Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death, according to a new study.
The study analyzed 18 studies and the finding is published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.
The research team performed a “meta-analysis,” putting together the results from 18 individual published studies.
The studies included randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies, totaling more than 2 million participants and having an average of 12 years of follow-up.
They found no association between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, there are no provisions in the law for the agency to “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer.
In addition, the product’s label cannot make health claims to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent a disease.
As many as 30% of Americans use multivitamin and mineral supplements, with the global nutritional supplement industry expected to reach $278 billion by 2024.
Controversy about the effectiveness of multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases has been going on for years, despite numerous well-conducted research studies suggesting they don’t help.
The authors set out to combine the results from previously published scientific studies to help clarify the topic.
The American Heart Association does not recommend using multivitamin or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
The team suggests that it has been exceptionally difficult to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t prevent cardiovascular diseases.
They hope their findings could help decrease the hype around multivitamin and mineral supplements and encourage people to use proven methods to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The proven methods include eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising and avoiding tobacco.
The researchers also suggest that people should understand their individual risk for heart disease and stroke and work with a healthcare provider to create a plan that uses proven measures to reduce risk.
These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment.
There’s just no substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet with more fruits and vegetables that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar and dietary cholesterol.
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News source: American Heart Association.
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