As we have written about before in our article, Vitamins and Supplements – More Harm Than Good, more is most often not better and this appears to be particularly true with unnecessary supplementation. Yet another large-scale study has been performed which shows that supplementation (with the exception of calcium) appears to lead to an increased risk of mortality in older women.
Published in Evidence Based Nursing, researchers from the Gonzaga University Department of Nursing recently published “Various vitamin and mineral supplements are observed to increase mortality risk in older women, with the exception of calcium, which decreases risk.”
Their research drew the following conclusions:
■ Antioxidant use could be harmful to older women.
■ Calcium use is associated with lower mortality risk in older women.
■ Dietary supplements should be used to treat symptomatic nutrient deficiency disease.
■ Further research is needed to explore the relationship between dietary supplement use and mortality risks.
As with many things the marketing behind supplementation is often far more hype than based in true scientific study. Supplements should be considered as medicine and only used when there is a true clinically measured deficiency. Our bodies have a host of complex relationships that we simply do not yet understand. What we can observe is that too much of anything – even “good” things – will cause problems. This is all the basis of yin-yang theory – everything has it’s place and is well balanced as it is – we simply have to follow that. The “Eat Like A Human Diet” article we wrote covers some of these concepts as they related to our diets and some of the common fears such as “my diet is not good enough so I supplement.”. In short it is unwise and possibly damagine to your health to uncritically believe the hype regarding vitamins and supplements.