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Tuesday
Dec172013

Americans Spending Too Much on Ineffective Vitamins and Supplements? 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new medical report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, warns $30 billion Americans spend every year on vitamins and mineral supplements should probably be spent elsewhere.  Researchers looked at past findings and concluded that vitamins and mineral supplements are ineffective in the general population who don’t generally have micronutrient deficiencies -- that’s the majority of supplement users in the U.S.

In one included study of 450,000 people, no clear benefit could be found with supplements regarding mortality, cardiovascular disease or cancer. In another study of over 5,900 men, no improvement in cognitive decline was found. And in yet another study of more than 1,700 men and women, no significant difference in the risk of a recurrent heart problem was noted.

Worse, beta carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements have actually been shown to be harmful and increase the risk of early death.

Despite the study's findings, Dr. Diane Birt, a leading nutritionist at Iowa State University, tells ABC News the findings don't apply to expectant mothers.

"It is very important to remember that multi-vitamin mineral supplements are recommended during pregnancy and this doesn't impact that recommendation at all," says Birt.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio