As the leading cause of death for both men and women, heart disease is alarming enough—and now, news linking the very treatments designed to help protect heart health to cancer are giving consumers even more cause of concern. Reports about the safety of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications dominated the health news headlines in late 2018 and into 2019. A January 2019 CNN headline announced: Heart drug recall expanded again after ongoing FDA testing revealed several drugs were tainted with cancer-causing contaminants (1).
These latest concerns are piled on top of the usual worries some have with pharmaceutical drugs: While these medications are formulated to combat cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and heart-harming stress, many come with their own set of side effects. What’s more, pharmaceuticals may only address one problem, so individuals can end up having to take a myriad of medications. The cost and side effects can quickly add up.
As awareness—and wariness—regarding pharmaceutical drugs grows, consumers may be more motivated to seek out holistic and natural ways to support heart health and avoid being handed a prescription for a drug in the first place. According to the 2018 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), heart health is a priority for supplement users over 55; 29% (up 5% from 2019) say it is one of the reasons they take dietary supplements. And it’s not just baby boomers—surveys show an interest in maintaining heart health starts much younger, with millennials also looking to keep their hearts healthy.