New studies have found that consumers may not fully understand vitamins and that the popularity of vitamins might not be based on scientific evidence at all. Instead, initial health studies inspire unreasonable public excitement about up-and-coming dietary supplements resulting in millions buying into the new trend before in-depth studies have been published.
After years of research, more precise studies have found that the supplement of question rarely does anything to prevent disease or benefit health, and that sometimes they are detrimental to one’s health.
In fact, preliminary vitamin E and folic acid findings mislead both cardiologists and patients to believe that these supplements contributed to lowering the risk of heart disease. Just a few years later, however, clinical trials discovered that neither vitamin E nor folic acid helped protect the heart whatsoever. Moreover, studies found that in high doses, vitamin E lead to a higher risk of heart failure, prostate cancer, and death (The New York Times, 2018).
Nevertheless, 68% of Americans age 65 and up consume vitamins, 29% of which pop over 4 supplements daily. Regardless of persistent claims by nutritionists that most of us obtain enough nutrients from food, many older vitamin-users still believe that taking vitamins does at least something to boost their overall health (Oxford Academic Journal of Nutrition, 2017).
The New York Times
The Journal of Nutrition