Millions of Americans take multivitamins, though the supplements’ popularity appears to be fading.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October found that the use of dietary supplements of any kind remained stable between 1999 and 2012 at 52% of adults in the U.S. But only 31% of those surveyed in 2011-12 said they took a multivitamin/multimineral product, down from 37% surveyed in 1999-2000.
That decline may reflect in part the release of several studies in the intervening years that questioned whether multivitamins had any benefit in preventing chronic disease.
But this case is hardly closed. Other studies have shown some benefit…
An analysis found no ties between multivitamins and the risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or stroke incidence or mortality.
You probably have a jar of multivitamins somewhere in your house. And it’s probably useless.
According to the experts mentioned in this article, multivitamins play an important role in filling well documented nutrition gaps in the U.S. population, assuring normal body function and helping preserve good health. There is evidence that they may have a modest role in reducing the risk for chronic diseases, and there is no evidence that multivitamin supplements increase the risk of mortality.
Following the news on supplements is like watching a pingpong match. One study finds supplements improve health, then another study questions their benefit. Back and forth they go.
A multivitamin can't replace the benefits of healthy eating, and a bulk of nutrients should be obtained by eating whole foods so you can reap the benefits of naturally occurring fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Further, there does exist a risk of overdosing on certain vitamins and minerals, so if your vitamin usage has turned into repeated ransacking to satisfy your sweet tooth, go purist with some Sour Patch instead
If scientific evidence guides our health decisions, we will look back at the vitamin craze of the last few decades with disbelief. Indiscriminate use is, in most cases, probably useless and potentially harmful. We are collectively throwing away billions of dollars into supplements, chasing the idea of benefits that have never materialized.
Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified and they should be avoided
Clarifying the latest controversy around multivitamins.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Bruce Ames has pitted himself against industry groups, environmentalists, and his peers through his work identifying DNA mutagens. And he’s not done yet.
Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided…The evidence also has implications for research. Anti-oxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful or ineffective for chronic disease prevention, and further large prevention trials are no longer justified…With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit.
Have you taken your supplements today? But are they really necessary or a waste of your hard earned money. A healthy, balanced diet may be all you really need!
So, how can a major news agency get something so easy to track down with a computer and PubMed get this important information so wrong? Hopefully, given time they will start to get it right, but in order to live long enough to see it happen you better start taking your MVM.
The approach is admirable but, also, inevitably fraught. Some quarters of the medical community are increasingly skeptical of multivitamins because of a dearth of evidence that they offer any benefit, and because there is little regulation or oversight.
Last summer it was fish oil. Before that it was vitamin E and beta carotene. Medical researchers love to brand nutritional supplements as harmful and are content to base their findings on flawed studies. The news media have been gleefully complicit in this farce and have vigorously stirred the pot. Now it’s multi-vitamin’s turn. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “there they go again.”
Some doctors say multivitamins can help offset the shortcomings of Americans’ diets. Others say they are an ineffective solution for that problem.
Multivitamin preparations contain a mix of vitamins which are essential to help our bodies grow, develop, and function properly. Most people get the vitamins they need from the food they eat, but if you are on a special diet or if you are unable to eat a well-balanced diet (as is the case for some young children or elderly people), then you may need extra vitamins.