The role of vitamin supplementation in the prevention of cardiovascular disease events

Clin Cardiol. 2014 Sep;37(9):576-81. doi: 10.1002/clc.22299. Epub 2014 May 23.


The production, sale, and consumption of multiple vitamins is a multibillion-dollar industry. Most Americans take some form of supplement ostensibly for prevention of cardiovascular disease. It has been claimed that vitamin A retards atherogenesis. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is thought to possibly decrease free radical-induced endothelial injury, which can lead to atherosclerotic plaque formation. Vitamin E has been extensively studied for its possible effects on platelet function as well as inhibition of foam-cell formation. Low levels of vitamin D have been thought to negatively impact myocardial structure and increase the risk for cardiovascular events. Increased intake of vitamin B6, B12, and folate has been associated with reduction of homocysteine levels; elevated homocysteine blood levels have been associated with the occurrence of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular death. The purpose of this study was to review the currently available literature for vitamin supplementation with respect to prevention of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, the current evidence suggests no benefit exists with vitamin supplementation in the general US population. Further research is needed to evaluate whether there are specific populations that might benefit from vitamin supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Avitaminosis / diagnosis
  • Avitaminosis / drug therapy*
  • Avitaminosis / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins