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Confused about the latest controversy with vitamins? All is not as the headlines say.


thumbs_up_downMark Hyman, MD, a leading clinician of Functional Medicine and renowned educator, cautions us that “The recent media hype around vitamins is a classic case of drawing the wrong conclusions from good science. “ He explains several flaws with the recent study:

Hormone replacement was not taken into consideration. Women in the study who also took hormone replacement therapy were more at risk already for increased rates of cancer and heart disease and strokes (remember the Women’s Health Initiative study that clearly linked hormone replacement therapy to these.) 

Iron should not be given to older women. Older women should never take iron unless they have anemia. Iron is a known oxidant and excess iron causes oxidative stress and can lead to cardiovascular disease and more

Patient background was ignored. In this observational study (watching behavior and its effects, not intervening with specific therapies) it was not known why people started supplements; perhaps these older women started taking the vitamins because they were already at risk with heart disease or cancers or other chronic illness

The population was not representative. The study looked only at older white women – clearly not representative of the whole population. This makes it impossible to generalize the conclusions

Forms and quality of vitamins were not identified. There was no accounting for the quality or forms or dosages of the vitamins used.  Taking vitamins that have biologically inactive or potentially toxic forms of nutrients may limit any benefit observed


A realistic comparison between vitamins and other medications as cause of death was not made. 0ver 100,000 people die every year from properly prescribed medication in hospitals. These are not mistakes, but drugs taken as recommended.  The study does not show the medication effect in the women who died

This recent observational study confuses, not clarifies.  Dr. Hyman urges “Please, be smart, don’t stop taking your vitamins.  Every American needs a good quality multivitamin, vitamin D and omega-3 fat supplement. It is part of getting a metabolic tune up.

Learn more about this controversy here. . .

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