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university of minnesota school of public health
hormone replacement therapy
vitamins and minerals
school of public health
vitamin supplements
dietary factors
Are You Taking Killer Vitamins?
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Are You Taking Killer Vitamins?

In the past, experts suggested taking multivitamins and other supplements to make up for dietary shortfalls. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota is suggesting that that advice might be doing more harm than good. Using data garnered from the Iowa Health Study, an ongoing study that has looked at a number of factors for over forty thousand women to determine the risk of a number of chronic conditions. Included in those factors has been dietary factors and supplementation. In addition, the survey looks at reproductive history and the use of hormone replacement therapy. Physical activity for each participant was also monitored during the study.

Researchers, tracking the women who were all over the age of sixty when the study started in 1986, looked at the difference in mortality between the women who did take vitamin supplements and those who did not. There was a nearly three percent increase in the risk of dying over the course of that nearly twenty year study for those women who used vitamins and other mineral supplements.

The author of the study, Jaako Mursu, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health has also revealed that the study shows little real evidence that supplementation does anything toward reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Mursu and other experts suggest focusing on healthy diet rather than taking a pill or capsule to get the nutrients that are needed.

Mursu’s study also showed that some vitamins and minerals more dramatically increase the risk of dying. Multivitamins, B 6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper are among those that are shown to be potentially more harmful than not. Folic acid has often been suggested for women of childbearing years because it is necessary to prevent birth defects but the need for additional folic acid decreases after menopause. Many women assume they are anemic and need iron supplementation but once they reach menopause their need for iron decreases.

In the study, over twelve thousand women who reported taking a daily multivitamin died oer the course of the Iowa Health Study, just over forty percent of the participants. The women who did not take the multivitamin were at less risk of dying. Mursu cautions that the study did not indicate how the women died, including whether or not they had a chronic condition.

Experts also warn that just stopping vitamins and supplements can be dangerous as well because so many women are deficient in actual nutrients. There is currently no link that directly connects supplements with the increased risk of dying without looking at all of the other factors involved.

Each woman should discuss her own needs with her doctor, including what constitutes a healthy diet for her and where she is lacking in nutrition.Blood work and other lab tests can confirm whether she has a deficiency and doctors can use her family history to determine her risk for a number of conditions.

Street Talk

Great article, I think you are right on, I was going to write a similar article, but I believe you have about said it all right here.

  about 6 years ago

Holy crap... This guy knows nothing... He talks like he knows what the hell he's talking about... Your body NEEDS... "not would like them" NEEDS them... Like a car needs gas, water and oil to run.. your body NEEDS 90 essential nutrients EVERYDAY... Not when you feel like it. This is the EXACT reason there is so much confusion about what is good. At Youngevity... Their products are WAYYYY beyond what others have... Heck... Dr Joel Wallach has proven 1000's of times that without colloidal minerals, vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids... You die of a disease.. that's a fact.. look it up!

  about 7 years ago
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