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Multivitamins Found to Have Little Benefit

Road Runner

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I take a Centrum Silver every day, along with fish oil, extra vitamin C, D, and CoQ10.


This study just reported in the Wall Street Journal says it is a waste of time and money and that people should avoid taking them.




Another recent sudy said that multivitamins had a mildly beneficial effect.  Who knows?   :(  :dontknow:

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The link is playing games with me.  Here is the article.  Wall Street Journal, 16 Dec 2013



Multivitamins offer almost no benefit in preventing chronic disease "and they should be avoided," experts said Monday in a medical-journal editorial accompanying the publication of two new clinical trials.


The rigorously conducted studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed multivitamins had no effect on cognitive function or cardiovascular health. They are the latest in a series of reports—including a review last month of 26 vitamin studies—indicating that supplements have little health benefits in generally well-nourished, Western populations.


"The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided," four physicians and public health experts wrote in an editorial accompanying the studies.


The editorial added that beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A increased the risk of death in some other trials.


The global vitamin industry is huge, with sales last year of $23.4 billion, up 3% from 2011, according to Euromonitor International. Sales of multivitamins specifically rose 2.5% last year, to $14.2 billion. About 40% of Americans reported taking multivitamins or minerals between 2003 and 2006, the most recent data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Vitamin-industry groups criticized the editorial, and pointed to a study last year of 15,000 men, which indicated that daily use of a multivitamin modestly reduced the risk of cancer. Some experts consider the results an outlier.


"It's no secret that many consumers in this country don't get the recommended nutrients from their diet alone, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are an affordable alternative," said John Shaw, executive director of the Natural Products Association, a trade group.


One of the new trials assessed how vitamins affected cognitive function in 5,947 male physicians aged 65 years or older. Participants were given either a daily multivitamin—PfizerInc.'s Centrum Silver—or placebo pills, and their cognitive function was assessed at the outset and again up to three times during a 12-year period. Researchers found no difference in the mean cognitive change over time between the vitamin and placebo groups.


Francine Grodstein, a professor of medicine at Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Bostonwho led the study, called the results disappointing, but said she wasn't ready to write off vitamins to the same extent as the editorial writers. Longer studies or trials in less highly educated populations with poorer diets could yield different results, she said.


Pfizer said multivitamins such as Centrum Silver are "primarily intended to help people fill dietary gaps when they aren't fulfilling their nutritional needs through food alone, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."


The second trial involved 1,708 patients aged 50 or older who had suffered a heart attack at least six weeks earlier. They were given either high-dose multivitamins or a placebo. The study showed that taking vitamins didn't reduce a patient's risk of dying or of suffering further cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke.


Researchers who led that study said it was somewhat undermined by patients withdrawing from the trial or failing to take their vitamins or placebos.


Gervasio Lamas, a Columbia University cardiologist who led the study, said he has been telling his patients "for decades" not to take vitamins. "We're not taking care of patients with nutritional deficiency. I've never seen a patient with scurvy or beriberi," he said, referring to diseases caused by deficiencies in vitamins C and B1. "If you're a healthy person trying to stay healthy, the money is in stopping smoking, exercising, losing weight" and taking any prescriptions for hypertension or cholesterol, he said.


Dr. Lamas and others noted that certain vitamins and minerals have proved beneficial in targeted populations. Folic acid, for instance, is widely recommended to pregnant women to prevent birth defects of the brain or spine. And the possible benefits of vitamin D in preventing falls among the elderly require further study, according to the authors of the editorial.

Multivitamins also have shown benefit in malnourished populations in Africa and Asia, public health experts said.


The latest clinical trials follow a review published last month in the same medical journal, which examined 26 studies on the effects of vitamin and mineral supplements in chronic disease. The researchers said they found "no consistent evidence that the included supplements affected [cardiovascular disease], cancer, or all-cause mortality in healthy individuals without known nutritional deficiencies."

The study last year that showed Centrum Silver produced a modestly lower risk of cancer among 15,000 men left doctors divided. Lawrence Appel, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University who helped write the anti-vitamin editorial, called the result a "very tiny effect," one that didn't sway his overall view on supplements.

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The key point I picked out was the "showed multivitamins had no effect on cognitive function or cardiovascular health" statement.  No they don't have an effect on those two things.  What they do is supplement your diet to give your body any necessary nutrients it might not get from poor eating habits.  Not to say they are a substitute for food that a person should rely on, but they do fill in the "blanks" where diet is concerned.  As for overall health, diet and exercise are the keys to that, and not doing the other things that are detrimental, like smoking, drinking to excess on a regular basis, not getting enough sleep, stress, yadda-yadda.  I too take a Centrum Silver, Vitamin D3, Ocuvite, Glucosamine Chondroitin, and a baby aspirin each morning with my oatmeal and honey.  Then a few times a week I take a few PBR vitamins just for that extra kick.  :special:       

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Science can be hard to figure out, with so many studies financed by so many disparate sources.




So tired of this study and that study that contradicts it two years later, etc..... Shady sources can make the results say whatever they want with the proper reward. In my life I've seen the "glass of wine a day" go from good to bad and back about 3 times.

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I think there is benefit to be found in having glow in the dark, fluorescent, neon, yellow urine.


I am going to miss that.  


What about fish oil?  Was that included?  I hope so, because I will not miss some of the things that happen when I take fish oil. 

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I take a multi about 3x a week, calcium and fish oil. Athletes are often burning up calcium and I am a woman, so calcium is very important.  The fish oil is good for me, because I don't get enough fish in my diet.  


In regards to studies, the group wanting a specific result can sway a study.  It's been done many times.  


Take beans for example:  Beans have lots of nutritional benefits, but OH NO! ... the phytates, don't eat beans!!!!  Baloney!  Just soak them, rinse, and eat in moderation.  Phytates have some positive benefits as well as negatives.  No food is perfect, if eaten to excess.

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