We’re understanding more about these cardiovascular and fermented products all the time.
Happy American Heart Month ! This year, we’re not only listening to our hearts—we’re also listening to our guts. Here’s what recent studies say about supplements for cardiovascular health, as well as the latest news in fermented products.
Fermented dairy for digestion
Probiotic dairy products have long been associated with gut health. In a 2019 study, probiotic fermented milk and yogurt were found to be associated with increased levels of beneficial Bifidobacterium species of bacteria in healthy adults’ guts. Choose good quality, unsweetened yogurt and fermented milk (milk kefir) or supplements from reputable companies.
Fermented soy for cognitive impairment
Recent research points toward the potential benefits of fermented soy for cognitive impairment. One hundred people with mild cognitive impairment took either a specialized fermented soy supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks. The participants who took the supplement experienced greater improvements in the combined cognitive functions, including attention.
Folic acid and cardiovascular health
Moving on to cardiovascular health, a recent meta-analysis showed that supplemental folic acid (famous for its benefits to pregnant mothers and babies) “significantly reduced the risk of stroke in patients with CVD [cardiovascular disease].” Supplements are widely available; those living with CVD ought to speak with their health care practitioner and have their folic acid levels tested.
Resveratrol and cardiovascular health
Resveratrol is affectionately known as the magic ingredient that makes red wine healthy, but make no mistake—drinking too much alcohol of any kind is far from healthy. Thankfully, resveratrol comes in other forms, including supplements.
Researchers recently investigated the potential use of resveratrol for endothelial (blood vessel) function in patients with metabolic syndrome. The resveratrol didn’t seem to impact blood pressure, but it did appear to significantly help flow-mediated dilatation (a measure of endothelial function). The researchers noted that more studies need to be done.
Silymarin and cardiovascular health
Most of us think of silymarin (milk thistle) for liver health, but new research shows this herbal supplement’s potential for heart health too—specifically blood lipids (fats). A 2019 meta-analysis found that a silymarin combination product reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol and that silymarin on its own increased high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol.
Follow your heart to your local natural health retailer to learn more about these and other key supplements.