Good news if you’ve been keeping to your healthy diet: you are probably safe to ditch the multivitamins.
New research in the Annals of Internal Medicine has given more weight to the growing body of studies showing that multivitamins have no effect on preventing disease or illness. The editorial in the edition of the issue was also dedicated to the topic. It’s titled “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.”
Half of adults in the United States take some sort of dietary supplement.
All three studies came to the conclusion that multivitamin and mineral supplements had no effect on preventing disease, dementia or heart attack in healthy populations, and the effects on those with less-than-healthy diets were close to nonexistent. The researchers did note that more research needs to be done on vitamin D.
The first study was a review of 27 previous studies, covering 450,000 participants, and found that multivitamin supplements had no effect on preventing cardiovascular disease. The second study included 1,700 participants who had suffered heart attacks and found that multivitamin had no effect on preventing a second. The third study had 6,000 men over 65 take a multivitamin each day for ten years and determined there was no health differences between those who had taken a multivitamin and those who took a placebo.
“With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit,” the editorial reads. “This evidence, combined with biological considerations suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small.”
John Shaw, CEO of the Natural Products Association, a organization that represents the interest of natural supplements, said “for the medical professionals who authored this piece to claim that the use of supplements is not justified, is, quite frankly, baffling.”