Monday, March 05, 2007

"Supplements don't work"

Seems that people are, as usual, coming to a lot of conclusions from the recent Journal of the American Medical Association (conveniently difficult to access) study. For one, I'm not too concerned if the masses stop taking supplements. That means cheaper supplements for me. For another, it was a meta-analysis of 68 studies with different aims. (I will take a moment to rant that in the 21st century news articles should link to the study they are covering.)

Since I can't find the study and need to get some sleep, I won't say much more. I just wonder how rigorous these studies were in matching those receiving supplements and those not receiving supplements in other health habits (eating vegetables, smoking, drug use, other diseases). Confounding factors...

UPDATE: This story claims that the study didn't include two large stories which found decreased mortality from supplements. Also, it's heard that many of the supplements used were outdated, synthetic formulations of Vitamin E, which is a recurring problem. Synthetic Vitamin E is well-known to be less active and could be dangerous. Remember that Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, and thus it could be dangerous in repeated high doses.

Finally managed to find the study through Wikipedia.

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