Daily multivitamins offer no help in preventing heart disease according to new research, and that’s yet another reason not to take them, said cardiologist Ira Ockene, MD, the David J. and Barbara D. Milliken Professor of Preventive Cardiology and professor of medicine.
“There is not a good rationale for most people to take a multivitamin,” said Dr. Ockene. “Most people take in all the vitamins they need—with the possible exception of vitamin D—in food.”
The study, published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed nearly 15,000 healthy male physicians for more than a decade. Researchers found no difference in heart disease among those who took a daily Centrum Silver multivitamin and those on placebos.
Ockene said the only people who may benefit from such supplements are those so sick or frail that they do not eat enough food to get the nutrition their bodies need. He does recommend vitamin D—particularly in New England when sunshine dwindles—or iron, but only for those lacking in it.
“Generally, multivitamins don’t make a lot of sense,” he said.
Exercise is actually key to good nutrition, Ockene said.
“The most important part of a healthy diet is physical activity because if you’re physically active, you eat more and eating more means you get more of everything—more iron, more vitamins—you name it,” he said.
Watch more in this Expert’s Corner video.