Photo of the day

Recent National Geographic photo of the day:

Picture of a bird flapping its wings reflected in a pool of water in Hungary

Reflection, Hungary

Photograph by Zsolt Szabo

Misty summer photo, Nagykanizsa, Hungary

Done with multi-vitamins

So, back in July I linked to an Atlantic piece that summarized the scientific case against multi-vitamins. I couldn’t bring myself to throw away my 100+ multis, but I actually finished the bottle last week.  Now, an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine makes a strongly-worded case (via Atlantic):

“We believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

So reads an authoritative editorial today in one of the widest-read U.S. medical journals, Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in the U.K., including one of the journal’s senior editors. Each has at least five letters worth of postgraduate degrees after their name.

That said, this little bit gives me pause:

The editorial is part of the burgeoning consensus that most people do not benefit from vitamin supplements, and that a balanced diet is the best approach, in an ideal world.

Well sure.  In an ideal world.  As I mentioned last time, I likely would have had scurvy as a kid without supplements.  I had a friend in graduate school who actually got scurvy from a poor diet.  I’m not about to stop giving my kids multi-vitamins as I can’t really get them to eat fruits and vegetables for the life of me (but that’s another story).  Without supplements, they would likely have serious deficiencies.  Anyway, it does seem clear that for most reasonably healthy adults, they should most likely not be taking any vitamin supplements.  But I’m not prepared to believe that they are contra-indicated for everybody.

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