Dietary Supplements: An Illusion that became a Delusion

The use of vitamin supplements have become almost a religious belief in our culture. We bought the notion that If some is good, more must be better.

But, there is little evidence of efficacy of vitamins in healthy people who eat a balanced diet. There is however increasing evidence of harm.

After adjustment for multiple potential confounders, use of multivitamins and vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper supplements was associated with greater all-cause mortality through 19 years of follow-up (HRs 1.06 to 1.45), according to Jaakko Mursu, PhD, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues.

Use of a daily calcium supplement, on the other hand, was associated with a lower risk of death (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94), the team reported in the Oct. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.


“We cannot recommend the use of vitamin and mineral supplements as a preventive measure, at least not in a well-nourished population,” they wrote. “Those supplements do not replace or add to the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and may cause unwanted health consequences.”

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