• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: Do heart supplements work?

August 6, 2019

Which dietary supplements should you take to improve heart health? The answer may be none. Research published in Annals of Internal Medicine shows that many supplements do not reduce your risk of heart disease. Dr. M. Hassan Murad, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist, is a co-author of the study.

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"There's really no supplement that can prevent heart disease at the present time," says Dr. Murad.

He and the research team analyzed 277 studies and found that supplements such as multivitamins, as well as vitamins E, D and B don't improve heart health. 

"Several of the interventions that we used to do in terms of diet and nutritional supplements actually do not have evidence to support them," says Dr. Murad.

They did find that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in some fish and walnuts may reduce the risk of heart attack, but healthy lifestyle choices are the main preventive strategies.

"Out of all the things that we studied, salt reduction was the one that found to be most effective in reducing the risk of heart disease among these dietary interventions. It reduced the risk in people who had normal blood pressure and people who had high blood pressure."

Dr. Murad says regular exercise; not smoking; limiting alcohol; and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils and lean meats can reduce your risk of heart disease.

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