A review of vitamin supplements in one of the most respected medical journals comes to devastating results about their usefulness.
"Stop Wasting Money"Among scientific journals, The Annals of Internal Medicine is what the New York Times is for newspapers: highly respected, sometimes as dry as 3000 year old Egyptian papyrus, and robing criticism as intellectually fine as the Thesaurus can make it.But in their latest issue they got mad - really mad - and published a commentary coming to the following conclusion:
We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.What could get these guys far enough to even title it “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements”?
Multivitamins Do NothingPart of the answer lies in three research papers on the usefulness of multivitamin supplements published in the same issue:
- The first was a meta-analysis (a summary of other studies) that looked at the results of 27 studies involving more than 450,000 people (full article available for free). It found no reliable evidence that vitamin or mineral supplements had a positive influence on cardiovascular disease, cancer, or general mortality in healthy people who didn't suffer from malnutrition.
- The second was a study that examined almost 6,000 doctors over the age of 65, who either used a daily multivitamin or a placebo. After twelve years of this, there was no difference in cognitive function and verbal memory between the two groups.
- The third was a study conducted at Mount Sinai that examined more than 1,700 people who had had a heart attack and took a multivitamin to prevent the next. The multivitamin did nothing.