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Why Vitamin Supplements Don't Work


Why Vitamin Supplements Don't Work

Ever wondered if popping that pill every morning makes a difference? A surprising study from St Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto has found many common vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t helpful or harmful, providing no health benefits.
Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the review of previous trials and data taken over a five-year period found there was no benefit or risk when taking multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C or calcium.
"We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume," said lead author Dr David Jenkins.
"Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm – but there is no apparent advantage either."
The study found most popular supplements didn’t help with (or increase the risk of) cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death.
However, folic acid taken with or without B-vitamins was shown to possibly reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Should you ditch multivitamins?

Dr Jenkins suggests a healthy, balanced diet could be more beneficial than relying on supplements to fill nutritional gaps.
"In the absence of significant positive data -- apart from folic acid's potential reduction in the risk of stroke and heart disease -- it's most beneficial to rely on a healthy diet to get your fill of vitamins and minerals," Dr. Jenkins said. "So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts."
A dietician, nutritionist, or other healthcare provider can help determine if you have any deficiencies, and make sure you’re getting enough of the good stuff.
"These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they're taking and ensure they're applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider," Dr Jenkins said.

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