A slew of recent studies question the health benefits to be derived from daily multivitamin and mineral supplements. For example, 182,000 older men and women taking multivitamins lived no longer and were no less likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or cancer than those who didn’t take them, according to a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Meanwhile, out of 161,000 postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative Cohorts, 41% who regularly took a multivitamin were just as likely to be diagnosed with ovarian, colorectal or breast cancer as those who didn’t, reports the Archives of Internal Medicine. The same journal reports that out of 83,000 men aged 43 to 84 in the Physicians’ Health Study, 25% regularly taking a multivitamin were just as likely to die of heart disease or stroke as those who didn’t.
Other journals have reported that the same lack of evidence is apparent when looking at the impact of multivitamins on the incidence of colds, infections, sick time, memory or cognitive performance.
“Man-made supplements may do more harm than good,” say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new book TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH). “Compounds that have proved essential or beneficial when consumed as part of a fresh natural food source may not have the same effect when taken alone. They are not ‘natural,’ and just like drugs, there is a probability that they might come with unwanted side-effects.”
“The most natural and best way to get all of the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients we need is from our diet,” says Tom. “Our ancestors survived and thrived for hundreds-of-thousands of years before the creation of supplements, outlasting a vast number of other less fortunate creatures. A large variety of appropriate natural food sources is readily available today.”