Recent studies have suggested that multivitamins taken daily may in fact be useless to the body, and even worse, could shorten life span. For years, it has been recommended that a well-balanced diet not only includes wholesome food, but vitamins to nourish the body. There is a wide selection of vitamins on the market, with the most convenient form being the multivitamin.
“Sometimes drugs that the public has assumed to be safe are proven to carry with them what were previously unconsidered risks,” commented Daniel Nigh, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who practices in product liability and bad drug litigation. “Take Tylenol, for example. Many would assume that Tylenol is completely innocuous. However, new information is coming to light about the popular over-the-counter drug causing acute liver failure, and now the risks of taking Tylenol are greater than first imagined.”
In 2006, a study published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality first indicated that multivitamins may be pointless for the human body. The study examined 63 random, controlled trials concerning multivitamins. Surprisingly, the data showed evidence that multivitamins possibly did nothing in preventing heart disease and cancer in most people.
Additional research was published by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and reported by the Daily Mail. The study followed 160,000 women, all postmenopausal, and uncovered that multivitamins did not aid in preventing cancer, heart disease, and death in those studied, regardless of their diets.
Furthermore, according to Today.com, a study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Epidemiology only strengthened the notion that multivitamins are useless. For six years, the researchers observed over 8,000 people who either took a multivitamin or a placebo pill daily. Those that took the multivitamin showed no increase in health benefits over those in the group who took the placebo pill.
The most shocking data concerning multivitamins, however, was uncovered in the Iowa Women’s Health Study by nutritional scientist, Jaakko Mursu, and his team of researchers. Their studies revealed that elderly women who consumed multivitamins were 6 percent more likely to die than those who didn’t. Even worse, the latter was true even for women who lead healthier lifestyles while consuming multivitamins.
Multivitamins are one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements on the market, and the chilling reality is that a product once hailed as completely safe and beneficial is now being questioned. Just because a drug or dietary supplement is marketed as safe doesn’t always mean there aren’t associated risks, and the recent disclosure of liver failure risks being linked to Tylenol proves that notion. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to determine whether multivitamins are in fact harmful to human health. Either way, the recent data is most assuredly disturbing.
Krysta is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.