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Vitamins & Supplements for Heart Health

Medically reviewed on August 1, 2022 by Amy Harris, MS, RN, CNM. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

It’s no secret that heart health is vital for maintaining your overall wellness and ensuring a high quality of life. What’s not so well-known are the potential positive effects of vitamins and supplements on that powerful muscle in your chest.

Curious about the best vitamins and supplements for heart health? From blood cell production to iron absorption, there are plenty of ways vitamins and supplements can benefit your heart.

How vitamins & supplements can help with heart health

Dietary supplements and vitamins are ways to provide your body with additional nutrients when it's lacking certain essential components or when you can't get enough through food alone. Supplements come in various forms, including pills, gummies, and powders, and contain a range of ingredients like vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes.

Vitamins and supplements can offer various benefits for heart health. When used properly, they may help lower cholesterol and improve blood pressure. Some heart-healthy foods also provide the same benefits, which is why they are a crucial part of any heart-healthy diet.

However, it's important to recognize the risks associated with taking vitamins and supplements without proper medical advice. Some supplements might interact with medications or negatively affect other aspects of your health. Before adding heart health supplements or high doses of vitamins to your diet, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. By combining supplementation with a balanced diet, including foods that give you energy, you can create a comprehensive approach to maintaining heart health.

Best vitamins for heart health

While all 13 essential vitamins are important for overall health, some are especially beneficial for your heart. This article will focus on those vitamins that play a significant role in maintaining cardiovascular health, helping to support heart function, managing cholesterol, and regulating blood pressure. Let's take a closer look at the specific vitamins and how they can positively impact your heart health.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A maintains several important bodily functions, including: [5]

  • Vision
  • Bone and teeth health
  • Skin and soft tissue maintenance

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit cells from the oxidation process. [6] In practical terms, antioxidants are associated with:

  • Slowing down aging – High doses of antioxidants can slow down the visible aging process of cells in laboratory studies. Researchers hypothesize that by reducing your cells' exposure to oxidative stress by consuming lots of antioxidants, you may be able to reduce age-related damage. We do not have any evidence-based studies showing that taking anti-oxidants like vitamin A in supplement form can lower your risk for heart disease, however.
  • Healthy diet – Your body enjoys the biggest health benefits from antioxidants when you in them in health foods, not from dietary or mineral supplements. Foods highest in Vitamin A are eggs, meat, leafy green vegetables, and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.

Be sure not to take too much vitamin A, and consult your healthcare provider on their recommendations for you. Severe health complications can develop in the event of vitamin A overdose.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C boosts your immune system, helping your body fight off infections like the common cold. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to heart damage, but note that there is no evidence that supplementing vitamin C actually helps or improves heart health.

Vitamin C is important for: [7]

  • Iron absorption – Your body (and your heart because it is your body’s biggest muscle) need iron. Your body uses iron to make something called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the main protein in your red blood cells which allows them to carry oxygen. Without enough iron, your hemoglobin levels decrease, and your muscles (including your heart) can’t work as well and tire more easily. Research is conflicting as to whether or not taking extra vitamin C with iron supplements or iron-rich foods can help better treat iron deficiencies, but some studies show promising results. In addition, iron deficiencies are correlated with a higher risk of anemia—a condition characterized by a lack of healthy red blood cells, which can harm your heart and overall health.
  • Blood vessel development – Blood vessels (veins and arteries) carry blood with oxygen throughout your body. Research studies show that vitamin C (and its anti-oxidant properties described above) may help to keep your veins and arteries healthy. Scientists have not yet been able to show that vitamin C supplementation can prevent diseases of your blood vessels to your heart (called atherosclerosis), but research continues to better understand the possible connection between a diet with high levels of vitamin C and heart disease and coronary artery disease. If your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen, you can have a heart attack.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that you excrete it from your body each time you urinate. Given the possible heart benefits and overall health benefits of vitamin C, some people choose to take additional daily vitamin C supplements to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults 19 years and older of 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. Smoking can deplete vitamin C levels in the body, so an additional 35 mg beyond the RDA is suggested for smokers.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, also known as folate, has long been associated with numerous preventive health benefits. For example, individuals who are pregnant are encouraged to consume larger amounts of folate to help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. [9]

There’s often a bit of confusion around folic acid and folate. Consider the following to understand how to differentiate these vitamin supplements:

  • Folate – Folate is the naturally-occurring form of vitamin B9. It’s most often found in vegetables like nuts, peas, leafy greens, and beans, as well as fruits including bananas, lemons, and oranges.
  • Folic acid – This version of vitamin B9 is synthetic and not found in nature. [10] Because it is so important for health, folic acid is very often added to “enrich” foods or recommended as a supplement, as in prenatal vitamins.

