Multivitamins, Mineral Supplements Do Not Reduce Heart Disease, Deaths

Experts said multivitamins did not have the same benefits as eating fruit and vegetables

“One of the big problems with multivitamin use is that it could deviate the public from following the measures that are proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, including eating fruits and vegetables, and doing more exercise” said Kim, a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Based on the analysis, the researchers found that taking multivitamins did not prevent heart attacks, strokes, and death from cardiovascular disease.

The research team performed a "meta-analysis", putting together the results from 18 individual published studies, including randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies, totaling more than 2 million participants and having an average of 12 years of follow-up.

"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases", says Joonseok Kim, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and lead author on the study.

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

Kim says this is due to the popular belief that multivitamin supplements may help maintain and promote health by preventing various diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Prescription fish oil supplements may help some people with certain specific heart disease risks or conditions, the Heart Association says.

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"Eat a healthy diet for a healthy heart and a long, healthy life", Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the American Heart Association's chief medical officer for prevention, told NBC News.

According to the study, the nutritional supplement industry will be worth more than US$278 billion (AU$374 billion) globally by 2024, and according to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the agency does not need to "approve" dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they're sold on, unlike drugs.

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.

“Theres no magic bullet for replacing a healthy diet, ” said Joshi, who was not involved in the new study.

This article has been updated to include comment from Dr. Joonseok Kim.

Multivitamins may not be as helpful as some believe and can potentially cause more harm than good.

In the U.S., there is no definite law that allows the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to "approve" dietary supplements for effective use before they are in the market for public consumption. Perhaps instead, he said, their money is best spent on tried and true products: “Fruits and vegetables are good for our heart.”.

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