Most dietary supplements don’t appear to provide a mortality benefit, according to an Annals of Internal Medicine study.
Researchers studied 31,000 U.S. adults who answered survey questions about their supplement intake in the past 30 days and about their diet over the past 24 hours. During a median 6 years’ follow-up, 12% died.
Supplementation for most vitamins and minerals was associated with lower all-cause mortality, but after adjustment for education and lifestyle factors, the associations for all but lycopene disappeared.
Adequate intake of vitamin K and magnesium was tied to lower mortality risk, but this was restricted to intake from food. Excess calcium intake was actually associated with a 62% higher cancer mortality risk, which the researchers attribute to high-dose supplements.
They conclude: “The evidence suggests that adequate nutrient intake from foods was associated with reduced mortality and excess intake from supplements could be harmful.”
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Source: NEJM Journal Watch