A U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), examined the evidence about the
effectiveness of vitamin, mineral, and multivitamin supplements for the prevention
of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The Task Force reviewed three trials of
multivitamin supplements and 24 single or paired trials of vitamins. The Task Force
concluded that there was no clear evidence of a beneficial effect of supplements,
including vitamins A, C, or D, folic acid, calcium (with or without vitamin D), or
selenium on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. The recommendation
statement concluded that antioxidants, folic acid, and B vitamins are harmful
or ineffective for chronic disease prevention.

The Task Force did find that there was sufficient evidence to recommend against
using either beta-carotene or vitamin E for the prevention of cardiovascular disease
or cancer. The evidence showed that there is no benefit to taking vitamin E and that
beta-carotene can be harmful because it increases the risk of lung cancer in people
who are already at increased risk. The Task Force concluded that for most people
the best way to get the important nutrients essential for health is through a balanced
diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products,
and seafood, a diet that has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular
disease and cancer.

Multiple studies have found that taking beta-carotene for cognition, and vitamins
C and E for cardiovascular disease and for cancer, has shown no meaningful benefits. An editorial titled “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” in the Annals of Internal Medicine opined: “The
message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their
use is not justified, and they should be avoided. This message is especially true for
the general population with no clear evidence of micronutrient deficiencies, who
represent most supplement users in the United States and in other countries.”

The editorial concluded: “…beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of
vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins,
and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality
or morbidity due to major chronic diseases—supplementing the diet of well-nourished
adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and
might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention.
Enough is enough.”

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel