Friday, November 30, 2012

Benefit of a healthy person taking multivitamins

There're numerous reports on the ineffectiveness of multivitamins taken by healthy individuals even though millions of people still do. There's no point in repeating what those research papers say. But if I see one research that points at even modest benefit of taking multivitamins, I'd like to save that link on my blog, because it's so rare! According to an Oct 17, 2012 article by Consumer Reports, the magazine that habitually cools down healthy people's enthusiasm on taking supplements, a large cohort study conducted recently shows about 8% fewer people who took multivitamins were diagnosed with cancer than those who did not. The study is published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Two minor points. One is that research that shows positive effect of multivitamins on healthy people is far less than otherwise. On the other hand, discouraging people from taking supplements should not exagerate the ineffectiveness to the extent that they are all harmful. For example, I've read articles that list all kinds of adverse effects of vitamin overdose, while the fact is that it's very hard or impossible to overdose on vitamin C, which is very different from vitamin A in this regard.


Rachel said...

Hi there! While reading your article I was worried for my health because I'm not taking a multivitamins. But this one warned so I am very thankful for your post. It's a very serious matter. Thanks!

All the best,
Seattle Chiropractors

Yong Huang said...

Needless to say, if your medical checkup does have an out-of-bounds or even borderline result, you need to take action. For example, if you're short in Vitamin D, quite common by the way, do take Vitamin D supplements, together with more sunlight exposure (but not too much too focused). And consult with a doctor or specialist. On the other hand, you can always take vitamins casually and at a smaller amount than suggested by the label, as I do.