No Good Data For or Against Taking Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of iro...

Prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of iron and folic acid, compared with typical multivitamins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though millions of Americans pop a vitamin, mineral or multivitamin supplement every day, an influential government-appointed panel of experts says the jury is still out on whether they help boost health or not.

In its draft guidelines, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said that in some cases, certain supplements, such as beta carotene or vitamin E, may actually do more harm than good. Instead of focusing on supplements, they recommend that people focus on the health benefits of a well-balanced diet instead.

\”In general, the Task Force found that there is not enough evidence to determine whether you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer by taking single or paired nutrients, or a multivitamin,\” Task Force Co-Chair Dr. Michael LeFevre said in a news release. \”However, there were two major exceptions: beta carotene and vitamin E, both of which clearly do not help prevent these diseases.\”

Citing a lack of evidence, the panel concluded it could not recommend taking certain vitamins and minerals alone, together or in a multivitamin for the prevention of heart disease or cancer. The expert panel noted, however, it didn\’t have enough data to advise against taking most of these supplements, either.

via No Good Data For or Against Taking Vitamins, Experts Say: MedlinePlus.

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