March 12, 2012

WANT A SIDE OF SNAKE OIL WITH THAT PILL?

Do Multivitamins Really Work?: Sure, taking your multi is healthy--for a lucrative industry's bottom line. (Kiera Butler, March/April 2012, Mother Jones)

According to a survey by the National Institutes of Health, nearly a third of Americans take multivitamins regularly. The Vitamin Shoppe, a chain with more than $700 million in annual sales, has been growing by double digits year after year. Yet mounting data suggests that multivitamins aren't the nutritional wonders the industry would have us believe. "There is virtually no evidence that they make healthy people healthier," says author Marion Nestle, one of several nutritionists who told me that vitamin deficiency is quite rare in the United States. (Her latest book, Why Calories Count, is due out in April.)

Despite manufacturers' coded claims that multivitamins ward off chronic illness--D "promotes breast health," B is "heart healthy"--a large 2009 study of postmenopausal women published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that multis didn't protect against any of the diseases studied, including heart disease and lung, breast, and colon cancer. A 2011 study involving nearly 39,000 women reached similar conclusions.

Posted by at March 12, 2012 6:33 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« IF THEY ATTENDED REGULARLY THEY WOULDN'T ACT SO INDECENTLY: | Main | THE ENLIGHTENMENT WAS THE CATASTROPHE: »