Shock Claim: Multivitamins Have No Health Benefits

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vitamins“Enough” with the multivitamins already.

That’s the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine: Do daily multivitamins make you healthier?

After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.”

“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,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

They went on to urge consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins.

“The ‘stop wasting your money’ means that perhaps you’re spending money on things that won’t protect you long term,” editorial co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told CBS News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. “What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that ..exercising would probably be a better use of the money.”

The strong message was based on a review of the findings from three studies that tracked multivitamins link to cancer protection, heart health, and brain and cognitive measures.

Read more at CBS NEWS.

{ Newscenter}


  1. The cheap one-per-day variety of multivitamins, which contain not much more than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and are designed only to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies, may, indeed, have little benefit for those who eat a reasonably balanced diet. Formulas such as these were almost certainly used by most participants in these studies. These cheap formulas don’t always bother to include nutrients in their optimal form (for example, they usually contain synthetic vitamin E, whereas it is well-accepted that the natural form of this particular nutrient is far more beneficial; they may contain vitamin D2, whereas vitamin D3 is much better utilized by the body).

    However, there are high quality formulas that are well-balanced, contain well above the RDA of most nutrients (but well within the safe upper limit), and contain nutrients in their optimal form. These formulas do cost more, but are well worth the money, because they are far superior to the cheap one-per-day versions. I am all but certain that these high quality formulas were not used in any of these tests, at least by most of the participants.

    Finally, I want to respond to the common argument that higher dose vitamins (albeit well within the safe upper limit) are a waste of money, because the excess (of the water soluble vitamins) is excreted in the urine. This argument assumes that the only purpose of vitamins and minerals is to avoid deficiency. However, it is very likely that there are other benefits that can be achieved by higher doses (that are still within the safe upper limit). By analogy, we need to drink water and other fluids, not just to avoid dehydration, but for basic body functions to take place. Although the water is mostly excreted in the urine, that is only after it has provided benefit to the body.

  2. It makes sense that Doctors have no faith in vitamins. After all, vitamins don’t line their pockets, so it is easy to be negative about their value.

  3. This has been going on for the longest time; the push to be rid of vitamins, which are a very essential part of maintaining good health, especially in these times when most of the nutrients are missing from all foods and the extreme pesticides on produce and, of course, the GMO’s, which are kept as quiet as possible, for which the consequences have not yet been determined. Suggest one eats organics (if they can afford to), where they will get the basic nutrients that are essential. Supplementation today is vital. Key word here is multivitamins, which are probably not that beneficial; the key is supplementing for what is needed for the individual. Pharmaceuticals are probably rooting against vitamins. There will always be the informed and the uninformed and it is up to the individual to study up for him/herself how to lead their lives. Many people just buy vitamins, not realizing one has to be informed to see what is applicable to them; best to visit nutritionist doctors, rather than regular ones.

  4. Authors? You mean the pharmaceutical directors? OHHHHHHH!!! Those people I would definitely trust to have conducted an objective study. MMMM HHHMMMMMM!

  5. “The strong message was based on a review of the findings from three studies that tracked multivitamins link to cancer protection, heart health, and brain and cognitive measures.”

    Correct me if im wrong but i don’t think most people take multivitamins for those reasons. i think people take them to prevent nutritional deficiency, and to promote overall health and well being. So this study is extremely misleading.

  6. This assumes every one knows and follows a “well nourished diet”. Very few people do. The doctors/FDA themselves change the definition of well balanced, nourished etc…every ten years or so.

  7. Buy targeted quality vitamins. Statins destroy the body’s ability to make co q 10. Medicinal mushrooms boost immunity and in some cases can help cancer victims. Vitamin D is essential in bone and heart health. Nattokinase and serrepeptase clears the junk out of your arteries.

  8. In addition to what I wrote above (comment #2), I agree with commenter #7. There is more to good health (and certainly to optimal health) than absence of severe illness.

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