Supplements that should be taken with caution: Multivitamins

Health and Diet

In recent years, the interest in supplements seems to be growing year by year.
However, there are two major problems with current supplements and health foods.

  1. Regulations are much more lax than for pharmaceuticals. This means that ineffective products are easily available at high prices.
  2. There is less research data than for pharmaceuticals. In other words, no one can say for sure about the long-term dangers.

As a result, many people are forced to pay unnecessarily high prices for health foods that not only have no effect, but may even shorten their lifespan in the long run.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to somehow sort out what we know and what we don't know, based on scientific evidence.
In this article, we will look at supplements that have the potential to be harmful to the body based on reliable data.

Multivitamins are ineffective and can cause cancer.

Many of you may be taking multivitamin supplements.
This is a convenient way to get all the essential vitamins and minerals in one place.
However, multivitamins are not recommended.
This is because research to date has not confirmed any significant benefits of multivitamins, and many have concluded that they are harmful to the human body.

Let's start with the question, “Does a multivitamin make sense?” Let's start with the question, “Do multivitamins make sense?
At the moment, the most reliable study is the one conducted by Johns Hopkins University in the United States in 2006.
Huang HY, et al. (2006)The efficacy and safety of multivitamin and mineral supplement use to prevent cancer and chronic disease in adults
This is one of the most accurate studies of multivitamins ever done, and it is a major conclusion based on 20 previous studies.

First, let's quote the conclusion of the paper.
At this time, there is no evidence to support the belief that multivitamin and mineral supplements can prevent chronic disease or cancer.

This study is examining the effects of multivitamins on heart disease, cancer, muscle loss associated with aging, and high blood pressure.
Some data suggest that multivitamins may be effective in preventing disease in areas with poor nutritional status, but overall, it seems very unlikely that supplements can improve health or prevent disease.

It would be fine if multivitamins were simply ineffective, but in recent years there have been suggestions that multivitamins may cause cancer. However, in recent years, it has been pointed out that multivitamins may cause cancer.
For example, a paper from the University of Eastern Finland in 2011 used data from a study of about 38,000 elderly people to check their usual vitamin use and mortality rates.
Mursu J, et al. (2011)Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women
The results are as follows.
In older women, general use of vitamins and minerals was associated with an increased risk of total mortality.
If women over 60 continued to take multivitamins on a daily basis, their chances of dying from diseases such as heart disease and cancer increased.

Furthermore, a study conducted by the American Cancer Society has also shown scary results (4).
Stevens VL, et al. (2005)Use of multivitamins and prostate cancer mortality in a large cohort of US men.
This was a long-term study that looked at about 30,000 men and checked the effects of multivitamins over an eight-year period.
The conclusion here is that men who regularly take multivitamins have an increased chance of getting prostate cancer.
The data is very troubling.
There is still no unified view among researchers as to why multivitamins have negative effects.
One theory is that the body is being harmed by too much excess nutrition. or “Could the antioxidants be changing and damaging the cells? But more research is needed to know the truth.

Also, at this point, it has not been decided that multivitamins are necessarily bad, so be careful there as well.
In fact, if you look at the data here, the relative risk of any of them is not very high.

Simply put, it's a level where you don't have to be so afraid of harm, if there is any.
Similarly, another meta-analysis conducted in 2011 found “no evidence that multivitamins increase prostate cancer,” so the assessment is not yet completely settled.
Stratton J, et al. (2011)The effect of supplemental vitamins and minerals on the development of prostate cancer
In other words, there are only two things I can say right now.

  • Multivitamins are pretty much useless.
  • There is no denying that multivitamins can cause harm to the human body.

Just in case you are wondering, there is some data that shows that multivitamins have improved health levels.
However, most of them are targeted at the elderly who are unable to eat satisfactorily, and as a whole, they are not useful for maintaining general health.

In that light, there is no reason to bother buying a product that offers no particular benefit and may increase the risk of death.
Based on the above data, Dr. Marian Newhauser of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center suggests the following.
It costs money to buy a multivitamin. What if you spent that money on fresh vegetables?
If you eat fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, you will get the nutrition you need.
This would be a much better investment than taking a multivitamin that may or may not work.

Are multivitamins bad for your eyes?

Another harmful effect of multivitamins that should not be overlooked is the damage to the eyes.
In 2017, the Cochrane Collaboration Project asked the question, “Do supplements really work for your eyes?” We looked at the question.
Evans JR, et al. (2017)Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration.
The Cochrane Collaboration is a project of the UK's National Health Service to promote “science-based health policy” and is one of the most reliable sources of information.
The study scrutinized data from about 76,000 people on “antioxidant supplements and eye aging.
This paper is a compilation of many studies and is very reliable.

The conclusion I came to was a shocking one.
No matter what antioxidant supplements you take, they have no effect on aging eyes; in fact, multivitamins increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration by 2%.
Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that causes changes in the macula, the central part of the retina, due to old age, making it difficult to see, and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
It's just amazing that the odds of this getting worse with multivitamins.

At the moment, it is not clear why multivitamins increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
However, some observational studies have shown that people who consume a lot of antioxidants “from their diet” tend to be less prone to age-related macular degeneration.
Evans JR, et al. (2017)Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration.
Apparently, if you take antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, you will have no problem.
Antioxidants should be taken from your diet, not from supplements.

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