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Experts Question The Value Of Multivitamins

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Some physicians and people doubt the effectiveness of taking multivitamins.

It’s estimated that half of Americans take a multivitamin. It’s a $30 billion a year business.

Debra Rapoport takes vitamins and minerals every day.

“I take C,D, and B12,” said Rapoport.

Many people believe daily supplements will keep them healthy.

A panel of experts reviewing three studies on multivitamins finds no evidence the vitamins prevent chronic disease or health.

“There is really no evidence of benefit and there is evidence of harm. Our recommendation is don’t waste your money,” said Dr. Edgar Miller from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Previous research has shown beta carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A can increase death and that other antioxidants have no effect.

“I don’t see that there’s a lot of evidence to back that up,” said Lani Jacobs-Banner from Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.

Jacobs-Banner joins the industry in calling the expert review a one-sided approach.

“Even government research shows that we don’t eat perfectly. Most people have significant nutrient insufficiencies in their diet. Big holes that they need to have filled and that’s one of the roles for multivitamins,” said Jacobs-Banner.

Dr. Peter Rice is with the University Of Colorado School of Pharmacy. He says taking a multivitamin is generally a good thing.

“Are they a waste of money? I don’t think they’re a waste of money for most patients,” said Rice. “But for a person in good health, do you need one? Probably not.”

Rice says it’s better to get nutrients from fresh produce rather than a pill. Rapoport says she will keep doing both.

“I have energy, I sleep well, so I figure if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Rapoport.

Experts are still unsure on the benefits of taking omega 3 and vitamin D.

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