Why is supplemental vitamin and mineral intake useless?

Multivitamins and minerals have neither positive nor negative influence on the course of chronic processes in the body and on the prevention of cardiovascular and oncological diseases.

This conclusion was reached by American scientists as a result of a detailed analysis of numerous studies on the effects of taking biological active supplements on the human body. The results of the study were published in the journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”.

According to data obtained by the authors, the use of nutritional supplements containing a group of vitamins among the adult population in the United States increased from 30% for the period 1988 to 1994 to 39% for the period between 2003 and 2006.

The emergence of reports of an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers due to the intake of vitamin E and beta carotene, provitamin A, has repeatedly reduced their consumption, despite the generally null results from large-scale multicenter studies, have in no way affected the sale of multivitamins and other supplements.

For example, in 2010 in the USA, the sales volume of biologically active nutritional supplements reached 28 billion dollars, and at the moment this industry continues to grow, with similar trends being observed, as in Bulgaria and throughout Europe.

In their publication, scientists from the Institute of Health Care at Johns Hopkins University analyzed the results of 3 large-scale scientific studies concerning the use of vitamin-mineral complexes.

The results of the first study they reviewed showed that taking high doses of multivitamins and minerals did not reduce adverse cardiovascular events in patients who had had a myocardial infarction / in addition to supplements or placebo. all patients took the standard drugs/.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, 1,708 people aged 50 years and older took part, and were followed for an average of about 5 years.

One of the co-authors of the study notes that taking vitamins and minerals in the form of nutritional supplements by people who eat normally has no benefit and may even be harmful.


The other study analyzed, conducted between 1997 and 2011, examined the effects of long-term multivitamin intake on cognitive function in about 6,000 men aged 65 and older.

The results of this double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized study were similar to the previous one – the intake of nutritional supplements did not have any beneficial effect on the state of the cognitive functions of the people who took part in the research.

In the third large-scale study analyzed by the scientists, the possibility of prevention of oncological and cardiovascular diseases was studied with the help of vitamins and minerals. A total of over 27,500 people took part in it, the monitoring of which was conducted from January 2005 to January 2013.

The data obtained as a result of the volume analysis were scarce and heterogeneous, and they did not provide scientists from the Johns Hopkins University Health Institute with sufficient evidence to recommend the intake of vitamins /A,C,D,E/ and mineral supplements, for example selenium and calcium or vitamin-mineral complexes for the prevention of oncological and cardiovascular diseases.

American scientists note that in modern living conditions for the population as a whole and especially for those who live in regions where initially people do not experience trace element deficiency, the intake of most vitamins and minerals under the form of nutritional supplements is unfounded and they cannot prevent or influence the development of various chronic diseases.

“The intake of vitamins or minerals in the form of food supplements by adults who eat normally is useless and may even be harmful,” noted Eliseo Guellar, one of the co-authors of the study.

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