Evidence insufficient for vitamins in CVD, CA prevention

Final U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation shows insufficient evidence to assess benefits and harms of multivitamins.

Evidence insufficient for vitamins in CVD, CA prevention
Evidence insufficient for vitamins in CVD, CA prevention

HealthDay News -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued a final recommendation statement against the use of multivitamins for cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention.

The current evidence is insufficient to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of multivitamin use for cardiovascular disease or cancer prevention (I statement), the task force concluded.

The evidence is also insufficient to evaluate the benefits and harms of single- or paired-nutrient supplements for cardiovascular disease or cancer prevention (I statement), with the exception of beta-carotene and vitamin E, which the USPSTF recommends against (D recommendation).

The recommendations apply to healthy adults, typically aged 50 years and older, without special nutritional needs. The full final recommendation statement is available in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Appropriate intake of vitamin and mineral nutrients is essential to overall health. Despite the uncertain benefit of vitamin supplementation, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that nutrients should come primarily from foods and provide guidance on how to consume a nutrient-rich diet," the task force wrote. "Adequate nutrition by eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood has been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer."

The panel also identified research needs and gaps, recommending that future studies on multivitamin use for cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention include more women and minority groups and be targeted to identify subgroups at high risk for nutrient deficiency. They also called for new and innovative research methods to better examine the effect of nutrients, while maintaining rigorous design.

References

  1. Moyer VA et al. "Vitamin, Mineral, and Multivitamin Supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement." Ann Intern Med. 2014; doi:10.7326/M14-0198.
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