Multi-vitamins – Waste of Money or Money Well Spent?

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

A major medical journal lambasting of the use of multivitamins this past week was widely covered in the media. It made headlines everywhere. The journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, featured three separate reviews of selected previous studies that, when added up, showed apparent lack of benefit by multi vitamin and mineral formulas to prevent a cardiac event after a heart attack, to prevent cognitive decline in men, and serve as a prevention method against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“Enough is enough,” an editorial accompanying the articles said. “Multi-vitamins and minerals should not be used for chronic disease prevention.”

See editorial on studies here.

My Viewpoint: Here we go again. Another attack on nutritional supplements by pharmaceutical-monopolized mainstream medical research. You can’t take this broadside seriously. There are just too many studies – hundreds of them at this point – showing significant prevention and therapeutic benefit from supplementation. As an analogy, eating a healthy diet alone may not prevent a heart attack or cancer. There are other factors in life that can cause health problems. So do you tell somebody to stop eating a healthy diet? Absurd.

What this means to you: It shouldn’t mean anything to you. A good supplement program is like getting some additional “health insurance,” and one lifestyle factor of many to be applied for disease prevention. For individuals who are at risk for certain diseases, or who have developed an illness, targeted supplements at specifically potent dosages need to be brought into the picture as a therapeutic weapon. That’s what I always did for my patients, with great results. That’s when you need to consult with a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

My recommendation: For sure, don’t stop taking your multis or your vitamins based on these reports.

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