Study: multivitamins do not prevent heart disease

By WEEK Producer
By NBC News

Study: multivitamins do not prevent heart disease

November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM CDT

BOSTON, Mass. -- It seems taking a multivitamin will do nothing to prevent heart disease, according to a new study.

The research from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston followed more than 14,000 middle-aged men for over a decade. They were randomized to take either a Centrum Silver multivitamin or a placebo.

After 11 years, researchers found no reduction in heart attack, strokes, or cardiovascular-related deaths among those taking the multivitamins.

"While it might not be beneficial for cardiovascular disease, we did see a significant but modest 8 percent reduction in the risk of total cancer in these same men in the trial," said Dr. Howard Sesso of the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Experts say exercise, quitting smoking, and healthy eating are all proven ways to cut down on heart risks.

Multivitamins can prevent or treat deficiencies and this same research previously found a small cancer benefit.

Representing the supplement industry, the Council for Responsible Nutrition said it wasn't surprised by the new findings related to heart disease.

But a CRN spokesperson also noted the study participants -- relatively healthy male doctors -- aren't representative of average Americans.

This research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions and was published early online in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.

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