A recent study involving the relationship between multivitamins and heart health has proven what medical experts have been saying for many years- they are not quite beneficial to prevent cardiovascular diseases and complications.
This report is actually a meta-analysis of different other research articles. It looked at 18 different studies that have been performed over the course of 16 years. In all of these studies, almost 2 million people were included. In some of these studies, the participants were asked to follow up for up to 12 years.
The research was carried out by the researchers belonging to the University of Alabama which got published in a journal named as Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The authors have provided a conclusion in this report that confirms the conclusions of the previous studies that vitamins help to improve the heart health.
Who Needs Multivitamins?
The general concept about supplements and multivitamins is that the pills containing these are beneficial for your health. For example, children, pregnant women, and specific adult populations including those suffering from cancer can take these vitamins.
The issue that is discussed here is that if multivitamins reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The scientists hope that the findings of this study can help decrease the hype around the mineral and multivitamin supplements. It may also encourage the people to utilize the proven methods for reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
So What should you Do to Stay Healthy?
The best defense to maintain a good healthy heart is adopting a healthy lifestyle, as per the cardiologists. This lifestyle may include consistent exercise, a diet that includes whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber diet, and adequate sleep.
The misconception that taking multivitamins every day can reduce unhealthy eating, in particular, continues to be believed as a true fact by most of the public.
The scientists who carried out this study are hopeful that this new meta-analysis can help the people understand new concepts and educate themselves about the effect of multivitamins on heart health.
A lot of scientists are in full agreement with this study.
Scientists are of the belief that the reason why people believe multivitamins and supplements can improve the health of their heart is quite simple- people look for convenience.
Most of the people around you wish to take a pill that will stop all the shortcomings of their lifestyle.
A lot of doctors and healthcare specialists tend to agree with this concept. They say that a person who suffers from a heart disease but still suffer from a sedentary lifestyle, eats a diet filled with salt, fat, and sugar, would not be able to see an improvement in the health of their heart because they take multivitamins every day.
Doctors are not even sure if vitamins alone can reverse these problems.
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There is only one exception as per the doctors. In a person suffering from a cardiovascular disease, taking omega-3 fatty acids in the form of different fish oil supplements may make a difference.
This unsaturated fatty acid type can help decrease the triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, lower blood clotting, and reduce the risk of heart failure and stroke. In addition to this, it can also decrease irregular heartbeats.
The report under discussion paid no attention to the studies that involved taking fish oil during a cardiovascular disease. It only revolved around those research articles that include multivitamins, vitamin C, D, and calcium. It is not the first time that a study has shown how multivitamins do not affect the health of your heart.
Past Evidence on Multivitamins
A study that took place in 2012 involved 2000 men who were not able to improve their cardiovascular health despite taking daily multivitamins. A U.S. task force has said that the evidence concluding that multivitamins prevent cardiovascular diseases or cancer is not sufficient.
All the leading health institutes including the Johns Hopkins Hospital have also created devoted pages on their official websites to negate the fact that taking multivitamins can actually improve the health of the heart.
However, despite multiple attempts of the U.S. government and medical organizations to counter this wrong information, their word has continued to go unheeded.
About 76 percent of the Americans take dietary supplements on a daily basis, as per a survey conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition in 2017. Almost 42 percent said that they used to take supplements for overall health and 26 percent of them said that it was just to boost the heart health.
As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans spent 36.7 billion dollars on dietary supplements in 2014. Out of this, almost 5.7 billion dollars were directed for multivitamins.
The supplement and multivitamin industry are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. This act was passed in 1994 by the Congress. The FDA is its governing body.
The act states that the makers cannot claim that a specific type of supplement can improve health heart or reduce pain.
The researchers have said that they do not ask their patients to load up on multivitamins. The only exception to this when they recommend these supplements is when a patient is suffering from a heart disease and is facing a hard time in making their dietary habits nutritionally diverse.
If the patients are already in a healthy state, the experts avoid recommending multivitamin supplements. They do advise them in people who do not take fruits and vegetables in adequate amounts.
The researchers say that it must be a part of the checkups to counsel the patients about the importance of diet in the maintenance of overall health. They even encouraged that the patients must eat oat bran in the form of oatmeal which can lower your cholesterol levels.
The experts also recommend the patients to take soluble fiber on a daily basis. This is because fiber aids in stopping the cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. However, the experts say that the hard part of this is making all of this information stick.