Vitamin Supplements – Do They Work?

Vitamin Supplementation is huge worldwide. Most of us take vitamins now or have taken vitamins in the past. The US ranks top in dietary supplementation globally. 18.9% of Americans had taken at least one dietary supplement in 2004. Over 100 million Americans use vitamin and mineral supplements everyday. The global market has become a multi-billion dollar industry and the dietary supplement sector is growing the fastest.

The most common reason for supplement use is “to improve overall health and general well being.” It is a popular belief that vitamins are antioxidants and can therefore protect us from oxidative stress that causes many health conditions.

The most common supplements taken are:
multivitamin/multiminerals – 22%;
multivitamins plus vitamin C – 15%;
vitamin C as a single vitamin – 13%;
herbal and botanical supplements – 7%;
vitamin E as a single vitamin – 6%.

Over the years, more and more reports on the health Ashwagandha Gummies results benefits of vitamin supplements have emerged, ranging from cardiovascular benefits to cancer prevention. This is mainly due to the antioxidant properties of vitamins that can protect us from oxidative stress. As a result several studies have been conducted to confirm these reports. Some of the latest studies summarized below reveal surprising results to say the least.

One of the very first studies to comprehensively investigate the health effects of vitamin supplements was conducted by Danish researchers in 2007. They performed a meta-analysis on data pooled from several clinical trials which used supplementation of the antioxidant vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and selenium used as stand-alone or as combination supplements to treat a wide range of health conditions, from cardiovascular disorders to cancer. Their results were a surprising, even troubling. For one, no benefits of these “antioxidant supplements” were found. Second, supplementation with vitamins A and E and beta-carotene (but not vitamin C and selenium) actually increased overall mortality. This study prompted other researchers to take a second look at the benefits of vitamin supplements.

In a more recent review paper, the same researchers performed another meta-analysis of more data from several clinical trials, this time involving over 200,000 people who are healthy as well as those with existing health conditions. The researchers only considered studies which compared the efficacy of antioxidant supplements against placebos in the primary and secondary prevention of different medical conditions. The authors reported that they “found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E may increase mortality.”