8 supplements with harmful effects on the heart

Many take supplements to reduce the risk of 31% of all deaths in the world from cardiovascular disease or the belief that their intake will keep them healthy. However, we underestimate the adverse effects of overuse and your safety.

For example, there is no clear evidence of the effect of supplements on the heart. It seems that the excessive use of calcium and vitamin D, instead of improving, can worsen heart cases. In addition, although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends omega 3 fatty acids as heart protectors, a group of experts believe that as supplements they are not as effective.

8 supplements with damaging effects on the heart

According to him National Institute on Aging from United States, dietary and herbal supplements are not inspected to classify them as safe. Furthermore, advertising encourages the indiscriminate use of these substances without measuring the effects on health. Here are those that can cause a heart risk.

1. Calcium supplements

According to Dr. Mankad, there are controversies about the effects of calcium supplementation in heart disease. Some believe that they do not reduce the risk of heart attack, while others claim that the excess hardens the arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease.

The National Institute of Health disclosed that men who take too much calcium supplement are at higher risk of heart attacks or strokes. But others report that it is the same for both genders.

As indicated by the Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics, more studies are needed to clarify the doubt. On the other hand, a group of doctors recommended that the consumption of calcium alone or with vitamin D should not exceed the tolerable limit of 2000 to 2500 milligrams daily.

Many calcium supplements are accompanied by vitamin D, although its reduction in cardiovascular risk is unclear.

Also read: How to choose a calcium supplement?

2. Supplements of the amino acid L-arginine

The amino acid L-arginine works as a vasodilator, as it produces nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels. Research from the Mayo Clinic supports these supplements for the treatment of stroke or angina pectoris.

However, the Mexican Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences delves into the possible toxicity of nitric oxide for the heart, although its ability to protect exceeds it. Some specialists make a wake-up call for people with heart disease.

This amino acid greatly lowers blood pressure when combined with medications to lower high blood pressure, with anticoagulants or with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Potassium levels can also increase and lead to bruising or bleeding.

3. Ginseng

The American Heart Association published on some precautions in the ingestion of this supplement during the treatment of heart diseases. Ginseng can cause bleeding episodes when it interacts with certain blood thinners and with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

4. Vitamin E supplements

A study on vitamin E and its effect on heart health reveals that doses between 200 to 400 international units per day are safe to prevent the formation of atheroma plaques in the arteries, being recommended as a protective supplement for the heart.

However, overuse can reduce blood clots and increase the risk of bleeding. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding it for a heart attack or stroke.

Find out: Should we take vitamin D as a supplement?

5. Garlic supplements

In a review of the Latin American Archives of Nutrition on the cardiovascular effects of garlic, it was concluded that the Allium sativum is able to normalize cardiac risk factors. However, moderation in its consumption is suggested, due to the differences found in other studies.

The Kommission E of the German Federal Health Agency recommends 4 grams of garlic daily to control cholesterol and prevent other cardiovascular risk factors. The Spanish Heart Foundation warns that it can increase the risk of bleeding when consumed with anticoagulants.

6. Salvia miltiorrhiza

This herbal supplement may have an important interaction with drugs used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The combination with anticoagulants would increase the risk of bleeding or lowering blood pressure too quickly when using calcium channel blockers. When combined with digoxin, arrhythmias can occur.

7. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

According to the Observatory of Health and Integrative Medicine, St. John's wort is a supplement used to treat depression. However, experts caution that its use should be monitored when administering heart medications.

This product activates liver enzymes and, consequently, reduces the concentration of active components of drugs in the blood, such as digoxin or cholesterol-lowering drugs.

St. John's wort alters liver enzymes, which can lead to a change in the availability of drugs that are consumed daily.

8. Red yeast rice

As an oral supplement, red yeast rice is indicated for high cholesterol and to protect against heart disease. It contains an active component called monacolina K, identical to that found in lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Harvard University's Dr. Cohen cautions that, when taken in conjunction with statins, it can overdose on the component and cause fatal muscle pain or breakdown.

When to see the doctor?

If you want to try a dietary or herbal supplement that your treating doctor is unaware of, you should consult it before buying it, since the lack of safety and information about these substances could interfere with any medication you are taking.

Remember that natural foods are sources of nutrients that replace nutritional supplements. In addition, the best complement to maintain a healthy heart is to change your lifestyle to a daily exercise routine, healthy diet, anti-stress dynamics and zero smoking.