Are Multivitamins Useless?

Three new studies say yes.

Jan 8, 2014
Outside Magazine

Three new studies say your multivitamins are a waste of money.   

More than half of American adults use dietary supplements, but three new studies indicate those multivitamins are nothing but a waste of money.

All of the articles concluded that multivitamins and dietary supplements do nothing when it comes to chronic pain. The studies looked at the efficacy of the supplements in preventing heart attacks, cancer, and long-term mental decline.   

The first study assessed 27 other trials, and found that multivitamins won’t help you fight cardiovascular disease or cancer. The second study tested almost 6,000 men older than 65 who took either a supplement or a placebo for 12 years. The results showed no differences between the two groups. The final study determined that even when participants took multivitamins in high doses, their chances of a heart attack remained the same.    

"The (vitamin and supplement) industry is based on anecdote, people saying 'I take this, and it makes me feel better'," Edgar Miller, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told CNN.

The three articles provoked an editorial “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” that ran last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the author of the piece, the message is simple: “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided."

To find out how your daily multivitamin might be harming you, read our feature here

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