Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Multivitamins a waste of money for heart health, researchers say

Multivitamins do not work for helping people with their heart conditions GETTYMultivitamins do not work for helping people with their heart conditions
Anna Jefferson | 12 July, 2018, 11:54

In the study, Kim and his colleagues reported that after accounting for both smoking histories and physical activity habits, they saw no evidence that taking a multivitamin or mineral supplements lowers the risk for dying from heart disease, experiencing a stroke, or dying from a stroke.

Do you take multivitamins or mineral supplements?

The study analysed information from several million subjects across five countries and researcher found that taking multivitamin pills did not prevent users from suffering heart attacks, strokes or death from heart disease. That followed a 2013 paper entitled "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements" in which researchers warned the pills not only have no benefit, and could in fact do harm. Together these studies involved more than two million people from the United States, Japan, France, Sweden and Germany.

"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people... to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases", study lead author Dr. Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a statement.

How? According to Kim, placing one's faith in supplements "could deviate the public from following measures that are proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health".

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: "We know that eating a healthy balanced diet, like the traditional Mediterranean diet, can help to lower our risk of heart and circulatory diseases".

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Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the American Heart Association's chief medical officer for prevention and chief of the Association's Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who was not a part of this study, commented: "Eat a healthy diet for a healthy heart and a long, healthy life".

Fonarow concurred, adding that "the false belief that these supplements are providing some level of protection distracts from adopting approaches that actually lower cardiovascular risk".

The findings of the study back up previous guidelines published by the American Heart Association, which recommend people do not use multivitamins or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Researchers noted that fruits and vegetables were a good source of many vitamins and associated with a lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, with a strong link between the amount consumed and the benefits.

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.

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