If you shoved your multivitamins into a dark corner after the recent scare headlines — yep, one actually said “Your Multivitamin May Be Killing You” — go dig ’em out. The research that sparked them is a great reason to get smarter about what you take (and eat). But it does not mean you should give all your vitamins the heave-ho.
We’re talking about the new 19-year study of 38,000 Iowa women — the one that found a 6 to 45 percent higher death risk among those who took supplements. Impressive, right? It makes vitamins sound like “the menace in your medicine cabinet.” But we YOU Docs haven’t stopped taking ours. Here’s why.
For starters, this is the kind of study that’s a first step. It’s a population study, meaning it looks for patterns that need to be investigated further. It sounds warning bells but doesn’t know if they’re false alarms. Also, it relies on people remembering what they ate and took — in this case, not over days or weeks, over seven to nine years.
And there are lots of unanswered questions. Just three: Did they need to take supplements, especially iron? What formulations did they take? Also, the women reportedly ate twice as many fruits and vegetables as the average American.
Here’s another reason we’re still supplement fans: The study didn’t monitor some proven benefits. Like the reduced risk for bone fractures if you take calcium. Or the healthier heart, brain and eyes you get from taking DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
So here’s our what-to-take advice.
The YOU Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are the authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com.
What you don’t want