You may have seen recent reports in the media about how taking a multivitamin could have detrimental effects on the body; including an increased chance of suffering from cardiovascular problems or cancer. However closer research into these reports suggests that all may not as it seems.
The first gaping hole in the findings came from the fact that only studies using 3 nutrients were considered multivitamins trials, it seems unreasonable to expect complex conditions such as cancer and heart attacks to be positively affected by taking just 3 vitamins. It is thought that there are at least 17 independent variables that contribute to the risk of suffering a heart attack. The findings actually stated how limited their findings are: “ …physiologic systems affected by vitamins and other antioxidant supplements are so complex that the effects of supplementing with only 1 or 2 components is generally ineffective…”
The second issue with the findings is that they used a study design used to evaluate drug therapy, which is likely to not be ideally suited to nutrient research. Again another fact admitted to by the authors of the analysis. After all it isn’t possible to have a ‘placebo’ group due to their natural occurrence in the human body and diet, amounts of which can then vary between individuals!
Another major concern from these results is that only 26 studies were used – far less than the number of studies that were available to them at the time! By all these other studies being ignored because the methods didn’t adhere to the framework for pharmaceutical drug trials only allows for a skewed analysis.
Add in the fact that many of the trials were only carried out over a short period of time as opposed to the decades of damage accumulated through a vast array of health issues, and the results of this analysis is becoming harder and harder to take seriously. Another detail that was ignored, was the fact that several trials in their analysis actually showed protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease…
From the above it is seemingly obvious that further research is needed into this statement, that taking multivitamins can increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Many of the points raised simply seem to show that a decision had been made and the analysis was then manipulated in order to match that conclusion.