Vitamins Reduce Heart Disease Risk


taking vitaminsNot only is it useful to maintain vitality and endurance, regular vitamin intake can prevent certain diseases. One of them is heart disease.

Vitamins are essential nutrients without calories and necessary for human metabolism. Vitamins can not be produced by the human body, but is obtained from daily food intake. The specific function of vitamin is as a cofactor (helper element) for enzymatic reactions.

Vitamins also play a role in other various body functions, including regeneration of the skin, eyesight, nervous system, immune system, and blood clotting. The body needs a different amount for each vitamin. Every person has different vitamin requirements.

Recent research shows that consuming multivitamins regularly may help women without cardiovascular disease to prevent heart attacks. However, the efficacy of vitamin pills does not appear to be influential in women who had suffered from heart disease. The study was conducted by Dr. Susanne Rautiainen and her colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

These findings do not provide an answer to the question of whether vitamins are useful as a prevention of disease. “It’s important to remember that multivitamin users tend to be healthier in general. They usually will reduce smoking, more physically active, and have a healthy diet, ” says Rautiainen.

“Even if we have been controlled by a number of factors associated with healthy behaviors, we can not rule out the possibility that we can measure our healthy lifestyle through multivitamins consumptions,” she said. It is known that about half of U.S. adults are reported to take multivitamins regularly.

Rautiainen and her colleagues mentioned in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that in industrialized countries, the use of multivitamins is widespread. While the conventional wisdom in these countries state that taking vitamins can help prevent heart disease. The researchers revealed that in fact there is little evidence to support that claim.

To determine the relationship between the use of vitamins and heart disease in women, Rautiainen and her team included 31,671 women without a history of heart disease and 2,262 women who did have heart disease in the last 10 years. The women were aged between 49 to 83 years old in the early days of research, and about 60 percent in each group used several types of the same dietary supplement.

During the observed time period, 932 heart attacks occurred in the group of women with no history of heart disease, while 269 women with heart disease also had a heart attack. Among the women who initially did not have heart disease and do not take dietary supplements, 3.4 percent of them had a heart attack, compared with 2.6 percent of women who took multivitamins plus other supplements.

The risk of heart attack is about 27 percent lower for women who take vitamins. Meanwhile, among women with heart disease, 13 percent of which do not take vitamins had a heart attack, compared with 14 percent of women who took multivitamins. This result could have been due to coincidence though.

For women without heart disease at the beginning of the study, taking multivitamins less than five years can reduce the risk of heart attack by 18 percent compared with non-users of supplements. While users of vitamins for 10 years or more will reduce the risk by 41 percent.

Previously, other studies also produced similar findings that the consumption of vitamins prevent heart disease. Heart health, as you often hear, depends on the decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). But now, the recommendations are not that simple.

Recent findings indicate that bad cholesterol is part of a dual action. And vitamin tablets, according to the findings of this study, can be used as a new treatment for heart disease. The researchers found that LDL has a twin brother known as lipoprotein (a), which can increase the risk of heart disease. Having LDL and Lp (a) would double the risk and increase the risk of clogged arteries.

Source: Reuters