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1/06/2021

Coffee and Heart Disease

Research published this week suggests a link between a moderate coffee consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Get the details in our article about Coffee and Heart Health.
8/31/2021

Caveat With Prescription Fish Oil Study

Some of the cardiovascular benefit reported for a prescription fish oil may have actually been due to a problem with the placebo to which it was compared, according to new research. Get the details in the Prescription Fish Oil vs Supplements section of our Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among fish oil supplements.
4/14/2013

Concern Over Carnitine Causing Cardiovascular Disease

Intake of L-carnitine from supplements (and from red meat) may foster atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to new research. Once ingested, L-carnitine is converted in some people to a compound which reduces the normal clearing of cholesterol from arteries.

For more details, see the updated reviews of B Vitamin Supplements & Energy Drinks and Protein Powders, as some of these products contain L-carnitine. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements review has also been updated because acetyl-L-carnitine is chemically similar to L-carnitine, suggesting a potential concern.
6/08/2017

How To Get Vitamin K From Food

Many of the benefits of vitamin K - such as proper blood clotting and calcium utilization for bone and heart health - are associated with getting adequate vitamin K from foods. The good news? Brand new research has found much higher amounts of vitamin K2 (the form associated with cardiovascular benefits) in dairy foods than previously known. However, the amounts vary tremendously depending on whether these foods are full-fat, or reduced-fat or fat-free. Get the details in the "Vitamin K from food" section of the Vitamin K Supplements Review. If you're interested in a vitamin K supplement, see our Top Picks among brands.
6/22/2011

Does Taking Vitamin D Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease?

Earlier research has suggested an association between higher vitamin D levels in the blood and reduced risk of heart attack. But blood levels are affected by both sun exposure as well as intake of vitamin D. A new study shows that men with higher vitamin D intakes from foods and supplements have a 14% reduction in their risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, the study found no reduction among women. The amount of vitamin D intake shown to be beneficial and possible reasons why a benefit was not found in women are provided in the updated "What It Does" section of our Product Review of Vitamin D SupplementsMore >>
1/06/2018

Vitamin D's Cardiovascular Effect

Taking vitamin D can improve aspects of cardiovascular function in certain situations, as shown in a recently published study. Get the details in the "Cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, and cholesterol" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among vitamin D supplements.)
6/10/2015

Cocoa for Memory

Cocoa flavanols have been shown in some studies to provide a cardiovascular benefit and, in older individuals, memory improvement. A recent study in younger men and women showed that daily use of a cocoa extract had little effect on memory and no cardiovascular benefit, although it did improve mental fatigue shortly after taking the extract. Learn more about the effects of cocoa, dosage, and see our tests and reviews of cocoa products in the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements Review >> 
9/12/2015

Cardiovascular Benefits of Cocoa Flavanols

A drink rich in cocoa flavanols modestly improved certain measures of cardiovascular health in healthy, middle-aged men and women, according to a recent study. Get the details, including dosage, plus our tests of popular products, in the Review of Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements >>
2/17/2013

Risk from Too Much Calcium from Supplements

A major study found that adequate intake of calcium from the diet and other sources was associated with a lower risk of men and women dying from cardiovascular disease over the 12-year period of the study. HOWEVER getting over a certain amount of calcium from supplements was associated with 20% higher risk of men dying from cardiovascular disease. For more information, see the recent update to the Calcium Supplements Review >>
4/05/2017

Don't Bother with High-Dose Vitamin D

Taking a moderate dose of vitamin D (particularly if you are deficient) can be very helpful, but a growing number of studies show a lack of benefit (and some adverse effects) with high-dose vitamin D. The latest study, released this morning, focused on cardiovascular disease. For details, see the "Cardiovascular disease" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>
8/28/2018

Chocolate for the Heart?

Studies suggest cardiovascular benefits from daily intake of cocoa flavanols, as found in dark chocolate. However, a new study, focusing on heart failure, suggests more limited intake. Get the details and our analysis in the Cardiovascular section of the Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, and Nibs Review. (Also see our Top Picks for dark chocolate, cocoa powders, and more.)
11/21/2015

Ideal Vitamin D Levels to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk?

