The multivitamin and dietary supplement soup set on the shelves of drugstores is overwhelming. The sheer number of options can have a fall effect and trigger a buying spree.
Dietary supplements have grown into a $ 122 billion industry, according to the Center for Responsible Nutrition, a lobbying group. However, the emerging research raises doubts about how effective these pills are. A recent comprehensive meta-analysis of 277 clinical studies has found that a wide range of nutritional supplements – and even some common diets – do not effectively prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, they do not help extend the life of a person.
"The panacea or miracle cure people seek for in nutritional supplements does not exist," said Erin D. Michos, MD, senior author of the study, said in a press release.
The extensive study evaluated data from 277 randomized clinical trials around the world that examined the efficacy of 1
Researchers evaluated a wide range of nutritional supplements, including antioxidants, multivitamins, folic acid, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B3, B Complex, C, E, D and more. They have also taken into account some popular diets, including the Mediterranean diet, the low-fat diet and the low-salt diet. It is striking that almost any dietary supplement and most diets have no effect on heart health and no effect on mortality.
Some diets showed evidence of a beneficial effect on heart health. In people with healthy blood pressure, the researchers found that a low-salt diet reduced participants' risk of death by 10 percent. They also found that in people with high blood pressure and low-salt diets, the risk of cardiac death dropped 33 percent.
The vast majority of multivitamins, minerals, and various types of diets had no measurable impact on survival or reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Of the 16 drugs studied, two showed efficacy. The first, omega-3 fatty acid led to a slight reduction in the risk of heart attack (8 percent) and coronary heart disease (7 percent). The second, folic acid was associated with a 20 percent reduction in the risk of stroke, but the researchers suggested that this was due to the fact that the participants came from China, where the grains are not enriched with folic acid as in China US folic acid supplements would probably not be as effective in America as most people already get folic acid from a cereal bowl in the morning.
The meta-analysis even found a combination of supplements that had negative health effects. Together, Calcium and Vitamin D increased the risk of stroke by 17 percent, based on the analysis of health data from over 42,000 participants.
"Although there may be some evidence that a few interventions have an impact on both death and cardiovascular health, shows that the vast majority of multivitamins, minerals, and various types of diets have no measurable impact on survival or survival Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, "said Dr. the study said in the press release.
The news comes as supplements enjoy continued popularity among people who want to stay healthy. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 52 percent of Americans take a dietary supplement, and the press release states that Americans spend $ 31 billion annually on over-the-counter dietary supplements. However, the data shows that they have little or no impact on some of the biggest health risks facing Americans.
"People should focus on getting their nutrients from a heart-healthy diet," said Michos. The majority of healthy adults do not have to take supplements. "