Taking multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements does not prevent myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from a cardiovascular cause, according to a comprehensive meta-analytic review of relevant research.
“The take-home message is simple: there is no scientific evidence that MVM supplements promote cardiovascular health. We hope that our paper helps to settle the controversy on MVM use for CVD prevention,” lead author Joonseok Kim, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.
The study was published online today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
“Vitamin and mineral supplements are taken by nearly half of US adults, yet few benefits have been documented,” said JoAnn Manson, MD, who was not involved in the study and is chief of preventive medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Regarding multivitamins and cardiovascular disease, specifically, neither observational studies nor randomized clinical trials have demonstrated clear benefits for primary or secondary prevention,” Manson told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.
“Importantly, clinicians should emphasize with their patients that multivitamin supplements will never be a substitute for a healthful and balanced diet, which have many beneficial components for vascular health. Additionally, micronutrients in food are typically better absorbed by the body than those from supplements,” she advised.
Kim and colleagues did a systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies with more than 2 million adults (mean age, 57.8 years) with mean follow-up of 11.6 years. Eleven studies were from the United States, 4 from Europe, and 3 from Japan. Only 5 studies specified the dose and type of MVM supplement.