Just one month after researchers in Boston released data showing that cancer risk could be lowered by multivitamins, new data published on Monday from the same study resulted in disappointing news: using multivitamins does not offer benefits for the prevention of heart disease.
In the study, there were 15,000 physicians, all male and all over 50 years of age. They were selected randomly to take one Centrum Multivitamin daily or a placebo for on average of 11 years. Researchers found the multivitamins did not offer any protection against strokes, heart attacks or heart disease related deaths.
The leader of the study Howard Sesso, an epidemiologist said the researchers believe there is no reason to take a multivitamin daily just for the prevention of any cardiovascular disease. However, he said it would be narrow minded to think people should not take the multivitamins considering what was found about prevention of cancer.
Results showed that men taking the multivitamins daily had only a modestly lower risk of about 8% of developing a form of cancer compared to the men who only took placebos. More results will be published from the same study over the next couple of weeks on whether the vitamins are protective against memory loss and eye diseases that are age related.
Researchers from Northwestern University reviewed over five different studies that involved more than 100,000 participants between them. They found that over 40% of men and close to 30% of women who had no risk factors for heart disease suffered a stroke, heart attack or had clogged arteries requiring a bypass surgery or stent placement before the age of 85.
That is much lower than the 60% lifetime risk for heart disease the typical American faces who has a minimum of one major risk factor.