Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you're born with (congenital heart defects), among others.

Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States. In fact, one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s one in every four deaths. Heart disease is responsible for the most deaths worldwide for both men and women of all races. As of 2016, 28.2 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with heart disease. In 2015, nearly 634,000 people died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death. According to the American Heart Association, approximately every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack. The estimated annual incidence of heart attacks in the United States is 720,000 new attacks and 335,000 recurrent attacks. About 14% of people who have a heart attack will die from it.

To help keep their hearts ticking over, consumers are turning to functional foods and beverages, vitamins and dietary supplements as part of a health-focused diet and lifestyle. As a result, the global heart health market is flourishing, with US sales alone was worth $7 billion in 2014. And as consumers are gaining awareness regarding heart health, the requirement for heart health supplements keeps increasing.

Ingredients that can help reduce the risk of heart disease

1. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for heart health in many ways. It assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol, helps assure circulatory health, and supports optimal functioning of the heart muscle. CoQ10 may also help support the health of vessel walls.

2. Algae Oil DHA

Algae oil helps regulate heartbeat, reduce blood pressure, decrease blood clot formation and reduce overall inflammation. This decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Algae oil also helps reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. DHA can improve cardiovascular health by helping to lower dangerous LDL cholesterol while increasing healthy HDL cholesterol levels. According to a report by Science Daily, people with heart disease are typically advised by physicians to take at least 4,000 mg of DHA and EPA each day.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant in the body's lipid (fat) phase. It can prevent LDL lipid peroxidation caused by free radical reactions. Its ability to protect cell membranes from oxidation is of crucial importance in preventing and reversing many degenerative diseases. In addition, vitamin E inhibits blood clotting (platelet aggregation and adhesion) and prevents plaque enlargement and rupture. Finally, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which may also prove to be very important in the prevention of heart disease.

4. Krill Oil

Whether you’re looking to drop your cholesterol levels or simply keep your heart in tip-top shape, krill oil may be able to help. Krill oil is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to reduced inflammation, a decreased risk of heart disease and improvements in cardiovascular function. One 2015 study conducted at Danbury Hospital focused on measuring the krill oil benefits on heart health in people with diabetes. Researchers found that taking 1,000 milligrams of krill oil reduced several heart disease risk factors and even increased levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.

5. Ginseng Extract

Ginseng shows promise for protecting heart health, including anti-hypertensive effects and protection against heart failure. Asian ginseng, in particular, may protect against symptoms of heart disease and support healthy cholesterol levels.

6. Astaxanthin

There is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of astaxanthin for heart health, including reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, improved lipid profiles, and better blood flow. Antioxidants like astaxanthin help to counteract the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals, promoting a healthy oxidative balance. It is safe, natural and can be sustainably produced. When there’s more astaxanthin around, HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind) production goes up and LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ kind) is protected from free-radical damage.

7. Grape Seed Extract

Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the potential benefits of grape seed extract on cardiovascular health, both in animals and in humans, and the results have been promising. Grape seed extract has been shown, for example, to reduce the scale of a heart attack, control tachycardia (an abnormally fast resting heart rate), provide protection against cardiotoxicity caused by the drug doxorubicin, reduce biomarkers of early stage atherosclerosis, and reduce oxidised LDL cholesterol levels.

8. Lutein

Some observational studies show that xanthophyll carotenoids including lutein can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Just like with the previously mentioned studies that show potential cancer-protective effects of lutein, we aren’t exactly sure yet how lutein improves heart health. Because lutein has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it seems that it would benefit heart health by lowering inflammation, which is an underlying cause of coronary heart disease.

9. Vitamin C

Ranking as the leading cause of death, it’s estimated that heart disease accounts for nearly 32% of deaths around the world. Switching up your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to ward off heart disease, and some research even shows that including just a few servings a day of vitamin C rich foods could help reduce several heart disease risk factors to promote heart health.

One large study out of Finland concluded that people who took at least 700 milligrams of vitamin C daily had a 25 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than people who did not take supplemental vitamin C. Similarly, another study showed that taking just 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily significantly reduced both triglycerides and levels of bad LDL cholesterol, two major contributors to heart disease.

10. Ginkgo Biloba Extract

Ginkgo biloba benefits the overall heart health by lowering the blood pressure and helping eradicate the formation of blood clots all over the entire cardiovascular or circulatory system. The circulation is stimulated as the blood vessels dilate, thus taking off added strain from the heart and efficiently oxygenating the body. The chances too of acquiring a heart attack or stroke in the brain will be lessened since blockages and blood clotting can now be addressed by gingko as a natural anticoagulant. It also reduces the fragility of the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries.

11. Vitamin D

A growing body of evidence suggests that consumers who are deficient in vitamin D are at increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to other, well-known heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Although this vital nutrient is produced by the skin when exposed to direct sunlight, the lack of consistent year-round sunshine in some countries makes dietary sources and supplementation vital.

12.  Niacin

Niacin helps with cholesterol management in your body, which then minimises the risk of getting a heart disease. Plus, it curbs inflammation and oxidative stress that can prove to be dangerous for the cardiovascular health as they work to harden the arteries and block blood flow. Vitamin B3 is known to expand the blood vessels, thus improving the blood circulation and enhancing the overall functionality of the cardiovascular system.

Heart health is the sub-function of cardiovascular health, which is one of the six functions that Kangcare Bioindustry focuses on. The above ingredients in Kangcare’s portfolio is highly versatile and can be integrated into a number of formulations, like beverage, candy, energy bar, pastry, pulvis, granules, capsule, softgel, tablet, jelly, oral liquid, etc.