For years, experts have been saying, “Take vitamins – they’re good for you!” But the latest scientific evidence debunks that belief. In fact, studies of thousands of people over several decades suggest that multivitamins and supplements often have no health benefits – and in some cases, may even hurt your health.
Recently, several nutritional researchers announced that taking vitamins is a complete waste of money unless you have a chronic illness, or a specific nutrient deficiency. Like taking folic acid during pregnancy to reduce common birth defects.
What did the studies show, exactly? First, that taking a multivitamin makes no detectable impact on the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, or cardiovascular disease. And in one study of 38,000 women, long-term multivitamin use increased the risk of premature death.
Other findings: Vitamin C doesn’t make you less likely to catch a cold. And it appears to make chemotherapy less effective. In fact, vitamin C may protect cancer cells. Also, the studies show that calcium doesn’t lower your risk of heart disease or cancer but may increase your risk of kidney stones.
And beta-carotene supplements increase the rate of lung cancer among smokers.
According to the National Institutes of Health, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies is known to be healthy. But the minute you take the antioxidants and vitamins, and make them into supplements, the health boost vanishes.
What’s the fix? Get your vitamins and minerals from foods, like fresh produce, low-fat dairy, fish, and lean meat.