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


During the research process, Kim and his team followed the National Institutes of Health definition of multivitamin - a dietary supplement comprising more than three vitamin and mineral ingredients. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's division of cardiovascular disease.

Using multivitamin or mineral supplements to guard against cardiovascular disease is not recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).

The study analysed information from several million subjects across five countries and researcher found that taking multivitamin pills did not prevent users from suffering heart attacks, strokes or death from heart disease.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing supplement makers, stressed that the products are meant as nutritional aids only, not as a means of preventing or treating illness. Some may think theyre good for heart and brain health.

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.

It's important to note that this research doesn't suggest that vitamin or mineral supplements are useless in clinical cases where a patient actively needs those supplements. By 2024 the global nutritional supplement industry will reach a handsome $278 billion.

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The new findings come on the heels of prior studies which showed that supplements have few, if any, health benefits. The use of multivitamin and mineral supplements is widespread in the United States, spurred on by the popular belief that such supplements help provide "insurance" against various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Rebecca McManamon, consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: "This reiterates the message that instead of supplements, in the United Kingdom we are still not all eating enough fruit and vegetables and we need to keep driving to eat more, as five portions a day or more are linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as reducing risk of some cancers".

By way of example, he pointed out that while 50 percent of the American public consumes dietary supplements, just 13 percent meet federal recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Fonarow concurred, adding that "the false belief that these supplements are providing some level of protection distracts from adopting approaches that actually lower cardiovascular risk".

The experts found no association between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of fatal cardiovascular disease. Neither group advises using these multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease.