Multivitamins: another miracle cure gone astray

Multivitamins for years have been marketed, and widely accepted, as taking care of a host of ills. Take a bunch fo vitamins in pill form instead of in the foods you eat and you’ll be in great shape, was the pitch, more ro less.

And many people went for it. Even I admit to taking multivitamin that describes itself as being for mature people. That means it’s for old guys like me who are falling apart and hoping a multivitamin can put us back together again.

Well, just before Christmas, the myth of the multivitamin took a major hit when reports surfaced of a study saying they don’t really do all that much for us after all.

Americans' search for a magic pill goes on.
Americans’ search for a magic pill goes on.

“Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults from 30% between 1988 to 1994 to 39% between 2003 and 2006, while overall use of dietary supplements increased from 42% to 53%,” an editorial in the journal of the American College of Physicians said. It goes on to report that a look at existing studies found “no substantial health benefits” from the use of multivitamins.”

Sorry, Americans’ search for the magic pill will have to go on elsewhere.


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