Plenty of people take vitamin supplements every morning, in many cases to make up for a poor diet. But a new study suggests that taking those morning tablets might not be quite as sensible as you think — and might evn increase your risk of death.
A Cochrane Systematic review — a study which takes in as much data as possible from around the world to help firm up medical thinking — suggests that a number of the vitamins present in daily supplements can actually cause damage. From the research:
"Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing."
So while many people knock back supplements in the hope that they'll help them live a longer life, that may not in fact be the case. Obviously it doesn't apply to all vitamins, but many supplements come in combination form — and many people don't check to see what such products actually contain.
Combine that with the fact that some studies show that high doses of vitamin supplements can increase cancer risk, and it's pretty compelling evidence to try and get your nutrients from your food rather than a pill. [The Cochrane Library]
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