There have been quite a few studies that have looked at whether vitamins can help protect your heart health. The results have been mixed; some show benefits while others don’t. Some of the strongest evidence for heart benefits focuses on the B vitamins.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) appears to prevent high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls and promote blood clots, and high levels can lead to heart disease.
While B9 is important, don’t forget the other B vitamins—both B6 and B12 also play a role in lowering homocysteine. Another B vitamin—B3 (niacin)—helps increase the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
This being said, don’t assume that if a little is good, a lot is better. Some studies have shown that when it comes to heart health, megadoses of the B vitamins may do more harm than good.
Each person is different, and nutritional needs vary depending on a person’s age, diet, and overall health. It is always best to consult a health professional before starting a vitamin regimen to make sure that what you are planning to take is right for you.
Your Sobeys Pharmacist is always available to answer your questions about vitamins and your health.