Study: Daily Vitamin Doesn't Help Your Health

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/12/2009 6:10 AM   :  322 comments

Do you pop a multivitamin every morning?

It might not be as beneficial as you think.

A recent, quite sizable study of more than 160,000 women found that a vitamin regimen doesn't lessen one's chances of developing cancer or heart disease.

The findings were published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Earlier research had offered mixed results.

Research has shown, however, that eating plenty of vitamin- and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables can lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

The lead author, Marian Neuhouser, an associate member in cancer prevention at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told the New York Times that she knows vitamin users will be slightly skeptical of the findings, and she doesn't disparage the habit.

Do you take a multivitamin? Will you stop taking a vitamin based on this study?


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Comments

  • JULIA1154
    322
    I don't expect my multi-vitamin to necessarily fend off heart disease or cancer. I do expect it to help me keep on top of my needs for a variety of vitamins and minerals that substantially contribute to my health and well-being such as Vit. A, B, C and D, and Calcium, Iron, various trace minerals, etc. Heart disease and cancer are not the only threats to our health! (Osteoporosis, anyone?) - 6/17/2011   1:41:48 PM
  • 321
    Yes, I take a multi and other supplements and will continue! - 3/19/2010   9:39:47 PM
  • 320
    Yes, I absolutely do take vitamin and mineral supplements. I FEEL better emotionally and I have more energy when I do. That means more to me than the results of studies which offer statistical results. I try not to go overboard, no matter in which direction. I agree with Juanaterre. - 3/13/2010   4:26:03 AM
  • 319
    I keep taking those suckers. Every few years you get the flip decisions. Take your vitamins, then don't. then take, then don't. Doesn't hurt to, so why not. - 2/9/2010   9:26:31 AM
  • 318
    I know that if I don't take my vitamins and supplements I can tell the difference in my energy level. I don't know what part my multi vitamin plays in it, but it is just one of the group I take every day. - 2/1/2010   10:42:45 AM
  • JEANNEROBERTSON
    317
    No, I would NOT stop taking vitamin supplements based on this study. I would need to see more information about it. - 12/14/2009   8:45:09 AM
  • AMARANTHA2
    316
    I would not stop or start doing anything based on one study. - 12/12/2009   9:48:27 PM
  • 315
    I take a multi-vitamin and several other supplements. I don't intend on stopping. - 12/10/2009   12:51:08 PM
  • 314
    I do take a multi and also extra calcium. The study is interesting, but I will not stop taking them. I don't think they can hurt me and I am concerned about getting enough of everything I need to stay healthy! - 12/10/2009   11:21:13 AM
  • 313
    There is NO way I would stop taking my multi. Consider the source of that information....the very people who take care of you when you get sick. If you aren't getting sick....DUH!!! Besides, certainly we all know that our food is so depleted of nutrition today. Even the ORGANIC stuff we pay so much more for, is not all it could be!

    AND to boot, how many folk really EAT a well balance nutritious diet? I am a nurse, I take care of people all the time, who come in with LOW potassium . How is that possible if you are getting it all from your diet? Partly , people do not have a CLUE about nutrition having a direct on their health.

    No , for now, you will NOT be able to get my vitamin pill out of my mouth!!! - 12/10/2009   7:00:31 AM
  • 312
    I take half of a multi-vitamin every day...it helps me to get enough calcium and iron. When I don't take it, I get anemic (low red-cell counts). As for other vitamins, like the cancer preventing ones, I get all of those from the fruits and veggies I eat. Also, I think that as we are restricting calories to lose weight, it is a very good idea to take a multivitamin to help "fill in the gaps" that one might have. - 12/9/2009   11:11:35 AM
  • KUKA123
    311
    I would not take a supplement to be the sole source of my nutrients. I eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies everyday. I take a multi to ensure I am not depleted from any one vitamin & I really do feel better after taking it. - 12/9/2009   1:52:26 AM
  • EMMKAYC
    310
    I think you need to get your vitamins from food products, not something artificial man-made that is not very bio-available. Instead I take Juice Plus everyday - much better than a man-made vitamin. - 12/8/2009   11:40:27 AM
  • BPELLER
    309
    Yes, I will continue to take my supplements because my doctor recommends it. I believe that there is some good to them. - 12/8/2009   8:32:46 AM
  • MAGDA77072
    308
    I don't take a daily vitamin for two reasons. 1. There is no guarantee that everything that is supposed to be in it is in it. I don't remember where I read that a consumer group(??) did a test on 5 of the most common multi-vitamins and found that some didn't have the amount of, lets say iron, it was supposed to have. As a matter of fact it had more than the recommended daily dosage. I will find that article and post it. When I do start taking them there is only one company I trust (email me privately if you want the info). They have a special uptake system that delivers more of the vitamins and minerals then the over the counter ones. 2. I already take so many medications daily that adding just one more pill is too much right now. - 12/7/2009   6:48:54 PM
  • 307
    I get super busy and don't always have time to eat every nutrient via food. The vitamin helps. - 12/7/2009   6:27:21 PM
  • MJAKUBI
    306
    I don't know any one that eats well enough to get all their nutrients from food. This article is stupid. - 12/7/2009   11:01:48 AM
  • 305
    This BLOG "article' seems very irresponsible and has a very misleading "title" of "Study: Daily Vitamin Doesn't Help Your Health ". The blog does not provide all of the information that should be discussed/evaluated when choosing to take, or choosing not to take, a multi-vitamin and the source is not "gospel". It makes no mention of who the women used in the study were (demographics - age, history, lifestyle, etc.) Not to mention, no where in the original sited article does it state that a vitamin DOESN'T help your health. This blog post is JUNK. Advice to those reading this article: READ THE ENTIRE SITE ARTICLE. THEN, ask your own physicians if they take vitamins or a multi-vitamin and why - far more reasons than mentioned in this article. There are MANY conditions that can benefit from vitamins/multi-vitamin usage.

