David Poon, BSc Immunology and Infection, PharmD Student
Do You Know Someone Taking a Multivitamin?
I do and chances are you do too! Multivitamins contain vitamins and minerals, but in varying quantities depending on the manufacturer and product line. People taking a multivitamin generally take it for overall health and well-being. Others have it recommended by their healthcare professional for some sort of dietary deficiency or medical condition. The multivitamin industry In North America is worth billions of dollars. But the question remains, should you be paying these pharmaceutical companies your hard earned money? And most importantly, is there any health benefit from taking a multivitamin?
This particular article, Association of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, examined 18 different studies consisting of 2,019,862 adult patients found throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. By taking the information gathered by those 18 studies into consideration, the authors came to the conclusion that there was no association between multivitamin supplementation and cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or stroke mortality. Depending on what type of study that was examined, some studies showed those taking multivitamins had a reduced incidence of developing coronary heart disease. In contrast, analysis of other studies showed no association between multivitamin supplementation and the incidence of developing coronary heart disease. A limitation of the study was that patients were given different doses of multivitamins in all 18 studies.
The Bottom Line
Save your money. For most people, you’ll get all the vitamins and minerals you need from eating a healthy and balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Canadian Food Guide is a good place to start if you were wondering about your daily nutritional requirements. Multivitamins are useful in certain medical conditions, but if the sole reason why you were taking a multivitamin was to reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, then you may want to reconsider your decision. Like with all medication-related decisions, speak to your health care professional when starting or stopping medications.
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Kim, J., Choi, J., Kwon, S. Y., McEvoy, J. W., Blaha, M. J., Blumenthal, R. S., Michos, E. D. (2018). Association of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes,11(7), 1-14. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.117.004224