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These supplements probably aren’t helping your heart

These supplements probably aren’t helping your heart

The vast majority of dietary supplements don't improve heart health or put off death, a new study finds.

These supplements probably aren’t helping your heart

Most dietary supplements do not protect against heart attack and stroke. Fish oil and folate might help, but calcium plus vitamin D may cause harm, according to new research.

In a massive new analysis of findings from 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, researchers say they have found that almost all vitamin, mineral and other nutrient supplements or diets cannot be linked to longer life or protection from heart disease.

According to a 2016 JAMA article, more than half of adults report using dietary supplements. Surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 52% of Americans take a least one vitamin or other dietary/nutritional supplement daily.

Researchers at West Virginia University analysed data on the effects of dietary supplements and dietary approaches from 277 previous studies that included almost one million people in total. Their surprising findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this month.

Although they found that most of the supplements or diets were not associated with any harm, the analysis showed possible health benefits only from a low-salt diet, omega-3 fatty acid supplements and possibly folic acid supplements for some people. Researchers also found that supplements combining calcium and vitamin D may in fact be linked to a slightly increased stroke risk.

Almost all dietary supplements (with the exception of omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid), including niacin, iron and a veritable alphabet soup of vitamins, “had no significant effect on mortality or cardiovascular disease outcomes,” the review article stated.

Atudy author Dr. Safi Khan, an assistant clinical professor of internal medicine at West Virginia University, said that these dietary supplements are largely a waste of money — at least when it comes to heart health.

“Please stop spending money on these supplements for the sake of improving cardiovascular health. Because they don’t,” Khan told NBC News.

Read more: WHO warns against vitamin B and E supplements to combat dementia

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