vitamins

Are Vitamins Useless?

The most common supplements have no effects on heart health.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.


THE SCIENCE
Researchers analyzed data from tens of thousands of people to confirm whether calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and multivitamin supplements improve heart health. Their study found that they have no effect on heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or lifespan.
EXPERT INSIGHT
If your heart is strong and you’re taking the supplements for other reasons, these findings don’t apply to you, says study author David Jenkins, MD, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada. The study looked only at their effects on cardiovascular health.

But if you’re at high risk for heart conditions, you should get these vitamins and minerals from plant-based foods rather than pills, because your body absorbs them more easily that way, Jenkins says. “This used to be the conventional wisdom of every dietitian, but then we steered away from that advice,” he adds. 
THE BOTTOM LINE
The study doesn’t rule out all the other benefits of taking supplements, Jenkins says. Until more research is done, you might still consider taking vitamin D and calcium to support bone health and vitamin C to slow skin aging, he notes.