Berberine, check out our blog post on the Top 8 Berberine Benefits. The interesting thing about Berberine is that it is one of the few dietary supplements available today to have verified data showing that it may just as effective as some pharmaceuticals in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. [48]

 

5.     Magnolia Bark Extract

Liftmode Magnolia Bark Extract 20 grams Magnolia Bark Extract supplements for stress-reduction

Magnolia Bark Extract is a calming supplement that is known to help reduce stress and to promote relaxation. Reducing stress is important in maintaining a healthy heart. Studies have found that Magnolia Bark Extract has the ability to help your body reduce levels of cortisol.

It was first used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and was often combined with other herbs and plants like rhubarb, cinnamon, ginger, and liquorice. [49]

 

Studies have found that Magnolia Bark is great for reducing feels of stress and promoting healthy sleep. [50] This is vital for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. For more information on how you can benefit from using Magnolia Bark Extract, take a read through our article on the Top 5 Magnolia Bark Extract benefits.

Supplements for heart health - healthy eating concept It's important to remember that, while dietary supplements may have unique and powerful benefits to help support a healthy circulatory system, the true power of health comes from diet and lifestyle.

Part 8: Conclusion - Top Supplements for Heart Health and Circulatory System Support

In summary, there are a number of key ways to help promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Your heart is far more complex and much ‘smarter’ than we previously thought.

For example, the heart sends far more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. Furthermore, many scientists now believe that emotions are responses to changes in heartbeat rhythm – due to the presence of afferent signals and the characteristic heartbeat changes corresponding to different emotional states. So, it's no wonder people online are searching for supplements for heart health.

Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system can be difficult in today’s stressful world. However, there are a few easy ways to make sure that you keep your heart healthy. Eating properly is essential for supporting a healthy cardiovascular system. Also, not smoking, reducing alcohol intake, exercising regularly, being optimistic, and partaking in stress-reducing activities are great ways to ensure a healthy heart.

There are a number of dietary supplements for heart health available to help support a healthy circulatory system. When considering the most important supplements for heart health, you can include Quercetin, Green Tea Extract, Taurine, Berberine HCl, and Magnolia Bark Extract. All these products are available on Liftmode.com.

To help our readers make informed decisions on supporting their heart health and overall well-being, we suggest watching the following four-minute trailer to a new documentary on the subject, available on Netflix:

 References:

[1] R Sinha, “Cardiovascular differentiation of emotions”, Psychosom Med. 1992 Jul-Aug;54(4):422-35.

[2]Research FAQs”, HeartMath.org, accessed May 24, 2017

[3]THINKING FROM THE HEART – HEART BRAIN SCIENCE”, Noetic Systems International, research paper, accessed May 24, 2017

[4] Ramin Assadi, MD, “Heart Nerve Anatomy”, MedScape.com, information for healthcare professionals, accessed May 24, 2017

[5]Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken-heart syndrome)”, Havard Women’s Health, accessed May 24, 2017

[6] Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.,“Heart-Brain Neurodynamics: The Making of Emotions”, HeartMath Institute, accessed May 24, 2017  Break accounts for nearly three-disease? s the AMA promote the use of beef when it is known to have health risks and raise chole

[7] MP Bennett, C Lengacher, “Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function”, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jun; 6(2): 159–164.

[8] Middleton, Renée A.; Byrd, E. Keith “Psychosocial factors and hospital readmission status of older persons with cardiovascular disease” Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Vol 27(4), 1996, 3-10.

[9] DD Danner et al., “Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study”, J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 May;80(5):804-13.

[10] JK. Stefanucci et al., “Follow your heart: Emotion adaptively influences perception”, Soc Personal Psychol Compass. 2011 Jun; 5(6): 296–308.

[11]Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)”, World Health Organization facts sheet, May 2017

[12]Heart Disease Statistics”, CardioSmart.org, accessed May 24, 2017

[13]What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?”, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH National Institutes of Health, accessed May 24, 2017

[14]Preventing Heart Disease”, Harvard School of Public Health: Nutrition, accessed May 24, 2017

[15]Who are the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world?” ProClinical.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[16] M Rosenberg, “The American Heart Association — Protecting Industry Not Patients”, Huffington Post blog online accessed May 24, 2017

[17]Sponsor Thank You”, American Heart Association online, accessed May 24, 2017

[18]Is The American Heart Association For Sale?”, UniteHere! Pdf file, accessed May 24, 2017

[19] R Cooper, “Statins: the drug firms' goldmine”, The Telegraph UK, Jan 2011, accessed May 24, 2017

[20] B Goodman, MD, “More Docs Wonder If Statins Are Worth the Risks”, WebMD.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[21] N Sattar, PhD, et al., “Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials”, Lancet, Volume 375, No. 9716, p735–742, 27 February 2010

[22] M Nestle, “American Heart Association says “I ♥ beef”!”, FoodPolitics.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[23]Beef: Recipes”, American Heart Association search page, accessed May 24, 2017

[24]Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat”, World Health Organization, October 2015, accessed May 24, 2017

[25] J Kaluza et al., “Processed and unprocessed red meat consumption and risk of heart failure: prospective study of men”, Circ Heart Fail. 2014 Jul;7(4):552-7

[26] R Micha et al., “Unprocessed Red and Processed Meats and Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Type 2 Diabetes – An Updated Review of the Evidence”, Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Dec; 14(6): 515–524.

[27] R Sinha et al., “Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people”, Arch Intern Med. 2009 Mar 23; 169(6): 562–571.

[28]Health and Nutrition”, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, accessed May 24, 2017

[29] D Aune et al., “Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality–a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies”, Int J Epidemiol 2017 dyw319. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyw319

[30] Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, et al. “Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study.” BMJ. 2014;348:g2659-g2671.

[31]Seven Ways to Boost Heart Health”, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, accessed May 24, 2017

[32]Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease”, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, accessed May 24, 2017

[33] LT Le, J Sabaté “Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts”, Nutrients. 2014 Jun; 6(6): 2131–2147.

[34]How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US), 2010, Chapter 6

[35] L Blue, “Is the Damage from Smoking Permanent?”, Jul 2008, accessed on May 24, 2017

[36] S Gielen et al., “Exercise training in patients with heart disease: review of beneficial effects and clinical recommendations”, Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jan-Feb;57(4):347-55

[37] J Myers, “Exercise and Cardiovascular Health”, Circulation, January 7, 2003, Volume 107, Issue 1

[38] A Steptoe, M Kivimäki, “Stress and cardiovascular disease”, Nat Rev Cardiol. 2012 Apr 3;9(6):360-70

[39] J Corliss, “Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress”, Harvard Medical School, accessed May 24, 2017

[40]Positive feelings may help protect cardiovascular health”, Harvard  School of Public Health, April 2008, accessed May 24, 2017

[41] Y Lin et al., “Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity”, Nutrients. 2016 Mar; 8(3): 167.

[42]Quercetin”, Examine.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[43] SM Chacko et al., “Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review”, Chin Med. 2010; 5: 13.

[44]Green Tea Catechins”, Examine.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[45]Taurine”, Examine.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[46] Harris Ripps, Wen Shen, “Review: Taurine: A “very essential” amino acid”, Mol Vis. 2012; 18: 2673–2686.

[47]Berberine”, Examine.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[48] J Lan et al., “Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipemia and hypertension.”, J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Feb 23;161:69-81

[49]Magnolia officinalis”, Examine.com, accessed May 24, 2017

[50] Yi LT et al., “Antidepressant-like synergism of extracts from magnolia bark and ginger rhizome alone and in combination in mice”, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 15;33(4):616-24