Think Vitamin Supplements Improve Your Heart Health? Think Again! Interview with:
“Pills Vitamins Macro April 22, 2012 4” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism
Department of Nutritional Sciences
University of Toronto What is the background for this study?

Response: The study was requested by the editor of JACC (Dr. Valentin Fuster) due to the widespread use of vitamin and mineral supplementation by the public and the requirement to know if there were any benefits or harms for cardiovascular disease.

Our study was a follow-up to the US Preventive Services Task Force 2013 recommendations. What are the main findings?

Response: Main findings were that the commonly used supplements caused neither harm nor benefit (vitamin D, calcium, multivitamins, vitamin C).

Folic acid appeared to be protective for stroke either as folic acid or as B-complex vitamins. The folate story was driven by a large study from China where folic acid supplementation is not mandated. A small negative signal for all-cause mortality was seen for beta-carotene and pharmacological doses of nicotinic acid when taken with a statin for cholesterol lowering. Omission of selenium from the antioxidant mixture significantly enhanced the effect of antioxidants in increasing all-cause mortality. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: The current dietary guidelines emphasizing more plant-based diets appear to be important for good health in that they will carry in them many of the vitamins and minerals needed without potential side effects. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We believe that a meta-analysis of cohort studies which are very often longer in duration than the RCTs should be looked at.

In addition, the same meta-analysis should be undertaken for supplement use and cancer as another major health concern. These analyses will guide trials in the future.

Disclosures: The work was funded by the Canada Research Chair Endowment and our staff who were funded as trial dietitians by Loblaw Cos. Ltd. contributed time to this project. The primary author has extensive connections with the food industry and also the supplement industry. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: David J.A. Jenkins, J. David Spence, Edward L. Giovannucci, Young-in Kim, Robert Josse, Reinhold Vieth, Sonia Blanco Mejia, Effie Viguiliouk, Stephanie Nishi, Sandhya Sahye-Pudaruth, Melanie Paquette, Darshna Patel, Sandy Mitchell, Meaghan Kavanagh, Tom Tsirakis, Lina Bachiri, Atherai Maran, Narmada Umatheva, Taylor McKay, Gelaine Trinidad, Daniel Bernstein, Awad Chowdhury, Julieta Correa-Betanzo, Gabriella Del Principe, Anisa Hajizadeh, Rohit Jayaraman, Amy Jenkins, Wendy Jenkins, Ruben Kalaichandran, Geithayini Kirupaharan, Preveena Manisekaran, Tina Qutta, Ramsha Shahid, Alexis Silver, Cleo Villegas, Jessica White, Cyril W.C. Kendall, Sathish C. Pichika, John L. Sievenpiper. Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2018; 71 (22): 2570 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.04.020

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD