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Stop Taking Your Multivitamins


Bet, no one has ordered you to do this before: Stop taking those multivitamins!

But now three new studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine by leading experts conclude “enough is enough.” And advise Americans to “stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.”

Going against medical consensus, the recent series of studies found multivitamins—a $28 billion industry in the United States—do not make people healthier. In fact, they might do the opposite.

The $28 billion U.S. supplement industry a fraud?

In an editorial that appeared in the journal , the authors said, “We believe that the case is closed—supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

The three studies included:

  • Three trials of multivitamin supplements and 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that were randomly assigned to 400,000 people. It demonstrated no clear evidence of beneficial effects on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease or cancer.
  • The evaluation of taking multivitamins daily to prevent decline in cognitive performance or verbal memory among 5,947 men who were 65 years or older. After 12 years of follow up, no differences showed up between the multivitamin and placebo groups.
  • An assessment of a high-dose, 28-component multivitamin supplement in 1,708 men and women with a previous myocardial infarction participating in TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy). Recurrent cardiovascular events were not significantly impacted.

Physicians argued that money would be better spent, if people would focus instead on eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, and exercise.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force had a group of experts in November examine 26 studies conducted between 2005 and 2013. The panel said that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that most multivitamins could curb heart disease or cancer. However, taking Vitamin E could actually contribute to higher lung cancer risk in smokers.

So there you have it. Start eating your broccoli and quit your complaining.

Duwayne Escobedo is The Sport Digest Editor and Director of Communications at the United States Sports Academy. He can be reached at descobedo@ussa.edu.



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