Cardiovascular Health (Part 2)

This week we continue looking at cardiovascular health. The heart itself is susceptible to many problems; most of these are influenced by nutrients. For example, low levels of magnesium can either cause or worsen heart rhythm functions. A good multi should provide all the magnesium needed for normal heart electrical function.

A common problem is plaque formation in heart arteries. We know that free radicals change LDL cholesterol into dangerous oxidised cholesterol, the first step in plaque formation. This, with subsequent inflammation is the real driver of coronary artery disease. To help prevent these processes your daily multi should have the potent antioxidants especially high quality OPC from grape seed extract.  These antioxidants help prevent cholesterol oxidation and intercept the processes that cause inflammation.

Another contributor to heart disease is high levels of homocysteine. This is a dangerous by- product of our protein metabolism. This can damage blood vessels leading to heart problems and can contribute to dementia. Fortunately vitamins B6, B12 and folate readily prevent high homocysteine levels.

Finally, we need to consider the health of our blood vessels. These are complex tissues and need to stay healthy for good circulation and to maintain good blood pressure. There are many nutrients that affect blood vessel health especially vitamin C, bioflavonoids especially hesperidin and OPC. Vitamin C is needed to form the collagen needed to give blood vessels their strength and suppleness while the OPC’s help prevent free radical damage that causes blood vessels to stiffen which results in poor circulation and often high blood pressure.

A good multi should have these in meaningful levels. I like to target 150mg of pure OPC, supporting anthocyanins, vitamin C, Vitamin E and a full B complex.  Beware though of 1 a day formulas as it is impossible to include sufficient key nutrients especially botanical antioxidants and minerals.

John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559.  You can email John at

Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2021

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