Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Small News: Vitamins and Flu Shots

For those, who love stuffing themselves with vitamins, the news this week is great: stop, save some money and use it for more productive purposes:

Annals of Internal Medicine: Oral High-Dose Multivitamins and Minerals After Myocardial Infarction: A Randomized Trial and Long-Term Multivitamin Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: A Randomized Trial

A nice explanation by Steven Novella:
Strike Three for Multivitamin Use
and from CNN:
Are multivitamins a waste of money? Editorial in medical journal says yes

This has been a suspicion of the medical and scientific community (the real one, not the alt-med, and not the vitamin manufacturers) for many years. Unless you have a medical problem that actually prevents your body from properly making or utilizing a specific vitamin, there is no need for supplementation. All you really need is balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Stop wasting your money and energy, stuffing yourself with things that you don't really need. There is even some research that suggest that vitamin mega dosing could increase your risk of cancer in the future. Remember, it took millions of years of evolution to fine tune your body work the best it can, so we should probably let it work, unless there is a real problem.

As we are in a full blown flu season again, it's never enough to remind people that flu shots are good for you:
7 myths about the flu vaccine and why you should get it anyway

EDIT (12/19/2013):
There is a great (as always) overview of the multivitamin issue at the Science-Based Medicine blog:
Move evidence that routine multivitamin use should be avoided