Study Finds Multivitamins Are a Complete Waste of Money, Why Do We Keep Taking Them?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 16 2013 9:41 PM

Study Finds Multivitamins Are a Complete Waste of Money, Why Do We Keep Taking Them?

85827425
A study finds multivitamins don't help, yet we buy them anyway.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you’re a vitamin-taker, you may want to reconsider your morning routine. The latest issue of the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine posted online on Monday, looks at the research and clinical trials and penned an editorial with a headline worth reading: “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Mineral Supplements.”

The message may come as a surprise to many Americans—40% of us reported taking some sort of multivitamin or mineral between 2003 and 2006. That’s helped create a global vitamin industry, which sold $23.4 billion of the stuff last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Despite a number of major studies showing that multivitamins don’t contain any proven health benefits, the medical journal editorial writes, sales continue to grow in the US and Europe.

Advertisement

Here’s more from the Annals of Internal Medicine or you can check out the full report yourself.

The large body of accumulated evidence has important and public health and clinical implications. Evidence is sufficient to advise against routine supplementation, and we should translate null and negative findings into action. The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided…The evidence also has implications for research. Anti-oxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful or ineffective for chronic disease prevention, and further large prevention trials are no longer justified…With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 23 2014 6:00 AM Naked and Afraid Prudie offers advice on whether a young boy should sleep in the same room with his nude grandfather.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.