New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has identified supplements that show moderate- to high-quality evidence of reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors.
The systematic review and meta-analysis included 884 randomized controlled trials with a total of over 880,000 participants that evaluated the effects of 27 types of micronutrients taken as supplements. Several nutrients were identified that improved cardiovascular risk factors, while others showed no evidence of an effect. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation showed significant benefits, including reduced risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease, reduced heart attack risk, and reduced risk of coronary heart disease events. Additionally, supplementation with folic acid reduced the risk of stroke, and coenzyme q10 (e.g., CoQ10) supplementation decreased all-cause mortality. Other supplements with moderate- to high-quality evidence of reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors included omega-6 fatty acid, l-arginine, l-citrulline, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, α-lipoic acid, melatonin, catechin, curcumin, flavanol, genistein, and quercetin. Those that showed no effect on cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes risk included vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Notably, beta carotene supplementation increased the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality.
The authors noted that their findings indicate a need for more personalized interventions regarding dietary changes and supplements, since certain supplements may benefit some patients but not all patients. Additionally, further studies are needed on the long-term effects of dietary supplements over time. Further research, as well as the findings of the present study, are particularly important given that some supplements may be harmful rather than helpful. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and careful study is warranted before adding a new supplement to your daily routine.
Sources: JACC, Science Daily