You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Health

  • Lutheran Life Villages to merge home-care division
    Lutheran Life Villages has announced plans to merge its home care division with Birchwood Inc., a facility that provides day care to people with dementia, giving caregivers respite and time for other responsibilities.
  • Parkview, Wabash hospital to pursue affiliation
    Parkview Health and Wabash County Hospital said today they intended to pursue an affiliation agreement, the structure of which is to be defined in the coming months.
  • Pot study finds signs of brain changes
    A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say.
Advertisement

Studies: Vitamins not fighting disease

– There’s more disappointing news about multivitamins: Two major studies found popping the pills didn’t protect aging men’s brains or help heart attack survivors.

Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamin combinations, presumably to boost their health and fill gaps in their diets. But while people who don’t eat enough of certain nutrients may be urged to get them in pill form, the government doesn’t recommend routine vitamin supplementation as a way to prevent chronic diseases.

The studies released Monday are the latest to test whether multivitamins might go that extra step and concluded they don’t.

“Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation,” said a sharply worded editorial that accompanied Monday’s findings in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

After all, most people who buy multivitamins and other supplements are generally healthy, said journal deputy editor Dr. Cynthia Mulrow. Even junk foods often are fortified with vitamins, while the main nutrition problem in the U.S. is too much fat and calories, she added.

But other researchers say the jury’s still out, especially for the country’s most commonly used dietary supplement – multivitamins that are taken by about a third of U.S. adults, and even more people over the age of 50.

Indeed, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is deliberating whether vitamin supplements make any difference in the average person’s risk of heart disease or cancer. In a draft proposal last month, the government advisory group said for standard multivitamins and certain other nutrients, there’s not enough evidence to tell. (It did caution that two single supplements, beta-carotene and vitamin E, didn’t work). A final decision is expected next year.

“For better or for worse, supplementation’s not going to go away,” said Dr. Howard Sesso of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who helps lead a large multivitamin study that has had mixed results – suggesting small benefits for some health conditions but not others – and says more research is needed, especially among the less healthy.

Advertisement