Or not…. I heard a radio blurb that a recent study found that people that take an average of 17 different vitamin and supplement pills a day have fewer health problems than those who take only a multiple vitamin. The big supplement takers had far lower rates of diabetes, cancer, heart attacks and strokes.
If such a study really exists, it immediately raises a red flag over something that I don’t really believe can be 100% accounted for. How can the researchers tell for sure that there is not something other than the main variable influencing the results? I think this is one of the reasons that we see so many contradictory results and interpretations when health studies are done. Remember the coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, and so on studies?
In this case, I would immediately suspect that people who take large numbers of supplements may be more focused on their health that those who just pop a multiple vitamin every morning. They may do everything from eating more fruits and vegetables to avoiding smoky bars and restaurants.
On the other hand, if the researchers in this study really were successful in accounting for all outside variables, and the results can be reproduced, there may be something to it. In that case, I would certainly want to know which 17 supplements the healthier group was taking!
If the results of this study hold up to further scrutiny, it may just result in another reason wealthier people living longer and healthier lives since only wealthy people could ever afford to take 17 different supplements every day. It is already known that, because of things like greater awareness of healthy lifestyle and diet choices, and better access to health-care, as financial status and education rise, people become healthier.
When I looked online for this specific “study”, I could not find it. I think I heard the original study cited by commentator Paul Harvey. As he is well known for pedaling vitamin supplements, maybe there is some doubt to be cast upon his “news” story?
I do know there is a researcher at the University of California that believes his lab has discovered a combination of vitamins, amino acids, and other supplements that can extend lifespan. They have even formed a company to sell their product. The problem is that, because of the long time frames involved in studying life extension, it is very difficult to prove if their product really does what is claimed. The pills they sell are also very expensive and out of the reach of most people.