It used to be that if a person was too busy to eat nutritiously, doctors would recommend popping a daily multi-vitamin and some antioxidants. According to renowned cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, the idea was that these supplements would compensate for a poor diet and protect your heart. However, he says his thinking has changed, thanks to new studies and clinical trials. He now recommends very few supplements, and only takes one himself. Here are a few that’ve been in the news, and his breakdown of each. We got this from Prevention magazine.

Reservatrol. This heart-healthy component in red grape skins and red wine, is looking good – but Agatston says he wouldn’t give it a general recommendation. At least, not as a stand-alone supplement. It has been shown in some studies to improve your heart function, but you should be getting it from your diet. So eat red grapes or drink one glass of red wine daily.

Antioxidants. Agatston says skip them altogether! A trial with tens of thousands of patients who were given antioxidants such as Vitamins E and C, and beta-carotene, didn’t have any positive findings. In fact, they may be harmful if taken in large amounts. So how could the medical community have been so wrong? Agatston says that research is conducted in stages – first in test tubes, then with animals, next with small human groups, and then with larger populations. Scientists just weren’t patient enough before recommending supplements. So get your E, C and beta carotene from fruits and vegetables, not pills.
So, what about Fish oil? Dr. Agatston says this is the only supplement he recommends whole-heartedly, and the only one he takes regularly. Its omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be an effective heart protector in study after study. In fact, since some fresh fish contain high levels of mercury, getting fish oil in supplement form can be the safest option. The American Heart Association recommends one gram daily if you’re at risk of heart disease.