Nita Wong ‘21
Up to 30 percent of Americans take multivitamin and mineral supplements; in fact, the global nutritional supplement industry is projected to reach $278 billion within the next six years. A recent study conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and published by the American Heart Association, however, found no link between consumption of such dietary supplements and prevention of heart attacks, strokes, or cardiovascular death.
Under the direction of Dr. Joonseok Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology at UAB, the researchers analyzed and compiled results from 18 separate papers published between January 1970 and August 2016 These studies, which together encompassed data collected from over two million participants over the span of an average of 12 years, were selected based on four criteria: they were randomized control trials (RTCs) or prospective cohort studies, tested subjects who did not have disabling conditions, determined relative risk based on cardiovascular, coronary heart disease, and stroke mortality and incidence of coronary heart disease and stroke, and met a predefined criteria for quality. All 18 studies showed no correlation between multivitamin and mineral supplement intake levels and risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The researchers hope that their work will steer the public away from the baseless advertisements of vitamin and mineral supplement manufacturers and towards methods that have been proven to lower risk of cardiovascular disease: limiting excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar and dietary cholesterol while increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, exercising, and avoiding tobacco products.
- J. Kim, et. al., Association of multivitamin and mineral supplementation and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 11, (2018). doi: https://doi.org/10.1161/circoutcomes.117.004224
- Image retrieved from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/bunch-of-white-oval-medication-tablets-and-white-medication-capsules-159211/