Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death, according to a new analysis published in the latest issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.
According to Xinhua, the research team put together the results from 18 individual published studies, including randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies, totaling more than 2 million participants and having an average of 12 years of follow-up.
They found no association between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
"We found no clinical benefit of multivitamin and mineral use to prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death," said the study's lead author Joonseok Kim, assistant professor of cardiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
As many as 30 percent of Americans use multivitamin and mineral supplements, with the global nutritional supplement industry expected to reach 278 billion dollars by 2024.
"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," said Kim.
These include a heart-healthy diet, exercise, tobacco cessation, controlling blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and when needed, medical treatment, according to Kim.
"Eat a healthy diet for a healthy heart and a long, healthy life," said Eduardo Sanchez, the American Heart Association's chief medical officer for prevention and chief of the Association's Centers for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
"There's just no substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet with more fruits and vegetables that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans-fat, sodium, sugar and dietary cholesterol," said Sanchez.