By Nancy Shute
When I was growing up my mom gave me a multivitamin every day as a defense against unnamed dread diseases.
But it looks like Mom was wasting her money. Evidence continues to mount that vitamin supplements don’t help most people, and can actually cause diseases that people are taking them to prevent, like cancer.
Three studies published Monday add to multivitamins’ bad rap. One review found no benefit in, heart disease or cancer. Another found that taking multivitamins did nothing to stave off with aging. A third found that didn’t help people who had had one heart attack avoid another.
“Enough is enough,” declares an accompanying the studies in Annals of Internal Medicine. “Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.”
But enough is not enough for the American public. We spend $28 billion a year on vitamin supplements and are projected to spend more. About 40 percent of Americans take multivitamins, the editorial says.
Even people who know about all these studies showing no benefit continue to buy multivitamins for their families. Like, uh, me. They couldn’t hurt, right?