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Clinical Trials Update
January 22/29, 2014

Multivitamins Offer No Protection to Brains or Hearts

JAMA. 2014;311(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.60

One-third of individuals in the United States consume multivitamins, but they shouldn’t count on the supplements to prevent cognitive decline or reduce the risk of cardiovascular events after a heart attack, conclude authors of 2 randomized placebo-controlled trials.

The Physicians’ Health Study II trial randomized 5947 male physicians aged 65 years or older to receive a daily multivitamin or placebo for 12 years (Grodstein F et al. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159[12]:806-814). Four assessments over the study period showed no difference in overall cognitive performance between the 2 groups. The study participants may have been too well nourished—or too well educated—to receive a cognitive gain from vitamin supplements, wrote the researchers. They called for additional studies to determine whether supplements may cognitively benefit people with poor nutrition or vitamin deficiencies.

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