Docs Say Stop Taking Multivitamins

Sea change in medical consensus

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Multivitamins aren’t making people healthier, and they might even be doing the opposite, according to a series of recent studies. Signaling a sea change in the medical consensus about using multivitamins, leading experts say they’ve had “enough.”

“We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” said the authors of an editorial published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine Monday. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

That message came after a review of past studies and some new ones. One recent study looked back at past surveys of more than 350,000 subjects and found no significant decrease in risk of heart disease, and only a marginal decrease in cancer risk, but only among men.

Co-author Dr. Edgar Miller told CBS News that people should “stop wasting [their] money” on multivitamins, which make up a large portion of vitamin supplements’ $12 billion business, and focus instead “fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that ..exercising would probably be a better use of the money.”

A panel of experts convened by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force in November came to similar conclusions. Based on 26 studies conducted between 2005 and 2013, the panel said that there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude that most multivitamins could curb heart disease or cancer, but that taking Vitamin E could actually contribute to higher lung cancer risk in smokers.

40 comments
Specktator
Specktator

my Doctor is the one that recommended to take Centrum silver for men, I feel my health has been going down ever since...hmm, now it's been a few days since I've stopped and I feel I am having withdrawals.

Sparklechimes
Sparklechimes

Of course a doctor is going to say to quit taking vitamins....what doctor wants you healthy? If you were healthy they would have no business! Duh! It doesn't take a rock scientist to figure that one out! 

MaxWright1
MaxWright1

I've never heard of taking vitamins to prevent cancer! I take a multivitamin to make sure I'm getting all the vitamins I need and thereby maintain my immune system and prevent illnesses. I'd like to see a study looking into whether people who take vitamins get sick more or less often than people who don't. I'm not trying to prevent cancer, just a cold, or vitamin deficiency, or other related illness. 

galaxykid2000
galaxykid2000

Majority of people with MD in there name are murdering psychopaths pushing deadly drugs on people. Dont trust white coats, there like car salesmen. 

“Everyone should know that the ‘war on cancer’ is largely a fraud.”
~ Linus Pauling, PhD, Two Time Nobel Prize Winner

134 published studies proving that cannabinoids (cannabis) cures all forms of cancer. Is there something the government hasn’t been telling us?

- See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/23/20-medical-studies-that-prove-cannabis-can-cure-cancer/#sthash.gZKA3nQw.dpuf

People with White coats and MD in there name are mostly drug pushing murderer's!


AquaHealthLabs
AquaHealthLabs

Not all supplements are created equal.  PhytOriginal is the ONLY LIVING marine source of Omega-3 available in the US.  It is bathed in a vitamin rich brine water that is kept refrigerated and living.  The result is rapid absorption. I have taken fish pills for years and I now know it was a waste of money.  PhytOriginal is like eating the most powerful vegetable in the ocean.

alxchang
alxchang

I have two points (as a physician not employed in any way by any pharmaceutical company):

For those who think doctors somehow benefit by encouraging people not to take multivitamins through shadowy pharmaceutical agreements, who do you think makes these multivitamins? If you are convinced there's some benefit to taking multivitamins, go ahead and keep taking them - nobody is going to stop you. If you want to actually look at objective evidence and have limited income (multivitamins are expensive and big pharma is making lots of money), you'd be much better off spending your money on healthier food or paying for a gym membership.

jannahere
jannahere

Rather than stating that we should "Stop Taking Multivitamins," it would be more reasonable to say, "Stop Taking Centrum Silver or Synthetic Vitamins."

The “recent studies” that this article links to is a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine called “Long-Term Multivitamin Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: A Randomized Trial.” This is a reputable medical journal, but the problem is that they only use “Vitamins and Minerals Contained in the Centrum Silver Formulation.” So all of the patients are consuming synthetic, not organic plant concentrates/phytonutrients. There have been numerous and significant studies notating the differences in the human absorption of phytonutrients vs synthetic ingredients. And even among phytonutrients, there are organic vs non-organic phytonutrients (and there are different levels of "organic"--a whole different story), which also affect the absorption of nutrients. But none of this was notated in this article, which shows a lack of thorough and holistic research.

I also looked at the other studies that were mentioned in this article, and the studies usually did not notate what kind of supplement was used nor whether it was synthetic or an organic phytonutrient. And I didn't see any studies that distinguished if the Vitamin E that they used were from a synthetic source or plant concentrate--showing their lack of knowledge in the nuances of nutrition from supplementation.

Furthermore, the containers in which the supplements are stored also affects the product's effectiveness because if low-grade components are used, the chemicals could leech into the supplements, which would then enter the body. And I don't believe that Centrum has disclosed the specific conditions of how they manufacture their plastic containers...which may say something about their product too...a lack of transparency?

MarleyRowelyn
MarleyRowelyn

Don't forget about magnesium.  Our soils are depleted of this and other vital nutrients.  For this reason many health experts (Mercola, Hyman, Dean, et al) recommend high-quality food-based vitamins--not the synthetic vitamins like those found in many brands like Centrum, a brand that was actually mentioned by one of the researchers of this 'study' in another news report.  The same researcher also stated that people, however, should take statins to lower cholesterol!

joreconw
joreconw

Big pharma produces multivitamins as well. I worked for Bristol-Myers before and they do promote them. The big brands also mass produce those. So those saying that big pharma are behind, could be wrong. I do agree that is better to get them from our foods...

tibercio
tibercio

Let’s be clear here, because the devil is in the details. The first study cited was a review of 27 studies, but only 3 were on multivitamins; the rest were on singular nutrients. Second paper was on physicians – probably the best-nourished demographic in America. And in America, only about an estimated 5% of the population gets a nutritionally satisfactory diet, meaning there is much room for multivitamins to fill in nutritional gaps. What's more, a recent review of the very same Physicians Health Study II trial found the opposite conclusion - that vitamins were in fact good for preventing cancer for this group! In the third paper, the “nonadherence rate” was more than 50%, meaning more than half the study group did not even take their vitamins. The authors themselves said any “interpretation is very difficult.” The bias is clear: The mainstream American medical establishment wants people to be unhealthy so they can dispense profitable pharmaceuticals to treat people once they are sick, and they are not interested in keeping them well in the first place. As the Chinese proverb goes, “The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness.”

LindaKelly
LindaKelly

The pharm industry has been trying to discredit vitamin and mineral supplements for decades.  


Sounds like this was written by those who receive a lot of $$$$ from the pharm industry.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

I agree with most of this report. It's proven the most multivitamins are either pointless, or possibly harmful.

The Exceptions:

1.) Most Americans do not get enough vitamin D3. Supplements are often warranted. 

2.) Phytonutrients: plant-extracts, etc.. often beneficial in numerous ways.

3.) Enzymes: replenishes what is often lost in an over-cooked culture. Raw foods are almost always best.

4.) Many more, including B6-B12 deficiency! But these are the big ones.

ajohnson334
ajohnson334

While this is far from settled, the studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine do provide some evidence that adding a multivitamin pill has little benefit. One of the two studies, which compared multivitamins to placebo and looked at cardiovascular events after a myocardial infarction, showed no difference between the two. A few important things beyond this conclusion were that there was a high drop out rate (many people did not adhere to the prescribed therapy), there were no adverse outcomes found (taking a multivitamin was no worse than placebo), and it was a multivitamin and not a specific vitamin used. Multivitamins can be just as expensive as other proven medications in this patient population (such as an aspirin and a statin) and taking it may just be adding cost with no benefit. For a summary of the study, go to http://www.advcardiologyassoc.com/articles/12172013.htm 

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

From what I have seen the medical field doesn't exactly know all ramifications of prescribed medications, but maybe otc multivitamins which have been around forever are easier to figure out.

BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

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Read my popular Internet article, CHEMOTHERAPY SUCCESS WITH ALOE VERA! This is a must read article for all those diagnosed with cancer or who have a loved one who is. Just google the title to access the article. There are properties in aloe vera that greatly strengthen the immune system and help protect the immune system and healthy cells from being destroyed by chemo and radiation. The result is that (when taking aloe vera juice duing chemo/radiation) the cancer cells are destroyed while the immune system and more of the healthy cells survive. The properties in aloe vera also help chemo/radiation patients suffer a lot less side effects from the chemo/radiation treatments.

