There has been some hype in recent mainstream news that supplementation with vitamins and minerals don’t prevent cardiovascular disease. But let’s look at this closer.
This hype in media comes from a study from the University of Alabama researchers, who followed more than two million people from 18 trials of nutritional supplements and saw no evidence they could lower heart disease deaths.
First of all, and most importantly, nutritional supplements don’t INCREASE the heart disease deaths. Secondly, there are numerous valid scientific studies and reviews that showed how vitamins B, D, E and C significantly reduce the risk of various cancers (some of these topics I’ve covered in my previous posts and you can find many scientific studies on my subpages of the Vitamins subpage).
Naturally, if you lower your chance of getting cancer, you’ll sooner or later have to die of something else. So even if vitamins and minerals lower your cardiovascular risk, but more substantially lower your risk of cancer, the end result may be that just because the anti-cancer effect is stronger, you’ll see more cardiovascular deaths, which will nullify the initial effect of lower cardiovascular risk.
Epidemiology is tricky and can be very easily manipulated, that’s why we often see many contradictory news about certain foods or supplements: one day they say coffee is great for your health, another day they say it’s not. My advice is that the key is in moderation, whatever we do, and that any study that’s receiving media hype should always be rigorously checked scientifically.
I do agree with the conclusion from the authors that people should be taking more healthy lifestyle and dietary steps to improve their health; that is completely valid, who wouldn’t agree on that. But suggesting, based on these results, that dietary supplementation is not beneficial, is completely wrong. If it was shown that vitamins and minerals increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases or shorten your life, that would be another story.