Study: Stop using vitamins & supplements - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Study: Stop using vitamins & supplements

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MADISON (WKOW) -- More than 50 percent of Americans use vitamins or supplements, but an editorial by physicians says it's a waste of money.

The doctors who write for the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed three studies, finding multivitamins don't delay death or improve brain function, and supplements don't prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. 

"Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death," the editorial states. "Their use is not justified and they should be avoided."

The studies show that in some cases supplements can be harmful, like high doses of vitamin A or E. 

27 News reached out to a local naturopathic doctor who uses a holistic approach to patient care, including supplements when needed.

Dr. Dawn Ley, with Full Circle Natural Medicine, says the quality of supplements can vary because there's little regulation, so it's best to check with a doctor before taking anything. 

"What I agree with [in the editorial] is that we can't just use a vitamin and mineral supplement in terms of our health and stop there," says Ley. "We have to be looking at the quality of things that people are taking and that's the part that I wonder more about in the study."

Ley says people should not just go to the store and pick out what they think they need. Check with a doctor to determine whether you have a vitamin deficiency because you might be getting enough nutrients with food alone. If you do have a deficiency, the doctor can then do more testing to try and get to the root of the problem.

While the editorial indicates supplements don't help with disease prevention, Ley disagrees, saying she's seen results in some of her patients who use good quality supplements.

Trends show dietary supplement use has increased. The supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010.

The National Products Association, which represents vitamin manufacturers and retailers, responded to the editorial by saying that multivitamins address people's nutritional deficiencies, but are not "the answer to all life's ailments, as the editorial suggests."

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(WKOW) -- A recent review by the Annals of Internal Medicine finds there is no clear evidence of the health benefits of vitamins or other supplements.

An editorial published this week tells people to stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. Physicians refer to three articles that look into the effectiveness for preventing chronic disease.

Authors of these studies concluded there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements on mortality, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Another evaluation found no improvement in cognitive function among an older population using multivitamins. 

The studies show that in some cases supplements can be harmful, like high doses of vitamin A or E. 

Trends show dietary supplement use has increased. The supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010.

"Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death," the editorial states. "Their use is not justified and they should be avoided."

Jennifer Kliese will look at the impact of the review and editorial, as well as reaction from a naturopathic doctor tonight in 27 News at 5 a 6.

 

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