    Not to mention - a blog that sites another blog as an information source... might as well be WIKIPEDIA!!! IRRESPONSIBLE. - 12/7/2009   1:55:59 AM
  • 304
    I take a multivitamin daily and won't stop.I sure that some days i don't get all the nutrients that I need. - 12/6/2009   11:22:07 PM
  • 303
    i take a multivitamin and won't stop. it gives me a lot of energy and it helps cover some lapses in my diet (not eating enough vegetables and the like). - 12/6/2009   10:15:06 PM
  • DOLPHSWIFE
    302
    All I know is when I don't take my vitamins I get really run down and tired. They have been especially helpful after I have a baby.
    So I have been faithful in taking them for the last ten years.
    I hardly ever get sick, I don't think I've had two colds in the last ten years. The report says that vitamins are not good as far as cancer and heart disease, well what about anemia, and other things? They are not saying the many things that they are beneficial for. - 12/6/2009   3:58:58 PM
  • 301
    It is actually pretty irresponsible to recommend that people stop taking a multivitamin every day. Consider the fact that the CDC recommends that women of childbearing age need 400 micrograms of folic acid daily (at least one month prior to pregnancy - which for a lot of women could happen at any time) in order to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida by as much as 50% to 70%. Check this information for yourselves at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid
    /about.html

    It is dangerous to tell only part of a story. - 12/6/2009   3:41:27 PM
  • 300
    It doesn't seem like anyone here, myself included, ever thought a multi-V would aid in disease prevention so the findings are not really relevent to why people take them in the first place. I take one because it was recommended by a nutritionist and a trainer, to get nutrients that may be lacking in my diet. It's a 3 month supply for about $13-One A Day Women's. It's not a lot of money by any means, and I will continue to take it. - 12/6/2009   3:02:51 PM
  • SUEACCT
    299
    Previous posts cite the need for more dislosure about the facts of the study. I personally take a brand of supplements that uses only ingredients that are grown by the manufacturer. When tested by independent labs, what is on the label is in the bottle. Many supplements don't make that grade. And when I miss my daily supplementation, I know it! Yes, pass me the my Nutrilite! I am so convinced, I even sell it! - 12/6/2009   9:40:52 AM
  • SANDIR3
    298
    I don't remember when I haven't taken a multiple. When I started therapy for depression that was one of the questions she asked. If I hadn't been taking one she wanted me to start. - 12/6/2009   9:20:23 AM
  • 297
    There is more to this article than is being said. If you are taking a Centrum, One a Day, Nature Made, etc... than I agree you might as well eat the money you spent on these vitamins. At least you will get fiber out of eating the money. Now if you were taking a good brand of vitamins it does make a difference and you feel the difference. I know first hand.
    EJ
    Leader of HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS & VITAMINS - 12/5/2009   11:34:50 PM
  • 296
    I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but I also compliment it with a multivitamin to try to ensure that I don't miss out on anything essential. My husband has cancer and he takes Isotonix, which is a liquid vitamin and taken on an empty stomach, can be much more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. I'm a firm believer that anyone who takes supplements, however, should take them regularly to see any kind of health benefit. - 12/5/2009   1:56:25 PM
  • 295
    I think that our bodies do benefit from fruits and vegetables more than multivitamin. I think most pregnant woman should take them, and maybe breastfeeding women, and people on a strict diet. I hope people realized however, that a lot of mass sold multi's are not absorbed into the sysem and are pretty much flushed down the toilet, litteraly. If you need a multi, find one made from whole foods, or one with easier absorbed nutrients. Personally, I do take Calcium and Vitamin D3 daily, along with cromium picolinate, because I have joint problems, and problems with depression. Pills don't substitute for good food. - 12/5/2009   1:33:23 PM
  • 294
    i never took a vitamin until about 1 year prior to starting TTC and that's the ONLY reason I take it. I STRONGLY feel that we should be getting all of our vitamins/minerals from the foods we're eating and not from a vitamin. I do agree that there are certain diseases/health conditions in which one should take a vitamin, but for the average healthy adult - eat your fruits and veggies!!

