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Multivitamins & Heart Health

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Michael Thompson takes a multivitamin every day.

"I started in my 20's when I wasn't eating as healthy as I probably should be and just thought well, I probably need an extra vitamin just to cover everything."

Many people take a multivitamin hoping it will keep them healthy. Now a new study finds multivitamins do not protect against major cardiovascular events.

"It did not affect the rate of having a heart attack, or dying from cardiac disease, or requiring coronary revascularization such as bypass surgery," says Dr. Richard Josephson of UH Case Medical Center.

The research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed nearly 15,000 healthy male doctors. After about 11 years, there was no difference between those who received multivitamins and those who received fakes.

Multivitamins are the most common dietary supplement in the U.S. About a third of adults take them.

Doctors say taking vitamins is not the way to prevent heart disease.

"It is not a substitute for eating a well-balanced diet, it is not a substitute for regular exercise."

Thompson says he'll keep taking his multivitamin to make sure he gets the vitamins and minerals he needs.

And he says he eats right and gets plenty of exercise to stay healthy.

Last month, the same group of researchers reported some benefits with multivitamins.

Men in the study had an 8% lower risk of cancer.

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