Approximately, around 40% of UK adults are taking multivitamin supplements on daily basis to improve their energy and performance and protect them against nutritional deficiencies and guard against disease. But a new study found that these multivitamin supplements do not have any harm but also not any consistent health benefit. This research was led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.
Vitamin and mineral supplements which are also called the multivitamins are said to be important for maintenance of good health and metabolic process.
The study is a systematic review which takes into account all the existing data and single randomized control trials published in English from January 2012 to October 2017. During this study, researchers found that the most commonly used supplements like multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C do not have any benefit or risk for the avoidance of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death. Usually, these vitamin and mineral supplements are consumed so that nutrients can be added to food.
“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said Dr. 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.”
This current study reveals that if folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid is consumed regularly, it can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Moreover, 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,” Dr. Jenkins said.
His team reviewed supplement data that included A, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), C, D and E; and β-carotene; 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,” Dr. 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.”