Popular vitamin supplements do not benefit cardiovascular health, review concludes

A review into the cardioprotective effect of vitamin supplementation has shown no benefit for the most common supplements

Vitamin supplements in store

Most common dietary vitamin supplements appear to provide no cardioprotective benefit, the authors of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis have concluded[1]

The team used data from 179 randomised controlled trials to explore the effects of supplements on cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction and stroke, and risk of death from any cause.

They found that none of the four most commonly used supplements (multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C) had any significant effect on cardiovascular outcomes or all-cause mortality.

Folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid, B6 and B12, were associated with a reduced risk of stroke, and niacin and antioxidants were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality; however, the effect sizes were very small.

“In the absence of further studies, the current data on supplement use reinforce advice to focus on healthy dietary patterns, with an increased proportion of plant foods in which many of these required vitamins and minerals can be found,” the researchers concluded.


[1] Jenkins D, Spence J, Giovacnnucci E et al. Supplemental vitamins and minerals for CVD prevention and treatment. J Am Coll Cardiol 2018;71(22):2570–2584. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.04.020

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The Pharmaceutical Journal, Popular vitamin supplements do not benefit cardiovascular health, review concludes;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205132

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