Get Your Vitamins From Food, Not Pills

One in three women and one in four men in the United States take vitamin pills. If you are among them, you may be doing more harm than good. In a wake up call to the multibillion dollar vitamin pill industry, a review of 67 randomized trials of vitamin pill effects on life and health has found that taking vitamin pills may shorten life (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1, 2008). Other studies have shown that taking vitamin pills may increase risk for cancers and heart attacks.

This review of 232,000 adults showed that those taking beta-carotene, vitamin A, C, and E and selenium gained no benefit over those who took placebos or no pills. "The findings show that, if anything, people in trial groups given beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E showed increased rates of mortality. There was no indication that vitamin C and selenium may have positive or negative effects."

The study was originally set up to see if antioxidant vitamin pills and minerals prevent gastrointestinal cancers. It found no protection whatever. Instead, an increased death rate of 16 percent was seen in those taking vitamin A pills, seven percent with beta- carotene, and seven percent with vitamin E. No increased death rate was seen in those taking vitamin C or selenium. Free newsletter


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