The REAL benefits of a multivitamin
A roof alone won't make a house -- but it's a pretty good start.
Multivitamins are like that roof. They're not going to magically give you good health.
But they're a pretty good start.
Like a roof, they'll give you some cover. They'll help make sure you get most of the major nutrients you need each day and fill in any gaps.
And over the long run, they'll pack some pretty big benefits.
So, don't be scared off by the new study on multivitamins.
I'm sure you've seen the headlines, which claim they don't cut heart risk in men over 11 years.
But there are a few HUGE problems with the study.
First, the research team used data from the Physicians Health Study II, which focused on male doctors over the age of 50.
In particular, it focused on the men who ate less healthy diets -- but these weren't exactly men eating the typical American diet.
They're doctors, after all.
The men in the study who followed the least healthy diets were still eating better than most people, almost certainly getting more nutrition from food and less likely to need the nutrients in a multivitamin than everyone else.
Second, along with eating better, doctors have constant access to healthcare.
Even minor warning signs of heart risk will get attention because -- again -- they're DOCTORS.
As a result, they're less likely to have heart problems in the first place.
And third, the study didn't last long enough!
Docs might be less prone to heart attacks and such, but they're not immune
-- and despite what the new study found, even doctors can benefit from multivitamins.
A Harvard University study, also of doctors, found no benefit at 12 years or less, which is right in line with the new study.
But they went further.
The Harvard team found the benefit started to kick in at the 13-year mark. And by 20 years, men who had been taking multivitamins all along saw a 44 percent drop in heart risk.
That's a REAL benefit -- and you can bet that in the general population of
men who aren't doctors and are more likely to face heart troubles, it would almost certainly be far bigger.
And that's not all multivitamins can do for you.
Studies have shown that in some people, a multi can cut the risk of certain types of cancer, help keep you out of the hospital and even boost your mood.
Look for a quality mix from a maker you trust, but don't stop there. Talk to your doc about your diet and lifestyle, because you might also need a few more supplements to complete the picture.