Vitamins may offer less (or more) than you expect


Photo by Flickr user mike lietz, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Science writer Beth Skwarecki recently penned a piece for the PLOS Public Health Perspectives blog about vitamins. As she begins,

Bad news for athletes this week: two studies show that vitamin supplements can interfere with the benefits of exercise. While vitamins are safer and cheaper than many other supplements sold to athletes, these studies add to the growing body of evidence that more of a good thing isn’t necessarily better. And even though we think we understand what vitamins do, their real-world effects highlight how murky our understanding of human biology really is.

Skwarecki goes on the detail the findings of the two studies, and then notes the following:

In December, an Annals of Internal Medicine editorial cried out: Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. The authors concluded that multivitamins don’t prevent dementia, heart disease, or cancer; but certain vitamins can be harmful in large doses. The jury is still out on Vitamin D, they wrote, but for all the rest, taking them on top of a reasonable diet carries no benefit and may be harmful.

For the full piece, head here.

Then, for news that many vitamins targeted at the youngest children contain levels far in excess of recommended daily allowances, check out this piece from Malanie Haiken at Forbes.


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