Ingredients for a healthy heart

Ingredients for a healthy heart

Cardiovascular disease has been on our radar for years, but now consumers are really starting to recognize the importance of supplementation to preventing life threatening heart attacks. Here we've rounded up some of the MVP ingredients of the heart-health game.

Cardiovascular health continues to be at the forefront of consumer’s minds. A 2010 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 12 percent of patients 18 or older had been informed that they suffered from heart disease. The same survey found a positive correlation of the rate at which patients were diagnosed with heart trouble and advancing age, indicating the problem (and the potential market) will only grow.

According to the CDC, about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack every year, and about 470,000 have an additional heart attack.  The cost of heart disease in the United States was pegged at $316.4 billion in 2010, which includes direct care costs and lost productivity.

So the size of the problem is manifest, and consumer awareness is growing, too.  That same 2010 survey found a positive correlation between lower heart disease rates and a higher educational level.

 “Overall I think people are becoming more aware that they can take more control and they can do that through supplementation,” said Danielle Harrison, science for National Enzyme Company.


Cutting cholesterol

Controlling cholesterol has been the rallying cry in the category, and while there are dissenting voices that say calcium, not cholesterol is the culprit in the accumulation of arterial plaques, controlling blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides is still the causus belli.  The marine oils – fish oils and krill – rule the roost in this area.  They’ve got it all – consumer awareness, strong science and an effective industry association that has them speaking with a unified voice.  The few small clouds on their horizon consist of some lagging sustainability concerns and legal issues brought on by the impossibly low contamination standards set by California’s Prop. 65.

An EPA/DHA oil supplier that can sidestep some of these issues is Martek, which has now entered the DSM fold.  Martek’s Life’sDHA ingredient is derived from algae, which is the basis for the presence of omega-3s in the flesh of sea creatures.  In effect, Martek goes to the source, cutting out the aquatic middleman.

Fibers have been a long-standing play in maintaining healthy arteries. Oats are the obvious leader, while flax and chia have been making gains as far as consumer awareness is concerned.

Some functional fibers are making a spash, too.  Artinia, a branded ingredient from Stratum Nutrition, is a chitin-glucan fiber derived from the cell walls of a fungus.

“Ingredients like our Artinia fiber ingredient take a little different direction, so there certainly is some additional education that has to be done for the industry and the consumer,” said Heather Thompson, global marketing manager for Stratum. Studies have shown that Artinia supports the body's natural antioxidant system to help defend against the damaging effects of free radicals and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Amid all these relatively new entrants is the old standby for modulating both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels: niacin. It’s a supplement, a drug, a food fortificant – all that – depending on dosage level and target population.


Supporting the muscle, smoothing the flow

One of the standard pharmaceutical methods for heart disease prophylaxis is to prescribe a statin drug.  These work, in that they rapidly bring down cholesterol numbers, but one of their unfortunate side effects is to inhibit the synthesis of coQ10, a vital substance for the health of the heart muscle. CoQ10 improves energy production in cells and can inhibit blood clot formation. CoQ10 levels drop with age, so supplementation with this vital nutrient isn’t just for statin drug users.

Another ingredient in the category that has generated lots of good news lately is Fruitflow, which was developed by UK company Provexis and is being marketed by DSM.  Fruitflow, a proprietary tomato extract, supports healthy blood flow and is the proud owner of an EFSA-approved health claim.  The ingredient won the 2011 NutrAward for best new ingredient in March in Anaheim, Calif.


Condition Specific Directory

Cardiovascular Health



CardioAid TM Plant Sterols



Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Aker BioMarine

Superba Krill Oil

Supports cardiovascular health by promoting healthy cholesterol, triglyceride and inflammation levels.  Krill phospholipids are the most bio-efficient source for EPA and DHA, delivering more of these essential fatty acids to the cells and tissues.;

[email protected]


Issaquah, Washington, USA



Chia seed (Salvia hispanica L)


Bioenergy Life Science, Inc.

Bioenergy Ribose

Can help to increase energy levels and relaxation performance of the heart. This means heart function is better; and therefore, can deliver the oxygen needed to energize our tissues. Bioenergy Ribose is currently used to help improve heart function, exercise tolerance, breathing efficiency, and quality of life.

[email protected]


Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


BI Nutraceuticals

Maqui Berry


Bio Serae Laboratories SAS




CoroWise™ plant sterols

CoroWise ™ Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer ™ brand plant sterols are now an ingredient in a growing number of foods, beverages, and supplements.  Plant sterols have been clinically shown to lower cholesterol and are backed by an FDA heart health claim.


Barliv™ barley betafiber

Barliv ™ barley betafiber is a concentrated beta-glucan soluble fiber derived from whole grain barley.  It has been clinically shown to reduce cholesterol and is authorized for an FDA health claim.  It can be used in a wide variety of foods and beverages including clear beverages

Xtend™ Sucromalt

A full-calorie, low-glycemic sweetener, ideal for use in foods where a balanced energy or blunt glucose response is desired. Sucromalt has a lower glycemic response than sugar and glucose. It is 70 percent as sweet as sugar.


