Stop Taking Multivitamins to Help Your Heart. Researchers Say They Don't Work

Desiree Burns
July 11, 2018

The scientists behind the latest research, which combined the results of studies involving more than two million people, said that vitamin pills, including those that claimed to combat poor heart health, were at best a distraction for people looking to prevent cardiovascular disease.

But more and more studies are calling these promises into question.

'It has been exceptionally hard to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases, ' said Kim.

"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements..."

"MVM supplements were associated with a slightly lower risk of coronary heart disease incidence in the overall analysis, but no association was found with stroke incidence", they wrote, adding that the inverse relation between MVM use and coronary heart disease was seen only when all studies were considered, but not when subgroup analysis was performed on just the randomized controlled trials.

As for Kim, he hopes the new study "dampens the hype of multivitamins and mineral supplements, and encourages people to focus on the real issues like diet, exercise, [and] smoking cessation".

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"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people... to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases", study lead author Dr. Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a statement.

"The other RCT found that long-term use of a daily multi-vitamin did not provide cognitive benefits among a group of older men".

The largely unregulated supplement industry is doing a booming business, with a projected value of $278 billion by 2024, Kim's team noted. For that reason, vitamin manufacturers technically can not put any wild claims of proven medical benefits on the label.

"Although multivitamin and mineral supplements taken in moderation rarely cause direct harm, we urge people to protect their heart health by understanding their individual risk for heart disease and stroke, and working with a healthcare provider to create a plan that uses proven measures to reduce risk".

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the American Heart Association's chief medical officer for prevention and chief of the Association's Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who was not a part of this study, commented: "Eat a healthy diet for a healthy heart and a long, healthy life".

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