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Heart Health and Cholesterol

Maintaining good heart and blood vessel health is important for everyday life, as well as protecting against heart disease in the future

Cardiovascular or heart disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and is in fact an umbrella term for all conditions affecting the heart muscle and blood vessels. Specific cardiovascular disease includes conditions such as:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Angina
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
 

Symptoms

Symptoms of cardiovascular disease include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Increased heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute)
  • Abnormal irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort during activity that goes away with rest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A chest infection or cough that worsens
  • Restlessness or confusion
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Reduced appetite or nausea

Causes

Cardiovascular disease is now understood to be largely preventable and in most cases cardiovascular conditions can be completely prevented or significantly reduced with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. There are a number of factors that contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, including:

  • Smoking
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Ethnic background
  • Gender – men are more likely to develop CVD at an earlier age than women
  • Age – the older you are, the more likely you are to develop CVD
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Inflammation

Although it is not possible to control some of these factors, most can be manipulated to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing CVD. For those with a family history of CVD or an inherited CVD condition, it is still possible to reduce the severity and mortality risk associated with your condition by following the same risk reduction advice as for people wishing to prevent CVD altogether. If you are unsure of what is best for you to do in order to reduce your risk of having a CVD event, seek help from your GP or healthcare practitioner.

In order to reduce your risk of CVD it is recommended that you:

  • Exercise (increase your heart rate for 20 minute 5 times per week)
  • Lose weight (BMI of below 24 or a body fat % of less than 24% for men and 30% for women)
  • Reduce stress
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Omega 3's

The overwhelming evidence for the benefits of omega-3s means that supplementing with omega-3s is an important addition to a healthy diet for anyone wishing to reduce their risk of heart disease

It is now recognised that some of the cardioprotective benefits associated with fish oil relate specifically to EPA, as EPA is not only effective in reducing elevated triglyceride levels but it also reduces inflammation and, unlike DHA, has favourable effects on total cholesterol (DHA supplements can increase LDL cholesterol).

The benefits of EPA in cardiovascular health management also extend to the prevention of secondary cardiovascular events. Individuals who have had a previous heart attack can significantly reduce their chances of experiencing further ‘events’ by supplementing daily with 1-2g EPA.

Homocysteine

Elevated levels of circulating total homocysteine are a well-documented risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Decreasing homocysteine levels in the blood directly reduces risk of both myocardial infarction and stroke. A rise in homocysteine levels of just 5 mmol/L increases the risk of coronary heart disease by approximately 20%. Levels of homocysteine in the blood are directly influenced by levels of the B vitamins folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 and low levels of these vitamins directly contribute to elevated homocysteine.

The role of homocysteine in the development of CVD is not fully understood, although it is well established that homocysteine plays a role in increasing damage and cell death of cells lining the blood vessels. Homocysteine also appears to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis via a number of mechanisms, including:

  • Reduced vessel relaxation
  • Increased vessel wall inflammation
  • Increased oxidative stress-induced cell damage
  • Increased expression of genes that switch on cell death

Homocysteine is also thought to contribute indirectly to cellular stress, which may worsen already altered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, further contributing to CVD risk. In addition, homocysteine appears to increase blood thickness and thus promote blood clot formation.

Supplementing with the B vitamins needed to efficiently recycle homocysteine back into its health-promoting products has been shown to reduce homocysteine levels and can thereby help reduce associated health risks

Coenzyme Q10

As well as being a rich source of vitamins, liver is a good option for boosting CoQ10 levels – an important nutrient that supplies energy to heart muscle.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a natural antioxidant synthesised by the body from the same molecules used to make cholesterol. CoQ10 is also consumed in the diet by eating animal protein and some seed and nut oils, but dietary consumption contributes only a low amount to total CoQ10 unless organ meats are regularly consumed. CoQ10 is also available as a supplement, where it comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidised form, which the body converts to ubiquinol.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is essential for energy production (in the form of ATP) and is heavily involved in heart function – in particular, heart muscle contraction and the movement of important molecules into the heart cells (through ATP dependent channels). The heart is particularly sensitive to low CoQ10 levels and the subsequent reduction in energy production capacity – a factor considered to contribute to heart disease. Consistently low levels of CoQ10 are observed in CVD patients and increasing intake of this nutrient may help protect against cardiovascular events.

CoQ10, in its ubiquinol form, is a powerful antioxidant that also plays an important role in regenerating other antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin C and lipoic acid. Its ability to quench free radicals helps to protect against cell damage and reduce oxygen damage to fat molecules such as cholesterol. LDL oxidation is an important contributor to the development of atherosclerosis.

Supplementing with CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol will help replenish any deficiencies in CoQ10 observed in CVD patients, statin users and older people and offers a number of potential protective effects to help support cardiovascular health.

(Please note: if you are taking cardiovascular medication, make sure you let your doctor know that you intend to take this supplementation. You might be on anticoagulant medication such as warfarin, and your doctor may need to reduce your anticoagulant dose as the benefits of EPA start to come through.)

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  • Pharmepa RESTORE

    Great for: high intensity health support. 

    Pharmepa RESTORE super-strength wild anchovy omega-3 fish oil is ultra-pure and extremely potent. Containing pharmaceutical-grade 90% EPA concentrate, it is triple the strength of an ordinary fish oil.

