One of the problems in our society is that we seem to what a pill to fix everything. For a long time vitamins where that pill. If you had a cold you needed to take vitamin C. If you wanted to prevent heart disease take Vitamin C. (Vitamin C probably does little if anything in preventing the common cold and there is no data suggesting that Vitamin C can prevent heart disease.) If you wanted to get healthy and stay healthy you needed to take a “good” multi-vitamin. New research suggests that we probably don’t need a good multi-vitamin.
Americans spend nearly $12 billion each year on vitamin supplements, hoping they will steer us away from diseases like cancer and heart attacks. But it turns out they’re just a drain on our wallets.
Should healthy people take supplements to keep them healthy? A panel of experts convened by the government, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, says that for most vitamins and minerals, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the pills can lower risk of heart disease or cancer. And when it comes to beta-carotene (found in carrots and tomatoes) and vitamin E, there is no evidence that they can protect against either heart disease or cancer; in fact, beta-carotene use contributed to an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers.
That will come as a surprise to most Americans, who pop pills of omega-3 fatty acids hoping to fend off a heart attack or down vitamins C and E, which are high in antioxidants, to counteract the free-radical damage that contributes to cancer. “In the absence of clear evidence about the impact of most vitamins and multivitamins on cardiovascular disease and cancer, health care professionals should counsel their patients to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. They should also continue to consider the latest scientific research, their own experiences, and their patient’s health history and preferences when having conversations about nutritional supplements,” task-force member Dr. Wanda Nicholson said in a statement.
Here is more on Vitamin C! Enjoy.