More Evidence That Supplements Won't Help Your Heart

Henrietta Strickland
July 12, 2018

He noted that upwards of 100 million American men and women take vitamins or supplements "frequently based on the misguided belief that doing so can improve their heart and vascular health".

The effectiveness of multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases has been a topic of debate for years, despite numerous well-conducted research studies suggesting they don't help.

The study analysed information from several million subjects across five countries and researcher found that taking multivitamin pills did not prevent users from suffering heart attacks, strokes or death from heart disease.

Currently, there are no legal hurdles for the manufacturers of mineral and vitamins supplements to cross before they are sold to the general public, and at least 30 percent of the USA population take multivitamins and mineral supplements, the authors noted. That followed a 2013 paper entitled "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements" in which researchers warned the pills not only have no benefit, and could in fact do harm.

After tracking more than 2 million participants for an average of 12 years, the studies came up with a clear conclusion: they don't.

"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people... to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases", study lead author Dr. Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a statement.

"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases". These studies call into question the existence of the billion dollar vitamins industry, which by 2024 is expected to be worth $278 billion.

The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. Fruits and vegetables already have a proven track record in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Fonarow concurred, adding that "the false belief that these supplements are providing some level of protection distracts from adopting approaches that actually lower cardiovascular risk".

Neither the American Heart Association nor the American College of Cardiology recommends taking multivitamins or mineral supplements to lower heart disease risk, Fonarow noted.

Rebecca McManamon, consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: "This reiterates the message that instead of supplements, in the United Kingdom we are still not all eating enough fruit and vegetables and we need to keep driving to eat more, as five portions a day or more are linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as reducing risk of some cancers".

There's more on dietary supplements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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