I try to eat a balanced diet, but life happens and I may not always get my daily nutritional needs‘which is why I usually take a couple of vitamins each morning (such as calcium, vitamin D and iron). Unfortunately, CTV News is reporting on a new study which has called into question the effectiveness of vitamin supplements, and even suggests that women who take multivitamins may die sooner than those who don’t.
The study, which appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine, involved about 39,000 women who were between the ages of 55 and 69 when the study began. Researchers tracked the health of these women and found that over the course of 19 years, 40 percent of the participants died.
That fact that 40 percent of participants had died is not really alarming considering they would have been between the ages of 74 and 88. The study also didn’t address the cause of death for these women, so we have no idea what kind of health these women were in to begin with or what kind of lifestyle they led. However, when researchers looked at who had been taking vitamins, they found those who had chosen multivitamins had a slightly higher risk of death than those women who had taken no supplements at all. To put the numbers in perspective: 41 percent of multivitamin users died, compared to 40 percent of non-users. The difference is minimal, so is it really cause for concern over the effectiveness of supplements? The study suggests that there was a link between vitamins and increased risk of death, but certainly did not prove that vitamins were the cause of death.
Some good news: Out of the 15 vitamins that researchers looked at, calcium was the only supplement linked to a lower risk of death, with 37 percent of users dying compared to 43 percent of non-users. Iron, on the other hand, had the opposite effect. The study found that the more iron women took, the greater their risk of death.
What do you think about the effectiveness of supplements? Do you take a multivitamin?