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;159:806-814). 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.
Slomski A. Multivitamins Offer No Protection to Brains or Hearts. JAMA. 2014;311(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.60