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Long-term multivitamin-mineral use tied to women’s heart health

Feb 18, 2015

Long-term multivitamin-mineral use tied to women’s heart health

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health are taking a serious look at Multiple Vitamins with Minerals and protection for older women.

A new analysis of deaths from heart disease over more than 20 years finds that women who took multivitamin-mineral supplements for three years or more were significantly less likely to die.

The benefit was not seen among women taking them for less than three years or in anyone taking just multivitamins without minerals; you needed both.

Regan Bailey, a dietician and researcher at the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements who led the study states “Our study suggests the possibility that there is such a connection for women, which is an interesting finding but to know for sure would require a clinical trial.”

According to that office, multivitamin-mineral (MVM) products account for almost one-fifth of all purchases of dietary supplements and more than 40% of all sales of vitamin and mineral supplements and more than one-third of Americans take MVM’s.

For their study, online now in The Journal of Nutrition, Bailey’s team analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, conducted between 1988 and 1994.

Information on multivitamin or multivitamin-mineral use was available for almost 9,000 healthy adults, who were 40 years and older when they answered the surveys. About 21% of those participants who took dietary supplements used MVMs - defined as three or more vitamins plus one or more minerals – and 14% used multivitamins without minerals.

The researchers followed the participants for an average of 18 years to find out how many died of cardiovascular disease.