doctors say consumption multivitamins waste money

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Published on December 18th, 2013

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Doctors say the Consumption of Multivitamins are a Waste of Money

People ought to stop spending money on useless supplements, says a group of doctors from the results of three large studies showing that the majority of multivitamins and mineral supplements are ineffective in reducing the risk of illness and even, in some cases, can be harmful.

The three studies published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, contain two new trials and a review of 27 previous studies. For all that there is evidence that daily administration of multivitamin and mineral supplements would prevent or slow down cognitive decline or installation of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

“The message is simple: most supplements do not prevent chronic diseases or death, their use is not justified and should be avoided”, said study authors categorically doctors in an editorial published with the research results.

The message is addressed especially people who have no symptoms of nutritional deficiency - that the vast majority of the U.S. population has - because often, these people consume large amounts of supplements without needing them.

Series of studies have shown that administration of these supplements have no beneficial impact on health - “and yet people continue to take supplements - at present in larger quantities than ever before”, said Dr. Edgar Miller, one of the five authors of the editorial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

In his opinion, the concern of taking the supplement may have a psychological component. Despite evidence that the supplements did not benefit the vast majority of the population, some people convince themselves that they need supplements because they would lack the necessary nutrients from food.

The new study confirms the results of previous research, which showed that, in general, dietary supplements, including vitamins B and antioxidants, are without benefits, and high doses of beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin A even increase the death rate.

Multivitamin sales increased every year in the U.S., reaching in 2010 to 28 billion USD. Similar trends are recorded in the UK and other European countries.

Supplement manufacturing industry argues that, for many Americans, a daily dose of vitamins can be ensured only by eating, but this is not so.

“Industries try to create the impression that we have vitamin deficiencies, but randomized trials have not shown such shortcomings and have no benefit from the vitamins”, says Dr. Miller.

The review of 27 previous studies that included a total of 450,000 older adults, researchers found no evidence that dietary supplements would have any beneficial effect in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

In another study, researchers examined the effects of administering a combination of nutrients - including vitamins A, C , E, B and beta-carotene - in 6000 men over 65 years who were followed for 12 years. Cognitive performances and capacities of the participants taking oral supplements were not different from those found in subjects who received only placebo.

In the third study, researchers tried to find out whether high doses of multivitamins and minerals can prevent heart attacks, stroke and death in 1,700 people who had suffered one heart attack already. After an aggressive follow-up duration of 5 years, the results showed no differences between participants who took supplements and those who did not take them.

“Consider the case solved: the addition of several mineral supplements or vitamins to the diet of well fed adults has absolutely no benefit and may even be harmful”, said the editorial, signed by its specialists.

Source: Live Science

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