Taking vitamins each day is part of many people's routines. But, their effectiveness at improving health is now coming into question.
A new study finds that those vitamins said to help you live a healthier, longer life may not actually be having a positive effect on your body. The study compares the death rates of women who took vitamins with those that did not.
Thirty-nine thousand women were part of the study. Researchers found that the death rate for those taking vitamins was higher than the death rate of those not taking vitamins.
Calcium was the only supplement to be associated with a lower risk of death.
“We can't take that jump to say that certain vitamins are bad for you,” Dr. Jesse Hsieh said. “All we can tell you is that statistically they don’t help you.”
Hsieh tells his patients that focusing on basics such as a healthy diet and exercise are the factors that have been proven help people in the long-run.
Down to Earth owner Cindy Haney agrees with having a focus on diet.
“Eating your fruits, vegetables, that's where it should start,” Haney said.
Her store sells vitamins to help people fill the gaps in their nutrition.
“Women today should be looking at how much calcium they have in their diets,” Hsieh said. “If they don’t get enough calcium, then they should consider calcium as a supplement.”
Still, a pill a day may not keep the doctor away.
“In a society like ours where we always are looking for a rather quick fix and something easy to do,” Hseih said. “That’s why it’s easy to get into the whole scene of ‘which vitamin do I take.’ It's a much harder fix to have good health.”
The study only looked at women and vitamins. More research needs to be done on how these supplements affect men.