Skip to main content

Crohn's & Colitis
blogs, news & research

Research

New vitamin supplement study finds they may do more harm than good


A new study aimed to examine the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for prevention of heart disease, stroke and premature death (termed “all-cause mortality”). This found the most commonly studied ones had no effect, while some less common ones did have an effect.

In Australia’s most recent nutrition survey, 29% of people reported having taken at least one dietary supplement. This proportion was even higher in the United States at 52%.

new study out today aimed to examine the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for prevention of heart disease, stroke and premature death (termed “all-cause mortality”). This found the most commonly studied ones had no effect, while some less common ones did have an effect. The review also found some supplements can be harmful.

What did the study find?

The study was a systematic review, meaning the team of researchers examined all relevant research papers (179 in total) and combined the results. The supplements examined included vitamins A, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), C, D, E, beta-carotene, and the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Multivitamins were defined as including most of these vitamins and minerals.

In studies testing the four common supplements of multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C, there was no reduction in incidence of heart disease, stroke or premature death. This means there was no benefit from taking them, but also no harm.

They also evaluated less common supplements that did have positive impacts on early death, heart disease and stroke. Here they found folic acid supplements showed a reduction in heart disease and stroke.

It was calculated that in order to prevent one case of heart disease or stroke, 111 people needed to be taking folic acid supplements (this is termed the “numbers needed to treat”). For stroke, 167 people would need to take folic acid to prevent one case, and 250 people would have to take B-complex vitamins (which contain folic acid, which is vitamin B9) to prevent one case.

Read the full article on The Conversation

Posted on: June 6 2018

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

I was very interested in the article "Good Vs bad bacteria - the bugs responsible for Crohn's disease". I was diagnosed with IBD 6 months ago and after a very bad reaction to Pentasa (but unproven) I was told to wait and try again when the symptoms peaked again. However, I started taking Probiotics each day and (touch wood) I have been in remission for 5 months, with high hopes. I am very interested in the research in this field.

My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with UC in July 2016 and after 4 flare ups within 12 months and trying different medications, she was prescribed infliximab. This has been the miracle medication for her and am so thankful that she has been able to return to a "relatively normal life", enjoying school and her passion for sports again (bar 8 weekly visits to PMH for inflixmab infusions, routine colonoscopies and mezzaline daily). I had very little knowledge of UC and autoimmunie disease for that matter; and was shellshocked at how debilitating it can be. We are so grateful to have a wonderful gastro and medical team supporting my daughter and of course the impact that inflixmab has had; however know it is still early days and don't want to take anything for granted.


About the author


Crohns & Colitis