The three vitamins were thought to prevent LDL cholesterol oxidising. Prof Collins conceded that some of the benefits might emerge many years later. “But there was no evidence of a delayed effect,” he said. “Cholesterol-lowering drugs worked within a year and had major effects after five years.” There are growing suspicions among food scientists that the beneficial effects of fresh fruit and vegetables cannot easily be replicated in pills.
Dr Ann Walker, a food nutritionist at Reading University and a spokesman for the British Proprietary Association, which represents the food supplement industry, said the doses of vitamins might have been too low to help people already suffering from chronic heart disease. “For other diseases such as cancer, what matters is a lifetime’s intake of anti-oxidants, not what happens over five years,” she said. Although I generally eschew supplements, I have to ask, “what on earth is the point of this study?” Heart disease, cancer and mental decline are the only three things that hurt people?
I try to get my nutritional needs from Real Food, too. I do take a general multi-vitamin/mineral daily as a “top off” insurance, but the only actual supplement I take is calcium, because of needing so much of it. Now if I didn’t have diabetes, and could affort the calories, I’d just drink a lot more milk. The study was much broader than just vitamins. It also covered areas such as statins, where longterm studies are definitely needed to ensure they do what they claim. However the research debunked those who have been pushing certain vitamins as cure-alls for cancer and heart disease. The bottom line was that certain supplements don’t have any effect, but nothing will ever beat good balanced diets. Otherwise any spammer can dance in here marketing their “miracle” vitamin supplements without challenge.