Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vitamin Pills: A False Hope?

Just in from the New York Times...

Today about half of all adults use some form of dietary supplement, at a cost of $23 billion a year.

But are vitamins worth it? In the past few years, several high-quality studies have failed to show that extra vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.

The latest news came last week after researchers in the Women’s Health Initiative study tracked eight years of multivitamin use among more than 161,000 older women. Despite earlier findings suggesting that multivitamins might lower the risk for heart disease and certain cancers, the study, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, found no such benefit.

Last year, a study that tracked almost 15,000 male physicians for a decade reported no differences in...
Interesting note. The piece comments:
"Everyone needs vitamins, which are essential nutrients that the body can’t produce on its own. Inadequate vitamin C leads to scurvy, for instance, and a lack of vitamin D can cause rickets."
But says one researcher, “Why are we taking a reductionist approach and plucking out one or two chemicals given in isolation?”

This has been Dr. Heidi's song for 10 years. Synthetic, or isolated nutrients are not as effective as the whole food based multis, which are more able to be used by the body. Because they come in a more recognized, i.e. not "foreign" form. That's why she designed the Pops (the whole food multi WFN offers) and that's one reason the Pops won the Vitamin of 2008 award form Kitchen Table Medicine.

1 comment: said...

It's good that half of all adults use some form of dietary supplement.

However, it would be much better if these same adults used a whole-food multi. Why? There are no negative side effects and your body knows exactly what to do with the nutrients.