Toronto: The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm, a study has found.
Researchers from the St Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada conducted a systematic review of existing data and single randomised control trials published in English from January 2012 to October 2017. They found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C the most common supplements showed no advantage or added risk in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death.
Generally, vitamin and mineral supplements are taken to add to nutrients that are found in food.
“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” said David Jen-kins, lead author of the study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“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,” said Jenkins.
The study found folic acid alone and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. Niacin and antioxidants showed a very small effect that may 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,” Jenkins said.