Vitamins and supplements - what to believe - AF Association

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Vitamins and supplements - what to believe


This month's Which? (UK consumer magazine) talks about changes in the law regarding the description of supplements. I quote:

"...companies making health claims on supplements (and food and drink) now have to submit evidence to back up these claims to the EU's European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). And health claims about the benefits of glucosamine, probiotics and prebiotics have been rejected on the grounds of insufficient evidence. As a result, many of the health claims and benefits that we previously took for granted are no longer allowed."

And not only that

"By law, supplements can contain up to 50% more or 20% less vitamin, and 45% more and 20% less mineral than what’s listed on the label.

Of the eight supplements we tested in the lab, one each from Vitabiotics, Holland & Barrett and Nature’s Best fell outside of these generous parameters."

I have taken supplements every day for years and see it almost as insurance should I be missing vital elements from my diet. Since AF reared its unwelcome head, I take even more. So, fellow forum members, do you take supplements and do they make a difference? Personally, I have taken them for so long I can't honestly say!

33 Replies

Interesting post Irene. I take magnesium as it seems to be recommended for a-fib. I know some supplements are not recommended if you have it though.

I always Google the supplement and irregular heart beat ie 'magnesium irregular heart beat' as it normally kicks out some info about whether it`s safe to take or not.

Google is my friend heheh.

Enjoy your weekend.



Me too!

None of the above quotes surprise me.

Yes I do take supplements and will continue to but with help & direction from my doctors and Nutritionist and some only after testing eg:- Vitamin D3. You can get a very easy quick test to know your D3 levels from several labs through a pin-prick test.

As a guide - supplements should show iu levels which is an international standard of how much active substance is present - may not always be met though from those manufacturer’s not using pharmaceutical manufacturing standards which is I believe what Which were highlighting. For instance the governments minimum for D3 for anyone over 65 = 400iu. Most nutritionists would say that amount is irrelevant and only testing would determine how much you as an individual should be taking to meet your nutritional needs.

There are moves afoot to impose EU regulation for supplements which in one way may be a good think but will raise prices considerably. As some of my supplements cost £35-£50 for a month’s supply I would obviously not welcome that move. If you are going to use supplements tailored to your needs - no doubt at all - it’s very expensive. With testing I estimate several thousand pounds a year.

Do I need them to survive? Probably not.

Do I feel better for taking them - definately when I get it right which isn’t always. My energy levels have just had a turbo boost from adding D-Ribose - which has drastically helped my chronic fatigue which as everything else had been stable for some time indicates I have responded very positively to the addition of this supplement.

Is it worth the time, effort and expense - for me certainly.

The supplements I take daily are:-

Cider vinegar before every meal now, especially ones high in protein, on insistence from my nutritionist although I pull faces



Vitamin C

Glucosamine & Chondroitin Complex (arthritis & inflammation)

VitD3 - variable iu concentrations dependant upon occasionally testing

B Complex - but I cant find a brand which works without causing side effects which are usually the fillers.

Sometimes -

Ca D-Glucarate


And there is one which I forget the name of when my gut flora indicates I have too many bad bugs - my gut always lets me know one way or another. It’s based on Tannin so if you drink red wine and black tea you probably wouldn’t need it but I can’t take either.

I have never bought from H&B precisely because they use so many fillers that unless you read the labels and know how to read the labels it’s really easy to be conned.

I would look to buy products which meet pharmaceutical manufacturing standards which isn’t always that easy to determine either.

The pro-biotics & pre-biotics are very controversial anyway and you would be far better increasing green leafy vegetables, home fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, sourkrout etc. Eating the rainbow as far a foods are concerned is most important and probably more beneficial longer term than taking pro-biotics IMHO.

My Nutritionist recommended I use this site to purchase most of my supplements but I also use Lamberts - very helpful information & Pukka.

I am not that interested in just taking a general supplement because of heresay so tend to do quite a lot of reading and research as to the science first and firmly believe that Food is our Medicine so use a lot of fresh herbs & spices - especially garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon & various mints - most of which I grow in the garden or a window box.

Hope that helps - CD

BobDVolunteer in reply to CDreamer

Cider vinegar best taken 1 tblsp in warm water with teaspoon of honey in my experience but it must have "the mother".

