U.S. scientists evaluated the effectiveness of nutritional supplements for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and listed the most useful of them. The Brown University study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Antioxidant supplements are thought to prevent many cardiovascular diseases by reducing oxidative stress. A heart-healthy Mediterranean diet includes foods that are rich in antioxidants. But the benefits of antioxidant supplements remain questionable.
Researchers analyzed data from 884 studies that examined the effects of 27 different types of antioxidant supplements. A total of more than 883,000 patients participated in them.
Omega-3 fatty acids (reduced cardiovascular mortality), folic acid (reduced risk of stroke) and coenzyme Q10 (reduced all-cause mortality) were found to be the most useful for preventing cardiovascular disease.
Omega-6 fatty acids, L-arginine, L-citrulline, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, alpha-lipoic acid, melatonin, catechin, curcumin, flavanol, genistein and quercetin also demonstrated reduced cardiovascular risk.
Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium had no effect on long-term cardiovascular outcomes or risk of type 2 diabetes. And beta-carotene supplements increased all-cause mortality.
The researchers say the findings point to the need for more personalized, precise dietary interventions that include specific combinations of health supplements. Further research is needed to determine the optimal combinations.