'Our review found that, if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm - but there is no apparent advantage either. They also looked at the benefits of folic acid supplements and saw that regular intake of folic acid supplements can reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke.
And for niacin and supplements marketed as "antioxidant mixtures", the researchers found they increased the risk of death.
Basically: a healthy diet trumps supplements unless you've been advised to take one by a doctor or another health expert.
The study also mentioned that it is only folic acid and B-vitamins that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. His study and previous research show that supplements are no better than eating unprocessed plant foods like vegetables, fruits, and nuts. But with no causal mechanism, or even more specific information, the evidence is not sufficient to state that anybody should or should not take supplements with these components. Multivitamins are the combination of numerous different vitamins that are found in foods and other natural sources. Multivitamin supplements contained a combination of these vitamins and minerals. In fact, the team discovered something in antioxidants and niacin that could potentially increase the risk of early death, but nothing too significant.
The problem lies in the fact that while these supplements have always been used to treat nutrient deficiencies in patients, this has now been replaced by companies claiming they will provide greater longevity and a more healthy life overall.
"The latest research of vitamins and heart disease risk is neither unexpected nor surprising", he said in a statement.
With the findings showing that there are actually no added advantages to artificial supplements, the best choice may still be balanced, nutritious meals. "More than half of Australians have swallowed the line that it's good to take supplements", she said.
Both MacKay and Daniel Fabricant, president, CEO, Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC), pointed out that most Americans do not obtain the daily recommended nutrients from their diets alone.