"Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"

Worth checking out:
Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit. This evidence, combined with biological considerations, suggests that any effect, either beneficial or harmful, is probably small. As we learned from voluminous trial data on vitamin E, however, clinical trials are not well-suited to identify very small effects, and future trials of multivitamins for chronic disease prevention in well-nourished populations are likely to be futile.

In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.


Well if it is bunk then maybe organizers of memory tournaments should stop taking sponsorships from these vendors.

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I read all the abstract. Very interesting, thanks for reporting it!

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Here is a longer article about not wasting money on vitamins.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that multivitamins offer little or nothing in the way of health benefits, and some studies suggest that high doses of certain vitamins might cause harm.

As a result, the authors behind the new research said it’s time for most people to stop taking them.

“We believe that it’s clear that vitamins are not working,” said Dr. Eliseo Guallar, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In a strongly worded editorial on the three studies, Guallar and his co-authors urged people to stop spending money on multivitamins.

Here are some various studies and articles:

The Case Against Multivitamins Grows Stronger

Three studies published Monday add to multivitamins' bad rap. One review found no benefit in preventing early death, heart disease or cancer. Another found that taking multivitamins did nothing to stave off cognitive decline with aging. A third found that high-dose multivitamins didn't help people who had had one heart attack avoid another.

A Scientist Debunks The ‘Magic’ Of Vitamins And Supplements

One big problem with dietary supplements is a 1994 law that exempts them from the tighter scrutiny the FDA applies to its regulation of medicines, Offit says. So the makers of a garlic supplement can say that it "supports cardiovascular health" even though a government study found that garlic supplements didn't lower cholesterol. Meanwhile, Offit says, patients clearly benefit from a range of FDA-approved statin drugs that actually do what garlic supplements claim to do.

Dietary supplements are often advertised as “natural,” Offit says, even though that term can be misleading. For example, almonds are a natural source of vitamin E. But you would have to eat 17 pounds of almonds to get the amount of vitamin E in a single capsule sold by one supplement maker, Offit says. “So how is this a natural thing to do?”

Vitamin E and the Risk of Prostate Cancer

The initial report of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) found no reduction in risk of prostate cancer with either selenium or vitamin E supplements but a statistically nonsignificant increase in prostate cancer risk with vitamin E. Longer follow-up and more prostate cancer events provide further insight into the relationship of vitamin E and prostate cancer.

Conclusion Dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.

Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women

Background Although dietary supplements are commonly taken to prevent chronic disease, the long-term health consequences of many compounds are unknown....

Conclusions In older women, several commonly used dietary vitamin and mineral supplements may be associated with increased total mortality risk; this association is strongest with supplemental iron. In contrast to the findings of many studies, calcium is associated with decreased risk.

And some humor on vitamin hype: Report: Americans Receive Majority Of Vitamins Through Hair

Here’s another incredible, related story: The ‘Supplement’ Illusion.

Products labeled "ginseng," "echinacea," and "ginkgo biloba" often contain no trace of these substances, according to an investigation announced today.

An excerpt:

Ginkgo biloba: Contained no ginkgo biloba. Did contain rice, mustard, wheat, and radish. St. John's wort: Contained no St. John's wort. Did contain garlic, rice, and "a tropical root crop." Ginseng: Contained no ginseng. Did contain wheat, rice, and citrus species. Garlic: One of 15 tests was positive for a small amount of garlic. Most of the genetic material, though, was from rice, palm, and wheat. Echinacea: Contained no echinacea, and no genetic material of any sort. Saw palmetto: Contained no saw palmetto.

Here is another related article: Vitamins Are a Waste of Money—And They’re Not Helping You, Anyway.

Romm: So how did “vitamin” become shorthand for “healthy”?

Price: I think that that started early. The word itself has this aura—it means “life,” but health and life often go together. So I think that’s the reason it appealed so much to food marketers, is that the word itself had that connotation to begin with. Even Casimir Funk, the guy who came up with that word, thought it was brilliant. He was very into his own creation. And what I found really funny was, if you consider some of the other suggestions of the time—people were saying, “Oh, we shouldn’t call it a vitamin, we should call it a food hormone, or a food accessory factor.” It’s just funny to think about how our attitude towards these 13 unrelated dietary chemicals would be different if we called them “food accessory factors.” You’d never have ad campaigns or parents insisting that their children have their food accessory factors. It’s just not as catchy.

The history part is very interesting.

There are some useful ones though, don’t get the wrong idea. Have to be bought from quality vendors though, and taken in the best possible way.

Fish oil(fermented cod liver oil seems best, still looking at vendors(or if EPA/DHA content, then this manganaturals fish oil is the best epa+dha/price))

Vitamin d3(has to be taken with Vitamin k2)

Vitamin b complex(still looking which ratios are best)

Chelated Albion Minerals(soil has very little minerals, thus plants get very little as well, need to supplement)

For 1/3rd of the population, which has a gene deficiency, optimized folate is very useful.

