A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes concluded that multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplementation does not protect against cardiovascular disease.
The review looked at 18 studies that, combined, included over two million participants. All of the studies analyzed were either prospective cohort studies (research that follows groups of similar people over time) or randomized controlled trials. The authors looked for associations between use of MVM dietary supplements and incidence of and death from various cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Overall, MVM supplement use had no significant effect on cardiovascular health, even when the researchers adjusted for age, sex, physical activity levels and other variables.
The use of MVM dietary supplements in the U.S. is widespread, largely owing to the popular belief that such supplements may help maintain health and prevent disease, including cardiovascular disease. This study adds to the literature that finds little evidence for cardiovascular benefits from dietary supplements, except possibly in the case of confirmed vitamin deficiency. High quality dietary patterns are consistently linked to lower risk for cardiovascular disease, hence diet is the best approach to decreasing risk.