Multivitamins worthless for adults, study says, but what about k -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Multivitamins worthless for adults, study says, but what about kids?

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More than half of all Americans take these every day, but a group of doctors behind three new studies say they are wasting their money. Multivitamins, the study says, have, "no clear benefit and might even be harmful." This study was focused on adults and tracked multivitamins' link to cancer protection, heart health, and brain and cognitive measure.

But what does this mean for children? Taking vitamins is like eating candy with breakfast for children, as vitamins and supplements come in sweet flavors and cool packaging.

"I've always felt that it certainly can't hurt to supplement their diet with a multivitamin daily," David Davis, who works at Good's Medicine Chest, said.

David Davis is a pharmacist, but he also has five grandchildren who he suggests take multivitamins.

"French fries and pizza, you know; they don't want vegetables, they don't want fruits," he said.

That study says he is wasting his money.

Blake Branch, a nutrition specialist at Total Nutrition, doesn't buy it.

"Your typical North American diet, two-thirds of the people, just are not eating enough fruits, vegetables," Branch said, "nor getting the vitamins and minerals they need from those sources."

That's why Davis says his picky eaters will continue to take their vitamins.

"The vitamin companies are out to sell vitamins. I'm sure there's some marketing ploy there, too, but I think there are children out there that can benefit from taking a multivitamin," Davis said.

The vitamin industry is a nearly $30 billion a year industry.

"I mean, there's definitely some products that I agree people don't need," Branch said.

He says it should be based on individual dietary needs, not one generic supplement.

Co-author of that study, Dr. Edgar Miller, says, "What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that."

"Get as much fruits and vegetable as you can in, you know, fresh from produce, that's going to help more than anything. We live in a world where that's not going to happen 24/7," Branch said.

"I certainly don't think you can say no one needs vitamins. I certainly don't think you can say everybody needs vitamins; again it comes down to an individual need," Davis said. His suggestion? Ask your pharmacist.

This study was done by giving one group of people a placebo and the other a multivitamin and following various health issues. Doctors do warn that some people with certain deficiencies do require some sort of vitamin supplement and this does not apply to them.

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