When I first started formulating cardiovascular supplements, I was somewhat of a supplement skeptic—and still am to a certain extent. Then I had a very unusual experience at a company where I was working. A customer from Arizona had been taking large doses of coenzyme Q10 and, after three months, a few of his surgeons called our research department and asked what this man was taking for his heart. The patient had been waiting for a heart transplant and evidently no longer needed it. I was rendered speechless.

Anecdotal though it was, this piece of evidence made quite an impact on me. Amazing, and yes coenzyme Q10 is a winning ingredient, but as a formulator who wants to create unique products, where do I go from here? This category is so broad that it’s impossible to cover every aspect of cardiovascular health in one shot.

Marketing says, “Let’s go, get it done, we want a cardiovascular product!” But resistance occurs because it is a large market and there are so many nutrients with a great deal of research to evaluate. Formulators need to make a plan and begin by writing objectives for their market.

Start with the key questions:

  • What’s the primary goal? Will the product support overall heart health or will it support cardiac muscle function, maintain healthy blood pressure, antioxidant properties, or electrical transmission through the heart?
  • Do you want a product to help the body lower LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, Ox LDL (oxidized low density lipoprotein), or triglyceride levels, and raise HDL (high density lipoprotein)?

What follows are some key nutrients to support overall cardiovascular health and cardiac muscle tissue, and a dive into the exciting frontier of oxidized LDL (Ox LDL).

There are many subsets in the categories below and many ingredients with science to support these cardiovascular functions. We can’t possibly cover them all, but I will try to provide some interesting facts and a few stories to help you with the formulating process. One thing to remember, though—don’t forget to look for effective dosage levels that match the double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.