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Multivitamins do not help with heart health
August 14, 2018, 5:16 pm

A new study on multivitamins and heart health reiterates what medical experts have been saying for years — they do not do much to prevent cardiovascular disease.

The report, by researchers at the University of Alabama in the United States, is based on a meta-analysis of 18 different studies that spanned more than 16 years. In all, about 2 million people were involved with some of the participants followed consistently for over 12 years.

The general concept that multivitamins and supplements in the form of pills are beneficial to your health is not wrong per se. For example, pregnant women, children, and specific adult populations, such as people with cancer, should take certain types of vitamins. But their role in reducing cardiovascular disease has for long been debated, With the exception of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements, the role of other vitamins and supplements in reducing cardiovascular disease has long been debated.

According to critics, the best defense for good heart health is a healthy lifestyle that includes consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and a diet that relies on whole foods, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetable. Nevertheless, the misperception that multivitamins can mitigate unhealthy eating, in particular, continues to exist in the public consciousness. Researchers hope their new meta-analysis will better educate the public about multivitamins and heart heath.

A possible exception for doctors to recommend multivitamins to patients with cardiovascular disease is when patients have difficulty making their diet nutritionally diverse. If patients are already consuming a healthy daily diet that includes fruit and vegetable, doctors could additionally recommend eating oat bran in the form of oatmeal, which has been proven to lower cholesterol, and take a daily dose of soluble fiber, which also helps to keep cholesterol from getting absorbed into the blood stream.

According to a 2017 survey, around 76 percent of Americans take dietary supplements. Roughly 42 percent said they were taking supplements for overall health and about 26 percent said it was to improve heart health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in 2014 Americans spent $36.7 billion on dietary supplements, of which $5.7 billion dollars went toward multivitamins.

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