Researchers refill that multivitamins may not thwart cancer or heart disease

Lot of people take multivitamin in the hopes of averting disease, but the supplements seem to offer no deference against cancer or heart disease, according to a research study that was reported on Monday. In the study that followed more than 160,000 older Americanswomen, the researchers found that the 41% who used multivitamins were neither less likely to develop cancer or heart disease over eight years nor to have a lower overall death rate. About half of Americans routinely use a dietary supplement, often a multivitamin, and studies show that one of the primary motivations is the belief that supplements will protect them from chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.

However, the current findings suggest that, at least for postmenopausal women, multivitamin use “does not confer meaningful benefit or harm” when it comes to cancer and heart disease, the researchers report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The team, led by Dr. Marian L. Neuhouser of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, United States, asks, “Why do millions of Americans use a daily multivitamin for chronic disease prevention when the supporting scientific data are weak?”

One reason, they say, “may be the varied health messages received by the public.” Position statements from medical organisations that multivitamins do not prevent disease are mixed with messages to take a multivitamin if dietary intake is less than optimal – leaving the public confused, Neuhouser and her colleagues note. Until clinical trials prove otherwise, the researchers write, multivitamins should not be seen as a way to prevent chronic disease.