(HealthDay News) — A daily multivitamin-multimineral (MVM) does not reduce the incidence of total invasive cancer, and cocoa extract does not reduce total cardiovascular events in older adults, according to two study reports published online March 16 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Howard D. Sesso, Sc.D., M.P.H., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 21,442 U.S. adults free of major cardiovascular disease (CVD) and recently diagnosed cancer to receive daily MVM and cocoa extract or placebo in a two-by-two factorial trial. During a median follow-up of 3.6 years, the researchers found that invasive cancer occurred in 518 and 535 participants in the MVM and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.09; P = 0.57). There was a protective effect observed for lung cancer (hazard ratio, 0.62; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.42 to 0.92). The composite CVD outcome occurred in 429 and 437 participants in the MVM and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.12).

In a second report for the same study, Sesso and colleagues examined the impact of cocoa extract supplementation on total CVD in the same trial. The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 3.6 years, 410 and 456 participants taking a cocoa extract and placebo, respectively, had confirmed total cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.02; P = 0.11). There was a significant reduction seen in CVD death (hazard ratio, 0.73; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.98), although other individual end points were not significant.

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“Our message for consumers is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, rich in natural food sources of flavanols, and to stay tuned as we further evaluate other important health outcomes in COSMOS [COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study],” Sesso said in a statement.

Several authors from both study reports disclosed financial ties to industry, including Mars Edge, a segment of Mars dedicated to nutrition research and products, which funded the study. Pfizer Consumer Healthcare provided support through the partial provision of study pills and packaging.

Abstract/Full Text – Study 1

Abstract/Full Text – Study 2