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Vitamin and mineral supplements are of no good to your health: JACC Study

Vitamin and mineral supplements are of no good to your health: JACC Study

The consumption of mineral and vitamin supplements is not harmful to your health but neither does it provide any additional health benefits, particularly in the prevention of premature death, stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease (CVD), found a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The large-scale meta-analysis was conducted by Dr. David Jenkins, a university professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Medicine at the University of Toronto, and colleagues to assess the balance of benefits and harms of single or paired-nutrient supplements in prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The researchers systematically evaluated 179 clinical trials, published between 2012 and 2017. The trials were testing the impact of a range of vitamin and mineral supplements on decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and all deaths, regardless of the cause (aka all-cause mortality).

The team reviewed supplement data that included A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D and E; and β-carotene; calcium; iron; zinc; magnesium; and selenium.

“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said Dr. Jenkins. “Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm – but there is no apparent advantage either.”

Key Findings:

  • In general, the data on the popular supplements (multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C) show no consistent benefit for the prevention of CVD, MI, or stroke, nor was there a benefit for all-cause mortality to support their continued use.
  • Folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Niacin and antioxidants showed a very small effect that might signify an increased risk of death from any cause.

“These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they’re taking and ensure they’re applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider,” Dr. Jenkins said.

“In the absence of significant positive data – apart from folic acid’s potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease – it’s most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals,” Dr. Jenkins said. “So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts.”

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Source: With inputs from JACC

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