ORLANDO, Fla. — About 75 percent of Americans take some kind of dietary supplement. But do they really work? A new study sheds light on whether supplements for the heart are worth your time and money.
The supplement craze is in full effect. Most Americans report taking at least one each day and the use of supplements has gone up ten percent in the last ten years!
But a new study reveals the supplements people take for heart health may not provide the advertised benefits. Researchers reviewed data from hundreds of clinical trials involving almost one million people and found only two of the 16 popular supplements had a noticeable effect on heart outcomes. Folic acid and omega-three fatty acids showed modest benefits. But vitamins A, B, C, E, beta carotene, iron, antioxidants, and multi-vitamins showed no benefits. And taking calcium with vitamin D actually increased the risk for stroke.
“We found those who were taking supplements, calcium supplements compared to non-supplement users were 22 percent more likely to have new development of calcium on heart arteries on the second cat scans- ten years apart,” Erin Michos, MD, MHS, Cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said.
The bottom line: if you’re trying to improve your heart health, you might not want to rely on supplements.
Researchers in this study also looked at eight popular diets and found only a low-salt diet was effective at lowering cholesterol and heart disease risk.