Multivitamins won’t help stave off heart disease.

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If you think a daily multivitamin will protect you from the perils of cardiovascular disease, think again. The amount of such benefit offered by multivitamin and mineral supplements is essentially zero, according to new research published by the American Heart Association in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcome. It analyzed data from 18 studies involving more than 2 million people who all took supplements containing at least three vitamin and mineral ingredients but no herbs, hormones or drugs. The researchers found “no benefit of multivitamin/mineral supplements on cardiovascular disease prevention.” They won’t, for instance, prevent a stroke or keep you from dying of heart disease. People often consider taking a multivitamin as part of a healthy lifestyle, thinking it’s a simple way to make sure their body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly and fight off chronic conditions. (About a third of Americans take a daily multivitamin, according to government surveys.) Medical experts often say, though, that it is better to get those nutrients from food sources than from pills.As for lowering your chances of developing heart disease, cardiac experts say the best medicine is to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, eat healthfully, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.

— Linda Searing

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