Antioxidants found in nuts, fruit and vegetables do not cut the incidence of heart disease in at-risk women, a study claims.
Previous research has linked vitamins C, E and beta carotene to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
But analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which looked at 8,171 women over the age of 40, found people who take supplements do not reduce their chances of suffering a heart problem or dying.
Major dietary sources of beta carotene are spinach, carrots, and red peppers, vitamin C is found in broccoli, sprouts, sweet potatoes, and oranges, while vitamin E is found in soya, corn, nuts, and olive oil.
Ellen Mason, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "This study adds to the stockpile of evidence suggesting that taking antioxidant supplements in order to protect your heart does not seem to work.
"We are not saying to avoid foods that have naturally occurring antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables. These are vital for good health.
"There is not one magic food that can give us good heart health, and a healthy diet is only part of looking after your heart.
"But if you want to eat well for your heart then eating foods low in saturated fat, with loads of fruit and vegetables, is a good start."