CDreamer in reply to BobD

I am fermenting so much at the moment I’m not sure I could cope with another right now but I am buying an organic, naturally fermented one. Have you a spare to share?

BobDVolunteer in reply to CDreamer

I buy mine through my Bowen man . Will try to remember to look what make.

irene75359 in reply to CDreamer

Thank you for such a comprehensive reply - really helpful. I will try the site you mention. However, like you I rarely take a supplement on heresay and have dropped some in the past when research has shown the claims are untrue.

I currently take Magnesium, Omega-3, Garlic, Lycopene, Silymarin, Co-Enzyme Q10 and

K2 Mk7. I am really tempted to try the D-Ribose as my recent blood tests have shown no reason for my general tiredness. I rarely have processed food but my husband does most of the cooking and will occasionally buy ready-prepared sauces, say for curries, but I have alerted him to even the basic traffic light system showing the salt and fat content, never mind the additives. He doesn't do quite enough vegetables but I am trying not to bite the hand that feeds me!

Spiritji in reply to irene75359

I had a friend working in research and some important vitamins for heart are D-Ribose, L Carnitine and Co Enzyme Q 10......everyone on the project started taking them the research was so strong.........

irene75359 in reply to Spiritji

That's really interesting, thank you. I am thinking about D-Ribose as CDreamer notices a big difference, and I already take Co Enzyme Q10. I will investigate L Carnitine.

4Laur in reply to irene75359

I read that Co Q10, turmeric, omega— all counteract with afib meds?

I have listened for many years to a very experienced pharmacist and medical herbalist who is on Australian radio and I have emailed him a few times for recommendations and advice and asked questions about interactions between drugs and supplements. He is a fabulous support.

For many years I’ve taken a multi B vitamin (which contains a few other things including magnesium). I also take another magnesium product, CoQ10 and turmeric (for osteoarthritis).

irene75359 in reply to Kaz747

I did start turmeric last year but then found out that it interacts with warfarin. How useful to have contact with an expert!

I take magnesium a fairly new addition and very low dose omega 3 and multivits with probiotics which am gradually stopping along with plant sterols ( tabs) just to use them up! If ok will just continue with magnesium.

Having been looking into the gut biome, probiotics are, as aready said a controversial subject.

irene75359 in reply to Bagrat

I have a lot to use up - I really stocked up just after Christmas!

sleeksheep in reply to Bagrat

probiotics which am gradually stopping

We stopped taking probiotics - they appear to create stomach "irregularities" far to often if taken consistently. We only take Digestive Enzymes now and feel a lot more balanced - no tail wind so to speak :)

I have had mixed results with probiotics. I am going in for what were once considered very unhygienic habits like eating a handful of nuts without washing my hands after gardening. Apparently there is wisdom in the old wives tale " eat a peck of dirt before you die".

do you take supplements and do they make a difference?

There are some supplements I can say with surety and have blood work to show they work others are quite subjective in that I think they work but proof is illusive .

Those I can show positive results in blood work and / or energy.

Magnesium Taurate - heart

CoQ10 - heart

L- Carnitine - heart / energy

Omega Oils - cholesterol and arthritis

Red Rice Yeast - cholesterol

Glucosamine and Chondroitin + MSM - arthritis

Serrapeptase - sinus relief better than any antihistamine.

R-Alpha Lipoic Acid - neuropathy ( statin use and broken foot decades ago )

Brewers Yeast - glucose

Gymnema Sylvestre - glucose

A lot of supplements do more than one < disease> Taurine and magnesium are very good for diabetics as well as heart.

So some of us take a few of the same supplements, and you have alerted me to Serrapeptase which is certainly of interest to my husband who cannot go anywhere without a supply of anthistamines. And reading more about it, it reduces inflammation, which may help his knee pain too.

I hurt my back / hip joint yesterday and sorry to say it hasnt made that better , but with soft tissue it really is a life changer. I have been on all sorts for allergic rhinitis for decades but nothing ever really stopped it ( steroid injections 30 years ago but there not recommended with AFIB ) I tried serrapeptase 20,000 units and had total success but the amount and time of relief does vary depending on humidity and quality of the preparation. I now take 120,000 units ( its very humid - 4 capsules 2 x 40k and 2 x 20k ) , some are not as good as others so it takes trial and error to find what dose / manufacturer is best.

