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Multivitamins may not prevent cardiovascular diseases, says study

12 July 2018

Researchers say the best way for you to get your daily vitamins is by eating fruits and vegetables.

Based on the analysis, the researchers found that taking multivitamins did not prevent heart attacks, strokes, and death from cardiovascular disease.

The meta-analysis included 18 prospective cohort studies and randomized trials, encompassing more two million participants and 18 million person-years of follow-up. The results were reasonably conclusive, with no evidence found to suggest multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or stroke.

"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.

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In a new study published in an American Heart Association journal on July 10, researchers discovered no link between taking multivitamins and a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death related to cardiovascular disease.

Americans spent an estimated $36.1 billion on vitamins and nutritional supplements in 2017, and many believe that MVM supplements maintain and promote health by preventing various diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Other research has found multivitamins have no influence on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or total mortality in postmenopausal women. Neither group advises using these multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez the AHA's chief medical officer for prevention.

The new findings come on the heels of prior studies which showed that supplements have few, if any, health benefits.

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And in the United Kingdom in 2013, the NHS said news of multivitamin pills providing no benefits for the human heart conditions was true, thanks to long term studies.

For people who have vitamin deficiencies such as lack of vitamin D, which helps regulate blood pressure, they should find out whats causing the problem and not rush to take supplements to fill a nutrient gap, Joshi said.

This article has been updated to include comment from Dr. Joonseok Kim. Too many patients are still being given confusing messages about the benefits and harms of multivitamins, he said.

"Simply put, multivitamins and mineral supplements do not improve cardiovascular health outcomes, so [they] should not be taken for that goal", added Kim. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are no regulations in place that require dietary supplements to be approved for safety or effectiveness. Perhaps instead, he said, their money is best spent on tried and true products: “Fruits and vegetables are good for our heart.”.

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Multivitamins may not prevent cardiovascular diseases, says study