Kim's team reviewed 18 big, solid scientific studies published from 1970 to 2016 covering more than 2 million people who were followed for an average of 18 years. Nor does it reduce the risk of early death from those or other forms of cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels).
The findings, the researchers said, will hopefully convince the estimated one-third of Americans who buy the products that a dietary supplement isnt going to help them avoid a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problems. That is especially true of supplement users living in Europe and Japan. But a new analysis suggests, when it comes to heart health, multivitamins and minerals are not worth it.
Rebecca McManamon, consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: "This reiterates the message that instead of supplements, in the United Kingdom we are still not all eating enough fruit and vegetables and we need to keep driving to eat more, as five portions a day or more are linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as reducing risk of some cancers". Any type of fruit or vegetable is considered to be good.
As for Kim, he hopes the new study "dampens the hype of multivitamins and mineral supplements, and encourages people to focus on the real issues like diet, exercise, [and] smoking cessation". Kim says this is due to the popular belief that multivitamin supplements may help maintain and promote health by preventing various diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
Indeed, about a third of American adults take multivitamin and mineral supplements as a preventive measure.
Americans also spend around $21 billion on vitamin supplements every year.
Yet, as this meta-analysis shows, in the absence of a specific, diagnosed illness associated with a vitamin or mineral deficiency, the effect of supplements on health is neutral at best.
Dr. Paul Offit of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who criticizes the supplement industry in his book "Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine", notes that some supplements are harmful.
"It has been exceptionally hard to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don't prevent cardiovascular diseases", explained Kim.
In CRN's response, the association's senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Duffy MacKay, ND, said that "the findings of this new meta-analysis do not discount the multivitamin's many benefits". Have you noticed a difference?