Study: Vitamins No Magic Bullet for Heart Health

Bennett suggests that the form of vitamin E found in fruits and vegetables, which are thought to be beneficial may be different from what is provided in the supplement.

"When you use food to get your vitamins you are inherently eating healthy," she says.

And nutrition and exercise experts say that despite this study, those who take supplements may still be enjoying some health benefits.

For example, Dr. Jana Klauer, a specialist in nutrition and exercise, recommends "eating fish and taking fish oil capsules for protection of heart and mind."

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, she says, which are relatively sparse in the typical American diet. It has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and offer some protection from heart disease.

Women in particular should also take calcium supplements to protect them from the bone disease osteoporosis. Blatner says most women "fall quite short on calcium and vitamin D" in their diets.

As for heart disease, physicians say aerobic exercise, such as walking or biking, may be the best bet for a healthier heart alongside a healthy diet. The American Heart Association currently recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times a week.

In the meantime, Hayes says that the medical community will continue to look for a shortcut to help prevent heart disease.

But until then, it may be a good idea to rein in the temptation to shell out for dietary supplements in the name of heart health.

"They can be putting the money to much better uses, such as joining a gym or purchasing healthy food," Bennett says.

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