In fact, they are completely useless when it comes to maintaining your heart’s good condition, especially if we’re talking about heart attacks, disease, strokes or even early death.
He continued: “Given these positive findings, we are disappointed by the negative attention being given toward the most popular supplements because the research found they do not prevent cardiovascular disease”.
The results can be found published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
While the supplements in the study had no impact on a person’s long-term health, B vitamins, in particular, were the exception. For the customized multivitamin segment, the researchers included supplements that had most of the vitamins and minerals instead of some selected one.
While the review found that taking multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, or vitamin C do no harm, “there is no apparent advantage either”, he said. However, there were no significant advantages in terms of prevention of cardiovascular diseases. No harm was noted with the use of any of these supplements either.
According to the study, folic acid and B-vitamins have a relatively small effect on reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke. This number is called “number needed to treat” in order to see a benefit.
‘When your physician prescribes a supplement, then you take it, but most of the time you don’t need to be taking extra doses of vitamins’. This association however was not proven.
The study was done, however, in a place without folic acid supplementation in the food supply.
The authors were keen to stress in the study that the treatment of micronutrient deficiencies in the last 200 years is one of medicine’s greatest achievements.
However, niacin (vitamin B3) and antioxidants were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. On the flip side, niacin and anti-oxidants seemed to raise the risk of death from any cause.
Limitations of the review include: the researchers did not consider data from cohort studies, which are longer and more representative of the general population than randomized clinical trials. Here they found folic acid supplements showed a reduction in heart disease and stroke.
Instead of opting for supplements, Jenkins, a Canada Research Chair and professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at University of Toronto, advises people to consume needed nutrients through “a more plant-based diet of less processed food”.