Study Says Supplements May Not Supplement Our Health
Consumers gulp down millions of vitamin and mineral supplements each year in pursuit of better health. Now new research from St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, finds the pills probably neither help nor harm us. The authors named the most popular supplements as multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C. They systematically reviewed existing data from January 2012 to October 2017 and found supplements provided no advantages but also no risk in preventing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, or premature death.
The researchers did cite folic acid by itself and B vitamins with folic acid as potentially helpful in reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke. Specifically, they found no effect for multivitamins, vitamins C, D, β-carotene, calcium, and selenium. They did note increased risk for all-cause mortality for antioxidant mixtures, and niacin with a statin. No surprise: They suggested that consumers focus on healthy dietary patterns, especially more plant foods that contain the requisite vitamins and minerals.