Barton Health Peek: Supplements & Cardiology

Barton Health Peek: Supplements & Cardiology


Hi, my name is Dr. David Young. I’m the
cardiologist for Barton Health and I’m here today with the Barton Health Peek.
Today I’m going to be talking about supplements and cardiovascular disease. Fish oils are probably the most popular
supplement that is taken today. About 8% of the American population takes a daily
fish oil. Fish oils are widely marketed for their cardiovascular benefits, but if
you take a closer look at the data, there is only a few patient populations who
truly benefit. In fact, those who have already had cardiovascular disease tend
to benefit from the supplement the most in terms of reducing recurrent heart
attack, stroke or cardiovascular death. There is not as much data to suggest
taking a fish oil in an individual who is at low risk for cardiovascular
disease. The next supplement is commonly used in my practice called Coenzyme Q10
or CoQ10. This again has a number of marketable cardiovascular benefits that
may or may not be true. In reviewing the data, it does appear
that CoQ10 can be useful for people who take statins, the cholesterol-lowering
medications, to reduce the side effects of those medicines. But, there does not appear
to be overwhelming data to suggest their use in terms of reducing heart attack,
stroke or cardiovascular death. As you get older, calcium becomes a
common supplement that is used to help prevent fractures. There has been a lot
of concern in recent literature, that taking calcium may increase your risk of
heart disease. This may be due to an increased risk of heart attack or
possibly due to calcification of your heart structures. In review of the data,
it does not appear that calcium intake at 2,000 to 2,500 milligrams a day,
increases your risk of heart disease and should be safe to use for prevention of
fracture. Red Yeast Rice for people that don’t want to take statin medications or
are fearful of statin medications, is a common supplement that is brought to me
to reduce your cholesterol. Red Yeast Rice contains a compound that is very similar,
naturally, to one of the statin medications called Lovastatin. In fact, it
is so similar that the FDA has regulated the medication because they say it’s too
close to a prescription drug. The active ingredient in Red Yeast Rice called, monacolin, can be very effective in reducing your cholesterol. But you need to be
careful, some of these supplements can also have toxins in them that can be
dangerous, so I would definitely bring your over-the-counter preparation to
your physician so they can review that to make sure it’s safe to take. If you would like more information please visit BartonHealth.org.

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