Yet another Baseless Attacks On Multivitamins
Recently, several media outlets reported “news,” which was nothing more than an opinion piece about the efficacy of taking multivitamins. So in case there are any who have been jaded with the usual misinformation about vitamins, let’s take a closer look to examine it in a more clear perspective.
The Multivitamin used in the “study” was Centrum Silver for Adults over the age of 50. It was alleged that this low potency formula does not work. Before I pick this apart, first I should mention that in November 2012, an opposite conclusion was made about the same exact formula used in the latest report.
The Weak Multivitamin Formula Heralded a Success in Late 2012
That study had an interesting conclusion, that multivitamin use in men worked. This was gold-standard research that included nearly 15,000 male doctors older than 50 for up to 13 years. They concluded that a daily dose of Centrum Silver multivitamins reduced the total risk of cancer in study participants by 8 percent. 
In addition, the study also found that multivitamin use reduced site-specific cancers, except for prostate cancer, by 12 percent, and suggested a 12 percent reduction in deaths caused by cancer. Despite the very low potency of this well known multivitamin formula, it manages to provide a statistically significant benefit. However, one could certainly do a lot better than this formula.
Note: If you are vaguely familiar with nutritional supplementation, you may notice that Centrum Silver is anything but a high-quality multivitamin formulation. The formula does not provide ideal nutrient ratios, quality, much less additive free levels of nutrients.
Nutritional Supplements Reduce Hospital stays by over 20%
According to the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, over a million hospital patients were analyzed to see how the use of nutritional supplements during their hospital stays impacted the time spent in recovery. The results were that supplements shortened the average hospital stay by more than two days. I’d say that’s hardly a waste of money, considering the average savings were over $5,000 per patient.
Glaring Omissions from the Editorial
In the already previously analyzed review of 26 studies, already published with different edits, the editorial here in the Annals of Internal Medicine had serious limitations. Many cardinal markers of human health indicators were left out of the analysis. Any benefits of supplementation on cognition, energy, glucose metabolism, immune function and others were ignored.
In this systematic review, only the effects of low-grade, synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements were utilized. Moreover, the data was limited to all-cause mortality, cancer and heart disease risk, restricted to older people with relatively short treatment and follow-up periods of generally less than 10 years.
There was nothing new about the data, only “new” in how it was interpreted and analyzed.