A meta-analysis of 18 studies published in Circulation has evaluated the association between taking vitamins and various aspects of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to the Health and Food Supplements Information Service commented; “Vitamins and minerals are not intended for the prevention of chronic conditions like heart disease which develop over many decades in a person’s life and are linked with family history and genetic make-up, lifestyle issues such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet including excessive intake of calories, trans fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
“A multivitamin and mineral supplement could not be expected to prevent such a multi-factorial condition.
“This meta-analysis evaluated 18 already published studies, putting together results from randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. The methodology used across these 18 studies varied, which can make attempts to analyse all the trials together quite difficult.
“Vitamins and minerals are essential for human health yet thousands of people in Britain are at risk of deficiencies of these essential micronutrients according to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). There is not a single nutrient or important food group tracked in the NDNS where there are not significant numbers of people falling short of the Lower Reference Nutrient Intake (LRNI) or target recommendation.
“A multivitamin mineral supplement can bridge this worrying gap and this recently published study looking at cardiovascular disease should not be used to dissuade people from taking a multivitamin supplement which will help to top up their intakes of these essential nutrients.”
 Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes