A recent large-scale study published in the Journal of Nutrition validates the benefits of supplementing with a daily multivitamin-mineral. Researchers from the Office of Dietary Supplements at the U.S. National Institutes of Health concluded that daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation for women reduces heart disease risk by 35% when taken for 3 or more years. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 292,188 women in 2009—1 in every 4 female deaths!
Scientists collected data from 8,678 adults participating in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES III). When the data zeroed in on length of supplementation, it showed a reduction of 35% in cardiovascular disease risk in all the different statistical models applied. This risk reduction, however, only applied to women. No such gains were found for men supplementing with a daily multivitamin-mineral.
The lack of benefit for men substantiates previous findings from the Physicians Health Study, a large-scale, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study made up of 14,641 male physicians. While a multivitamin-mineral supplement exhibited no risk reduction for heart disease, it did show an 8% reduction for cancer risk in the men, so men shouldn’t swear off a multivitamin-mineral complex just yet.
This most recent study provides a distinction between multivitamin-mineral supplements (MVMs) and multivitamins (MVs). Dr. Reagan Bailey from the Office of Dietary Supplements specifies:
“The main difference between MVMs and MVs is the presence of minerals. We speculate that minerals or certain vitamins not always found in MV formulations (e.g., vitamin D) may help explain the differential effect of MVM products on CVD mortality.”
What Multivitamin-Mineral Supplement Should You Buy?
Not all multivitamin-mineral supplements are the same, as evidenced by the recent scandal in fake multivitamin brands peddled by Walmart, GNC, and Target. Many popular multivitamin-mineral supplements are synthetically derived and should be avoided. Opt for whole food supplements sourced from natural foods like plants, fruits, and vegetables. Whole food supplements are more bioavailable and your body gets the best benefit from natural supplementation. You can also get your daily multivitamin-mineral fix with a green powder such as Mega-Nutrition Organic Superfoods. As tasty as it is good for you!