Multivitamins do not lower risk of early death, study finds

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A comprehensive analysis of data from nearly 400,000 healthy U.S. adults over more than 20 years has found no association between regular multivitamin use and a reduced risk of death.

The study was led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and was published on June 26, 2024, in JAMA Network Open.

Many adults in the United States take multivitamins with the expectation of improving their health. However, the benefits and potential harms of regular multivitamin use remain uncertain.

Previous studies on multivitamin use and mortality have produced mixed results and were often limited by short follow-up periods.

To investigate the relationship between long-term multivitamin use and overall mortality, as well as death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, researchers analyzed data from three large, geographically diverse prospective studies.

These studies involved a total of 390,124 U.S. adults who were followed for over 20 years. The participants were generally healthy at the beginning of the study, with no history of cancer or other chronic diseases.

Due to the large size of the study population, the lengthy follow-up period, and the extensive information on demographics and lifestyle factors, the researchers were able to minimize potential biases that may have affected previous studies.

For instance, individuals who take multivitamins may generally lead healthier lifestyles, while sicker individuals might increase their multivitamin use in an attempt to improve their health.

The analysis revealed that people who took daily multivitamins did not have a lower risk of death from any cause compared to those who did not take multivitamins.

There were also no differences in mortality rates from cancer, heart disease, or cerebrovascular diseases. The results were adjusted for factors such as race and ethnicity, education, and diet quality.

The researchers highlighted the importance of evaluating multivitamin use and the risk of death in different populations, such as those with documented nutritional deficiencies.

Additionally, they noted the need to explore the potential impact of regular multivitamin use on other health conditions associated with aging.

In summary, this extensive study indicates that regular multivitamin use does not lower the risk of death among generally healthy U.S. adults.

Further research is needed to understand the effects of multivitamin use in specific populations and its impact on other health conditions.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The research findings can be found in JAMA Network Open.

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