A paper on their findings is now published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
"Our study," write the authors, "supports current professional guidelines that recommend against the routine use of [multivitamins and mineral] supplements for the purpose of [cardiovascular disease] prevention in the general population."
They suggest that people focus instead on proven ways to promote heart health.
"These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment," explains lead study author Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Since the use of multivitamins and mineral supplements in the United States took off in the 1940s, it has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Estimates suggest that these are now taken by "more than one third" of the U.S. population.
The team attributes the popularity of multivitamins and mineral supplements to a widespread belief that they "may help maintain and promote health by preventing various diseases, including cardiovascular disease."
Many studies have sought evidence to support this idea. The study authors cite several that have followed large groups over long periods as well as randomized controlled trials.
But the results have been inconclusive. Some of the studies that followed people over time have suggested that taking multivitamins and mineral supplements "may be beneficial for certain cardiovascular outcomes," but most others show "no significant cardiovascular benefit."
Pooled analysis of the dataset
In an effort to settle the controversy, Prof. Kim and colleagues pooled and analyzed data from 18 "clinical trials and prospective cohort studies in the general population."
Pooling the results of the studies gave the team a dataset that was equivalent to following more than 2 million participants for an average of 12 years.
The analysis examined associations between multivitamin and mineral supplement use and several "cardiovascular disease outcomes," including stroke and coronary heart disease.
Overall, it found no association between multivitamin and mineral supplement use and death from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Neither did it find a link to "stroke incidence."
Use of the supplements "did seem to be associated with a lower risk of [coronary heart disease] incidence," but this was found to be non-significant when tested only with data from the randomized controlled trials.
Decrease the hype
In the U.S., dietary supplements are not regulated to the same extent as drugs. The law does not require them, for instance, to pass clinical trials of safety and effectiveness before they can be offered to consumers.
In addition, dietary supplement manufacturers and sellers are not obliged to back up "most claims" that they make on product labels.
"It has been exceptionally difficult," Prof. Kim explains, "to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases."
I hope our study findings help decrease the hype around multivitamin and mineral supplements and encourage people to use proven methods to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases — such as eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, and avoiding tobacco."
A new review finds that the most widely used supplements do not protect the heart against cardiovascular disease. However, folic acid may prevent stroke. Most supplements do not keep your heart healthy, suggests a new review.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate that one-third of the entire population of the United States are taking some form of supplement
Supplements are meant to raise our nutritional intake when food alone is not enough to provide the daily recommended dose.
However, some claim that supplements may prevent chronic diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Vitamins A, E, and C, for example, have been suggested to keep cancer at bay, while some studies have proposed that folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin D might be helpful for preventing cardiovascular disease. However, the scientific evidence available is conflicting.
The official message that government authorities and nonprofit organizations have been putting forth to the public is that, even t…
Mediastinal radiation therapy is a commonly used treatment modality for malignancies involving the thorax. First described in the mid-1960s, radiation-induced heart disease is an under-recognized phenomenon associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Radiation-induced heart disease can manifest as the pathology of the epicardial and endocardial coronary vessels resulting in coronary obstruction, semilunar and atrioventricular valves resulting in stenosis or regurgitation due to valvular fibrosis, myocardium with resultant cardiomyopathy, and conduction system and pericardium with pericardial constriction and inflammation. In this review, we will discuss radiation-induced coronary artery disease (CAD), focusing primarily on incidence, diagnosis, and management.
Historically, Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer treatments have included thoracic radiation therapy, resulting in exposure of cardiac tissues to radiation. Most of our understanding of radiation effects on card…
Researchers publish a study in the journal Nature Medicine that determined the cause of "stiff heart." The findings could help to prevent future cases of heart failure. Microtubules (depicted here) may be key to the future treatment of heart failure.
One of the most common causes of congestive heart failure is "stiff heart syndrome."
According to Dr. Jerry Sokol — a cardiologist in Deer Park, NY — this causes fluid to build up and back up into the lungs.
This occurs "usually in patients older than age 60," he says.
At the microcellular level, they revealed that stiff heart appears to be related to microtubules in the cells of the heart muscle.
By treating these microtubules with newly developed research and medications, cardiac surgeons will soon be able to more effectively treat patients with this type of congestive heart failure.
The new study was led by Dr. Ben Prosser — an assistant professor of physiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the Univ…