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Multivitamins, mineral supplements do not prevent heart problems

13 July 2018

"We hope that our paper helps to settle the debate" on the use of multivitamins and minerals (MVM) for cardiovascular disease prevention.

The meta-analysis was based on the review of 18 previous studies.

Dietary supplements are also not FDA-approved for safety or effectiveness.

The meta-analysis included 18 studies published in 1970-2016 (11 from the US, four from Europe, and three from Japan) with a total of more than 2 million participants from the general population. But a new analysis suggests, when it comes to heart health, multivitamins and minerals are not worth it.

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

In response, the Council on Responsible Nutrition, a supplement trade group, said, "multivitamins fill nutrient gaps in our less-than-perfect diets" and "are not meant to serve as magic bullets". "They are not meant to serve as magic bullets for the prevention of serious diseases".

Researchers found no link between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. Some may think theyre good for heart and brain health.

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

The largely unregulated supplement industry is doing a booming business, with a projected value of $278 billion by 2024, Kim's team noted.

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. And in some cases, the supplements may actually do harm. The use of multivitamin and mineral supplements is widespread in the United States, spurred on by the popular belief that such supplements help provide "insurance" against various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

And despite strong evidence that eating five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and a range of other diseases, just 13 percent of Americans meet this goal, the CDC found. "These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment", Kim said.

"There are also widely available and cheap once daily cardiovascular protective medications such as statins that, in eligible individuals, can safely and effectively lower risk", he said. They found no association between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

However, multivitamin products' labels are not allowed to make health claims about the ability of the product to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.

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

Multivitamins, mineral supplements do not prevent heart problems