Vitamin supplements under scrutiny

Multi-vitamins might help lower the risk for cancer in healthy older men but do not affect their chances of developing heart disease, new research suggests.

Two other studies found fish oil did not work for an irregular heartbeat condition called atrial fibrillation, even though it is thought to help certain people with heart disease or high levels of fats called triglycerides in their blood.

The bottom line: Dietary supplements have varied effects and whether one is right for you may depend on your personal health profile, diet and lifestyle.

“Many people take vitamin supplements as a crutch,” says study leader Dr Howard Sesso, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“They’re no substitute for a heart-healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, keeping your weight down”, especially for lowering heart risks.

His study involved nearly 15,000 healthy male doctors given monthly packets of Pfizer’s Centrum Silver or fake multi-vitamins.

After about 11 years, there were no differences between the groups in heart attacks, strokes, chest pain, heart failure or heart-related deaths.

Though multi-vitamins supplements are used by about one-third of adult Americans, no government agency recommends their routine use for preventing chronic diseases.

The studies were presented at an American Heart Association conference in Los Angeles.

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2 Comments & Questions

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To get proper study results the subject ought to be studied properly. If science is used improperly, improper results are the outcome. This is the case here.

Various lines of research data have shown that RDA-type supplements (e.g., Centrum) are of very little value, if any. Now, if you use the best science there is and evaluate whether such a product, like Centrum, works what do you expect will be found?

You can prove anything if you use "good science" in a unscientific manner. And nowadays, science is for sale. It is ready and willing to "prove" just about anything for the right incentives.

I've rarely seen any anti-supplement "studies" or media soundbites that are not propaganda. It's not about educating but to deceiving the public. To direct their attention away from using supplements -which sustain health- into the arms of the medical/pharmaceutical industry -which thrives on disease- (review ).

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Exactly right Lex! What we have here is yet ANOTHER attempt by Big Pharma to undercut the many benefits of vitamins and supplements. I have been taking them for years all while avoiding the latest Big Pharma "solution" and I could not be healthier. On that note, I would recommend only using fresh, pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements. I have tried many online stores and the one that is head and shoulders above the rest is Professional Supplement Center (

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