Research Article| Volume 246, P236-242, March 2016

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No effect of multivitamin supplementation on central blood pressure in healthy older people: A randomized controlled trial


      • Central blood pressure measures increase with age and heighten cardiovascular risk.
      • Nutritional supplements may reduce central blood pressures.
      • This RCT investigated 16-weeks multivitamin supplementation versus placebo in healthy older adults.
      • No effect of supplementation was observed for any measure of central or brachial blood pressure.


      Background and aims

      Central blood pressure rises with age, which increases cardiovascular risk. There is some evidence that nutritional supplements may be useful to reduce central blood pressures in older people, but no studies have investigated the effects of multivitamin supplements for this purpose. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of 16-weeks supplementation with gender-specific multivitamin and herbal supplements.


      Participants were healthy individuals, free from heart disease, and included 160 females aged ≥50 and 79 males aged 50–65 years. Analyses of co-variance, correcting for baseline cardiovascular assessments, were used to determine the effects of supplementation on central cardiovascular measures including augmentation index, augmentation pressure and pulse pressure. Significance was set at p = 0.016.


      No effects of multivitamin supplementation were observed in either males or females (respectively) for central augmentation index (p = 0.841; p = 0.296), central augmentation pressure (p = 0.794; p = 0.442), and central pulse pressure (p = 0.078; p = 0.304). Similarly, there was no treatment effect observed for brachial systolic, diastolic or pulse pressures.


      Four months multivitamin supplementation does not appear to exert any benefit to measures of central blood pressure in healthy older people.


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