Life Extension Update
January 16, 2018
The January 2018 issue of American Heart Journal reported the finding of a randomized trial of a reduction in cardiac events and mortality from any cause over follow-up in association with high dose vitamin and mineral supplementation among patients with a history of heart attack who were not being treated with statin drugs.
The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) was a double-blind investigation conducted at U.S. and Canadian sites that enrolled 1,708 participants between September 2003 and October 2010. The participants, who had a history of heart attack at least 6 weeks prior to enrollment, received a series of 40 chelation therapy or placebo infusions. Each group also received six tablets daily of a high dose orally administered vitamin and mineral supplement or an oral placebo for the duration of the trial. The supplement provided vitamins A, C, D3, E, K1, B1, B3, B5 and B6, folate, PABA, choline, inositol, biotin, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, potassium, boron, vanadium and citrus bioflavonoids.
Among the 460 participants who were not being treated with statin drugs at enrollment, 137 either died (from any cause) or experienced a major adverse cardiac event such as heart attack, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for angina over a median follow-up of 55 months. For non-statin users who received multivitamins and minerals, the risk of one of these outcomes was 38% lower compared to those who received an oral placebo. Mortality from any cause over follow-up was 53% lower in the supplemented group.
Participants who received the vitamins and minerals also experienced a 54% lower risk of the study’s secondary end point of cardiovascular mortality, stroke or recurrent heart attack. When cardiovascular mortality alone was considered, vitamin and mineral supplementation was associated with a 61% decrease in risk.
In their discussion of the findings, Omar M. Issa, DO, and colleagues note that no clinical practice guideline currently recommends the use of vitamin supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease, however, the majority of the studies upon which the recommendations are based had tested moderate doses of only a small number of supplements (usually vitamins A, B12, C and E, and folic acid and selenium). "The drug therapy model used by these studies is useful for studying single agents to determine their effectiveness for specific clinical applications but do not extend well to the more complex multicomponent therapies increasingly used for self-care by large numbers of the general population together with many patients with diverse illnesses," they write.
They add that the current findings are being retested in the ongoing TACT2 investigation.
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