    I have not noticed ANY difference from taking a vitmain vs. not. I will stop taking vitamins when I am no longer conceiving because my body does not need them. - 12/5/2009   12:25:59 PM
  • 293
    My trainer told me to take it at night - some people giggle at this but that's a way to ensure that it doens't just go out with your 12 cups of water per day. It does help me feel better too so I will keep taking it. I never took it to avoid disease. - 12/5/2009   10:28:37 AM
  • SUSANPARISEAU
    292
    BABS954 My understanding is for whatever reason the government pays farmers not to farm. A woman that had been in the National Guard with me for years married a farmer and this was just some of the reason. I wrote a paper in college on the pestisides that are being used on food, to control weeds on the highway, etc. it all goes into the water table. As much focus as they put on whether medications are safe to take together they have never checked the effects of the pestisides when they mix. The doseage is for adults and is much more than our childrens systems can handle. So many chemicals can't be good for our bodies. Washing fruits and vegetables, I would like to think this helps but I really wonder how much it does. So many people suffering with cancer these days it makes me wonder what is really causing this. - 12/4/2009   2:38:06 PM
  • SUSANPARISEAU
    291
    I would love to ask Zumbamoves more about the products she and her family use but do not know how to find them on this site to ask further questions. I don't take vitamins I always found they made me very hungry and want to eat everything in the house. I do drink a Slim Fast daily because of its vitamin content. It gives me some very needed energy and has helped me lose that last 10 lbs. My mother uses a dozen different pills and I would like to find something better for her. Can anyone help me find this person or guide me to the correct way to do so. There is no link to their name so that is out. I appreciate any assistance. - 12/4/2009   2:21:58 PM
  • BABS954
    290
    I personally do not take a multivitamin, but numerous ones after much investigation. I am more worried about all the chemicals, hormones, and transportation in our food today.It is scary. I have read where transporting it rids it of most nutrients. Now we are hearing about the dangers of canned foods. One example I just read was of Progresso soup. Who really does know what to do in times like these. Heck. Look how much of our food is not even grown in the US anymore. Why are we getting so much from Canada, Mexico etc.
    My doctor has a list of the numerous supplements I take and said to keep it up since I, nearing 60 have excellent overall health, so far. I only use Puritan's Pride and subscribe to Consumerlab.com to investigate and keep updated to learn even more than on my own time since I took nutrition in college 14 years ago. I say, do whatever you feel you need to do. Yes. Try to maintain a very healthy nutritional lifestyle, as much as you can. - 12/4/2009   10:25:54 AM
  • 289
    Clearly I am in the minority here, but I absolutely believe that normal, healthy adults and children who eat well-balanced (fruit/vegetable heavy) diets do not need a multivitamin. That being said, I do agree that people with certain health conditions or those who do not eat well or have other extenuating circumstances do benefit from vitamins/supplements. Honestly, though, our bodies were created to function well without man-made things like vitamins (and the food-like substances many people live on, which create the need for them). - 12/3/2009   3:09:43 PM
  • ZUMBAMOVES
    288
    I think it depends on the vitamin you take. If you are taking 1 A Day or Centrum, it may be going right through. However, if you are taking a good quality supplement I believe it absolutely does you good. I am a distributor for USANA and have been using their Essentials and other products since 1999. I had a condition of dysplasia in my colon when I started taking USANA and 8 months later it was gone. My Gastroenterologist was amazed at the difference from the year before and told me to keep doing what I was doing (taking vitamins). NOt only that, but I have a daughter who was getting canker sores all the time and strep throat 2-3 times per year. We put her on USANA and she has not had Strep Throat since 2000, has only an ocassional canker sore and will not be without USANA's nutritional products. We've even tried over the counter nutritionals and she says they don't help her as much. We have not been to the doctor for sickness since 2000. (I have a family of 9.) Now that's saying something. Our colds are very mild, last maybe 3 days, and so forth. Vitamins, if you get a good quality one, are excellent. Not only that, but the increase in energy is amazing andyou eat less because you are not craving nutrients that your body is missing. Helps with weight management. - 12/3/2009   2:09:41 PM
  • 287
    5 1/2 years ago I had a gastric bypass whereby making my body unable to absorb certain vitamins and mineral. As a result I have to take many vitamins and minerals daily for the rest of my life. - 12/3/2009   1:50:45 PM
  • DRAGINCHIC23
    286
    I don't take a multi vitamin because it lowers my risk of cancer or heart disease. I take it because it makes me feel better and I can see the improvement in my skin, hair and nails... Better looking, stronger and healthier. That alone is worth it to me. - 12/3/2009   12:26:11 PM
  • 285
    I take a daily vitamin "pak" every day. I don't take it to reduce my risk of cancer, or anything else. I eats fruit and veggies everyday, trying to get at least 4 servings in. I take the multi-vitamins because they are "supplements" to my daily nutrition. There is no way of TRULY knowing how much of vitamins and minerals our bodies are absorbing and receiving from foods... taking supplements ensures you get them is all.