So, how does folate relate to heart health? This vitamin can help your body with the maturation of red blood cells [10]—a crucial component of your heart and circulatory system. Some research indicates that folate and folic acid supplementation may play some role in coronary heart disease. [11]

Vitamin D

Did you know that the body can actually produce some vitamins on its own? In fact, with a little help from the sun, your body can synthesize vitamin D. [12] Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially now that many of us stay out of the sun to reduce skin cancer risk. Possible heart-healthy benefits of healthy levels of vitamin D that healthcare professionals are studying include:

  • Calcium absorption – Your body needs to have enough vitamin D to use calcium. If you have low vitamin D levels, you may be compromising your bone health and your heart health. Calcium also plays a role in the function of your heart, helping to regulate the electrical activity that keeps the muscle beating. [13]
  • Reduced risk of chronic illness – Some research suggests a relationship between vitamin D long-term illnesses such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and, most notably for this guide, coronary heart disease. [14]
  • Immune system benefits – Keep up with your daily vitamin D, and you may improve your immune system’s defense against autoimmune diseases and viruses such as colds and COVID-19 [15]. The research is still inconclusive, but scientists around the world are busy studying whether vitamin D can help keep your heart (and your entire body) healthy.

If you’re looking to increase your daily vitamin D but aren’t able to spend enough time in the sun, consider increasing the foods in your diet that contain vitamin D. You may be able to get your daily dose from certain fortified foods, including: [12]

  • Cereals
  • Juices
  • Dairy products

Note that vitamin D, as a fat-soluble vitamin, is the second leading cause of hypervitaminosis after A. Check the nutritional facts and try to eat a varied diet to ensure you’re meeting your daily vitamin D requirements.

If you can’t consume enough from the foods you eat, a vitamin D supplement can help you meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D for adults 19 years and older is 600 IU (15 mcg) daily for men and women, and for adults >70 years it is 800 IU (20 mcg) daily.

Vitamin E

What can vitamin E do for your heart? Like many other vitamins, vitamin E may boost immune system protection and support complex cellular functions, like those happening in your heart.

Current studies cannot conclusively point toward vitamin E’s effect on preventing heart disease conditions—including heart disease, dementia, liver disease, and stroke. That said, there may be a link between vitamin E’s effect on cells, tissues, and organ function, and overall heart wellness. It may also be more beneficial to higher-risk individuals such as those with type 1 diabetes.

To up your intake of vitamin E, look to foods like: [16]

  • Seeds and nuts
  • Vegetable oils
  • Spinach, greens, and leafy vegetables

If desired, you can also find this vitamin in many multivitamins or as an individual dietary supplement.

What vitamins to avoid for heart health

Your body requires a balance of every vitamin to function properly. [1] So it’s important to understand when and how vitamins could harm your health. As you seek to boost your system with vitamins and supplements, be cautious of the following:

  • Over-consumption – You can have too much of a good thing. Always follow the daily recommended allowances (RDAs) for vitamins and consult with your medical provider for more clarification and details about usage. For example, high doses of vitamin E supplements might increase the risk of bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Some vitamins can interact with other medications you may be taking, so be sure to tell your health care provider about all of the vitamins and supplements you take.
  • Unnecessary ingredients – If you’re sourcing your vitamins from dietary supplements, pay close attention to ingredient lists.
  • Questionable supplements – Because vitamin supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s important to source your dietary supplements from a reputable vendor, such as a company whose supplements are third-party tested and backed by evidence. If you can’t find the vitamins you need in your diet, take the time to vet various manufacturers and retailers to ensure you’re purchasing quality products.

Best supplements for heart health

Knowing which supplements are considered the best for your heart can prepare you for that meeting with your healthcare provider. Armed with some information about the nutrients you might need, you’ll be able to ask questions and learn about the dietary supplement options that appeal to you most. When it comes to a healthy heart, here are the supplements that routinely top the list.