A study of a large group of Americans found that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease was 35% higher in people with low levels of vitamin D. Get the details, plus more about maintaining healthful blood levels of vitamin D, and our tests of products, in the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Be aware that there is also a risk of getting too much vitamin D >>
11/21/2017

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease

Can high doses of vitamin D improve cardiovascular function? A large, one-year study in England recently sought to answer this question. Learn what the researchers discovered in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our Top Picks for vitamin D supplements).
2/03/2018

Disheartening Fish Oil News

Another report was published this week showing no cardiovascular benefit from fish oil supplementation. You can get the details in the Heart Attack and Stroke section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Fish oil may provide cardiovascular benefit in limited situations, as explained in the Review.
11/11/2018

High EPA Fish Oil Lowers Cardiovascular Risk for Some

Taking high-dose, high-EPA fish oil (Vascepa) was found lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25% among people with elevated triglycerides in a major new study. Get the details in the What It Does section of the new Fish Oil Review. (Also see how fish oil supplements compare to Vascepa.)
1/14/2020

Tea & Heart Disease

Another study shows that people who drink tea are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Find out how much and what type of tea was associated with benefits in the Cardiovascular disease section of the Green Tea Review. Also see our Top Picks for green tea.
3/17/2021

Does Coffee Consumption Lower Cardiovascular Risk, or Is It the Other Way Around?

New study results may undermine the association between moderate coffee consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Find out in our updated answer to the question: Is drinking coffee good or bad for heart health?
5/31/2011

Niacin Concern Stops Cardiovascular Study

A clinical trial using high dose niacin (vitamin B3) was recently stopped by the National Institutes of Health due to lack of benefit and a small increase in strokes. Patients in the study had cardiovascular disease and were already taking a statin drug to keep LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels low. The addition of high dose niacin was intended to increase HDL ("good") cholesterol, reduce elevated triglycerides, and, most importantly, reduce the risk of heart attacks and stoke. For more information, including the amount and type of niacin used in the study and additional information about niacin and niacin supplements, see the B Vitamin Supplements ReviewMore >>
6/24/2012

Fish Oil for Strokes and Heart Attacks?

A recent study with fish oil supplements found no reduction in strokes and heart attacks among people with diabetes and poor glucose control. Does this mean fish oil doesn't help with cardiovascular disease? Not necessarily. See the updated Fish Oil (Omega-3) Supplements ReviewMore >>
4/22/2012

Heart Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements in Doubt

A review of the latest studies finds no conclusive evidence that fish oil supplements help people hoping to prevent another heart attack or stroke. It also remains unclear if fish oil provides cardiovascular benefits for healthy individuals. Find out what people concerned about heart disease should do, the other potential benefits of fish oil supplements, and our tests of supplements on the market in the updated Fish Oil Supplements ReviewMore >>
8/18/2013

Vitamin D for Hypertension?

Some studies have suggested a modest reduction in high blood pressure with vitamin D supplementation. However, a recent study did not find such a benefit - although a closer look reveals why these results may not tell the full story. Get the details, plus more information about vitamin D and cardiovascular health, and test results for 55 vitamin D supplements, in the updated Vitamin D Supplements Review >>
12/22/2013

More Evidence of What Multivitamins Don't Do

Several new studies about multivitamins were published this week. The bottom line: In well-nourished people, multivitamins don't reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or overall-mortality, nor improve cognition and memory. Although some studies have suggested a modest benefit in reducing the risk of certain cancers, no clear cancer benefit for multivitamins has been established. For more information, see the updates to the Multivitamins and Multimineral Supplements Review >>  
3/23/2014

Fish Oil Study Finds No Heart Benefit

Findings of a large study reported this week showed that a daily fish oil supplement did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly people. So what's the bottom line for fish oil and heart disease? See the update to the Fish Oil Supplements Review, which includes the latest information about potential uses of fish oil and our tests of popular fish oil supplements. 
11/11/2015

Cocoa Flavanol Safety

A new study found that, even at high doses, cocoa flavanols did not cause adverse cardiovascular effects in healthy men and women. However, be aware that drug interactions and certain side effects can occur. Details are provided in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs & Supplements Review >>
6/10/2015

Do Plant Sterols Help?

