Sunday, April 19, 2009

More on Multivitamins -- How They Do Not Work

February 9, 2009, 4:42 pm
Study Finds No Benefit From Daily Multivitamin
Multivitamins are the most commonly used diet supplement, but new research shows that daily multivitamin use doesn’t ward off cancer or heart disease.
In a study of 161,808 women who were part of the government-funded Women’s Health Initiative research effort, doctors from 40 centers around the country collected data on multivitamin use. While research shows that people who eat nutrient-rich diets filled with fruits and vegetables have lower rates of heart disease and cancer, it hasn’t been clear whether taking a daily supplement results in a similar benefit.
After following the women for about eight years, they looked at rates of various cancers and heart problems among the 42 percent of women who were regular multivitamin users, and compared them to those who didn’t take vitamins. The researchers found no evidence of any benefit from multivitamin use in any of 10 categories studied, including no differences in the rate of breast or colon cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots or mortality. The findings were published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The finding that multivitamins produced no benefit in such a large, well-regarded study is disappointing, given that some earlier research has produced mixed results. While some earlier studies failed to show a benefit of daily multivitamin use, other research has suggested a possible benefit for colon and breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, those data were collected from less rigorous studies, and researchers say the lack of a benefit measured in the Women’s Health Initiative is a “robust finding.” In the tightly controlled W.H.I. trials, data from women were copiously collected, and participants actually brought vitamin bottles to W.H.I. centers so supplement use could be confirmed by researchers.
“We have very detailed information on what people were taking measured over a period of many years,” said Marian Neuhouser, the lead author and associate member in cancer prevention at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “We thought there could be a modestly reduced risk, but there is nothing. There is no helpful benefit, but they’re not hurting either.”
About half of all Americans use some form of vitamin or dietary supplement, spending $20 billion annually on the products. In a statement, the vitamin industry trade group, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, said the study shouldn’t dissuade consumers from using multivitamins, since many of them aren’t getting essential nutrients in their diets.
“From a practical standpoint, this study does not change the fact that the majority of consumers could benefit from taking an affordable multivitamin,” said Andrew Shao, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs with the council. “It is better to meet these recommendations than not, and consistently taking a multivitamin over the long term could help fill these nutrient gaps and may help consumers lead healthier lives.”
Dr. Neuhouser said she realizes that many people who are devoted vitamin users will be skeptical of the finding that they are receiving no benefit from a daily multivitamin.
“I don’t want to disparage people who take multivitamins — it’s their choice as a consumer,” Dr. Neuhouser said. “What we’re presenting is the science showing it’s neither beneficial nor harmful. If they want to choose to spend their dollars elsewhere this might be a good place to do so. Perhaps they can buy more fruits and vegetables.”
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Thank You

I would like to say thank you to everyone that has visited my blog. Because you have visited one or more times, I would like to give you a FREE gift. I have a website, you can see it on the right-hand column of this blog. There is a link to the website. If you cannot see it, the URL is below.

In the lower left hand column of the website, you will see -- e-book categories.
All the e-books under that heading have a list price of $1.99 each.
I would like to provide one to each of you at no charge. Just send me an e-mail message with the subject heading "Free E-Book". Include the title of the book you have chosen. I hope that you will take a look at my website, tell a friend and maybe visit more often.

E-Mail address:

Thank you very much.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vitamins C and E Pills -- Read on

Vitamins C and E don't prevent heart disease
Popular pills not only didn't help, they raised question of harm, study says

updated 1:49 p.m. ET, Sun., Nov. 9, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - Vitamins C and E — pills taken by millions of Americans — do nothing to prevent heart disease in men, one of the largest and longest studies of these supplements has found.
Vitamin E even appeared to raise the risk of bleeding strokes, a danger seen in at least one earlier study.
Besides questioning whether vitamins help, "we have to worry about potential harm," said Barbara Howard, a nutrition scientist at MedStar Research Institute of Hyattsville, Md.
She has no role in the research but reviewed and discussed it Sunday at an American Heart Association conference. Results also were published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
About 12 percent of Americans take supplements of C and E despite growing evidence that these antioxidants do not prevent heart disease and may even be harmful.
Male smokers taking vitamin E had a higher rate of bleeding strokes in a previous study, and several others found no benefit for heart health.
As for vitamin C, some research suggests it may aid cancer, not fight it. A previous study in women at high risk of heart problems found it did not prevent heart attacks.
Few long-term studies have been done. The new one is the Physicians Health Study, led by Drs. Howard Sesso and J. Michael Gaziano of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
It involved 14,641 male doctors, 50 or older, including 5 percent who had heart disease at the time the study started in 1997. They were put into four groups and given either vitamin E, vitamin C, both, or dummy pills. The dose of E was 400 international units every other day; C was 500 milligrams daily.
No difference in rates of heart attack, stroke or death
After an average of eight years, no difference was seen in the rates of heart attack, stroke or heart-related deaths among the groups.
However, 39 men taking E suffered bleeding strokes versus only 23 of the others, which works out to a 74 percent greater risk for vitamin-takers.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and several vitamin makers. Results were so clear that they would be unlikely to change if the study were done in women, minorities, or with different formulations of the vitamins, Howard said.
"In these hard economic times, maybe we can save some money by not buying these supplements," she said.
A second study found that vitamins B-12 and B-9 (folic acid) did not prevent heart disease either, supporting the results of previous trials. That study involved more than 12,000 heart attack survivors and was led by Dr. Jane Armitage of the University of Oxford in England.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.