Expert warns that multi-vitamins don’t do anything 


Expert warns that multi-vitamins that one-in-three American adults use have NO clear evidence that they actually work to stave of chronic disease or death

  • An expert says that Americans that are using daily multi-vitamins are not doing much for their long-term health 
  • She says that eating healthy food and getting nutrients that way is the proper way to get the needed vitamins and minerals
  • Using these daily vitamins can not make up for an unhealthy diet either, she says
  • Popular daily supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D supplements do not do much

Many Americans use multi-vitamins every day, hoping that they will be the key to staving of disease and even preventing early death. One top expert is warning that the daily pills may just be a waste of time, though.

Dr Fang Fang Zhang, a cancer epidemiologist at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, told TIME that there was no evidence that using these types of drugs daily had any ability to lengthen a person’s life span, or prevent chronic disease.

She noted that the body is meant to get these types of vitamins and minerals from foods, and the body may nor process them as well from these types of vitamins.

Those that do use daily multi-vitamins are also generally higher income, and live a healthier lifestyle anyways – to the extent that they likely do not need to take a daily multi-vitamin at all to stay healthy.

An expert says that daily multi-vitamins, used by around one in three American adults, do little to actually boost a person’s health and prevent chronic conditions

‘There’s no clear evidence to suggest benefits of dietary supplement use for many popular or common health outcomes,’ Zhang told TIME. 

Many foods Americans eat already have the needed daily vitamins and minerals every day, making many extra vitamins unnecessary.

Dr Fang Fang Zhang (pictured), a cancer epidemiologist at Tufts University in Boston, said that food is preferable to vitamins when it comes to getting valuable nutrients

Dr Fang Fang Zhang (pictured), a cancer epidemiologist at Tufts University in Boston, said that food is preferable to vitamins when it comes to getting valuable nutrients

The way the body processes foods is more efficient in the way it uses vitamins and minerals as well.

‘We don’t eat a single nutrient; we eat a food,’ Zhang said. 

‘That’s why a lot of supplements don’t achieve the same effect as the natural nutrients coming from food sources.’

There is also the trend of people using the pills in order to get around an unhealthy diet, hoping it can make up some of the gaps in their eating patterns.

Zhang warns against this behavior.

“Dietary supplement use shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle… there’s no magic pill, unfortunately,’ Zhang said.

Multiple studies have found that there is little benefit to using the vitamins regularly, with the risk of developing a disease like cancer or heart disease not being reduced.

The drugs are used by around one of every three U.S. adults, Zhang reports, and while they will not cause much harm, they are a waste generally.

Popular supplements like daily multi-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D supplements do little for a person's long-term health, Zhang says

Popular supplements like daily multi-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D supplements do little for a person’s long-term health, Zhang says

There is also the potential opportunity cost of a person thinking they can make up for other unhealthy choices, not realizing the pills can not fill that job. 

She also warns that two other popular pills one might see in the vitamin aisle of the drug store do not provide much use either.

Vitamin D supplements have gotten a boost in popularity, and was even falsely pushed as a potential Covid cure on some of the more conspiratorial parts of social media.  

Zhang said that unless a person has a specific deficiency of the drug in their daily diet, the supplements will do little to help someone.

Omega-3 fatty acids, often known as fish pills, have been popularized as well for their ability to boost heart health.

There is little evidence backing up these claims either though, Zhang says. 

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