It’s been apparent for some time that vitamins taken in pill form have little positive benefit and may hurt you, particularly when taken in large doses. This article in the LA Times summarizes where we are, it ain’t pretty.
“two long-term trials with more than 50,000 participants offered fresh evidence that vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium supplements don’t reduce the risk of prostate, colorectal, lung, bladder or pancreatic cancer. Other recent studies have found that over-the-counter vitamins and minerals offer no help in fighting other cancers, stroke or cardiovascular disease.”
Vitamins may harm you:
“These things are ineffective, and in high doses they can cause harm,”
“One trial that followed 29,000 male smokers in Finland for an average of six years found that men who took beta carotene were 18% more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer and 8% more likely to die during the study than men who didn’t.”
“A second trial involved 18,000 American men and women who were smokers or former smokers or who were exposed to asbestos at work. That study found that after an average of four years, lung cancer rates were 28% higher among those who took beta carotene and vitamin A, and their overall risk of death during the trial jumped by 17%.”
“Those who took vitamin E were just as likely to develop heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers as the women who took a placebo, according to results published in 2005 in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.”
Get the idea? Vitamins taken as dietary supplements are ineffective and a waste of money—that’s 10 billion dollars a year in health care expenditures wasted.
There is much more in this article, so read it and if you are a vitamin manufacturer, weep!!!
Medicynical disclaimer: The case of Vitamin D’s beneficial effects may be different since a deficiency of vitamin D (compared with normal levels found in people) is thought to be associated with an increase the risk of some medical problems. The question remains whether correcting the deficient level by taking supplements helps. We simply don’t know but are recommending it.
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