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roknsteve
roknsteve

Why are doctors so afraid of vitamins and minerals?  They would rather sell us drugs that unbalance our bodies.  I've heard doctors lies about vitamins and minerals all my life. 

HankyooKim
HankyooKim

Thanks a lot for your good information about multivitamin!

ShawnArscott
ShawnArscott

As everything else - there are cheap versions and more expensive versions. Many people have jumped on the profit bandwagon and have produced supplements from cheaper less effective materials. A good quality vitamin will help maintain health but is still not substitute for a healthy diet. The main thing today is to do the research before putting anything into your body. Sad to say, the world has become more unscrupulous going for money rather than self respect in a job well done and contributing to human life. Supplements and food are becoming more degraded every day. Most things today, take away from life and are using people rather than helping. Do your homework or as the ancients so aptly put it: Buyer Beware. And please let's put life before profit.

aliberaldoseofskepticism
aliberaldoseofskepticism

@galaxykid2000 Seriously? You think the majority of MDs are murdering psychopaths? Really? That's...weird.

Also, you know who else won a Nobel? The notorious racist William Shockley. The slightly-less-racist James Watson. The really racist Philipp Lenard. The HIV-denying astrology enthusiast Kary Mullis. The ESP enthusiast Brian Josephson.

Rin_
Rin_

@alxchang: "For those who think doctors somehow benefit by encouraging people not to take multivitamins through shadowy pharmaceutical agreements, who do you think makes these multivitamins?" 

It's more complicated than that. Pfizer make centrum. It's a shoddy nasty synthetic vitamin tablet - there are too many of those around to say "vitamins are good for you". 

Hardly even need to say it: the study this story refers to exclusively used synthetic vitamins. 

However worthwile supplements do exist. 

Why would Pfizer want their own product to be perceived as dangerous? In fact there is a very simple answer.

It's because they want to see broad sweeping regulations brought in. Regulations that will make things difficult for non-pharma competitors (who are the people who make worthwile supplements, mixed carotenoids in oil capsules, etc., more similar to how they occur in nature rather than centrum synthetic stuff). 


In short, regulate the competition out of business and you can charge exorbitant prices. Regulate and extort. Death to the smaller companies, more profits for big pharma.

bloodyfootprints
bloodyfootprints

@alxchang ...the point is so far from being about how expensive multivitamins are for an average citizen; if that were the case, why wouldn't there be a more intelligent consensus that what should be removed from daily, weekly, monthly, or annual expenditures possibly be fast food, artery-blocking snacks, candy that is basically just flavored white sugar, smoking, recreational drugs...which I bet my bottom dollar are bleeding the average citizen's pocketbook much more so than 1-5 bottles of multivitamins, minerals, or Omega 3's each month.  I personally believe that this backlash is to "keep the people in their place."  The establishment knows (without going into some elaborate ideas about conspiracies) that if the masses truly wake up and get health conscious, there would be a massive drop in sales of items that keep this nation fat, dumb, ignorant, and happy.  Just look at the recent backlash towards those who drink water or juice by the soda industry.  Recent polls have shown that those who opt for diet variety soft drinks have slowly (in the upper single digit percentages) begun to switch to water or juicing in some cases; as a result, there is now chatter that juicing is for the birds (something that I know from my own experience and many others I know of is a load of hogwash...I'll keep sipping my green juice and doing cartwheels around the idiots who take this chatter as canon and an invitation to keep living their lives on three-square-burgers-a-day).  Maybe before defending something as matter-of-factly as a simple comment that you should "save your money" instead of buying multivitamins you lot should think about the "negative" impact you have on those who are just starting to take a couple of careful baby steps into healthier living.  It doesn't start with putting down the one or two multivitamins you take each day (which I guarantee isn't breaking your budget), but rather with skipping that soda at noon, burger in the afternoon, pack-a-day you smoke, or the six-pack of beer you guzzle in the evening (all of which are going to cost you multiples more monthly than a few supplements).  Think before you speak...regardless of your degrees or certifications.

handaddy815
handaddy815

As a physician. .. I wonder how many nutrition related classes you have taken. You should do your research before making a statement about things that you have no idea on. Oh... that's right... you are all about fixing the symptoms. .. not preventing. You will be out of your job if we all stayed healthy.