4Laur in reply to sleeksheep

I’ve read that CoQ10/Turmeric/Omegas counteract interfere with anti arrhythmic & blood thinner meds?

irene75359 in reply to 4Laur

I checked with my GP about CoQ10 and Omega 3 and he didn't see a problem. I found out myself about turmeric and stopped taking it. But I think perhaps he is wrong.

My Dr. had the same opinion re: CoQ10 and Omega 3's I've never taken turmeric but take a lot of Cinnamon verum (Ceylon ) .

I also think it also depends on your personal reaction to anticoagulants . My Dr. said after my last blood results whatever I am doing dont stop.

Clarap60 in reply to sleeksheep


Where do you obtain your Magnesium Taurate and how big are the tablets please?


sleeksheep in reply to Clarap60

I get most of my supplements from iHerb - there not tablets they are capsules

very easy to swallow - capsule size 00 ( size 2 is small - size 00 is larger )

as I have some other magnesium to use up I purchased Taurine as well

Clarap60 in reply to sleeksheep

Thank You

I’ll investigate that - tablets in H&B are huge!

I take quite a lot of supplements. Magnesium ( a mixture of citrate and a capsule with biglycinate that also has b vits and taurine ), ubiquinol , some calcium as I don't eat much dairy, vit k2 , fish oil and n acetyl cysteine. My vit d is prescribed by my GP and levels are tested . I occasionally take acerola juice and aloe vera juice. Before starting on Eliquis I also took curcumin and though I asked my GP about it and he thought it would be ok to continue I am wary as it has anti aggregant properties and with the fish oil might be too much. I have noticed it takes a lot longer for the scratches on my arms I get when gardening to stop bleeding since starting the Eliquis and the scabs look awful! I don't think doctors know that much about supplements and interactions with meds though mine seemed quite positive about the benefits of curcumin .

I have always bruised easily and much more so since taking warfarin but I accept that it is one of the side effects. I agree about doctors and their knowledge.

I had to stop Tumeric as it fights with Iron. Anemia causes AFIB due to low RBCs. I cannot take Coconut Oil or Fish Oil as it sets off AFIB for me. I heard these oils collect in the atrium and cause the nerves to "rattle" for lack of a better term. I take Magnesium Taurate 400 MGs a day sometimes 600 if I start to feel odd.

irene75359 in reply to pamrupp

None of the supplements I take affect me negatively (unless there is something going on that I am unaware of). Magnesium is certainly popular amongst people on the forum.

I take Forceval which is a multivitamin and trace elements etc designed as a supplement for people on minimum diets, It was prescribed for me years ago when through an elimination diet I was found severely food intolerant to so many foodstuffs. Recently our GPs were ordered to withdraw subscriptions for vitamins and Forceval was also withdrawn. I have to order and buy it through Boots which is now a problem because I'm not in easy reach of a store. I tried ordering it online but they refused without a prescription! I am now in a cleft stick! I wrote to Boots for an explanation and it was that when you buy online you aren't actually seen!

Without Forceval I am even more tired and lethargic so they obviously do make a difference.

I was annoyed on your behalf and googled

and I don't think you need a prescription, you just have to fill in a short questionnaire. Worth trying if you can get it delivered direct to you.

Thank U! I know, wish I could take them .

Wow, I just read through this trying to find some info on supplements and it is amazing how many different supplements people rely on:

*Mag Taurate

*Cider Vinegar



*Vitamins C, D3, B-complex, K2, MK7


*CA D-Glucerate


*Omega 3







*Digestive Enzymes

*Red Rice Yeast


*R-Alpha Lipoic Acid

*Brewers Yeast

*Gymnema Silvestre


*Cinnamon (Ceylon)


*Fish oil

*Acetyl Cysteine

*Multi vitamins

Saw a couple statements worth bringing up:

*Fish and Coconut oils collect in left atrium

*Serrapeptase is better at clearing sinuses than standard drugs

So far, in my research, I have only settled on one so far: Magnesium Glycinate.

I am looking for supplements that will support heart health (obviously), work with my Eliquis and support my body while in ketosis. The next supplement I am going to study is COQ10 followed by L-Carnitine and then Serrapeptase (I would love to find a way to relieve my sinus headaches!).

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