Vitamins ‘may shorten your life’

By | April 18, 2008

Research has suggested certain vitamin supplements do not extend life and could even lead to a premature death.

A review of 67 studies found “no convincing evidence” that antioxidant supplements cut the risk of dying.

Scientists at Copenhagen University said vitamins A and E could interfere with the body’s natural defences.

“Even more, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E seem to increase mortality,” according to the review by the respected Cochrane Collaboration.

The research involved selecting various studies from 817 on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium which the team felt were the most likely to fairly reflect the impact of the supplements on reducing mortality.

It has been thought that these supplements may be able to prevent damage to the body’s tissues called “oxidative stress” by eliminating the molecules called “free radicals” which are said to cause it.

This damage has been implicated in several major diseases including cancer and heart disease. – bbc

Is this research is a ploy by the drug companies to keep people sick enough that they need to buy expensive drugs rather than inexpensive vitamins? I have noticed some strange reactions if I take too many vitamins. I now take mostly just vitamin C (the safest vitamin to take) but a few others from time to time. What is your experience?

2 thoughts on “Vitamins ‘may shorten your life’

  1. Sepp

    Is this a pharma ploy?

    I would say almost certainly yes, it is. The study appears very one-sided. In a review to determine mortality connected with use of vitamins, all studies that showed no mortality were excluded.

    What is not addressed either, is that supplements are generally different from pharmaceutical vitamin products. Take for example the Finnish study that found smokers who took beta carotene had more lung cancer – what was used in the study was synthetic beta carotene made by Roche and a synthetic form of vitamin A. One simply can’t apply that kind of study to say supplements are bad for us.

    Strange reactions?

    Make sure your vitamins are as natural as you can find them. Also make sure there is balance. Vitamins and minerals are synergic nutrients. The body needs the multitude, and in roughly balanced amounts. This can be tricky at times.

    RDAs can give an idea of the ratios of balance (but not of the amounts needed). For instance, the RDA of vitamin C is much too low, as is B 12. Potassium doesn’t even have an RDA but we need more of it than of any of the other minerals – some 3.5 to 4.5 grams a day.

    Ideal is to get all one’s vitamins and minerals from food, but it’s almost impossible in stressful conditions and with the kind of food we get.

    Supplements are second, should be natural, and should be balanced – and don’t forget the minerals either.

    If you know how to use a pendulum (or know someone who does kinesiology) you can test out the proper balance for you. Everyone seems to be different.

  2. TheAdlerian

    Xeno, you’re smart.

    I’ve noticed a trend on Oprah and with the whole Green Movement to guilt people into wanting less and living with less. I think this is a quasi-conspiracy by the rich to create an ethic where living in deprivation is a good thing, thus allowing them to consume even more.

    Currently, the Green Movement is asking us to clean up after massive Capitalism even though it continues to pump out crap. This is tricking many into becoming free labor.

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