Evidence to Show that Multivitamins Do Not Aid Cardiovascular Health

Vitamins and related supplements are useful in the case of outright deficiency, but the scientific consensus is that they don't provide benefits when it comes to the progression of aging. In the case of antioxidants, they might even be modestly harmful. This data has proven to be a hard sell with the public, particularly given the existence of a very vocal marketplace of sellers willing to declare all sorts of beneficial outcomes to result from their products, regardless of the evidence. Nonetheless, it is hard to argue with the weight of evidence.

Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements does not prevent heart attacks, strokes, or cardiovascular death, according to a new analysis of 18 studies. The research team performed a "meta-analysis," putting together the results from 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.

"It has been exceptionally difficult 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."

Controversy about the effectiveness of multivitamin and mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases has been going on for years, despite numerous well-conducted research studies suggesting they don't help. "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." The American Heart Association does not recommend using multivitamin or mineral supplements to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Link: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/multivitamins-do-not-promote-cardiovascular-health


I take multivitamins, but I don't know anybody who thinks they prevent cardiovascular problems. They just guard against deficiencies.

Though I think coq10 might be useful for those taking statins.

Posted by: bmack500 at July 13th, 2018 8:15 AM

i only take vit d and k2. there is a fair amount of evidence that d3 lowers risk of some cancers which is why i take it. as for cardio health there was a recent study showing mitoq improved blood vessel health in older people, plus it is a targeted antioxidant so differs from typical run of the mill antioxidants.

Posted by: scott emptage at July 13th, 2018 9:37 AM

Nothing unexpected here. Of course, there are parts of the population that have some form of vitamin deficiency. However, most of the times it is not due because of the lack of vitamins in the diet but rather poor absorption.

Posted by: cuberat at July 13th, 2018 11:46 AM

I take COQ10 and Selenium. I read this combination reduces heart attacks. I also do the low dose aspirin for good measure.

Posted by: Robert at July 13th, 2018 12:11 PM

Firstly I want to say that Reason was very eloquent during his panel discussion at the Ending Age Related Diseases conference in NYC yesterday.

As far as this meta study, it would have been surprising if it came to a different conclusion than the similar meta study published a couple of months ago, given it is likely comprised of the same studies. The AHA seems to intentionally conflate "multivitamins" with the "278 billion dollar global supplement market". I do not understand the motivation for this straw-man argument against the supplement industry, that is not entirely true I do think I understand it, it is that the AHA is controlled by a collection of special interest groups protecting their turf.

I am not going to locate all the links to get to the actual studies, but this meta study almost certainly focuses on the same dozen or so alphabet vitamins and minerals that the prior meta study focused on, that have been sold in multivitamin form for decades, that for the most part have been added to processed foods in the US and Europe for decades, and that represent a small fraction of the 21st century supplement market.

Posted by: JohnD at July 13th, 2018 1:04 PM

Most multivitamins contain unnecessary minerals (such as iron or copper) or vitamins (such as alpha tocopherol or beta carotene), which can (by exacerbating dietary imbalances) actually contribute to aging.

Posted by: Eric at July 13th, 2018 9:28 PM

The need for a comprehensive multivitamin has been cited by researcher Bruce Ames of the University of California Berkeley who says ""Inadequate intakes of vitamins and minerals (less than 50% of the RDA) are very common," and "inadequate intake of folate, B12, or B6 leads to chromosome breaks" just as if radiation caused those breaks.
( http://mcb.berkeley.edu/faculty/BMB/amesb.html).
"We've found 50 different genetic diseases where some doctor had shown that you can reverse the disease by feeding a high dose of B-vitamin." "Zinc deficiency damages mitochondria, which are the "power plants" of your cells. So does B-6 deficiency, pantothenic acid deficiency, and biotin deficiency. When you are getting low levels, you are pouring oxygen radicals out; you're battering up your DNA, and you are aging more quickly. The price the cell pays for being short of micronutrients is DNA damage, which leads to cancer in the future, and ages you faster." ( http://www.doctoryourself.com/ames.html )
Bruce Ames talks about a major factor accelerating aging and poses a multivitamin as the antidote. Folate is Ames guardian against gene mutations.
The problem is consumers buy multivitamins on price. The cheapest most inferior forms of nutrients in weak doses characterizes most multivitamins. Homocysteine is a driver of aging and the unequivocal antidote is B vitamins, but in the later years of life, larger doses are probably required, beyond what the best diet can provide. Listen to Bruce Ames' talk about the lack of vitamins and minerals accelerate aging: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVQmPVBjubw

Posted by: Bill Sardi at July 15th, 2018 11:11 AM

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