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article imageDoctors say multivitamins of no value and 'best avoided'

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 17, 2013 in Health
A group of 5 doctors published an editorial in the respected 'Annals of Internal Medicine' Tuesday that says multivitamins and other supplements do nothing for your health. The doctors suggest consumers should save their money and stop buying them.
Among other materials, the editorial cites a meta-analysis of studies on multivitamins done for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That analysis, based on 27 studies using data on 4,500 adults, concluded "Limited evidence supports any benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for the prevention of cancer or CVD."
Multivitamins and supplements: Waste of money?
The editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine, "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements," did not pull any punches. The authors wrote that multivitamins and mineral supplements, including antioxidants, have consistently been shown in studies to provide no benefit, or even some degree of harm.
"The message is simple,” the editorial says. “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”
Up to $28 billion is spent annually in the U.S. on supplements and a 2011 study found 53 percent of Americans take them. Not surprisingly members of the Natural Products Association, a U.S. trade organization representing supplement suppliers and retailers, disagreed with the editorial's insistence that the money is being spent to no benefit. A statement from the organization called the editorial an "attack" on the industry.
But the authors were very firm in their conclusions. "We have so much information from so many studies,” a senior deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine and an author of the editorial, Dr. Cynthia Mulrow, said in an interview.
“We don’t need a lot more evidence to put this to bed.”
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