Supplements May Not Live Up to Marketing Claims
In this large study of older women, most dietary supplements were not associated with a significant change in mortality – positive or negative. However, some vitamins and minerals (multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper and most notably iron) were associated with increased total mortality rates. On the positive side, calcium had some evidence of possible benefits in terms of mortality.
The authors of this study state: “It is not advisable to make a casual statement of excess risk based on these observational data; however, it is noteworthy that dietary supplements, unlike drugs, do not require rigorous RCT (randomized control trial) testing, and observational studies are often the best-available method for assessing the safety of long-term use. Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements. We recommend they be used with strong medically based cause, such as symptomatic nutrient deficiency disease.”
Source: UW-Extension Nutrition for Family Living Newsletter