Archive for November, 2011

Do We Need MULTIVITAMINs?

November 2, 2011

The concept of taking mutivitamins as a way to improve health has never been proven.  It has not been shown to cause harm BUT has not been shown to help reduce disease… so when a study on multivitamin around 2009 came out saying that taking these supplements has not been shown to have any effect on health or disease prevention…I literally stopped taking one.

Now comes a new study that gtives us more doubt on this practice. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, Oct issue showed that these supplements are not helpful healthwise, they can actually be HARMFUL

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Methods We assessed the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to total mortality in 38 772 older women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study; mean age was 61.6 years at baseline in 1986. Supplement use was self-reported in 1986, 1997, and 2004. Through December 31, 2008, a total of 15 594 deaths (40.2%) were identified through the State Health Registry of Iowa and the National Death Index.

Results  In multivariable adjusted proportional hazards regression models, the use of multivitamins (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02-1.10; absolute risk increase, 2.4%), vitamin B6(1.10; 1.01-1.21; 4.1%), folic acid (1.15; 1.00-1.32; 5.9%), iron (1.10; 1.03-1.17; 3.9%), magnesium (1.08; 1.01-1.15; 3.6%), zinc (1.08; 1.01-1.15; 3.0%), and copper (1.45; 1.20-1.75; 18.0%) were associated with increased risk of total mortality when compared with corresponding nonuse. Use of calcium was inversely related (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-0.94; absolute risk reduction, 3.8%). Findings for iron and calcium were replicated in separate, shorter-term analyses (10-year, 6-year, and 4-year follow-up), each with approximately 15% of the original participants having died, starting in 1986, 1997, and 2004.

Conclusions  In older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. In contrast to the findings of many studies, calcium is associated with decreased risk.

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This study confimrs what I have been suspecting in a long time.  As a supplement, these drugs are not being screened for what they contain.  The drugs dont need to prove they work… for them to be sold in the market nor are these drugs required to show their long term safety. Now I hope the public knows better!!!!

In this paper, the patients who were studied took supplements in the form of calcium, multivitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  The data showed that the use of multivitamins especially those containing vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper supplements were associated with greater all-cause mortality through 19 years of follow-up.  This is BIG news!!!!

What then is our recommendation?

Better invest in healthy lifestyle.  As always, it has been our advocate to promote what is proven right and safe.  Eat right and Move!!!

Avoid taking a palm full of supplements thinking this can make one live longer and healthier because on the contrary…the fewer supplements or ZERO supplements – the better!!!!  We cannot and will NEVER recommend the use of vitamin and mineral supplements as a preventive measure!!!!, As they dont add anything beneficial from what we can get by eating the healthy fruits and vegetables!

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