Multivitamins a waste of money for heart health, researchers say

Maricruz Casares
Julio 12, 2018

The meta-analysis included 18 studies published in 1970-2016 (11 from the USA, four from Europe, and three from Japan) with a total of more than 2 million participants from the general population.

Despite these findings, about one-third of all people in the US use multivitamin and mineral supplements, with the global nutritional supplement industry expected to reach $278 billion by 2024, according the to American Heart Association. The use of multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements is widespread in the United States and other developed countries.

This means that the market, especially online, is flooded with "fake" medications and supplements.

They said the small number of studies that had established a link between multivitamin and mineral supplementation and a lower risk of coronary heart disease could be explained by the fact that people who take such supplements tend to have a healthier diet. But a new analysis suggests that at least when it comes to heart health, multivitamins and minerals aren't worth it.

The findings of the study back up previous guidelines published by the American Heart Association, which recommend people do not use multivitamins or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease.

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Kim commented that despite the growing scientific evidence, it has so far been "exceptionally difficult" to spread the message that multivitamins and minerals don't prevent heart disease-even among nutritional experts.

"This systematic review mainly included healthy populations, meaning that if you consider yourself healthy with no history of disease and a well-balanced diet characterized by high intakes of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and fish, there is no reason to spend money on multivitamin supplements".

"I would like to encourage people to discuss the use of MVM supplements with their physicians and reallocate their resources to something that is proven to improve cardiovascular outcomes, such as fruit and vegetable intake and exercise".

In the United States, supplements are not regulated for safety or effectiveness before they go to market, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The lack of benefit was observed across subgroups and adjusted analyses, Joonseok Kim, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues reported in the July issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. But, for a healthy adult with no specific diagnosed deficiency, this research affirms that taking vitamin supplements unnecessarily will only result in expensive urine. "These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment".

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