Report: vitamins don’t prevent disease

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – At least half of all Americans take multivitamins and mineral supplements but new research shows you may be wasting your money.

A large review of studies involving more than 400,000 people showed supplements had no benefit in preventing cancer or heart disease has now been published along with two new trials that tested vitamins and found them useless.

The reports in the highly respected journal ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ showed that vitamin treatment, compared to placebo, were not effective in preventing heart disease, cognitive decline or cancer.

Dr. Edgar Miller of John Hopkins School of Medicine said, “Many people take the vitamins, they think they are taking them to prevent chronic disease; the fact is, this showed that they don’t.”

One study tested whether multivitamins in almost 6,000 physicians who were over age 65 to see if the supplements could prevent cognitive decline. After more than 10 years of follow-up, there was no benefit compared to placebo.

Some studies have shown that supplements of beta-carotene vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A may actually be harmful. An editorial that also appeared in the journal advised us to stop wasting money on supplements.

Dr. Miller was one of the authors of that editorial.

“Stop wasting your money means that perhaps you’re spending money on things that won’t protect you long-term. What will protect you is if you spend that money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low-fat dairy, things like that,” he said.

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