Many studies have shown that taking plant sterols with meals can lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. While that's a good thing, a recent study questions whether this reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease — the main target of treatment. Get the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements (Sterols and Policosanol) Review >>
7/26/2015

Does Cocoa Benefit Some More Than Others?

A recent study of natural cocoa taken daily showed potential cardiovascular benefits -- but they seemed greater for some people than others. See the details in the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >>
2/01/2020

Pomegranate for Memory?

Pomegranate juice and supplements have been promoted for improving cardiovascular health, controlling blood sugar, and inhibiting prostate cancer. Most recently pomegranate juice was tested in a year-long study for its effects on memory. Find out if it helped, and see if it works for other touted uses, in the What It Does section of the Pomegranate Juice and Supplements Review Article.
11/11/2018

Mixed Results for EPA/DHA Fish Oil

Concentrated EPA/DHA fish oil given daily to a cross-section of Americans was not found to lower the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease except for those with low fish intake and for African-Americans. See the details in the What It Does section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see which supplements are comparable to the fish oil in the study.
7/06/2016

Lower Risk of Death With Green Tea

A long-term study of men in China found that those who regularly drank green tea — particularly larger amounts — were less likely to die during the study and had lower risks of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer, compared to non-green tea drinkers. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Green Tea Review >>
6/24/2015

Problem with Too Much Krill Oil

Researchers recently gave overweight men a very large daily amount of krill oil (with a smaller amount of fish oil) with the hope it would improve their insulin sensitivity. Unfortunately, the opposite happened, suggesting that the oil could increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Details about the study, including dosage, are found in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >>
2/16/2016

Fish Oil and Blood Pressure

As explained in our Fish Oil Review, fish oil supplements may not provide overall cardiovascular benefits — eating fish is better. However, a recent analysis found that a certain kind of fish oil may help people with high systolic blood pressure. For details, see the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements Review >>
10/22/2016

Cocoa Lowers Blood Sugar

In addition to potential cardiovascular, memory, and other benefits, a new analysis shows that cocoa flavanols may reduce fasting glucose and improve insulin resistance. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >>
3/15/2017

Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Juice Plus+?

Chronic systemic inflammation is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. A recent clinical trial assessed the product Juice Plus+ for its ability to reduce this inflammation in obese men and women. The abstract of the published study indicates that it works, but the results tell a different story. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Greens and Whole Foods Powders, Pills, and Drinks Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
3/29/2016

Chocolate May Help Exercise

In a tasty new study, men who ate dark chocolate for several days were able to cycle somewhat further than those given a placebo (white chocolate), possibly due to the flavanols in dark chocolate -- which also appear to provide cardiovascular benefit. For details about the study and the chocolate, and ConsumerLab's tests and reviews of dark chocolates and other cocoa-based products, see the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs & Supplements Review >>
9/04/2018

Fish Oil & Diabetes

In a major study, fish oil was given to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for several years to see if it would reduce serious cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and stroke. Find out what happened in the Heart Attack and Stroke section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among fish oil supplements.)
7/10/2018

Multivitamins & Cardiovascular Disease

Does taking a multivitamin reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke? See what a recent analysis concluded in the Background section of the Multivitamin Review. (Also see our Top Picks among multivitamins.)
11/28/2017

Growing Concern with Biotin Causing False Lab Results

Biotin (a B vitamin found in B-complex and hair and nail supplements) can interfere with laboratory results resulting in the missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cardiovascular and hormonal conditions, such as Graves' disease (a form of hyperthyroidism). Physicians and lab personnel may be unaware of this interference. For details, see the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamins Review >>
5/15/2019

