To preface this entry, a new study came out disclaiming the medical benefits of taking multivitamins, adding to the message from the November studies disclaiming the benefits of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. I have never been a big fan of dietary supplements, in fact I wrote a paper explaining why the industry is so unregulated and able to make such fantastic health claims, but many people are self-medicating with vitamins, minerals, etc. This is one of my favorite clips summing up my view on the subject:
Yes, indeed, they really are no better than placebos. Unless a person has an actual vitamin deficiency, there is no real reason to take dietary supplements. You may think you are taking steps to prevent cancer by popping that Vitamin C every day, or that your memory will improve by downing Gingko Biloba, but the odds are good that you're just producing expensive urine. As a side note, make sure you're not also taking birth control pills, since Gingko Biloba affects liver enzyme activity and you may end up getting pregnant or extremely hormonal. I am very glad that these decade-long studies are finally coming to their conclusion and proving that there are no long-term health benefits to taking dietary supplements. Maybe the hubbub will die down by the time I am practicing, and I won't have to listen to a speech by a patient enlightened by Wikipedia about the benefits of taking Selenium or Echinacea each day.