Selected Nutrients for Heart Health
If you have heart disease, there are certain vitamins which may be important to avoid or limit in your supplements and diet.
Multivitamins that Contain Vitamin K may not be Not Right for Everyone:
Some vitamins may interfere or counteract with medicines that are commonly prescribed for heart disease. Vitamin K can diminish the efficacy of blood thinners that are used to prevent the formation of harmful blood clots. Vitamin K can interfere or counteract with a commonly prescribed blood thinner, Warfarin (Coumadin). Patients taking any blood thinner should be aware of foods that are high in vitamin K and avoid taking extra vitamin K through supplementation. The National Institutes of Health does not recommend taking any daily multivitamin that lists vitamin K on the label.1
Limit the Amount of Vitamin E in your Supplement:
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant effects, however some landmark clinical studies, such as the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, have shown an increase risk of bad heart outcomes may be seen with high doses of vitamin E.2 Since vitamin E deficiency is rare and its fat-soluble nature makes it difficult for the liver to process, vitamin E should only be supplemented in limited amounts.3-4
Too much B – Complex Vitamins could be harmful
B-complex describes a series group of water-soluble vitamins that includes folic acid, biotin, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamin B12. These B vitamins function as coenzymes in a variety of processes in your body from energy, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism to red blood cell production, among others.5 For heart health, vitamin B12 may be beneficial in modifying the progression of atherosclerosis.6 But while these vitamins have a role in your body, there can be deleterious effects associated with excessive supplementation levels of B-complex vitamins. For instance, niacin can help treat high cholesterol and circulatory issues but excessive niacin consumption can result in flushing and itching.7-8 Alternatively, high doses of B-Complex vitamins have been shown to decrease kidney function in patients with diabetes.9 A review of government reference guidelines can provide recommended dietary allowances and dietary reference intake guidelines for assessing the optimal doses of B-complex vitamins. Make sure you speak with your healthcare provider before considering any supplementation.
Excessive doses of Vitamin A can be Toxic
Hypervitaminosis A is a toxic condition associated with consuming excessive amounts of vitamin A.10 The symptoms resulting from high doses of vitamin A may include higher intracranial pressures, dizziness, nausea, headaches, skin irritation, bone and joint pain, coma, and even death. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that may accumulate in the liver when taken in excess and in some cases, may result in irreversible liver damage.11-12
Only Take Iron as Advised by your Doctor
Iron supplements may be beneficial for certain conditions, as advised by a doctor. When iron deficiencies occur, as in iron deficiency anemia, supplemental iron may be recommended for a short period of time, until normal levels are restored.13 Therapeutic doses of iron can help restore iron balance but excess levels may result in toxicity and even death.14 Iron is not necessary for everyone in a daily multivitamin, but can be supplemented as advised by a physician.
Cardiamin is formulated by doctors with dose and nutrient selections based on the current scientific evidence Cardiamin contains appropriate amounts of B-complex vitamins and vitamin E but excludes ingredients such as vitamin K, vitamin A and iron that may not be helpful to heart patients. Cardiamin is a daily multivitamin specially designed to support heart health.
- Important information to know when you are taking: Cumadin® and Vitamin K, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health Drug-Nutrient Interaction Task Force, http://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/coumadin1.pdf.
- Lonn E, Bosch J, Yusuf S, Sheridan P, Pogue J, Arnold JM, et al.; HOPE and HOPE-TOO Trial Investigators. Effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular events and cancer: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2005;293:1338-47.
- Ford ES, Ajani UA, Mokdad AH. Brief communication: the prevalence of high intake of vitamin E from the use of supplements among U.S. adults. Ann Intern Med 2005;143:116-20. [PubMed abstract]
- Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and http://www.nap.edu/catalog/6015.html.
- Salim Abou-Khalil, B12 Inhibits Progression of Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis in Rabbits Fed a High Cholesterol Diet, http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/mjm/v03n01/vitb12.html#anchor357629.
- NIH News. NIH stops clinical trial on combination cholesterol treatment. May 26, 2011. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2011/nhlbi-26.htm.
- PL Detail-Document, Niacin Plus Statin to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk: AIM-HIGH Study. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter. July 2011.
- Andrew A. House, David Spence. Effect of B-Vitamin Therapy on Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2010; 303 (16): 1603-1609.
- Rodahl K, Moore T. The vitamin A content and toxicity of bear and seal liver. Biochem J 1943;37:166-8.
- Solomons NW. Vitamin A. In: Bowman B, Russell R, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 9th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute; 2006:157-83.
- Ross CA. Vitamin A. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. London and New York: Informa Healthcare; 2010:778-91.
- CDC Recommendations to prevent and control iron deficiency in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Recomm Rep 1998;47:1-29.
- Corbett JV. Accidental poisoning with iron supplements. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs 1995;20:234.