Monday, 18 February, 2019

Multivitamins, Mineral Supplements Do Not Prevent Heart Problems

Vitamin supplements are available in many different forms GETTYVitamin supplements are available in many different forms
Gustavo Carr | 13 July, 2018, 13:24

"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.

The paper's authors included researchers from the University of Alabama Birmingham, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and the University of Miami.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing supplement makers, stressed that the products are meant as nutritional aids only, not as a means of preventing or treating illness.

For people who have vitamin deficiencies such as lack of vitamin D, which helps regulate blood pressure, they should find out whats causing the problem and not rush to take supplements to fill a nutrient gap, Joshi said. "They are not meant to serve as magic bullets for the prevention of serious diseases".

The lack of any apparent heart health benefit was seen across the board, regardless of age or gender.

They found multivitamins do not prevent heart attacks, strokes, or death from cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow helps direct the UCLA Preventative Cardiology Program in Los Angeles.

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The research community has been "quite active for a long time informing about the no associations among healthy populations, but still the sales of dietary supplements continue to increase, with multivitamin supplements among the most popular ones".

The findings of the new meta-analysis support the current supplement recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Forces (USPSTF) and the American Heart Association.

Instead, "multivitamins fill nutrient gaps [and] are not meant to prevent cardiovascular disease", read a statement issued by the trade group, the Washington DC-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), today. And in some cases, the supplements may actually do harm.

“People tend to prefer a quick and easy solution such as taking a pill [rather] than the more effortful method to prevent cardiovascular disease, ” he said.

For example, he noted, 90 percent of people in the USA fail to meet the Estimated Average Requirement for potassium, vitamins D and E and choline.

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. Neither group advises using these multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease. There are no shortcuts when it comes to nutrition - supplements are not a replacement for healthy food.