New research result issued in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that the majority of dietary supplements do not defend against heart attacks, stroke, or deaths resulting from heart illness. Some may even cause harm. Scientists at the West Virginia University examined data on the impact of dietary supplements and dietary procedures from 277 previous pieces of research that contained nearly one million people.
The research team discovered almost no evidence that supplements better cardiovascular results, and the proof they found was of low quality. Dr. Safi Khan, an assistant clinical professor of internal medicine at West Virginia University and study author, said that most of the supplements have absolutely no effect on bettering life or lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Dietary Supplements Do More Harm
The majority of supplements analyzed by the research team offered no benefits at all. For instance, there was no proof that multivitamins, antioxidants, iron, or vitamins A and B had any effect on heart health. Some research even showed the potential for harm. Consuming calcium plus vitamin D was linked to an increased risk of stroke, the scientists discovered
It is not definite if this increased risk is caused by the supplements on their own, or by adding supplements to a diet already rich in calcium and vitamin D. Researchers from the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, stated that most of the Western diet holds a substantial dietary food value with calcium and vitamin D.
This is not the first time researchers have found a connection between calcium and cardiovascular risk. A previous study conducted at Johns Hopkins University discovered that people who consumed calcium pills were more at risk of developing plaque in their arteries than people who did not consume them.
The Mediterranean Diet is the Answer
Multiple studies have been published, stating that the evidence of major cardiovascular events was much lower among people having a Mediterranean diet. The diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, was found to aid heart health.
Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said that he recommends his patients the Mediterranean diet. The limiting calorie intake is also useful because it keeps the weight down. However, Nissen added, we need more evidence.