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Why are you taking a multivitamin?

The majority of Americans do not require a daily multivitamin.

Why are you taking a multivitamin?


Are you one of the one-third of Americans who take a multivitamin daily, most likely with a sip of water? The reality of this common practise may be difficult to swallow.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and physician at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, states, "Most patients would be better off drinking a full glass of water and skipping the vitamin." You will not only save money, but you will also feel good about avoiding misleading marketing.

  

According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, a daily multivitamin does not provide any major health benefits for the average American adult (USPSTF). After looking at 84 trials with almost 700,000 people, they found little or no evidence that taking vitamin and mineral supplements prevents cancer, and cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, or early death.
 
Dr. Cohen, who is an expert in the research and regulation of dietary supplements, says there is strong evidence that multivitamins don't help most people.

Who may require a multivitamin or specific supplements? There are, however, a few exceptions. Extremely restrictive diets, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain weight-loss operations that result in inadequate nutrient absorption are examples of situations in which a multivitamin or specific vitamins may be advised. When sun exposure is insufficient, a vitamin D supplement may be required daily. If you have a low red blood cell count, your doctor may suggest an iron supplement (anemia).

Why is it so difficult to break the habit of taking a daily multivitamin? According to an editorial that accompanied the USPSTF review, surveys reveal that consumers take vitamins to stay healthy, feel more energised, or achieve peace of mind. These misconceptions derive from a nearly century-old powerful narrative about vitamins being good and natural.
 
Dr. Cohen says, "This story is appealing to a wide range of people, from progressive vegetarians to conservatives who don't trust science and think doctors are up to no good."
Unproven claims are made about dietary supplements in advertising. Dr Cohen explains that the low cost of vitamin production allows firms to invest a great deal in a promotion. However, because the FDA regulates dietary supplements as food and not as a prescription or over-the-counter medications, the agency only checks disease-treatment claims.

  

For example, supplement manufacturers cannot claim that their product "reduces the risk of heart disease." However, their labels may contain language such as" promotes a healthy heart "or" supports immunity "as well as ambiguous claims like reducing fatigue and poor motivation.
 
"Manufacturers of dietary supplements are permitted to sell their goods as having benefits that do not exist." It is written into the legislation, "according to Dr. Cohen. It is prudent to note the mandatory legal disclaimer on each product: "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated these claims." The purpose of this product is not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness. "
 
However, even the forceful language in this disclaimer—"not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent"—does not appear to influence how individuals interpret the marketing promises.

Multivitamins are not beneficial, but at least they are not harmful. Dr. Cohen argues that the money spent on these items would be better spent on healthy foods.

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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