Daily multivitamins don’t reduce death risk in healthy adults

Multivitamin use and death risk in 3 U.S. studies.

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A study of nearly 400,000 healthy U.S. adults over 20 years found no link between taking multivitamins regularly and a lower risk of death. Led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, the study was published in JAMA Network Open on June 26, 2024.

Despite many Americans using multivitamins to improve health, whether they offer clear benefits or harms is still uncertain. Previous studies on multivitamins and mortality have shown conflicting results and were often short-term.

To explore the link between long-term multivitamin use and cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality rates, researchers studied data from three extensive, diverse studies of 390,124 healthy U.S. adults over more than 20 years. These participants had no history of cancer or chronic diseases.

The study’s extensive data on demographics and lifestyle helped mitigate biases seen in other studies, such as healthier lifestyles among multivitamin users and increased use by sicker patients.

The study found that daily multivitamin users didn’t have a lower risk of death overall or from specific causes like cancer or heart disease compared to non-users. They adjusted the results for factors like race, education, and diet quality.

The researchers suggest future studies should look at multivitamin use in groups with nutritional deficiencies and its effects on aging-related health issues.

Journal reference:

  1. Erikka Loftfield,  Caitlin P. O’Connell et al., Multivitamin Use and Mortality Risk in 3 Prospective US Cohorts. Jama Network Open. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.18729.
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