Designed to perform many complex functions, our cardiovascular system is vital to good health. Natural health supplements can help optimize its performance.
The cardiovascular system is one of the most important systems in our body. Constantly hard at work moving blood, oxygenating tissues, transporting hormones, regulating the immune system, balancing blood pressure, and modulating cellular functions, the cardiovascular system is our body’s main information highway.
As such, this highly-calibrated system needs to be strong and healthy to do its job. “When the heart is healthy, it’s able to pump and push all that blood upwards toward our brain and downwards for distribution to all our tissues properly,” says Dr. Nirat Nibber, Naturopathic Doctor and Medical Advisor with Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR), a natural health supplements manufacturer based in Calgary, Alta.
Conversely, when part of the cardiovascular system starts to break down, a person’s health can quickly deteriorate. Cholesterol disorders, for example, can impede the free-flowing circulation of the blood, while high blood pressure (hypertension) can cause damage to the tissues and low blood pressure (hypotension) can weaken the force of contraction that helps get sufficient blood to the extremities.
Specific conditions of the heart like atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia), characterized by an irregular and often very rapid heartbeat, can lead to blood clots in the heart, stroke, heart failure, and other complications if not well-managed. Finally, life-threatening events like heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism signal a severe breakdown within the cardiovascular system.
Nutrition and supplements can aid in cardiovascular disease prevention
Diet and supplementation can play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular conditions and diseases. An ideal diet is one that’s high in vitamin E, flavonoids, and antioxidants, and low in processed foods. “If that’s not an option or you need additional support, you may want to consider adding specific supplementation regimes to support the circulatory system, whether it’s blood vessels, heart support, or cholesterol management,” says Dr. Nibber. AOR’s line of heart health supplements target an entire spectrum of cardiovascular disease prevention.
COVID-19 and heart health
While new information is emerging almost daily on the connection between COVID-19 and heart health, “what we do know right now is that the point of infection for cells is something called the ACE-2 receptor, which is part of the cardiovascular system and which tends to be prevalent in our lungs,” says Dr. Nibber.
Once the COVID-19 virus enters the respiratory path, there are multiple doors through which the virus can go, and the more doors it goes through, the larger the impact. “It can literally affect everything downstream, including the kidneys, and throw off your blood clotting cascade or coagulation,” says Dr. Nibber. This cascade is the body’s attempt to repair a damaged blood vessel wall, and if thrown off, can lead to either bleeding disorders like hemorrhage or clotting disorders like thrombosis. “This is why individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions can suffer a more severe manifestation if they get infected,” says Dr. Nibber.
Following a COVID-19 infection, additional cardiovascular support may be warranted. Aside from avoiding strenuous exercise, it’s important to ensure adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids with a high EPA to DHA ratio and antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and D in your diet. AOR heart health supplements can provide additional nutritional support. AOR’s Ortho Heart, for example, contains the herb hawthorn, which has been shown in studies to benefit heart cells.