Don’t Look to Multivitamins for Heart, Stroke Benefits

Multivitamins and mineral supplements (MVMs) don’t help to prevent heart attack or stroke, or have any cardiovascular benefits, according to a meta-analysis.

Researchers examined the results from 18 individual published studies with more than 2 million participants. Results showed that MVMs had no effect in reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death. However, MVMs were associated with a slightly lower risk of coronary heart disease incidence in the overall analysis.

The findings, published in the journal Circulation, support current guidelines that don’t use MVMs to promote cardiovascular health. According to the research team, eating a proper diet, exercising and avoiding tobacco can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“It has been exceptionally difficult to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t prevent cardiovascular diseases,” said study lead author Joonseok Kim, MD, assistant professor of cardiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Circulation study comes on the heels of another study, published last month, which also found that multivitamins had no protective effect against heart disease and stroke. Other research has found multivitamins have no impact on the risk of common cancers or total mortality in postmenopausal women.

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