Minneapolis, Minn.


Carotech, Inc

Tocomin, Maxopene


Cognis Nutrition & Health

Heart Choice Natural Plant Sterols



Croda Inc

Incromega™ E7010


Cyvex Nutrition


A highly refined omega-3 oil available in bulk and softgels that features a 1:1 ratio of EPA and DHA, and also provides a rich source of DPA fatty acid. OmegaActiv is truly vertically integrated and traceable as Cyvex maintains complete control over the source, menhaden, which is certified sustainable by FOS.

[email protected]


Irvine, California, USA


Denomega Nutritional Oils

Omega-360, Omega-Classic, Omega-Standard, Omega-360 Powder


DSM Nutritional Products




Krill Oil, CardiaBeat



EPAX 6000 TG


Fortitech, Inc.



Hormel Specialty Products

FUXIONS Omega-3 EPA, DHA (Fish and Algal Sources), co-Q10, Vitamin D




A high purity vegetarian fiber that leverages the benefits of both low-molecular-weight chitosan and beta(1,3)-glucan. With a ratio tuned for optimal performance, this healthy vegetal fat-binder offers unique characteristics for weight and cholesterol management.

[email protected]

+32 4 259 85 00

Herstal, Belgium


Lonza Inc.


A special grade of L-carnitine, manufactured by Lonza. The heart obtains 70 percent of its energy from fat breakdown, the primary function of Carnipure™. Other clinical research indicates L-carnitine supplementation helps maintain health cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

[email protected]


Allendale, New Jersey, USA



The study, “The Antihypertensive Effect Of Natural Antioxidants From Tomato Extract In Grade 1 Hypertensive Patients,” by Dr. Esther Paran, validates the cardiovascular benefits of Lyc-O-Mato®.

[email protected]


Orange, New Jersey, USA


National Enzyme Co.


A proteolytic system from [BEGIN ITAL]Aspergillus oryzae[END ITAL’ that is designed to be a substitute for nattokinase in dietary supplements used for cardiovascular or anti-inflammatory immune support. Nattokinase is a subtilisin-like protease produced by Bacillus natto and has properties that closely resemble plasmin and readily digest plasmin, fibrin and similar synthetic substrates.

[email protected]


Forsyth, Missouri, USA


Natural Health Laboratories

Clinicians Krill Oil 500 - with New Zealand Salmon

Supports  heart health, joint mobility, mental clarity and hormonal balance. Studies have shown that supplements containing phospholipids, EPA and DHA significantly out perform conventional fish-oil products. Small capsule size for ease of swallowing. Harvested in pristine unpolluted seawaters around sub Antarctica and New Zealand in an ecosystem sustainable way.

[email protected]

+64 9 835 0660

Auckland, New Zealand


Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc.


A natural green-tea extract made through a proprietary process that concentrates the benefits of fresh green-tea leaves. Highly potent and pure, it has a minimum of 90 percent EGCG to maximize healthful benefits. Teavigo is caffeine-free, free of any herbicide or pesticide residue, and water soluble.


Kearny, New Jersey, USA


Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc




pTeroPure Pterostilbene

Pterostilbene, a compound found in blueberries, is closely related to resveratrol.  Shown in animal studies to lower bad LDL cholesterol, raise good HDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower lipid levels in the blood stream at a higher rate than even ciprofibrate.


Sabinsa Corporation


A standardized extract of the oleogum resin of Commiphora mukul, containsthe guggulsterones, mainly guggulsterones E and Z are responsible for maintaining of healthy cholesterol level. A guggulsterone-rich extract affects blood lipid levels due to its antioxidant action on oxidized LDL, improvement of insulin sensitivity reduction in blood glucose levels, reduction in Lp(a) levels and increased fecal excretion of bile acids and cholesterol from the intestine.

[email protected]


East Windsor, New Jersey, USA


Salba (Ancient Naturals)

Salba Whole Seed, Salba Milled Seed


Salba Smart Natural Products, LLC

Salba (Sahi Alba 911 & 912 Registered varieties of Salvia hispanica L. – chia)


Soft Gel Technologies, Inc.

CoQH-CF Softgels

A targeted and highly beneficial antioxidant solution providing a stabilized and protected form of Kaneka QH™ ubiquinol in a softgel using our crystal-free technology.  Ubiquinol is an important nutrient that should be seriously considered for optimum health, longevity, and vitality. It is especially important for individuals with oxidative stress conditions.

[email protected]

800-360-7431 or 323-726-0700

Los Angeles, California, USA


Stratum Nutrition



Telos Ceuticals, LLC



XSTO Solutions, LLC


A new vitamin K2 preparation supporting bone and heart health. Unique for its high level of purity and soy-free origin, K2Vital from Kappa BioScience represents the next generation in vitamin K2 nutritional support. Vitamin K2MK7 enhances the utilization of vitamin D for bone health and integrity.


Morristown New Jersey, USA

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