Your Vitamin Pills May Not Be Doing You Any Good



If you hate taking your multivitamins as much as I do, you were probably as happy as I was to hear the latest -- that there's no proof they help women live longer. Even crazier is that popping those huge pellets might have the opposite effect -- women who did were found to have slightly higher death rates. Yikes.

That should be a big relief to those of us who are always forgetting to take our vitamins (though I've found the GIANT bottle of them my mother bought me to be a great kitchen doorstop).

So now, we don't have to worry about taking those hard-to-swallow pills and we also don't have to feel guilty about it. Hooray! Something to cross off both your daily to-do and your daily guilt lists -- a total twofer.

But let's not all go chucking our multivitamins up in the air in celebration yet (which actually sounds kind of painful). The study isn't bashing vitamins and minerals for being unnecessary and useless. What it is saying is that it's as good or better to get those nutrients from the food we eat.

So I guess that means there's no shortcut when it comes to our health. We need to make sure we eat (all together now) a nice, balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. And there's no magic bullet to bail us out. Bah!

Of course, you can always use your leftover jar of vitamins as a doorstop.

Do you take a daily multivitamin -- and if so, will this news prompt you to stop?


Image via scottfeldstein/Flickr

diets, eating healthy, general health, health products, natural health, nutrition, preventative medicine


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ljnmom ljnmom

That study is inconclusive.  They did not take many factors into account before reporting their findings.  First, what kind of multi vitamins were the woman taking?  Were they taking food based or sythentic?  This could be a study on what vitamins are effective or not if they had really done their homework...  Second were the woman taking vitamins because of illness and it's the very illness that they were trying to help treat with the vitamins that had an effect on their life expectancy?  Just looking at a group of people, asking if they take vitamins and then saying the vitamins did not help them live longer doesn't tell anyone anything without more specific information.   And lastly we know that our food no longer contains the same nutrients it once did, so how can we get the proper nutrients we need if our food no longer provides it?

H.I.S. H.I.S.

 I will still be taking my raw food supplements!

Sultan Gonen-Griffin

This is common sense, so why are our health care professionals not able to give us this info liberally?

Elisa Bishop

I get what this says, but we don't always each as well as we should. Not only that, but not everyone's body is the same and uses the same about of a particular mineral or vitamin. Your best bet is to go to the doctor, get your blood work and, if you don't have a quack, they will pin point what you should and, more importantly, should NOT take. An "overdose" (for lack of a better word) of any vitamin or mineral can cause an opposite, unwanted, unhealthy effect... ask your doc, they'll agree! :)

Virginia Hernandez

I'm thinking it's just because many people, not just women, will take vitamins, think they got everything they need for the day, and not eat healthy. It should be filling in some gaps in your diet, not the only vitamins you get in the day. So obviously it would conclude that they're not good, and women are dying sooner. If they eating crap all day and think it's okay because they take vitamins, then it has nothing to do with the actual vitamin.

Trtle... Trtlegrrl

I agree with the first poster. The study was mostly inconclusive.

I think your article is misleading.

Debbie Tyrrell Thompson

Not all vitamins are created equal. Many of them are full of fillers and synthetic vitamins. The body sees the synthetics as foreign substances. The best vitamins are those from food sources. And keep in mind that the USRDA was developed around 1945 based on WWII rations. It is not for optimum health. Consult a good nutritionist, as most physicians are not thoroughly educated in basic nutriton.

yungm... yungmamma5488

I am not gonna stop taking my vitamins just because of one study. A lot of times yo have to take a look at who is funding these studies and see if the results are in these funders favor. A lot of them can be pertty biased. Also, taking a few statements from a study doesn't make it fact. Read the whole study. I will say, that it is better to get your nutrients from food, but with the way we process and grow pretty much all of our food, they aren't as nutritious as they used to be. It is nice having a multi vitamin for back up. Although, it is unfortunate that vitamins aren't regulated by the FDA or other programs, not like the  FDA is really doing their job well anyway, but it would be a nice thought.

jerem... jeremysmom04

I take a whole food multi. It's basically dehydrated  organic veggie juices. I will continue to take it, because it is food. It works. Standard multis though, I wouldn't go near with a 10 foot pole. Not only do they not absorb well, but they are generally synthetic.

Sultr... SultryLadyBug

I know my supplements are helping so I will continue to take my food based vitamins.

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