Vitamins And Death Risk
October 11, 2011 by staff
The study involved about 39,000 women who were between the ages of 55 and 69 when the study began and were followed for 19 years.
During that time, about 40 percent of them died. When researchers found that taking vitamins, multivitamins were those who chose a slightly higher risk of death than those who took no supplements at all. The same goes for women who regularly took iron, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, zinc and copper.
In fact, of the 15 supplements the researchers examined, only calcium was associated with a lower risk of death.
While the study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, did not see the men, the authors say they hope the results will probably be the same for them too.
The only study found a relationship between vitamins and increased risk of death has not shown that supplements caused his death. The authors say that the reasons behind their findings is unclear.
“We have seen an increased risk of total mortality, but not really know what the reason,” lead author Jaakko Mursu, University of Eastern Finland and the University of Minnesota, told CTV News.
But keep in mind that the study adds to a growing body of research that has emerged in recent years suggest that vitamins may not help prevent illness, and perhaps, may actually increase the risk of death.
And yet, vitamins remain very popular, although there is little hard research on some of the supplements.
In a commentary that goes along with the study, Dr. Goran Bjelakovic of the University of Nis in Serbia, and Dr. Christian Gluud, University of Copenhagen in Denmark indicate that many people still have the misconception that if a little supplementation of the vitamin is good, then more must be better.
“Until recently, available data on adverse effects of dietary supplements has been severely limited and not reported. We believe that the paradigm of” more is better ‘is wrong, “they write.
“You can not recommend the use of vitamin and mineral supplements as a preventive measure, at least not in a well-nourished population,” they conclude.
However, they add that older women and perhaps men could benefit from supplements of vitamin D, especially if they have insufficient vitamin D in their diet and sun exposure. As for calcium, which “will require more studies,” he added.
For the study, Mursu led a team thatanlyzed data from the Study of Women’s Health of Iowa Women in this study completed questionnaires from 16 pages in 1986 about their diet, the use of vitamins and general health. They recorded their use of multivitamins, vitamins A, C, D and E and beta-carotene, vitamin B complex and minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
They were also asked again about his use of supplements in 1997 and 2004. The proportion of women who said they drank one or more vitamin supplements skyrocketed during the study period, from 62.7 percent in 1986 to 85.1 percent in 2004.
The researchers found that during the 19 years of follow up, 41 percent of users of multivitamins died, compared with 40 percent of nonusers.
Taking iron was particularly problematic: the more women taking iron, the greater the risk of death.
Calcium supplements are only associated with a lower risk of death, with 37 percent of users of dying compared with 43 percent of nonusers.
The researchers note that previous research has shown that vitamin users tend to have healthier lifestyles in general. But they also say that it is possible that some of the women taking vitamins to remedy health problems or illnesses that may have influenced their risk of death.
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