If you are taking multivitamin and mineral supplements to protect your heart's health, think again. A new analysis of 18 studies has found that it does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death.
The study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, found no association between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
"We meticulously evaluated the body of scientific evidence. We found no clinical benefit of multivitamin and mineral use to prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death," said lead author Joonseok Kim, Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
According to the researchers, the American Heart Association does not recommend using multivitamin or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Controversy about the effectiveness of multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases has been going on for years, despite numerous well-conducted research studies suggesting they don't help.
The researchers set out to combine the results from previously published scientific studies to help clarify the topic.
For the study, the research team performed a "meta-analysis," putting together the results from 18 individual published studies with 20,19,862 participants and having an average of 12 years of follow-up.
They included clinical trials and prospective cohort studies in the general population evaluating associations between multivitamin/mineral supplementation and cardiovascular disease outcomes.
"Although multivitamin and mineral supplements taken in moderation rarely cause direct harm, we urge people to protect their heart health by understanding their individual risk for heart disease and stroke and working with a healthcare provider to create a plan that uses proven measures to reduce risk," Kim said.
"These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment," Kim noted.