Volume 12, Issue 39 |  
Why most multivitamins won't
stop cardiovascular disease

It's April Fool's Day, but don't fool yourself. Multivitamins like my Super Immune QuickStart can do wonderful things. But the dose is critical. Small one-a-day multis might be inexpensive and look good on the label, but they are not going to cut it. I'm not going to be one of those docs who just wants to sell you a multi no matter how puny and ineffective it is. That's not me. My job is to keep you healthy. So I'm going to tell you about a new study that pretty clearly shows that simply taking any old multivitamin is just not enough to protect you from cardiovascular disease or anything else either.

There are going to be those vitamins-cure-everything gurus out there who pooh-pooh this study. But, actually, it was very well done. First of all, it was a prospective study. That means that the data is not being collected after the fact, but while the experiment is going on. Prospective studies are the most accurate. Second, it was long. Some studies just look at what happens over a relatively short period of time. That leaves a lot up to chance. But this one went on for an average of 16 years. And third, it was large. The researchers looked at a group of 37,193 women aged 45 and older from the Women's Health Study. All these points are good indicators that what they discovered was accurate.

The researchers had one question in mind. Does taking a multivitamin for years all by itself protect you from cardiovascular disease? To answer this, they monitored who was taking a multi and who wasn't and who developed heart disease. The results were conclusive. And no doubt many supplement naysayers will jump on this study to conclude that multis are just a waste of time and money. Here's what they found.

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The multis made absolutely no difference at all. The chances of any of the women getting a heart attack, a stroke, or dying from heart disease were the same. In the words of the authors, "In this study of middle-aged and elderly women, neither baseline nor time-varying multivitamin use was associated with the long-term risk of major cardiovascular events, heart attacks, strokes, cardiac surgeries, or cardiovascular deaths."

These cardiovascular diseases are the number one killers across the board. But it's clear from this very well done study that taking a multi isn't going to protect you. At least not the multis these women were using. And that may have been the problem. So many of the multivitamins sold are the cheap kind with tiny little doses that are in all likelihood not going to help protect you from anything. For example, one of the best selling multis out there is Centrum. But the doses in Centrum are laughable. I have never seen one positive study about the effects of any kind of supplement with dosage levels that low. It's like taking a hundredth of an aspirin and expecting it to help your headache. It's not going to happen.

So look at the doses of any nutritional supplement you are taking. If the pill itself is small, I would be suspect. That's one reason why I produce my Super Immune QuickStart as a powder. To take the right dose that shows well in the studies, you would have to take 30 large capsules of QuickStart. That's what is needed. But who's going to do that? Not me. But you get an entire 30 capsule dose in one scoop of QuickStart, which can be easily mixed in some juice or water. And you can drink it in a few seconds. That's no April Fool's joke.

Yours for better health,

Rautiainen S, Lee IM, Rist PM, et al. Multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease in a prospective study of women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan;101(1):144-52.

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