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Heart Disease Health Center

Vitamins C and E Don't Cut Heart Risks

Study Shows Vitamins Don't Help Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes
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Multivitamins and Heart Risk

Sesso and colleagues are continuing to follow men in their study who are taking a multivitamin supplement.

"This is the only trial that I am aware of examining multivitamin use over more than a decade of follow-up," he says.

"The prevalence of multivitamin use is very high. Many people, including myself, take them without really having any hard evidence from long-term, large-scale clinical trials to support claims of benefits."

Mayo Clinic cardiologist Raymond Gibbons, MD, says patients want to believe that vitamins can protect their hearts even though there is little evidence to support this.

Gibbons is a past president of the American Heart Association.

"When I tell my patients there is no data to support the use of vitamins they don't want to believe me," he says. "A lot of money has gone into promoting vitamins for heart health, and manufacturers can make very bold claims because vitamins aren't regulated by the FDA."

Annette Dickinson, PhD, past president of the supplement industry trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition, says in a news release that vitamins still have other important uses.

"These results do not of course negate other evidence of benefits for vitamin E and vitamin C for other conditions, including immune function, mental acuity, and eye health. Consumers would be well advised to ensure adequate intakes of all essential nutrients through a good diet plus use of a multivitamin, and selected other nutrients including vitamins E and C, vitamin D, calcium, and EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids."

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