Multivitamins are back in the news. Last month we exposed Big Pharma’s little secret behind the study that claimed the daily supplement cut the risk of cancer in men by 12 percent.
This time the study on multivitamins that was also published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) comes as no surprise.1
Dr. Howard Sesso of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School led the study that used data from the Physicians’ Healthy Study II. The very same data used in the cancer study.2 It involved almost 15,000 male doctors over age 50.
Again, half the men took a multivitamin. Half took a placebo. Researchers followed the subjects for over 11 years.
At the end of the study researchers concluded that there was no difference in heart-disease rates between the two groups.
“We found that after more than a decade, there is neither benefit nor risk” in terms of heart disease, said Dr. Sesso.
That’s not exactly shocking news.
Roughly 40 percent of American adults take a daily multivitamin.3 They’re hoping for a “quick fix,” or make up for diet deficiencies. Or they’re hoping to prevent any and all chronic diseases. Well that’s problem number one!
Taking a multivitamin isn’t bad. If you take one, don’t stop. Just don’t believe that it’s going to keep you from getting heart disease. And regarding the study, there’s a major point to notice…
Duffy MacKay of the Council for Responsible Nutrition agrees that the results aren’t surprising.4 But he does note that the doctors in the study were extremely healthy to start with. Yet heart disease was still prevalent.
But, McKay goes on…
“Unfortunately, this study population is not representative of your average American.”
Most Americans live a sedentary lifestyle. Little to no exercise and bad eating habits. This goes to show even more that if they didn’t help healthy doctors… a single multivitamin isn’t going to protect the average American from heart disease.
Dr. Sesso says it best, “They’re no substitute for a heart-healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, keeping your weight down.”5
Of course we’re not saying the vitamins and nutrients within a multivitamin aren’t going to help your overall health. But the vitamin values it contains are simply too low to work on their own to obtain drastic results. Results such as preventing heart disease.
So what can you do?
First…ALWAYS take a high-quality food based multivitamin. Look at the label. Make sure it is made with 100% organic ingredients. Most multivitamins are made with synthetic ingredients.6 The quality of these vitamins are often low.
Second…take individual vitamins or add to your multivitamin to reach proper values. If you take a multivitamin, add extra vitamin C. Vitamin C helps repair and regenerate tissues.7 It helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Take at least 250 mg of vitamin C every day.
For a healthy heart include an extra B vitamin in the mix as well. Make sure you are getting at least 400 mcg of a B complex.8
Then there’s vitamin D. It’s great for your bones. It supports your immune system. And it helps prevent other health problems, like high blood pressure. Vitamin D3 is the one to look for. It’s the sunshine vitamin so during the summer it is easier to get a little extra. But during the winter and when you can’t get outside, you want to take at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.9
For optimal heart-health, include an omega-3 to your daily regimen.10 Omega-3s give you the healthy fatty acids necessary to reduce inflammation and blood clotting. They also keep blood vessels healthy.
Coenzyme Q10 is another important supplement to add for your heart.11 CoQ10 re-energizes the mitochondria in the heart cells. It helps lower the high blood pressure that is linked to heart disease.
This latest multivitamin study is “a wake-up call that this disease is very prevalent in the United States and even if you’re doing a good job, you’re not immune,” said Dr. Vincent Bufalino, cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.12
That bears repeating… “you’re not immune.” Diet and lifestyle play a major role in having a healthy heart. Nothing, not even a multivitamin, can replace a healthy diet.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein should be your main source of nutrients. So instead of making your diet the “supplement” to your daily multivitamin, make your multivitamin the “supplement” to your heart-healthy diet.
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