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Dec 17, 2013 08:44 AM EST

Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin Supplements, Researchers Advise

Vitamin supplements have no health benefits and might even be harmful
(Photo : Flickr) Vitamin supplements have no health benefits and might even be harmful

Vitamin supplements contain no health benefits; they are a complete waste of money and could be harmful to the body, according to a study by the University of Warwick and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Researchers said that the companies are promoting worries among people about basic mineral deficiencies in the body due to bad lifestyle and diet choices.

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"Supplementing of well-nourished adults ... has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough," the researchers write in the study.

The findings are based on three research papers. The first paper that included 24 previous trials of 450,000 people found that the vitamins did not reduce the risk of death. The second paper, which comprised of 6,000 elderly men, did not observe any cognitive improvements after consuming vitamin supplements for 12 consecutive years. And the third paper closely analysed the lives of 1,700 men and women with heart problems over a period of five years. The participants did not experience any relief through the supplements.

The researchers said that since taking supplements has no real positive effects, individuals are advised to stay away from them. Currently, the population is typically well-nourished and seldom need additional vitamins.

Although vitamins are required for proper body function, scientists believe that an average Western diet provides all the necessary vitamins to the body.

"There are some that advocate we have many nutritional deficiencies in our diet. The truth is though we are in general overfed, our diet is completely adequate. These companies are marketing products to us based on perceptions of deficiencies," Edgar Miller, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said.

"They make us think our diet is unhealthy, and that they can help us make up for these deficiencies and stop chronic illnesses. The group that needs these is very small. It's not the general population."

The finding has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Past research showed that certain vitamins like Beta-carotene and vitamin E could be damaging. Beta-carotene has been linked to lung cancer.

In a recent study conducted by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention found that a number of Americans are getting healthier by the minute. They ranked the top 10 heathiest states of America. Find the rankings, here.

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