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  • Vishal Narayan

No link between intake of multivitamins and longevity, says study

Even as one out of three persons in the US takes them, and an increasing number in India, a latest study has found no impact of multivitamins on longevity.

Conducted by the US National Institute of Health, the study that was done over 20 years with 3,90,000, even found an increased chance of death (4 per cent) among people who are on such supplements. 

"Confirming the mostly negative results of prior studies, multivitamin supplementation was not associated with a mortality benefit. 

"On the contrary, mortality risk was 4% higher among multivitamin users, compared with nonusers, in the initial years of follow-up," read the study published in the Journal of American Medical Association.

The authors of the study did not dismiss the use of vitamins out of hand, and pointed out the benefits associated with their consumption. 

According to the authors, supplements such as beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and zinc are associated with slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. 

"In older individuals, multivitamin supplementation is associated with improved memory and slowed cognitive decline. Multivitamins may help offset deficiencies following bariatric surgery," they said. 

The study, all the same, listed risks that are shown to have come from such supplementation, even though they may not directly impact longevity. 

Multivitamins containing vitamin K may reduce the efficacy of warfarin, it said.

Also, iron supplementation may increase the risk of iron overload, rendering the taker more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. 

"Copper supplementation. Calcium and zinc may reduce the absorption of certain antibiotics," it added. 

Researchers reported nearly 165,000 deaths occurring during the follow-up period of the study.

"Considerable evidence now shows that... there is little health rationale for the use of multivitamin supplements. Micronutrients come most healthfully from food sources," the study said. 

Image Source: Unsplash





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