It’s the end of a week in which you’ve barely had time to get half your work done—let alone cook a decent meal. You top it off with an alcohol infused weekend. It’s a mistake, sure, but we all need a blow out sometimes.
But as Monday morning rolls around, what do you reach for? Berocca and a cheeky vitamin tablet, of course. After all: it’s common knowledge this will counterbalance the nutritional abuse you have recently inflicted upon your body, right? Wrong. Unfortunately for desk jockeys and disco puppies alike, scientists just made a surprising discovery: most vitamins and mineral supplements do absolutely nothing for your health.
Conducted by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved a systematic review of existing data and single randomised control trials from January 2012 to October 2017. As reported by Science Daily, they found, “Multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C—the most common supplements—showed no advantage or added risk in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke or premature death.”
“The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm.”
“We were surprised to find so few positive effects of the most common supplements that people consume,” the study’s lead author, Dr David Jenkins, said. “Our review found that if you want to use multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium or vitamin C, it does no harm—but there is no apparent advantage either.”
The only good news for those who like to hack their way to optimal nutrition, is the study found folic acid and B-vitamins with folic acid may reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke. However the main point Dr Jenkins wished to emphasise was this:
“These findings suggest that people should be conscious of the supplements they’re taking and ensure they’re applicable to the specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies they have been advised of by their healthcare provider.”
So put that in your mouth and swallow it. Or just, y’know, eat better. As Dr Jenkins points out, the best way to get your fill of vitamins and minerals is a healthy diet; “So far, no research on supplements has shown us anything better than (eating) healthy servings of less processed plant foods including vegetables, fruits and nuts.”