Taking a multivitamin does not cut the likelihood of stroke, heart attack or fatal diseases affecting the heart and arteries, researchers have found.
The Physicians Health Study II, a long-term study looking at the health of almost 15,000 American male physicians, revealed that a daily dose of a multivitamin made them 8% less likely to develop cancer. But the benefits are not the same for problems involving the heart.
The report found those taking a vitamin supplement every day were no less likely to have major heart problems or suffer stroke than those who did not.
The study looked at the men’s health over an 11-year period. In that time 829 died from a disease of the heart or arteries, while 652 had their first heart attack and 643 suffered strokes.
The report, which has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was presented in Los Angeles at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.
Dr Howard Sesso, based at Harvard Medical School and his colleagues who produced the study, said many people mistakenly thought taking vitamins would reduce their risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
But he said analysis of the data showed no evidence that multivitamins had an impact on problems involving the heart and arteries.