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Why you can’t believe everything you read

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The “Multivitamin Scam”

I read quite a bit, but I don’t have much time for popular magazines. But, not too long ago, I heard about a magazine article calling vitamins a “scam.” Since it’s a very influential magazine – and I’m a big supplement fan – I got hold of a copy of the article.

It turns out the article relies heavily on a study I don’t think was well designed. (For example, any product with over 100% of the DV of any nutrient didn’t qualify as a multivitamin.) So I found the article’s conclusions awfully shaky.

The fact is, thousands of good studies demonstrate the value of vitamins and vitamin supplements. To underscore that point, here are just a handful of recent studies that support the value of getting your vitamins…

Boost Heart Health with Vitamin A: In a university study from Columbia, vitamin A supplements were linked to lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides (fats).1 Positive changes in all of these numbers promote better cardiovascular health.

Boot the Blues with B’s: As we get older, more and more of us tend to get the blues. And many folks feel “down” for weeks and months at a time. That’s no way to spend your “Golden Years.”

Well, researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center recently discovered how to increase your chances of avoiding the blues. They followed more than 3,500 adults for 12 years, and found a vitamin connection. People who got the most vitamins B-6 and B-12 had a much lower chance of the blues.

Improve Cellular Health: Intense exercise puts a real strain on your body. And it normally increases cell damage. That’s one reason you’re so sore after a tough workout.

But Turkish researchers found that giving athletes a combination of vitamins C and E promoted an increase in antioxidant defense against cell damage – even after 35 days of intensive basketball workouts.

Just taking these two vitamins helped the athletes stay healthier and feel better. If they work so well for elite athletes, imagine what they could do for you.

Stay Sharp with Vitamin D: The #1 health concern for many of my more mature patients is declining mental sharpness. And that’s understandable. We can deal with most other situations life sends our way, as long as our minds are sharp.

So here’s a tip from a new English study for keeping your brain in shape: Get plenty of vitamin D. Researchers followed 858 people at or above retirement age for 6 years. They found that people with the lowest vitamin D intake were 60% more likely to suffer mental decline than those with high intakes.5

And finally…

Promote Stronger Bones: If staying sharp is our biggest concern as we get older, bone health isn’t far behind. For older Americans, broken bones can mean long hospital stays – and possibly permanent disability.

Doctors in Japan recently uncovered one easy way to promote bone health: Get plenty of vitamin K. In this study, higher levels of vitamin K were linked to greater bone density in women’s spines.6

Most of these studies were first published in June or July of this year. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg. I see hundreds of similar studies every year. In the long run, a good multivitamin is no scam. It’s the cheapest health insurance you can buy.
Stay Healthy,

Dr. Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
Best Life Herbals


1 Perez VG, et al. The effect of retinol supply over cytokines and blood chemistry in healthy adult subjects. The FASEB Journal, 716.1.

2 Skarupski KA, et al. Longitudinal association of vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 with depressive symptoms among older adults over time. Am J Clin Nutr 92: 330-335, 2010.

3 Naziroğlu M, et al. Oral vitamin C and E combination modulates blood lipid peroxidation and antioxidant vitamin levels in maximal exercising basketball players. Cell Biochem Funct. 2010 Jun;28(4):300-5.

4 Llewellyn DJ, et al. Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jul 12;170(13):1135-41.

5 Llewellyn DJ, et al. Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jul 12;170(13):1135-41.

6 Yamauchi m, et al. Relationships between undercarboxylated osteocalcin and vitamin K intakes, bone turnover, and bone mineral density in healthy women. Clinical Nutrition, doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2010.02.010.

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