    • INTENSIVE 1000 MG DOSE: restores omega-3 levels fast to correct the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, supporting mood, brain function, inflammation regulation and heart health
    • SUPERIOR OMEGA-3 FORM: rTG is body-ready, meaning that it is digested and absorbed easily, increasing levels of omega-3 in our cells 5x more than krill oil and 3.5x more than standard fish oil
    • ULTRA-PURE: wild anchovies are small and short-lived, so they are less prone than larger species to pollutant buildup. Molecularly distilled to remove dioxins, mercury & PCBs to virtually undetectable levels
    • SUPER CONCENTRATED TO 90%: triple the concentration of standard fish oil, this supplement supports higher doses without exposure to heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins
    • LEMON OIL PREVENTS FISH REFLUX
    • CONSISTENT PRODUCT QUALITY GUARANTEED: GMP manufactured (click here) & 3rd party tested (click here) to ensure purity, active ingredients, nutritional value and safety

    Each box provides a 30 day supply at a daily dosage of 2 capsules.

  • Echiomega Vegetarian Omega

    Great for: vegetarians & vegans and anyone who prefers plant-based sources of omega-3

    Echiomega echium seed oil is a complete source of omega-3-6-9 good fats. Its unique content of ALA & SDA boosts levels of the important omega-3 EPA 60% more than other plant oils such as flaxseed. By supporting EPA and DHA levels this supplement offers brain, heart and eye health benefits.

    • COMPLETE SOURCE OF OMEGA-3-6-9:  Echiomega provides a perfect ratio of omega-3-6-9 fats from a single source. Echiomega is optimally balanced with twice as much omega-3 as omega-6, with the added benefits of omega-9 - ideal for topping up the diet with good fats for optimal health
    • BOOSTS EPA LEVELS 60% more than flaxseed oil owing to the high content of stearidonic acid (SDA), making it a vegan-friendly alternative to fish oil
    • FREE FROM: dairy, gluten, lactose, soya & yeast and ideal for vegetarian, vegan, halal & kosher diets
    • BLISTER-PACKAGED SEAWEED CAPSULES protect the oils against oxidation, prevent the need for refrigeration and are convenient to carry with you
    • CONSISTENT PRODUCT QUALITY GUARANTEED: GMP manufactured (click here) - quality standards that medicines manufacturers must meet in their production processes to ensure products are of consistent high quality. 3rd party tested (click here) to ensure purity, active ingredients, nutritional value and safety

    Each box provides a 1-month supply at a daily dosage of 2 capsules.

  • VESIsorb Ubiquinol-QH

    Great for: high intensity support for increasing CoQ10 levels, for all-round health benefits

    Rapid-action VESIsorb® Ubiquinol-QH is the most advanced Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplement available. Its fast-track patented VESIsorb®delivery system ‘pre-digests’ ubiquinol for unprecedented absorption, higher blood plasma levels and up to 6x longer-lasting action.

    • SUPERIOR BODY-READY COQ10: Kaneka-QH Ubiquinol is more easily utilised in the body than the common form of Coenzyme Q10, ubiquinone. Ubiquinol also acts as an antioxidant and recycles other antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E
    • CLINICALLY EFFECTIVE 1-A-DAY DOSE: each capsule delivers 100 mg of super-absorbable ubiquinol
    • SUPERIOR ABSORPTION & LASTING BENEFITS: the patented VESIsorb® delivery system converts ubiquinol into water-soluble particles for fast-tracked absorption through the gut, producing higher blood plasma levels and up to 6x longer-lasting action 
    • WIDE-RANGING BENEFITS for heart health, brain performance, energy production & anti-inflammatory support 
    • IDEAL FOR ADULTS 40+ whose ability to convert ubiquinone to ubiquinol naturally declines with age
    • SMALL CAPSULES, easy to swallow

    Product contents: 30 capsules (1-month supply at a dosage of 1 capsule daily).

  • Super B Complex

    Great for: comprehensive support for energy, heart health, brain function & homocysteine management

    Super B-Complex high potency Vitamin B complex tablets contain a synergistic blend of 8 highly bioavailable B-vitamins with vitamin C to provide comprehensive energy support.  The folate and vitamins B6 and B12 in Super B-Complex are in their most active forms and at dosages scientifically shown to maintain healthy homocysteine levels. 

    • HIGH STRENGTH FORMULA: the most advanced B complex formulation with all 8 B vitamins & Vitamin C for antioxidant protection
    • BIOAVAILABLE FORMS: Super B-Complex delivers maximum levels of key nutrients: 
      • Quatrefolic® provides the body-ready form of folate, as [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (most standard supplements contain folic acid)
      • The active form of riboflavin, riboflavin-5-phosphate
      • Vitamin B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate with cofactor activity
      • Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, for enhanced uptake
    • HIGH DOSE B6, B12 & folate support efficient homocsyteine metabolism and methylation pathways, for heart health & brain function
    • SPLIT DOSE FOR ENHANCED ABSORPTION: vitamin B12 uptake is optimised by taking tablets twice daily, morning & evening
    • CONSISTENT PRODUCT QUALITY GUARANTEED: GMP manufactured - quality standards that medicines manufacturers must meet in their production processes to ensure products are of consistent high quality
    • SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS & VEGANS

    Each product contains 60 tablets, providing a 1-month supply at a daily dosage of 2 tablets.