Vitamin Supplements: Multivitamins for Your Heart

Will a multivitamin cut your risk of disease? For heart disease and stroke, the answer appears to be no.


“In the Physicians’ Health Study II, we found no evidence overall that taking a multi for more than a decade prevented heart attacks or strokes any more than taking a placebo,” says Harvard epidemiologist Howard Sesso, who led the study. “But it didn’t increase risk, either.”

That’s consistent with the results of most observational studies. In the Multiethnic Cohort Study and the Women’s Health Initiative cohort, for example, people who said that they took a multivitamin were no more or less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who said that they didn’t take one. Nor did they have a lower or higher risk of cancer.

That’s why the Physicians’ Health Study II made big news in 2012.

Sources: Am. J. Epidemiol. 173: 906, 2011; Arch. Intern. Med. 169: 294, 2009.


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