Contrary to popular belief, most popular vitamin and mineral supplements may not be as effective as we presume it to be. The study that appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, investigates the efficacy of vitamin and mineral supplements over a span of few years. The study conducted by the St. Michael's Hospital, common vitamin and mineral supplements were found to show consistent benefit for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death or no harm.
For the study, the team looked into systematic review of existing data and single randomised control trials published in English from January 2012 to October 2017 found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C - the most common supplements - showed no advantage or added risk in the prevention of cardiovascular matters or early death.
For the uninitiated, vitamin and mineral supplements are taken to add to nutrients that are found in food, but are difficult to absorb. "We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume," said David Jenkins, the study's lead author. "Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm - but there is no apparent advantage either."
The study also revealed that folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. On the other hand, niacin and antioxidants showed a very small effect that might signify an increased risk of death from any cause.
"These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they're taking and ensure they're applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider," Jenkins said.
For the study the team reviewed supplement data that included A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D and E; and betacarotene; calcium; iron; zinc; magnesium; and selenium.
The term 'multivitamin' in this review was used to describe supplements that include most vitamins and minerals, rather than a select few.
"In the absence of significant positive data - apart from folic acid's potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease - it's most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals," Jenkins said. "So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts."
Health experts and scientists across the world have time and again emphasised the role of diet in maintaining your heart health. Here are five foods you must include in your daily diet for a healthy and youthful heart.
1. Oats: The antioxidants present in oats are beneficial for heart disease and the dietary fibers help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the good cholesterol (HDL). Oats also help reduce your cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
2. Nuts: Nuts like walnuts and almonds have high amounts of unsaturated fats that are good for your heart as they help in reducing the inflammation of the arteries.
3. Legumes: Legumes are rich in antioxidants, proteins and fibre that are excellent for heart. They are also a great source of folate which helps in increasing the platelet activity.
4. Berries: Loaded with heart-healthy phytonutrients and lots of soluble fiber, berries make for an excellent heart-healthy food. You can blend them in a smoothie, sprinkle them over your breakfast cereal or just have them alone with some sprinkling of rock salt.
5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestrogens, all of which help in boosting heart health.
(With inputs ANI)