If lowering cholesterol levels is your goal, fiber may be the supplement to help you. This is because soluble fiber can help your body get rid of extra cholesterol by trapping it in a gel-like substance in your intestines. The cholesterol is then excreted before it enters the bloodstream.

Fiber is abundant in many foods that contribute to a heart-healthy diet, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Incorporating these foods into your daily diet is the best way to up your fiber intake. However, if you can’t consume enough fiber through diet alone, you may benefit from a fiber supplement [18].

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is an antioxidant your body naturally produces to help grow and maintain cells. [19] However, as you age, your body becomes less efficient at making CoQ10, which is why the supplemental form of the enzyme is often prescribed.

If you are already dealing with heart health issues, a CoQ10 supplement could potentially pose the following benefits: [19]

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving symptoms of congestive heart failure
  • Easing symptoms of statin-induced myopathy

Although CoQ10 is generally considered to be safe, it can present a few side effects. For that reason, it’s recommended that you only take this supplement under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

Fish Oil

Your body needs a consistent supply of omega-3 fatty acids—a substance it uses to support multiple bodily functions and one you can’t produce on your own. [20] Dietary sources such as salmon, mackerel, trout, mussels, oysters, and crab, twice a week, have been shown to be beneficial for heart health, and the body best absorbs marine sources of omega-3. Food-based omega-3s are the most bioavailable, so they should be prioritized as a source of omega-3s over-supplementation.

Fish oil supplements are another source of omega-3 fatty acids, and are offered as a liquid, capsule, or pill. Studies have demonstrated a mild lowering of blood pressure in people who use these supplements, as well as improving cholesterol overall in some cases. [20]


Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods, including nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and is naturally abundant in our bodies. This mineral plays a significant role in a variety of important biological functions, including: [21]

  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Protein synthesis
  • Bone development
  • Heart rhythm

A review of the research showed that magnesium is a key factor in heart health. Magnesium may have the potential to protect against metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and hypertension, which contribute to heart disease, as well as reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. [22]

The study also suggests that many of the benefits of magnesium can be gained through supplementation if it is not possible to get it from your diet.

Flaxseed Oil

Clinical trials have found that higher blood concentrations of ALA (found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil) are likely cardioprotective and can reduce the risk of adverse events. [23] Note, however, that there are no baseline increases in heart health.

If you’re interested in this supplement, you’ll be happy to know that you have your pick of the shape it takes. Flaxseed supplements come as capsules, powders, and even in liquid form.

Other tips to keep your heart healthy

As you seek ways to keep your heart healthy through vitamins & supplements, it’s important to keep in mind that maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is just as important.

Supplementation can be a good way to hedge against issues beyond your immediate control. But it’s the choices you make every day about the foods you eat and the things you do that play a larger role.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to keep this amazing organ in good working order. These include: [24]

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet – For a healthy heart, make sure your diet is rich in foods that promote cardiovascular wellness. Opt for a wide range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Additionally, you should avoid too many trans fats and limit your sugar consumption.
  • Getting plenty of exercise – A sedentary lifestyle makes for an unhealthy heart. Getting plenty of regular exercises poses many benefits to your heart, like lowering your blood pressure. Seek out aerobic exercises like walking, running, cycling, and swimming. Sports like tennis and activities like jumping rope are also excellent options. Explore some of the best workouts for heart health to do at home.
  • Quitting smoking – Few things are as detrimental to your heart health as smoking cigarettes. From heart disease to heart attacks and strokes, the list of complications that smoking can cause is long, but the moral of the story is short: don’t do it.

Everlywell: Your source for heart health

Keeping your heart healthy is essential to maintaining your body’s vital functions and optimizing your long-term health. But when you’re aiming to understand and improve your wellness, you also need an accessible source you can rely on.

One way to start is by exploring Everlywell home health testing, vitamins, and supplements.

In addition to our fast and convenient home health tests, we’ve brought our wellness commitment to the world of vitamins and other supplements that may benefit heart health, like Omega-3 Fish Oil. Our vitamin offerings also include vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6.

Heart health supplements: heart-healthy options to consider

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