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Don’t Feel Bad If You Didn’t Take Your Vitamins. New Study Says They Really Don’t Help

posted: 01/10/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Woman's hands poured the mix of vitamins and nutritional, dietary supplement pills from a bottle, close-up
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This list of things to do if you want to be healthy seems pretty obvious: exercise, eat a variety of healthy foods, drink more water, and take your vitamins. Turns out, one of those things might not really help you on your path to wellness. Spoiler, it's not exercise. Sorry if we got you excited to skip the gym today.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association previous research has failed to find substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements really have any positive health benefits. For this particular study, researchers looked at more than 33 studies involving over 50,000 adults over age 50 to find out if people who took calcium, vitamin D, or both were less likely to suffer bone fractures. They found there was no difference between the people on the supplements and the people who didn't take the supplements.

Another study looked at multivitamins and found that 46% of multivitamins tested actually failed to live up to the amount of vitamins and minerals listed on their labels. So while you are taking your multivitamin every day and hoping to see the benefits, you may not be getting what you paid for. The biggest failure were gummy vitamins. A fan favorite of kids and adults, the report says gummy vitamins were especially problematic and had an 80% failed testing.

Even if your multivitamin does contain all that the label claims, another study analyzed the research of over 450,000 people and found that multivitamins did not reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer.

However, there are exceptions to this vitamin rule, like folic acid. For women who are pregnant or might become pregnant, folic acid is recommended because it prevents neural tube defects in babies when women take it before and during early pregnancy.

So what can we do to take better care of ourselves? Researchers agree--spending your money on healthy foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies, and low-fat dairy products will help you get the nutrients you need every day. In addition to eating a variety of healthy foods talk to you doctor about how you are feeling rather than self-diagnosing. This way your doctor can recommend the best course of action for you.