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Published On: Tue, Jun 12th, 2018

New Study Says Multi-Vitamins are Useless

Vitamin and mineral supplements may be a waste of money, according to a new study. The research found that multi-vitamins provided no helpful or harmful effect.

The study, published in the American College of Cardiology, also found that these supplements did not help prevent stroke, cardiovascular disease or premature death.

photo/ Andrea

“If you’re eating a healthy diet, stop wasting your money buying multi-vitamins,” says Dietitian Naomi McKensie of the Coliseum Medical Centers Clinic. “You more than likely don’t need it If you’re already getting enough through your diet.”

But diet is where the problem lies. There is evidence that changes in the environment are altering vitamin and mineral levels in foods.

Research suggests that rice may no longer contain essential B vitamins by the end of the century. Protein levels and levels of certain minerals will also start to dwindle, data suggests.

High carbon dioxide concentrations were tested in experimental rice paddies in China. The test predicted the loss of four vitamins: B9, B1, B5 and B2. Vitamin E levels were higher, and vitamin B6 levels remained the same. Those experiments supported previous studies of rice and other food crops.

B vitamins play an essential role in maintaining a healthy brain and allowing for normal fetal development.

The results were similar to experiments performed in Japan, where researchers noted a 10.3% decline in protein, a 5.1% decline in zinc and an 8% decline in iron.

As part of the experiment, researchers grew 18 varieties of rice in the Yangtze River delta of China and near the city of Tsukuba in Japan. A series of piping exposed the rice to higher concentrations of CO2 than the current level.

Declines in rice nutrients could hit Asia hard. Asia is home to nine out of the ten most rice-dependent nations in the world. Researchers predict that 600 million people may be at risk for nutrient deficiencies if the nutrients in rice continue to decline.

Experts recommend getting tested to determine whether there’s a vitamin deficiency before taking vitamin supplements or multi-vitamins. Not all supplements are bad or ineffective, experts say. Probiotics, for example, help balance hormones and boost the population of good bacteria in the gut. Amino acid supplements provide energy, while digestive enzymes improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Fish oils may be helpful, too.

But ultimately, McKensie says a well-balanced diet will provide all of the vitamins and nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body. She recommends eating red, green and orange vegetables as well as dark leafy greens.

Author: Jacob Maslow

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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