The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, observed multivitamin use to be inversely associated with myocardial infarction in women with no history of cardiovascular disease. The researchers noted that the association grew stronger with long-term use, and was not affected by how often supplements were taken.
?From a public health point of view, it is important to evaluate whether multivitamins should be recommended to prevent myocardial infarction,? stated the researchers, led by Dr Susanne Rautiainen, from the Divisions of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
The new research shows correlation and not causation, however, and the researchers noted that further research must be completed in order to confirm or refute their findings. If such findings supported this study?s observation then it would be important to ?clarify what composition of multivitamins (doses and ingredients included) and duration of use is needed to observe beneficial effects on myocardial infarction,? wrote Dr Rautiainen and her co-workers.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements are the most frequently used supplements in industrialised countries, where there is a common belief is that they ensure an adequate nutrient intake, which can help to prevent coronary heart disease
Most multivitamins contain a wide spectrum of nutrients, including antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and selenium ? all of which have been inversely related to heart disease by previous research.
Despite the widespread use of multivitamins, the authors noted the limited data available on the relationship between multivitamin use and coronary heart disease incidence, with only one previously published randomized controlled trial on low-dose multivitamin supplements and heart disease incidence, which showed no significant effects.
However, some observational studies have associated multivitamin use with statistically significant effects on the risk of myocardial infarction, with a Dutch study finding a 51 percent lower risk of incidence in a prospective cohort study (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, No. 2 ). Additionally, an American study observed combined use of multivitamins and supplements of vitamin A, C, or E to be associated with a 25 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease mortality.