Rin_
Rin_

@jannahere: Exactly, that is how it COULD have been reported. 

It wasn't, because honesty isn't in their (Pfizer's) interests, they want to tar *all* vitamins and more generally supplements (you know, Ginkgo Biloba and Green Tea etc.). 

They want regulation and they have an enormous amount of money, so it gets reported the way it's been seen in the media.  

The drug industry has done a lot of good but you'd be a fool to trust their benevolence. What they are out for is profit! 

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@GeoEspinosa Sorry, Geo. We get most of our necessary vitamins from common foods. The study (and dozens like it) is spot on. That said, some people ARE deficient in certain vitamins, most commonly D3, B6, and B12. Beyond that, Americans get A, C, D2, E, etc... in abundance in foods. 




CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@tibercio  You clearly didn't read the study. It doesn't cite "vitamins" failure to prevent cancer. It cites ONE specific vitamin as showing no correlation in preventing cancer, and that specific vitamin might even help grow cancer cells. I'll leave it as an exercise for you to figure out the vitamin they're talking about.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@LindaKelly  Many big pharma companies make multi-viitamin supplements. Your argument just failed.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@BabuG.Ranganathan  


COLLOIDAL SILVER has been proven over and over as ineffective. Aloe Vera, on the other hand, has many healing properties. You're batting 50%.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@roknsteve 

Actually, the study is quite good. You don't need extra A, B, C, E ... most people get all they need in common foods. And many of the supplemental minerals we take can actually overtax our body.  In my research, I've found that people often do need to supplement D3, B6, and B12. That's about it.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

@avinatbezeq 


Vegans watch your B6 and B12 levels. And everyone, get checked for D3 levels. Many (most?) people are deficient.

Rin_
Rin_

@CarlLegg

Why? Linda wasn't making an argument, she was making a statement. A true statement as it happens. The big pharma vitamin bash is a well known monthly event.

Big pharma selling centrum and scaremongering about vitamins is not a contradiction. 

Despite the fact nobody (you are more likely to die by lightning strike) dies from taking vitamins, they want to make them seem dangerous. Dangerous things need regulation. 

And big pharma loves regulation because it narrows the market, meaning bigger profits for them. 

Big pharma isn't scared of vitamins, and nor should anyone be. Big pharma is simply irked by the many small companies who sell vitamins (usually but not always higher quality). 

Big pharma wants those companies gone.  



abc
abc

@CarlLegg @LindaKelly Well dear sir compare what they make from multi-vitamins with what they make from cancer en heart disease drugs. Your argument just failed!

bissod
bissod

@CarlLegg The impoverished eating habits of Americans in general and young women specifically, put them at risk of vitamin E deficiency in a significant way. I've been surveying the dietary habits of college students since 2005 and have found that 80% of women are consuming less than 67% of the DRI which puts them at high risk of being consistently deficient over the long term. The primary reasons are two: first, vegetable intake is suboptimal and second, young women, concerned about their weight, eat a lot of fat-free products, and very little healthy oils. Niacin, B6 and B12 deficiencies are very rare in the normal healthy population. The fortification of our foods, have put B12 in particular in all kinds of foods, notably breakfast cereals

roknsteve
roknsteve

@CarlLegg You and the doctors are so wrong.  I'm 70 years old and don't take any medications because I've been using natural supplements since the 1970's.  My health says you are a fake.

BryantHowerton
BryantHowerton

@CarlLegg @avinatbezeq Hello - can you please explain what Vitamin D3 is? I eat salmon - and there is plenty of vitamin D in that - but what is D3? Please clarify. Thank you very much for your time!