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.
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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 on that powerful muscle in your chest.
Curious about the best vitamins for heart health? From blood cell production to iron absorption, there are plenty of ways vitamins can benefit your heart.
All 13 essential vitamins are crucial for keeping your body in top working order, but this article will focus on those directly related to cardiovascular health, so read on.
Vitamin A maintains several important bodily functions, including: 
- Bone and teeth health
- Skin and soft tissue maintenance
Vitamin A has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit cells from the oxidation process.  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 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: 
- 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, 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. 
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.  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 —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. 
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.  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. 
- 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. 
- 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 . 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: 
- 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.
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: 
- 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.  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.
Everlywell: Your source for heart-smart vitamins
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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