Still looking for others…


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Maybe some people do better with certain supplements, I don’t know. It seems to me like it’s safer to get those nutrients from food sources though. I don’t think science understands nutrition well enough yet to extract nutrients in concentrated form and feed them to people on a daily basis.

(Example dangers from concentrated, extracted nutrients: Vitamin E and the Risk of Prostate Cancer and Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women.)

I adjust my own diet based on whatever research I find. I haven’t updated the blog yet but I’ve added back some fermented dairy (goat-milk kefir with L. rhamnosus) and small amounts of meat (occasional liver and chicken stock). Folate is found in green vegetables, legumes, and some fruits in high quantities. I would have to look up the rest.

It does take effort and discipline to eat well, but that is the price of health. :slight_smile:

I am b12 deficient and after suplementation habbit started my focus is back, I am more energetic and attention span is bigger. Also I had problem of passing out after standing up suddenly (there is medical term for that) and after someone told me definition I checked and saw B12 deficiency can be couse of that.
Since I started taking B12, did not pass not once :wink:

In my criticisms of vitamins and supplements, I’m only referring to the casual taking of supplements. For people who have nutritional deficiencies, then taking supplements can make sense.

I was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, so I do take vitamin D (1,000-2,000 IU/day) (update: not any more). Once the sun comes out again in the spring, I will increase my time in the sun and probably reduce the vitamin D supplements.

Taking vitamins and supplements for reasons like, “vitamins are good, so I should take more of them, just in case”, doesn’t make sense to me, because of the dangers with taking supplements, and also because these nutrients can be obtained from healthy diets.

(To obtain that result, my diet is extremely strict and contains only high-nutrient foods – mostly cooked from scratch.)

I’ve said it before many times, but I really think there’s great psychological, mental and physical benefit to be gained from a diet based on things that taste good! If you eat what you want to eat and don’t think about whether or not it’s supposed to be good for you, you get the all-important sense of happiness and satisfaction that comes from a good meal!

(Ignore me, I’m mad… :slight_smile: )

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Here is a related article on supplements:
Here’s why Vitamin C and E supplements could be messing with the benefits of your diet

Researchers have investigated what the popular 5:2 diet, also known the feast-or-famine diet, is doing to our bodies, and the results are looking pretty good for devotees. But, oddly enough, when they added antioxidant supplements to the mix, the benefits gained from the diet appeared to be counteracted.

The anti-oxidants supplements as a group actually increase all cause mortality. ( Kill you quicker ).
That was a bit of a surprise as chasing the “free radicals” was supposed to make us live forever however the inflammation that this causes offset any imagined upside.

Here is Canuckistan there is good evidence for Vitamin D supplementation for those of us who never leave the basement. Similarly there is good evidence for Calcium Supplementation for menopausal women (read - eat some yoghurt or have some cheese ).

One could argue that taking a multi-vitamin every other day doesn’t hurt anything but “Doesn’t hurt anything” is not a great reason to give someone your money.

Almost by definition a “supplement” does nothing. Otherwise they would call it a drug.
Magic drugs today include; Steroids - amazingly safe and proven drugs somehow turned into a criminal act because athletes use them to cheat (because they work). Antibiotics - the worlds most abused drugs quickly being outpaced by smarter bacteria (notably hand washing and reasonable hygiene avoids most need for these), and finally of course Exercise and Diet (We are funny animals) - To be strong and attractive all you have to do is manage what you shove in your mouth and exercise regularly. Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes… You can remove most of the significant risk factors by simply practicing the last 2 items.

Along with zapping myself in the brain with random electricity and magnets I would love a medically supervised testosterone regime, a personal trainer, someone to stop me from eating insanely and enough money to make me independently wealthy to reduce any unhealthy stress in my life.

It amazes me how naturally lazy we are. I am not surprisingly stupid yet I seem unable to manage diet and exercise. You would think all else would follow from there. In the interim my wife keeps forcing a stack of useless vitamins down my throat every morning and I find it easier to reduce my lifespan than argue with her insanity. lol… Funny Monkey.

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Reminds me of the “essential oils” claims. I have read that fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids are supposedly good for memory, but haven’t personally investigated any peer-reviewed studies on those claims.

Have you shown your wife this thread @RobertFontaine?


Another example of something that ‘makes sense’ but turns out to have nothing to do with reality.

My GP, a sardonic Russian lady, told me that the main effect of supplements was to produce very expensive urine.

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I have been quite sceptical about supplements lately, but a friend of mine once said something like: “If supplements don’t work, how are vegans/vegetarians so healthy/ able to survive?” and i can’t stop thinking about that, I might read this later and go down a new rabbit hole.

If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.
Dr Mark Tarnopolsky

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I don’t folow. Supplements and a vegetarian diet are two separate matters.

Ah,sorry for not being so clear. What i meant was since certain vitamin and minerals aren’t as easily found in plants, like Vitamin B12, some vegans/vegetarians take supplements for them, and my friend used that as an argument that supplements work.

Well they do work IF you have a deficiency. I think the main point is that if you are eating in a healthy manner, then you don’t need vitamin supplements.