A research, which made pharmaceutical industry nervous
Having analyzed how long-term multivitamin supplementation affects cognitive health in later life Edgar Miller, professor at Johns Hopkins University, in alliance with his colleagues published their results in Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers studied the health condition and cognitive functions of male physicians aged 65 years and older. Some of them suffered from cardiovascular diseases or previously had heart attacks. The patients were divided into two groups – placebo and multivitamin ones. Study work took more than 10 years. During this period of time patients underwent medical tests at Canadian and American medical clinics. A total number of 450 thousand patients took part in the research.
Finally scientists didn’t discover any difference in health condition between the two groups. Multivitamins don’t provoke complications but at the same time they also don’t reduce the risk of heart diseases.
However it would be wrong to declare that multivitamins are absolutely useless for these patients. Mr. Miller and other authors of the research gave two reasons why the tests gave such results: “…doses of vitamins may be too low or the population may be too well-nourished to benefit from a multivitamin.”
Why Multivitamins are so popular?
In the mid 70-s Linus Pauling, famous chemist and Nobel Prize winner, proved that taking vitamin C helps to treat flu at the early stages as well as strengthens the immune system. Then many pharmaceutical companies started to look for useful properties of other vitamins and share this information through scientific articles, supposes Alexander Ishevsky, head of Chair of Meat and Fish Processing and Refrigeration. Beauty and food industries started using vitamins in their products. Thanks to advertisements, biologically active supplements became very popular in a short period of time.
There is also a mental reason why multivitamins became best-sellers. Modern people are afraid of negative affection of the spoiled environment, non-organic food, life expectancy decreasing, deadly diseases and other negative issues. Just imagine how happy they are when someone offers them a wonderful pill, which can fight all of these problems. Moreover one even doesn’t have to keep a healthy lifestyle because he or she is sure that taking vitamins is the only necessary health care he needs. However it is not a treatment or health support in full sense of this word. According to Professor Ishevsky, it is a psychologic effect, which makes people feel safe.
What one should know before taking multivitamins
- Diets of modern people are varied regardless of people’s intention to make them healthy. The products we eat contain most of the necessary vitamins.
- Positive affection of synthetic vitamins is not studied enough. Scientists don’t know for sure about effectiveness of vitamins’ availability. Moreover our organisms don’t assimilate vitamins and active supplements randomly – only specific combinations of natural substances are useful.
- You may not know what kind of vitamins your organism needs. All vitamin complexes are typical, they don’t take into account individual features. That is why a patient can take some vitamins in excess together with other that he really needs. Overdosing on vitamins can be more dangerous than the lack of them. When eating organic food one will never get more vitamins than he or she needs.
- Vitamins and micronutrients are integral parts of human organism. That is why the lack of them provokes various diseases. However one has to take vitamins to cure certain diseases. Before starting to take multivitamins consult with a physician.