Ask Dr. Nandi: Vitamin supplements don't lower heart risk, study finds

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 17:57:41-04

If you’re thinking that vitamin supplements will help you live longer, you might want to think again.  A new study reveals that vitamin and mineral supplements will do nothing to fight off heart disease for most people.  

I’m sure a lot of people will be disappointed as so many are really hoping that taking supplements will fill nutrient gaps from poor eating habits.  But this latest study does point to supplements being a waste of money.  

Now what the researchers did was to look very closely at 18 solid scientific studies that tracked more than 2 million participants for roughly 18 years.  And they saw no evidence that multivitamin or mineral supplements would help when it comes to lowering the risk of having a stroke or dying from a stroke or heart disease.  

Physicians do recommend vitamins and I also recommend a multivitamin for some of my patients but only for general overall well-being.  But let me be clear about this, they are not a replacement for healthy eating habits.  

Right now the vitamin market is booming as over half of Americans are taking supplements.  And we’re spending an unbelievable $12 billion dollars a year on them. Unfortunately, too many people believe they’re a magic bullet when it comes to preventing diseases. 

There are some people who have certain heart disease risks or conditions that may need to take prescription fish oil supplements.  But for the general public that’s healthy, studies have found they don’t reduce the risk of heart disease.  Eating fish twice a week is a much better way to get your Omega-3 fatty acids.  

And when it comes to protecting your heart, nothing beats the proven methods of not smoking, getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  And don’t forget to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range.