Multivitamins All Hooey

The vitamin industry is taking us for a ride: Edgar Miller

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 16, 2013 6:03 PM CST
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(Newser) – Those multivitamins sitting on your counter are a waste of money perpetuated by little more than anecdotal evidence, according to a professor of medicine and epidemiology at John Hopkins University, CNN reports. The vitamin and supplement "industry is based on anecdote, people saying 'I take this, and it makes me feel better,'" said Edgar Miller, whose editorial was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "It's perpetuated. But when you put it to the test, there's no evidence of benefit in the long term. It can't prevent mortality, stroke or heart attack."

He slammed three studies that analyzed the effects of multis—one a meta-analysis of 27 studies of over 450,000 participants, which found that the vitamins did nothing to prevent cancer or heart attacks. A second study Miller deemed invalid (too many dropouts), and the third showed no improved cognitive functions in older men. Yet Gladys Block, a nutrition professor at Berkeley, says each of those studies is too flawed to take seriously, and argues that multivitamins are helpful for Americans because they eat so poorly. "You're not getting any of these micronutrients from Coke and Twinkies," she said.

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