The editorial couldn’t be clearer, with the title “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.” It was published in the prestigious journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
With respect to multivitamins, the studies published in this issue and previous trials indicate no substantial health benefit…Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,… Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, despite the growing evidence that most vitamins and supplements aren’t worth the money, the use of them continues to grow.
Despite sobering evidence of no benefit or possible harm, use of multivitamin supplements increased among U.S. adults…Sales of multivitamins and other supplements have not been affected by major studies with null results, and the U.S. supplement industry continues to grow, reaching $28 billion in annual sales in 2010.
In his book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition,
Dr. Colin Campbell makes the case for why vitamins and supplements won’t give you the nutritional value of eating whole foods. He explains that your body breaks down whole foods and uses the nutrients it needs in their natural state, not when certain parts are separated from the whole. The complexity of the digestive system – which Campbell believes we will never fully understand – makes it imperative that in order to have good health you need to eat whole foods.
Disclaimer: because of my whole food, plant-based diet I do take vitamin B-12, as suggested by most physicians who work with patients who do not eat meat or dairy.
The Headline: ‘Game changing’ economic report: Supplements could save billions of dollars in health care costs
The Reality: A website – Nutraingredients-usa.com with Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition – is letting you know about the fantastic study done by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Foundation on the wonderful impact of supplements on chronic diseases and healthcare costs. What is the CRN Foundation?
A charitable 501(c)(3) foundation of the dietary supplement industry that provides consumers with information about responsible use of dietary supplements, and provides researchers and healthcare practitioners with education on the proper role of supplements in a healthy lifestyle.
The CRN promotes itself as “The Science Behind the Supplements.”
The ‘game changer’ here is to get consumers to spend their dollars on supplements on the chance that doing so will save billions of dollars on healthcare costs.
The sad fact is that the majority of our healthcare costs – 75% according to this study – go to treating chronic diseases, while very little – 3% – is spent on prevention.
However, shifting some of that 75% to paying for supplements is not the answer – or a game changer. The answer is found by changing people’s lifestyles. Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet; exercising and reducing stress.
These have been shown to reduce chronic illnesses like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s and more.
Read Dr. Colin Campbell’s book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition to get another perspective. He argues that the reductionist mindset in nutrition and science keeps us from looking at the whole body and the way our food interacts with it. Trying to reduce whole foods to supplements to target one certain aspect of nutrition or disease is not a ‘game changer,’ it is a dead end.