    Even if it won't help reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases, it is still beneficial to your body and overall health! - 12/3/2009   11:27:49 AM
  • 284
    I'll still take my vitamins. - 12/3/2009   9:14:39 AM
  • JUHOEG
    283
    I take my vitamins daily - 12/3/2009   8:00:21 AM
  • 282
    i believe in supplements i take a multi vitamin everyday a good one i do know not all vitamins are not created equal out there but a good highly absorbale multi is great .

    I take extra d3 with my extra calcium /magnesium before bed but i like yougurt so i dont take extra calcium everyday but definately the multi. - 12/3/2009   3:36:30 AM
  • 281
    I take a vitamin everyday and will swear by it for the rest of my life! I have not been sick to the point of staying home from work for the past 2 1/2 years. I credit this to my daily vitamin ritual! I eat pretty healthy, but it ensures that I get all of the daily nutrients I need to keep me going throughout the day. - 12/2/2009   4:16:14 PM
  • 280
    I'm not going to stop taking my vitamins as I have a severe Bvitamin deficiantcy and developed mouth problems when I wasn't taking it. My mom is the same way, and I don't think this study can be applied to everyone. Some people can't get everything they need from food, I happen to be one of those individuals. - 12/2/2009   1:00:59 PM
  • 279
    I really dislike articles and blogs with misleading and sensationalistic titles. A daily vitamin may not prevent cancer or heart disease (who on earth ever thought they did?), but they do improve one's general health. That's been proven in many studies.
    - 12/2/2009   11:09:26 AM
  • 278
    Which vitamins were they testing? The ones that just provide the RDA or the ones with enough potency to really do something? One must remember that the RDA was only intended to prevent obvious signs of deficiency. Optimal health may well require more. - 12/2/2009   9:47:36 AM
  • 277
    I'm hedging my bets and taking one. How long were we told that our Vitamin D requirements were at one level. Now these new studies are showing that many of us are suffering from very low levels and that we should be taking more. I'm trying to maximize my health by eating right and using a multi to try to capture some of what I miss. - 12/2/2009   9:46:35 AM
  • 276
    I WILL KEEP TAKING MY VITAMINS EVERYDAY BECUASE I FEEL GOOD. - 12/2/2009   12:48:07 AM
  • 275
    I take my multi because I am not good enough at eating all the things I should eat to get my body all the nutrients it needs. If the multi helps to prevent something-good, if not, I'm still doing something good for myself. - 12/1/2009   11:54:18 PM
  • 274
    I second a lot of the comments here: it would have been nice to know more in regards to the content of the article being reported on. Also, many in the medical field almost always say that a diet based on a wide variety of foods provides all the nutrients needed. But there are studies, out in peer-reviewed journals clearly demonstrating that the levels of nutrients reported are in fact less than what is necessary to make the assertion that a diet based on a wide variety of foods is all that is needed.

    I take muliti vitamin and mineral tablet plus several additional vitamins. And I will continue to do so. Medicine is a conservative (in the sense that it takes a lot of data to make changes) practice and this is beneficial. However, that does not remove the fact that I need to be an informed consumer. And being an informed consumer, I can make decisions for myself. - 12/1/2009   11:36:45 PM
  • 273
    I take a multi vitamin not for what it might prevent but to help my body get the essential vitamins and minerals I might be missing in my diet. I like taking vitamin B supplements to help boost my energy too. - 12/1/2009   11:00:09 PM

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