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Medical Journal: Vitamins Are a Scam That Wastes Your Money and Has No Health Benefits

The message is a shot across the bow at the profitable makers of vitamins and supplements.
 
 
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The multi-billion dollar vitamin industry is a major scam, if you believe a new editorial published by the Annals of Internal Medicine.  

In an article published this week, the journal said that dietary supplements and vitamins don’t do any good and that they are a waste of money.  Based on three studies, the editorial states that taking those pills does nothing to prevent cardiovascular disease, a heart attack or cancer.  The journal also says that multivitamins don’t prevent mortality or improve cognitive functions in men who are older than 65.

“The message is simple,” the editorial states.  “Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.”

The message is a shot across the bow at the lucrative makers of vitamins and supplements, whose total profits reach at least $20 billion a year.  Predictably, they’re responding by criticizing the editorial, which they called an “attack” on their industry.

“Our members market and sell their products in order to assist people to achieve a healthier lifestyle,”John Shaw, executive director of Natural Products Association, told the New York Times.  The association represents supplement suppliers and retailers.  

In June, AlterNet’s Lynn Parramore took an extensive look at the vitamin industry, writing that a “Mount Fuji of evidence has piled up to show that multivitamins don’t do much of anything for the health of the average person.”  She also pointed to a “less conclusive” though “growing body of evidence” that indicates taking vitamins and supplements may even “shorten” your life.

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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