Multivitamin researchers say “case is closed” after studies find no health benefits

(Image Credit: MGN Online)

(Image Credit: MGN Online)

(CBS News) - “Enough” with the multivitamins already.

That’s the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine: Do daily multivitamins make you healthier?

After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.”

“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,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

They went on to urge consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins.

“The ‘stop wasting your money’ means that perhaps you’re spending money on things that won’t protect you long term,” editorial co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told CBS News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. “What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that ..exercising would probably be a better use of the money.”

The strong message was based on a review of the findings from three studies that tracked multivitamins link to cancer protection, heart health, and brain and cognitive measures.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are taken by an estimated half of all Americans.

Note: The above text is excerpted directly from an article at CBSNews.com. Click here to read the full story.

8 comments

  • adamsonphoto

    “Supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,”
    That is the key statement. Most do not eat a well nourished diet.

    • SuperWittySmitty

      Yes, of course, but we need to be clear about the point that multi-vitamins are ineffective supplements to a poor diet. As it stands, many believe that taking vitamins daily help offset a lack of nutrition in their diet; this has been found to be not true. That is the key statement. We KNOW we eat poorly. That’s why this industry exists.

      • Paul

        If blood tests show a lack of vitamins, then supplements can and do help. Taking supplements without a proven need is silly. Continuing to take supplements without empirical evidence that they help is also silly.

        I would like to know who paid for a study that found that multi-vitamin supplements don’t help when someone has a well-rounded diet. Duh!

  • Tom Seiler

    Of course the doctors don’t want you to use vitamins. Every single study by doctors on the effectiveness of vitamins comes to the same conclusion. Vitamins are worthless. However the doctors do have a very expensive pill that is addictive and side effects that they want to prescribe for you.

  • dave

    Based on what they claim vitamins provide no benefit. I think someone needs to tell every single OB/GYN. Prenatavitamins are the first recommendation to expectant women.
    The whole medical industry is so full of BS. They’re as corrupt as every single politician in this hypocritical country.

  • David

    1) who funded the study?
    2) was a quality, highly bioavailable, naturally sourced vitamin used…or a crappy synthetic, dead vitamin used?

  • Brian Hanna

    We are in a country where 69% of the people are either obese or overweight, our streets are littered with fast food joints that purchase their stock from processed and chemically enhanced foods. 80% of the nutrition we would typically find in natural foods at a grocery store (veggies, fruits, etc) are either processed through chemical means (not to mention bleaching) that rob most of the “good foods” we could be eating of any nutrients. Supplementation is almost as much a necessity as it is a craze, because Americans simply aren’t getting the nutrition they need. Doctors and researchers (who likely come from the medical world and therefore hold extreme prejudice when it comes to advocating or admonishing of a product. As someone who is currently in Afghanistan, I absolutely HAVE to supplement my diet with something in order to just keep my health on par. But truly, the foods we eat here are no different than what’s back home, only there is more variety at home. As a consultant for a health and wellness product, I advocate fully the use of supplementation, especially for those with fitness goals or weight loss goals, but ONLY if the product is all natural, and provides a benefit that is noticeable and measurable. The trials that were conducted were likely done with multivitamins in a pill form. That’s all good and well, your body will destroy 75% of any pill you put into your body before it enters the blood stream to start working. Vitamins are especially vulnerable because the acidic content of your stomach breaks down the composition of the vitamin before it has the opportunity to start working. As a consultant for Zeal for Life, a wellness drink that contains vitamins every human being needs, and having been the guy who used to take 5 multivitamins a day, I can tell you that certain ones work, and other don’t. I am fortunate to have found a product that does work for my nutritional needs, but I can place bets that it wasn’t considered as part of this research.

  • Carmen M.

    The usual deceptive anti-vitamin propaganda. The anti-bashing arguments and “scientific studies” are little more than distortions of the true facts. The medical orthodoxy, along with their sponsored mass media, have been telling the public distortions and lies about the benefits of supplements for decades. Just see how widely this “news” has been broadcast by the popular media, unlike positive news on vitamins. And they do it not just blatantly but by intentionally designing scientific “studies” to fail vitamins.

    The propaganda culture never stop spewing out disinformation on supplements so most people believe this misinformation instead of checking things out a bit more for themselves. For a worthwhile article revealing many of this misleading hype by both the popular media and the medical establishment google/bing “2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous by Rolf Hefti”

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