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Nutritional supplements with vitamins and minerals do not improve health. They do not prevent serious diseases and do not prolong life, according to new comprehensive research.

Are you one of those taking vitamin or mineral supplements to be on the safe side? Then you probably spend money on it in vain, unless you diagnosed with a deficiency.

A new major review study, conducted by Canadian doctors and nutritionists, shows that most food supplements do not give any health benefits. The researchers have analyzed 179 previous studies published between January 2012 and October 2017.

Surprised by the result

The researchers behind the study were astonished at how few positive effects they could see from supplementation of the most common vitamin and mineral supplements.

Dietary supplements in the form of vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, selenium, beta-carotene or multivitamins do not provide for any benefit, nor damage, according to the study. They turned out to have no effect at all on the risk of cardiovascular disease or dying prematurely.

There are only a few groups for which there is evidence that the diet is not enough and dietary supplements may be necessary. Among those are infants and vitamin D, folic acid for those who may be pregnant and B12 for vegetarians.

May be harmful

A problem with high concentrations of specific vitamins or minerals via dietary supplements is that they often interfere with the absorption of other nutrients, for example, zinc and copper. Supplementation may, thus, destabilize the nutrient balance and you may end up worse than intended.

The study was published in the scientific journal American College of Cardiology.


David J.A. Jenkins et al. Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment