MultiVitamin May Reduce Risk
New Research Points to Women’s Reduced Risk of Heart Attack with Multivitamin Use
People take multivitamins for a variety of reasons: to compensate for a deficient diet, to have more energy, or to acquire more antioxidants in their fight against disease. The intake of multivitamins and other dietary supplements is therefore fairly common and now considered part of the 21st century lifestyle. However, new research from Sweden points to another benefit that people – particularly women – enjoy by taking multivitamins regularly. This benefit translates to a stronger, healthier heart. Researchers from Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute want to determine if there is a significant effectiveness of multivitamins in preventing myocardial infraction – or a heart attack – in layman’s terms.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study where it was observed that women who take multivitamins and who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease appear to have a reduced risk of a heart attack; this becomes more apparent when multivitamins are taken long term.
Correlation, Not Causation
A word of caution: this observation must be looked at from a correlation viewpoint and not from a causation viewpoint. This means that supplementary research needs to be done to confirm or negate the findings. If results prove that taking multivitamins do help to reduce the risks of a heart attack in women, questions relating to the types of multivitamins, how often they should be taken, and what they should contain as well as dosage must be addressed. It is known that the majority of multivitamins contain essential nutrients and minerals such as magnesium and selenium – two minerals that have been suggested to be inversely related to heart disease. But these questions are crucial for evidence to be conclusive.
Whatever the direction the wind blows, one fact can’t be denied: a multivitamin routine will fill any nutrient deficiency which in turn can directly or indirectly protect us from heart disease. What’s unfortunate is that researchers need more data than what is available to establish a definite relationship between taking multivitamin supplements and the incidence of heart disease. So far, only one randomized controlled study was conducted and that did not produce any conclusive evidence.
One study – purely an observational one – was undertaken by a Dutch group of researchers where a 51% decrease in myocardial infarction risks was noted. This was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, no. 2. A similar study in the US was done to observe the intake of multivitamins and additional amounts of vitamins A, C & E as bringing about a 25% decrease in deaths caused by coronary factors.
Researchers were able to conclude that in observing women with no history of cardiovascular disease, the use of multivitamins alone did result in a 27% lower risk of myocardial infarction.