4 Nutrients with Promise for Heart Health


Good results in the lab can lead to larger, pilot studies.  These findings about DHA, vitamin E, fish oil and CoQ10 pay particular attention to potential heart health benefits. Also, discover which nutrients showed promise for protecting the ear and supporting improved sperm counts.

DHA, metabolism, and lipids

Muscles need a constant supply of fats and carbohydrates to function properly but metabolically impaired muscles can’t process them. In the lab, impaired cells exposed to DHA had restored insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammation levels. In a second phase, DHA lowered triglyceride and blood sugar levels and prevented the progression of atherosclerosis in mice with high cholesterol and sugar levels.

Reference: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry; 2015, Vol. 26, No. 9, 949-59

Vitamin E and heart

In the lab, alpha-tocopherol, and alpha-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienols reduced abnormal enlarging and thickening of the heart muscle in obese rats, and reduced inflammation. Gamma- and delta-tocotrienols improved cardiovascular function and normalized systolic blood pressure. Delta-tocotrienol improved glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, lipids, abdominal fat, liver structure, and function.

Reference: European Journal of Nutrition; October, 2015, Published Online

Fish and krill oils lower lipids

Krill and fish oils regulate lipids differently. In the lab, in obese mice, omega-3 fish oil reduced lipids by breaking down existing fats. Krill oil suppressed genes that help the body synthesize cholesterol, reducing cholesterol levels. Krill oil contains less omega-3 fatty acids, but combines them into a powerful phospholipid form that may be an effective way to manage high blood lipids.

Reference: Nutrition & Metabolism; April, 2014, Published Online

CoQ10 reduced statin toxicity

Statin drugs lower cholesterol but with possible harmful side effects. Testing the three most common statins, doctors found rat liver cells pre-treated with CoQ10 were less toxic than those not treated with CoQ10. Doctors said their work demonstrates that adding CoQ10 to statin treatment may help protect the liver and other cells from injury due to statin drugs.

Reference: Archives of Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology; 2014, Vol. 65, No. 1, 101-8

Resveratrol protects the ear

In this study, rats exposed to noise had better hearing after taking resveratrol compared to those not taking resveratrol. Inner-ear cells had less inflammation and there were lower circulating levels of oxygen free-radicals in the resveratrol group. Doctors said, “By giving resveratrol, we can reduce the amount of hearing loss and cognitive decline.”

Reference: Otolaryngology; February, 2013, Published Online

Ashwagandha improved sperm counts

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb used as an aphrodisiac in India. In this study, 46 men with low sperm counts took 675 mg of ashwagandha per day, or a placebo. After 90 days, while the placebo group improved slightly, men taking ashwagandha had 167 percent higher sperm counts and a 53 percent increase in sperm motility; the ability of sperm to move forward. Testosterone levels in the men taking ashwagandha also increased by 17 percent. Doctors said the findings suggest ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively treated male infertility.

Reference: Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine; Volume 2013, ID 571420

Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications. For example, these supplements thin blood. Resveratrol may have estrogenic effects.

Article copyright 2016 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.