National Heart Month
February is American Heart Month!1 American Heart Month is a time to focus on and bring awareness to the importance of cardiovascular health. A healthy heart is vital to living a long, active lifestyle. According to the CDC, heart disease is also the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, resulting in roughly 697,000 deaths annually. Every 34 seconds, someone in the US dies of cardiovascular disease, resulting in an estimated healthcare cost of $229 billion/year.2
Why should you care about having a healthy heart?
Taking proactive steps to support your heart health is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits that are essential steps in maintaining heart health include (but are not limited to):
- Avoiding smoking
- Getting regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- And, eating a healthy diet
Additionally, there are several essential nutrients that are known to promote healthy heart function.
Magnesium & Heart Health
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps to support both a steady heart rhythm and helps to maintain normal blood pressure.4 While data are still emerging, there is a significant body of evidence showing that Magnesium supplementation may aid in lowering blood pressure in adults.5 In January 2022, the FDA formally acknowledged this emerging relationship and announced a Qualified Health Claim regarding Magnesium and hypertension: “Inconsistent and inconclusive scientific evidence suggests that diets with adequate magnesium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), a condition associated with many factors.” 6
The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium is 420 mg/day and 320 mg/day for adult men and women, respectively7. Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, our everyday diets, through foods such as nuts and seeds, soy products, leafy greens, and legumes4 – yet roughly half of all Americans do not get enough Magnesium in their diet.8
Calcium & Heart Health
Calcium, while perhaps best known for supporting strong bones, is also a key mineral that helps maintain blood vessel function and blood pressure control.9 It also helps with blood clotting, muscle contraction, and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. Calcium carries an authorized health claim on its relationship to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.11 However, it’s important to remember that, like Magnesium, Calcium also carries a qualified health claim for the reduction of hypertension risk (“Some scientific evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of hypertension. However, FDA has determined that the evidence is inconsistent and not conclusive”).12
The body’s need for calcium increases as we age. Experts recommend that adults aged 19-50y get 1000 mg/day of calcium in their diets, however, this requirement increases to 1200 mg/day for women beginning at age 51y and for men beginning at age 71y.9 Calcium is found in a wide range of foods, specifically dairy products such as milk and cheese, but also fortified plant milk, almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice. However, nearly half (44%) of all Americans do not get enough calcium in their diet (8). Due to the high prevalence of inadequate calcium intake and the public health consequences related to it, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans lists calcium as a “Dietary Component of Public Health Concern” for nearly all ages and stages of life.13
Potassium & Heart Health
Lastly, and perhaps among the most under-appreciated nutrients with respect to heart health, is potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that works in concert with sodium to help regulate the movement of fluids in the body, which is critical for maintaining healthy blood pressure.14 This is a well-established diet & heart health relationship, with the FDA authorizing a health claim for potassium and hypertension/stroke, reading “Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and that are low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke”.15
The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Potassium were recently revised in 2019, with the recommended intake being updated to 3400 mg/day and 2600 mg/day for men and women, respectively.16 Unfortunately, most Americans fall well below that recommendation, with less than 1/3 (29%) of all Americans getting enough potassium in their diets from food and beverages alone. Like calcium, potassium was listed by the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines For Americans as a “Dietary Component of Public Health Concern” for all Americans over age 1y, due to the high prevalence of inadequate intakes is widespread and the public health challenges associated with it.13 Potassium can be found in foods such as apricots, raisins, potatoes, and orange juice.14
Where does Balchem fit in?
Balchem’s Albion® Minerals portfolio utilizes multiple technologies with a range of benefits, including greater bioavailability and improved solubility. Our line of specialty mineral brands includes Calci-K®, Calcium Citrate Malate (CMM), MetaMag®, as well as Potassium Glycinate, which all play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health.
“Minerals play incredibly important roles in maintaining heart health, and millions of Americans do not get enough in their diets. Balchem’s Albion Minerals portfolio offers a wide variety of options of these essential minerals tailored to provide unique benefits* and fantastic performance in multiple applications.”Eric Ciappio, Balchem Strategic Development Manager, Nutrition Science
*These statements have not been evaluated by Federal Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Ingredient users are solely responsible for ensuring the compliance of formulation and labeling (inclusive of claims) with applicable regulations.
With a wide range of delivery methods, Balchem can help you formulate high-quality products that meet the nutritional needs of consumers.
Our delivery methods include:
- Fortified food & beverages
- Powdered drinks
Contact Us Today
Click the link below and request to speak with one of our Account Managers about how we can help you expand your portfolio and assist in developing products that promote a healthy heart!
- https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/american_heart_month.htm. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Zhang X, et al. Hypertension 2016; 68(2): 324-333.
- https://www.fda.gov/media/155304/download. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Institute of Medicine, 1997. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109816/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 2021. Usual Nutrient Intake from Food and Beverages, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2015-2018 Available http://www.ars.usda.gov/nea/bhnrc/fsrg. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Institute of Medicine, 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56060/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- FDA, 2008. Food Labeling: Health Claims; Calcium and Osteoporosis, and Calcium, Vitamin D, and Osteoporosis. Available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2004-P-0205-0006. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- FDA, 2005. Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion – Calcium and Hypertension; Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension; and Preeclampsia (Docket No. 2004Q-0098). Available at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171114183741/https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm073030.htm. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- USDA, USDHHS. 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Available at: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. Potassium. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- FDA, 2000. Health Claim Notification for Potassium Containing Foods. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/health-claim-notification-potassium-containing-foods. Accessed Jan 30, 2023.
- Institute of Medicine, 2019. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545428/. Accessed Jan 20, 2023.