Effectiveness, Safety of Multivitamins Questioned


Doctor Harvey Simon, of the Harvard Medical School, used to take multi-vitamins but not anymore.

Writing in the Harvard Men's Health Watch he points to research showing vitamins don't protect against heart disease or cancer.

He also says studies suggest high amounts of some vitamins may actually raise the risk of certain cancers.

For millions of Americans including Michael Ash the news is a hard pill to swallow. Ash says the first thing he does in the morning is take a multivitamin.

Doctor Simon argues healthy adults only need a small amount of vitamins that come from foods, a bowl of cereal, he says, provides almost a full daily dose.

But many experts disagree- including Weill Cornell's Doctor Richard Rivlin

He sites earlier studies showing multi-vitamins are beneficial, saying evidence does favor the use of multivitamin supplements.

The experts do agree on some things. They both say vitamins are vital for pregnant women and anyone with a deficiency, including seniors.

But when it comes to healthy adults the debate continues.

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