Dietary supplements are popular among much of the urban populace of the world. Our daily diet may not be able to meet all the requirements of micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals as these maybe present in trace amounts in common foods. However, science has been indecisive about whether or not dietary supplements are healthy for a person. A new study has now indicated that these supplements may do more harm than good. The study says that typically dietary supplements offer no health benefits for heart, and could be even harmful, including increasing death risk.
The study titled, "Effects of Nutritional Supplements and Dietary Interventions on Cardiovascular Outcomes: An Umbrella Review and Evidence Map" was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and was conducted by researchers at West Virginia University School of Medicine in the U.S. For the research, 277 previous trial studies involving data from a million Americans was analysed. The study looked at the effects of 16 different nutritional supplements, as well as eight different diets including Mediterranean diet and low-fat diet. The impacts of supplements and diets were studied on mortality risk and cardiovascular disease.
The researchers found that only a handful of the dietary supplements along with just one of the eight dietary interventions had some protective benefits against heart diseases. Supplements that came out with positive results were omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid, which were found to protect against heart diseases and stroke. Other supplements like the combination of Vitamin D and calcium tablets, were found to increase the incidence of heart diseases. Meanwhile, the researchers also found that dietary interventions with reduced salt intake and high omega-3 intake, seemed to offer protective benefits for the heart.
The study said, "The role of nutritional supplements and dietary interventions in preventing mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes is unclear." It concluded by saying, "Reduced salt intake, omega-3 LC-PUFA use, and folate supplementation could reduce risk for some cardiovascular outcomes in adults. Combined calcium plus vitamin D might increase risk for stroke."
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