Facebook Pixel

Why do you take vitamins?

By December 28, 2008 - 8:20am
Rate This

An article came out about a week ago, saying certan vitamins don't reduce a list of diseases including prostate, colorectal, lung, bladder or pancreatic cancer.

The group of vitamins include C, E and selenium.

Hmmm...I know for years, vitamins were thought to have some benefit (I take one every day) but to help reduce the risk of some cancers? That seems like a pretty tall order. I was wondering, if you take vitamins, why? Do you think they can reduce the risk of some chronic conditions? Is it a supplement to a healthy diet? Do you skip them altogether?

Add a Comment4 Comments

I had also read somewhere that your body eliminates (is that the right word?) excess vitamins, with the assumption that we don't need to worry about consuming too many vitamins (your body will use what it needs and get rid of what it doesn't).

December 30, 2008 - 1:36pm

I've always thought that Vitamin C had some cancer prevention benefits, but I have no idea where or when I read that. Or maybe I just assumed it. In any case, I do remember reading that taking too many vitamins can be detrimental. Occasionally I've wondered how we know we're really taking the right amounts. There's a Vitamin B combination supplement that I take that has enormous amounts of Vitamin B6 and B12, like 800% or something. I wonder how we know when it's too much.....

December 29, 2008 - 12:02am

An article from a few years ago in the Washington Post reported the same finding: that multivitamins don't provide a clear benefit for reducing risk of chronic diseases.

However, the researchers did find "three situations in which vitamins or other supplements appear to offer a clear protective edge":

"1) Prevention of birth defects of the brain and spine by giving women of child-bearing age folic acid, one of the B vitamins -- what one panel member called a "home run." Since 1998, food has been fortified with folic acid. Women who plan to become pregnant are urged to boost folic acid intake to help prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

2) Reduction of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of age-related blindness. A 2001 federally funded study by the National Eye Institute concluded that diet supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene and the minerals zinc and copper reduced the risk of vision loss in people with early signs of macular degeneration. No effect on cataracts was reported.

3) Lowering the risk of bone fractures in post-menopausal women through calcium and Vitamin D supplements."

I have not taken multivitamins with the thought that I was lowering my risk of cancer, but I did have the expectation that I was helping my bones be healthier and provide nutrients that I may not be eating through fruits and veggies. I'm surprised that there was no cardiovascular disease-prevention benefit found, but there are some questions as to the validity of the study. I also take a vitamin that has trace minerals, which were not studied. Interesting article!

December 28, 2008 - 7:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

I take multi vitamins daily. The reason I take vitamins is because I do not eat right daily and it is mainly for balance. The article is pretty interesting although, I don’t consume vitamins for the purpose of preventing cancer.

I always question the validity of vitamins and diet pills since they are not FDA approved anyhow. I guess the article doesn’t really surprise me.

December 28, 2008 - 10:16am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Diet & Nutrition

Get Email Updates

Diet & Nutrition Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!