Television commercials make it seem as if taking a multivitamin is the answer to all your health needs. Is this true, or are vitamin supplements simply a creative marketing ploy? The portable cardiac monitor company, Medicomp, uncovered a number of facts pertaining to vitamins, especially those relating to heart health. 

Can Vitamins Replace a Healthy Diet?

Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development’s distinguished professor of nutrition, Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, noted that nutritionists worldwide recommend healthy foods over vitamin supplements to receive the bulk of your body’s vitamin and mineral needs. Dr. Kris-Etherton noted patients should contact their physicians before beginning a vitamin supplement regime. In fact, vitamins are often not absorbed properly when taken as a supplement. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, must be taken with food if they are to be properly absorbed.

Vitamins and Your Heart

According to the American Heart Association, patients with documented cardiovascular disorders need to consume approximately one gram daily of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The most abundant source of these fatty acids is fish, such as herring, trout, or salmon. If patients do not enjoy the flavor of fish, supplementation may be an option. Patients with elevated triglycerides should at least double the recommended amount for heart patients: two to four grams daily is a good average. Because eating fish daily may not sound ideal, supplements are a very agreeable alternative with a physician’s approval. When it comes to vitamins’ effect on reducing blood cholesterol levels, the research concerning antioxidant vitamins is inconclusive; taking supplements containing these vitamins will probably not help with your cholesterol levels. 

If you plan to start a vitamin regimen, first consult your physician. Many vitamins interact negatively with each other or with heart medications. Be vigilant when taking any supplements containing St. John’s wort since it decreases the strength of heart medication.

Taking vitamins should always be a second option; a well-balanced diet is the ultimate method of taking in vitamins and minerals. However, some disorders demand a diet high in vitamins only found in specific foods; if those foods are unpalatable, a vitamin supplement may be a better choice. Medicomp reminds you to check with your cardiologist before beginning any vitamin regimen, no matter how minor you believe it is since some vitamins interact with much-needed medication. Contact Medicomp online or at 800-23-HEART to learn about our line of portable cardiac monitors and read our blogs for more information on heart health and the importance of a good diet.