The intake of mineral supplements and multivitamins does not prevent strokes, cardiovascular death or heart attacks, according to a new analysis of existing studies published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Joonseok Kim, assistant professor of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the associations between multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplementation and various cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes, including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
“We meticulously evaluated the body of scientific evidence,” said Kim.”We found no clinical benefit of multivitamin and mineral use to prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death.”
The research team performed a “meta-analysis,” putting together the results from 18 individual published studies, including 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.
“It has been exceptionally difficult to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t prevent cardiovascular diseases,” said Kim. “I hope our study findings help decrease the hype around multivitamin and mineral supplements and encourage people to use proven methods to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases – such as eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising and avoiding tobacco.”
The effectiveness of multivitamin and mineral supplements in prevention of cardiovascular diseases has been controversial for many 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.
“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. These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment,” Kim said.
The American Heart Association does not recommend using multivitamin or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
“Eat a healthy diet for a healthy heart and a long, healthy life,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., 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. “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.”
For further information follow the link: https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.117.004224