Glucosamine and Heart Disease

Does taking glucosamine affect your risk of developing cardiovascular disease? See what a large study recently found in the What It Does section of the Joint Health Supplements Review (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Boswellia). Also see our Top Picks among joint health supplements.
12/17/2019

Fish Oil Approved for Elevated Triglycerides

A highly concentrated fish oil that was originally approved only for treating very high triglycerides has been further approved by the FDA to treat lower, but still elevated, triglycerides if cardiovascular risk factors are present. For details see the Prescription Fish Oil vs. Supplements section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oils, including highly concentrated fish oil.
12/10/2017

Lower Heart Risk With Olive Oil

Using olive oil was associated with a dramatic reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease in a recent study. But what about using olive oil along with other oils? Get the results and learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review. Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.
9/12/2018

Cocoa and Cholesterol

Can cocoa flavanols improve cholesterol levels? See what a recent study found in the Cardiovascular section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review. (Also see our Top Picks among cocoa and dark chocolate products.)
10/23/2018

DPA -- The Other Omega-3

Studies are showing that higher blood levels of DPA (an omega-3 fatty acid obtained from fish) are associated with healthier aging and reduced cardiovascular disease. Although a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established, if you're interested in increasing DPA in your diet, we just published the amounts of DPA that we found in popular brands of canned tuna and salmon. Some had virtually no DPA, while others provided nearly 100 mg per serving. (Also see our Top Picks for Canned Tuna & Salmon.)
12/18/2018

Chocolate and Platelet Function?

A recent study found that eating dark chocolate affected a measure of platelet function. How important is this? Get the details in the Cardiovascular section of the Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powders Review. (Also see our Top Picks for dark chocolate).
5/02/2020

Does Fish Oil or Curcumin Increase Brain Blood Flow?

A study among people ages 50 to 80 evaluated the effects of fish oil and curcumin on blood flow to the brain and on other aspects of cardiovascular function. See the results in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review and the Curcumin Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oil and curcumin.
6/15/2018

Mediterranean Diet Study Retracted

A landmark study about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet was retracted and republished this week. Does this change what we know about the benefits of extra virgin olive oil? Find out in the Cardiovascular Disease section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review. (Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.)
3/19/2019

Prescription Fish Oil Lowers Heart Attack Risk

A prescription fish oil was found to lower the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke by 30% in people at high risk. For details, see the Prescription Fish Oil vs. Supplements section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oil supplements.
11/14/2018

Vitamin D May Prevent Cancer Deaths

A major 5-year study in which a cross-section of Americans were given high-dose vitamin D daily found no overall reductions in cardiovascular disease or cancer or death from these causes. However, when excluding the first two years of the study, the rate of death from cancer was 25% lower with vitamin D than with placebo — a finding consistent with other studies. See the details in the Cancer section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.)
11/09/2019

Choline Concern

A large study found that people with higher intakes of choline from their diets had a higher risk of death, specifically cardiovascular death, than people with lower choline intakes. Should you be concerned? See the Concerns and Cautions section of the Choline Supplements Review.
9/18/2020

Vitamin D for Failing Hearts?

Does high-dose vitamin D help or hurt people with chronic heart failure? Find out what a new study showed in the Cardiovascular Disease section of Vitamin D Supplements Review, which also discusses cholesterol, blood pressure and heart attack risk. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.
2/10/2021

Energy Drinks and Blood Pressure

Which people are more likely to have cardiovascular side effects from energy drinks? Find out what a new study showed in the Energy Drinks & Shots section of our B Vitamins Supplements Review.
7/21/2021

Calcium, Vitamin D & Heart Risk

Does taking vitamin D reduce the cardiovascular risks associated with calcium supplementation? See what a new study found in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Calcium Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among calcium supplements.
8/21/2021

Mediterranean vs. Low-Fat Diet for Arteries

A long-term study in people with coronary heart disease compared the effects of a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil with a low-fat diet. Find out which diet decreased atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in arteries) in the Cardiovascular Disease section of our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review. Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.