11 February 2009

Multivitamin Hype

A new large study done among postmenopausal women suggests that taking multivitamins has "little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, CVD, or total mortality."

Spending money and taking on a lot of vitamins does little to prevent cancers or heart disease? I have long suspected this. For me, the best vitamins are still those we get in our respective diets. Yes, I know it is quite impossible to get that recommended daily allowance from diet alone, but if there are no benefits to be reaped from doing so, why are many people still taking them?

More so, why are doctors still recommending and prescribing them to patients?

This study, granting both doctors and patients will notice it, will do little to affect their prescribing and buying behaviors.

My guess is, they do this for lack of a better alternative to heal whatever ails them. It provides some kind of psychological security blanket. Yes, much like what Linus Van Pelt's blanket does in Charlie Brown, if you're familiar with it.

More on the study:
  1. It is a large study that is part of the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials.
  2. More than 67,000 post-menopausal women took multivitamins and were followed up for 7.9 years and observed for cancers of the breast (invasive), colon/rectum, endometrium, kidney, bladder, stomach, ovary, and lung; heart disease ailments (myocardial infarction, stroke, and venous thromboembolism); and total mortality.
  3. Conclusion ---"....multivitamin use has little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, CVD, or total mortality in postmenopausal women."
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