The Truth About Multi-Vitamins

The Truth About Multi-Vitamins

the truth about multi vitamins

For years, one of the most common things you would expect to hear from your doctor during a routine checkup would be, “be sure to take your multi-vitamins.” These little pills are crammed with most of the vitamins and nutrients you need on a daily basis to function. In theory, this has always been something that has made since to most people, but there have been some studies released lately that have made the claim that multi-vitamins are a waste of your hard-earned money.

‘Stop Wasting Your Money’

Researchers examined several studies and concluded that those individuals that are well-nourished to begin with will gain no additional health benefits by consuming a multi-vitamin each day. In fact, these researchers determined that taking these vitamins daily might actually have a reverse effect on the body. The report was initially published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine and the researchers went on to say that multi-vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention.

Anyone who takes a multi-vitamin each day can attest to the fact that they have a high cost, but with the idea that your health will improve or you will be able to fend off illness because of it, the cost was deemed one that could be tolerated. Dr. Edgar Miller, a co-author of the editorial said it bluntly when asked about the research. “Stop wasting your money,” he said.

He went on to add that instead of spending money on a multi-vitamin, you would be more inclined spend the money on “fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that.”

The Findings of Study 1

The editorial examined three studies that tracked the intake of multi-vitamins and their connection to heart health, cancer protection, brain and cognitive measures.

The first of the studies was released in November and examined 24 studies and two separate trials that featured more than 350,000 individuals. The study was looking at the role supplements have on fighting chronic disease and found that there was no evidence that taking vitamins and minerals would reduce the chance of developing heart disease. There was a small finding in some of the studies that said that taking vitamins and minerals could have a borderline benefit when it comes to reducing the risk of developing cancer.

Overall, this study found that there was not enough evidence to recommend the daily intake of vitamins in most adults. One scary finding was that if you take vitamin E or beta-carotene and are already at risk for lung cancer, your chances of developing the disease could increase more. The first study suggested that instead of physicians and medical personnel recommending vitamins, they should instead tell their patients to begin a healthy and balanced diet rich in nutrients.

The Findings of Study 2

The second study was published in the Dec. 16 Annals looked at whether the extended use of multi-vitamins would have an effect on the overall cognitive health of its users. The researchers behind this study told nearly 6,000 male doctors at least 65-years-old to either take a multi-vitamin each day or a placebo for 12 years. The study found that those who took the multi-vitamin showed no signs of slowing the cognitive health effects compared to those taking the placebo.

The Findings of Study 3

The third study was a bit more specific in what they wanted to examine as they looked at whether consuming multi-vitamins each day could reduce the chances of developing heart attacks or other myocardial infarctions. The study had more than 1,700 patients that had suffered from a heart attack within the previous six weeks. These patients were randomized and were prescribed to either take high doses of multi-vitamins and minerals, or a placebo drug, for years.

When a person has a heart attack, their chances at having a second or third is even larger. It also increases the chances of having a stroke or other cardiovascular events, or even death. The research of these patients in this study found that there is no difference in the rates of having another heart attack, stroke, need for hospitalization or early death between those taking the placebo and those taking the multi-vitamins. The study wasn’t 100 percent accurate as several patients stopped taking the vitamins without approval of their doctors.

The researchers in this study found that the only vitamin that can be healthy is vitamin D. They found that this vitamin can be effective and ineffective when it comes to preventing fractured bones in the elderly. There wasn’t enough information on this vitamin to get an trusted finding.

Sales and Response from Dietary Industry

The results of these studies and others haven’t had a major impact on the marketability of these products. The supplement industry in the United States is one that continues to grow and reached more than $28 billion in 2010. With millions of Americans trying to live a healthier life, this number likely grew a few more billion dollars. A dietary supplement group didn’t take this editorial without responding and called it “close-minded and one-sided.”

There are some that feel multi-vitamins could be helpful for those that otherwise live an unhealthy life. While it would be better for people to change their lifestyle habits, it isn’t something that is easy to do and something that takes a lot of effort to pull off. This is where these multi-vitamins can help each day.

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