According to a review article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the answer to that is no. Instead of focusing on vitamins and supplements, experts suggest we should be turning to plant-based foods in which to reduce our risk of heart disease.

Supplements have become increasingly popular over the past few years as a means of treating nutrient deficiencies. In 2012, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it was estimated that more than 50 percent of the US population were taking supplements of some kind. But despite this high number, there’s no substantial evidence to confirm if any of these supplements on their own or combined are effective at lowering the risk of heart disease. 

During the study, researchers looked into the vitamin and supplement use in 179 different trials to see if any benefits were apparent. What they discovered was that out of the four most common supplements taken (multivitamins, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D), none of them showed any consistent benefit for the prevention of heart disease or stroke.

However, good results were found in folic acid and B-complex vitamins where folic acid was present. Both of these seemed to be effective at reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.. However, it should be noted that niacin (vitamin B3) and antioxidants were found to be associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality.

“Folic acid administration and the reduction of cardiovascular disease through stroke seen in the Chinese CSPPT (China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial) trial provides the only example of cardiovascular disease risk reduction by supplement use in the period following the Preventive Services Task Recommendation,” says lead author of the study, David J.A. Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc. “Whether these data are sufficient to change clinical practice in areas of the world where folic acid food fortification is already in place is still a matter for discussion.”

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