Multivitamins sure do look great on TV commercials, but is there any research to substantiate their purported benefits?
From a research perspective, I highlited one study in Spotlight: Supplements – Multivitamins by the American Journal of Medicine which suggested that multivitamins are a great natural inflammation-fighting tool. As a natural inflammation fighter, multivitamins may support health and longevity because inflammation has emerged as a major contributor to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and aging in general.
Also, from a research perspective, the Journal of the American Medical Association (2012) recently published the first large scale trial with 14,600 men over an 11 year span. This trial, called the Physician’s Health Study II, included men aged 50 or older who took either a multivitamin or a placebo. After 11 years, the results indicated there was an 8% lower risk of cancer in the men who were given the multi than in those who got the placebo.
True Health Unlimited’s Take
If you’re a multivitamin taker, the Physician’s Health Study II is good news, especially for men. This study is the strongest evidence so far that a multivitamin may slightly lower cancer risk, (at least in men).
Many of the previous studies with multivitamins typically found no lower risk for multivitamin takers, but since these studies did not compare a multivitamin to a placebo, they tend to carry less significance.
Overall, multivitamins have some merit, but I would not expect that taking them will reduce a person’s risk for cancer significantly. Additionally, due to concerns with limitations on the oversight of the dietary supplement industry, I recommend supplement users expand their knowledge by reading the Spotlight: Supplements – Multivitamins article to determine the multivitamin products that are known to be tested and true, and learn some of the related recommendations for intake, potential drug interactions, side effects, etc.
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*Ref: Consumer Reports on Health, Nutrition Action Health Newsletter, 2012.