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Thread: Studies: multi-vitamins won't boost health? page

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    Erik W's Avatar
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    Studies: multi-vitamins won't boost health?

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    Link to story:
    Multivitamins won't boost health, waste of money: Researchers - CBS News

    I eat multivitamins, and the study says about half of Americans do; it is probably the same here in Sweden. I don't eat unnecessary vitamins though; I read labels carefully, read up on what you should eat, and consulted a friend whose university studies were somewhat related to this. So I eat a vitamin pill designed for men and also Omega 3. And, I eat vegetables, fruit and meat every day. Though not with much variation in the vegetables and fruit.

    However, the story in the link says that three new studies saw no health benefits from multivitamins.

    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.
    The first study, which was released online Nov. 12 in Annals, was a review of 24 studies and two trials on more than 350,000 individuals that looked at vitamin supplementation’s role in preventing chronic disease. The review was conducted to find evidence that can be used to update vitamin treatment guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of medical experts who recommend the government on treatments.

    That review found no evidence that vitamin and mineral supplementation would reduce heart disease in pill takers. Two of the trials found a small, “borderline-significant benefit” in cancer risk reduction, but only in men. Overall, the panel concluded there was no solid evidence for or against taking vitamins and minerals alone, or that a multivitamin to prevent heart disease or cancer. More strikingly, it found enough evidence to recommend against taking beta-carotene or vitamin E for preventing both diseases, finding they not only didn’t help but the former may raise risk for lung cancer for already at-risk individuals.
    At this point I note that these studies look at the multivitamins' role in preventing serious conditions, but they say nothing about general health.

    The next study, published Dec. 16 in Annals, looked at cognitive health and whether long-term use of multivitamins would have any effect. Researchers assigned almost 5,950 male doctors aged 65 and older to take either a daily multivitamin or placebo for 12 years in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial,

    Based on the results of memory tests, the researchers found the multivitamin did nothing to slow cognitive decline among men 65 and older compared to placebo takers.
    It’s worth noting this study only looked at cognitive test results, not actual development of dementia.
    The third study looked specifically at multivitamins and minerals role in preventing another heart attack, or myocardial infarction. They looked at more than 1,700 people who had a heart attack at least six weeks earlier, and randomized them to receive daily high-dose multivitamins and minerals or placebos for five years.
    The researchers found no difference in rates of another heart attack, chest pain, the need for hospitalization, cardiac catheterization, or rates of stroke and early death between vitamin-takers and placebo-takers. But, they said the conclusions should be taken with caution, because several participants stopped taking vitamins early.
    The authors of the editorial say the evidence is clear about supplements, except for vitamin D, which has been shown to be both effective and ineffective for preventing falls and fractures in elderly.
    However, others say vitamin supplements are needed since people won't eat the right amount of vegetables, fruit and healthy food:

    A dietary supplement industry group slammed the editorial and studies.

    “The editorial demonstrates a close-minded, one-sided approach that attempts to dismiss even the proven benefits of vitamins and minerals," Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsibile Nutrition, said in a statement. "It’s a shame for consumers that the authors refuse to recognize the real-life need for vitamin and mineral supplementation, living in a fairy-tale world that makes the inaccurate assumption that we’re all eating healthy diets and getting everything we need from food alone.

    One expert agreed some nutrient-deficient people may still benefit from multivitamins.

    “There might be an argument to continue taking a multi(vitamin) to replace or supplement your not healthy diet,” Dr. Robert Graham, an internal medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, added to CBS News.

    LaPook also notes that vitamins can benefit people with certain conditions, like celiac disease -- where the body cannot properly absorb nutrients -- and pegnancy, where folic acid helps prevent birth defects
    Do we end up with the same conclusion as before, that it is better to get your vitamins from your meals, but vitamin supplements are better than nothing?
    Last edited by Erik W; 12-17-2013 at 02:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Martini's Avatar
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    Read 'The Perfect Health Diet' to get a better picture on the topic. Multivitamins are bad, however that just means you have to be much more selectiv about what you supplement. I Think its pretty save to say that at least supplementing with Vitamins C,D,K2 and Magnesium will have large positive effects.

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    ryanmercer's Avatar
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    Because most commercial multi-vitamins use the cheapest forms... which are generally terrible when it comes to bio-availability and just leave through your urine. American's have the most expensive urine on the planet when you think about it.
    -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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    JimenyKrickets's Avatar
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    I worked for a campground growing up, the guys who emptied the outhouses always talked about the mountains of undigested multi-mitamins they would pump out with the soup.... gnarly.

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    picklepete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martini View Post
    Read 'The Perfect Health Diet' to get a better picture on the topic. Multivitamins are bad, however that just means you have to be much more selectiv about what you supplement.
    IMO it's risky to assume that manufacturers have identified all of the beneficial elements in our planet's flora and fauna. The biggest hazard of a supplement is when it seduces us into lazy thinking.

    My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

  6. #6
    Bear's Avatar
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    These comments are interesting. When I read the article on a news site yesterday about multivitamins, almost without exception the posters in the "comments" section below the article said the study was a bunch of baloney. It would seem that healthy people (here) agree with the study (as do I) and the general public (ostensibly not so healthy) think it's crap.


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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik W View Post
    However, others say vitamin supplements are needed since people won't eat the right amount of vegetables, fruit and healthy food.
    Indeed, one of the most common reasons for taking multivitamins is the belief that any and all shortcomings of a deficient diet can be fixed with a multivitamin pill. Hey, why eat healthy when you can take a vitamin instead? Pass they Pepsi and chips over here!

    Other common reasons are...

    Food nowadays is utterly devoid of nutrition due to soil depletion, but a multivitamin will fix that;


    People who make a great deal of effort to eat a healthy balanced diet of good quality, whole foods can nevertheless have severe asymptomatic deficiencies. These can be cured with a multivitamin pill.

    The idea that a multivitamin pill is worthwhile insurance to fix whatever needs fixing is bunk.

  8. #8
    eats.meats.west's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimenyKrickets View Post
    I worked for a campground growing up, the guys who emptied the outhouses always talked about the mountains of undigested multi-mitamins they would pump out with the soup.... gnarly.
    This gave me the biggest LOL in a long time.

  9. #9
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    I like whole food supplements whenever I do decide to supplement. FCLO/HVBO is the only thing I take at the moment. I use to utilize this company though

    There are thousands of unidentified let alone unstudied components of whole foods that work synergistically with the nutrients that we do know of. So for me a whole food supplement is the best option if you do decide to do so. Isolating compounds and testing them is great for lab rats, but it isn't how real life works.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 12-17-2013 at 12:51 PM.

  10. #10
    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Another point is that synthetic vitamins are mostly worthless.

    Get your vitamins from food sources like Cod Liver Oil.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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