American College of Preventive Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 25, 2015

Don’t take a multi-vitamin, vitamin E or beta carotene to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.

Vitamin supplementation is a multi-billion dollar industry ($28.1 billion in 2010) in the United States, much of which is taken with the intention to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. However, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate benefit from multivitamin supplementation to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. Adequate evidence demonstrates that supplementation with vitamin E and beta carotene in healthy populations specifically have no benefit on cardiovascular disease or cancer. Beta carotene is also associated with increased risks of lung cancer in smokers and people who have been exposed to asbestos.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) Prevention Practice Committee (PPC), responsible for practice guidelines and statements from the College, created a Choosing Wisely task force to lead the development of these recommendations. Task force members consist of select PPC members and additional ACPM members solicited through ACPM’s bi-weekly e-newsletter, Headlines. Each task force member individually developed 2-3 recommendations and the top ten were selected using an electronic survey by the entire task force. Subsequently, the ten recommendations were prioritized by the task force and rationales with references were produced. These recommendations were presented to the entire PPC for consideration and prioritization of the top five. The top recommendations were selected and rationales revised and presented to the ACPM Board of Regents for final approval.

ACPM’s disclosure and COI procedures can be found at www.acpm.org.

Sources

Nutrition Business Journal. NBJ’s supplement business report: an analysis of markets, trends, competition and strategy in the U.S. dietary supplement industry. New York (NY): 2011.

Moyer; U.S Preventive Services Task Force. Vitamin, mineral, and multivitamin supplements for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014 Apr 15;160(8):558-64.