Case Closed Against Vitamin Pills

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I have been very interested in this controversial article that i've recently read about the effectiveness of vitamins and supplements. The article, titled "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements" is published on annal.org, which is an accredited medical website created by physicians. The article consists of three studies done by researchers on the effects of taking a daily multivitamin and whether or not they are beneficial for the human body. These three studies on multivitamin supplements consisted of 24 trials of single or paired vitamins that were randomly assigned to more than 400,000 participants. After these trials, researchers concluded that there was no beneficial effect of taking vitamins on mortality, cancer, or disease. They also found that patients who had moderate dementia or cardiovascular problems, did not improve cognitive or cardiovascular function when taking vitamins such as E, B, and C vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers also concluded that B vitamins, folic acid, and antioxidants do not prevent chronic disease and may actually be harmful for you. The argument in this article is easy to point out, just by reading the title. The author is trying to argue that vitamins simply don't work, and they are a waste of money. The article quotes, "with respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit." Finally, the article concludes by stating, "In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases." I have been very interested in nutritional research and how different food or supplements affects the body for a long time and this is the first time I've ever heard this claim. Since this article was published, many reputable news sources such as USA Today spoke out against the article's claim, saying it provides false information. First off, the studies were conducted using participants who had health problems and were age 65 and older. To me, that is not a sufficient enough demographic to be testing this on. I feel that the claim of this article is completely ridiculous. There are documented claims that vitamin D supplements are in fact beneficial for bone strength and that supplementing with Vitamin C can prevent scurvy. I find it fascinating when media outlets use big headlines and false claims to grab attention. Doing further research after reading this article, I have found many studies that would prove this argument invalid. Also, as someone who takes many daily supplements, I can attest that there is a positive short-term noticeable benefit by taking said supplements. I have two questions for the reader. First, do you take a daily multivitamin? And if so, do you feel it is worth the money? Secondly, Nutrition is a hugely divided subject that has a lot of false information and gimics for weight loss, aging, etc. In a controversial area such as this, how do you distinguish the good information from the bad?

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1789253

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