According to a new study, women taking multivitamins are not living any longer than those who do not use diet or vitamin supplements. In fact, they may be harming themselves in cases of taking very high dosages of certain supplements like vitamins A or E. Some 39,000 mature women were part of the Iowa Women′s Health Study, which began in 1986 and was completed in 2004. Women taking multivitamins and dietary supplements died at a rate of 41% compared to 40% of non-users. Even worse results were shown in various chronic diseases like diabetes, and high blood pressure. Experts in internal medicine like Dr. Jaakko Mursu from the University of Minnesota, who worked on the new study, says ″There is little evidence showing that common dietary supplements would be beneficial in prevention of major chronic diseases.″
As it turns out, calcium was the only supplement that showed a marked improvement in extending life of women, with users dying at a rate of 37% compared to 43% for non-users. Vitamin D may be another that gives users a slight edge. Despite the new report, doctors still recommend that women of reproductive age take extra folic acid and iron. Older women should take additional B-12.
The vitamin and supplement industry is huge, at least $20 Billion dollars per year in sales. Nearly half of all adults take something. In addition to vitamins, people take essential minerals, nutrients, herbs, enzymes and amino acids. Trace elements are also popular. But in recent years there has been a move toward whole and raw food nutrition. Juicing is still popular and is one way seen to fore go taking dietary supplements.
The new study based on data gathered from the Iowa Women′s Health Study follows the habits and health of 39,000 women between 1986 through 2004. The analysis of survey data shows that women taking dietray supplements like multivitamins are not living any longer than those who do not. In some cases their mortality rate is actually higher. Dr. Jaakko Mursu of the University of Minnesota who was involved in the new study tells us that taking such supplements also does not reduce the potential of chronic diseases. Calcium and possibly Vitamin D may be the only exceptions to the study′s general results.