After an extensive analysis of clinical trials and published studies, it has been discovered that
multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t provide any essential benefits to people’s cardiovascular health.
According to the authors, “Our study supports current professional guidelines that recommend against the routine use of [multivitamins and mineral] supplements for the purpose of [cardiovascular disease] prevention in the general population.”
They advise that people should focus on proven ways to boost their heart health.
“These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment,” said lead study author Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The popularity of multivitamins and mineral supplements is attributed to the general impression that these supplements “may help maintain and promote health by preventing various diseases, including cardiovascular disease.”
Although many previous studies have gathered evidence to support this claim, results have been indefinite.
Professor Kim and his team gathered and explored data from 18 “clinical trials and prospective cohort studies in the general population” to settle the argument.
A dataset was established that was similar to following more than 2 million participants for about 12 years.
After examining the data, no significant association was found between multivitamin and mineral supplement use and various cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke.
Unlike drugs, dietary supplements are not regulated in the US. No laws require them to pass clinical trials of safety and effectiveness before they can be sold to customers.
It’s not mandatory for supplement manufacturers and sellers to support claims on product labels.
“It has been exceptionally difficult to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t prevent cardiovascular diseases,” Professor Kim explains.
“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.”
Approximately, more than one third of the U.S. population now take supplements.
The vitamin supplement industry in the U.S. has now become a multibillion dollar industry since it took off in the 1940s.
According to the New York Times, annual sales of multivitamin and mineral supplements total around $12.5 billion.
The findings of this study has been published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.