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Multivitamins May Not Help Men’s Hearts

Multivitamins May Not Help Men’s Hearts
April 19
09:11 2017

(HealthDay News) – Millions of American men pop a multivitamin each day, but new research shows the pills won’t help the heart — even if a man’s nutrition is lacking.

“Many had thought that men with ‘poor’ nutritional status at baseline may benefit more from long-term multivitamin use on cardiovascular outcomes; however, we did not see any evidence for this in our recent analysis,” study author Howard Sesso, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a hospital news release.

According to background information from the researchers, more than half of older Americans take a multivitamin each day. However, many prior studies have shown little evidence of any health benefit.

In the new research, Sesso and his colleagues tracked data from an ongoing study of more than 14,000 U.S. male doctors over the age of 50. A prior look at this data had found that taking multivitamins did not reduce the men’s risk of heart disease over 11 years of follow-up.

But would the same be true for men who had relatively poor diets, perhaps lacking in certain nutrients?

According to the new report, the results were the same — daily use of multivitamins did not reduce the risk of heart disease, even in this more nutritionally challenged subset.

Two experts — one a cardiologist, one a nutritionist — had somewhat differing views on the findings, however.

“This study, like previous studies, suggests that multivitamin use does not reduce risk of heart disease — even in men with poor nutrition,” said Dr. Kevin Marzo. He’s chief of cardiology at NYU Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

Marzo believes too many Americans view multivitamins as a “quick fix” to ward off health woes.

“Prevention strategies for reducing heart disease risk should focus not on dietary supplements but rather on regular exercise and a healthy diet rich in vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats,” he said

Stephanie Schiff, a registered dietitian at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y., took a different view.

“The best way to get nutrients is from whole foods, but sometimes it’s beneficial to take a multivitamin to help prevent nutritional shortfalls,” she said.

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