Daily intake of extra vitamins and minerals is not good, but just bad for your health. Two American studies have shown that people who daily take extra vitamins and minerals rather get cancer and will die even sooner than people who use nothing. Thereby growing evidence that supplements are only useful if there is a shortage of certain nutrients. The famous American medical journal JAMA published a study of 35 thousand of men who take their daily vitamin E pills. The vitamin users had after seven years 17 percent more likely to have prostate cancer.

Vitamin E

Of every thousand men in the vitamin group 76 were diagnosed with cancer, versus 65 in the non-user group. The study was set up ten years ago to see whether extra vitamin E reduces the risk of prostate cancer sharply as previous studies would have shown. When that was not the case, the research was put stop. Now participants have been followed longer, it appears that there actually is harm, even if they have stopped taking the supplements. The men used a dose of 400 IU of vitamin E per day, the usual dose for supplements. The doctors will now analyze the blood of the participants when they started the study. The question is whether the men who had initially been a lot of vitamin E in their blood suffer more adverse effects of the supplements. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant. It was long thought to protect against cancer because they scavenge free radicals.


A second study, described in Archives of Internal Medicine, wipe the floor with the benefits of commonly used vitamins and minerals. Nearly 40 thousand American women were followed for 25 years and reported whether they take supplements. The daily use of multivitamins, vitamin B6 and in particular iron was associated with a higher mortality rate. The difference however was small: for multivitamins mortality was only a few percent higher. Yet research shows that “more is better” certainly does not apply to vitamins, according to experts in their comments.