Researchers examined data from 277 trials with a total of nearly one million participants to assess the effects of 16 different nutritional supplements and 8 dietary interventions on the risk of heart problems and strokes.
The popularity of nutritional supplements skyrocketed in the United States over the past years, with about 3 in 4 people now taking them.
"People should focus on healthy diet from nutritional food sources, not vitamins or supplements, in combination with healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical activity and not smoking", said Dr. Safi Khan, lead study author and a researcher at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown.
"This research further shows that despite extensive sales and use of different dietary supplements, there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of many supplements", said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, an associate professor of global health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was not involved in the research. They looked at the effects of 16 nutritional supplements and eight dietary interventions on cardiovascular health and mortality. Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid correlated with a reduced risk for myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease based on low-certainty evidence (RRs, 0.92 and 0.93, respectively).
The findings had been unsurprising, mentioned Susan Jebb, a professor of diet and inhabitants health at the University of Oxford.
Some supplements may even cause potential harm.
In the current study, researchers did find some evidence that reduced salt intake was associated with a lower risk of premature death from all causes among patients with normal blood pressure.
Following a Mediterranean diet, reducing fat intake and taking fish oil supplements also had no significant effect when it comes to the heart or preventing an early death. People with hypertension are already at risk for various cardiovascular events. A reduction in salt intake, which reduces blood pressure, was found to reduce mortality rates in all patients. The diet is renowned and popular for its promise to reduce the risk of various ailments, including cardiovascular disease.
The only supplement to show signs of a negative impact with any sort of confidence was calcium plus vitamin D, which is linked to a greater chance of stroke, according to the study.
The researchers hope that the study findings urge further investigation on the intake of nutritional supplements and the practice of certain dietary interventions, especially for those who are at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Can supplements and dietary interventions protect the heart?