A good friend of mine sent me an article from the BBC this morning titled Vitamins linked with higher death risk in older women. After reading the article- I agree with some points, and disagree with others.
The article only mentions three supplements- Iron, Vitamin D, and Calcium. It says there is a positive correlation between long life and calcium supplementation- meaning if you take calcium as a woman, you are likely to live longer than those that do not.
With women, those who supplemented iron had a 2.4% higher death rate than those who did not. But the article does not take into account what is called iron overload. Women, after menopause, no longer need excess iron in the diet, but many continue to ignorantly supplement it. Unlike most other vitamins and minerals, excess iron is continually stored in the body instead of being eliminated in the urine. As a result, men after age 20 and women after menopause develop iron overload leading to suppressed immune function, weight gain, and type II diabetes all of which can aid a premature death. (See Iron: Too Much of A Good Thing by Bill Sardi)
This study is limited in that is makes no mention as to brand. It also makes no mention of the tens of thousands of studies that show a positive correlation between longer life, lower rates of disease, and vitamin supplementation. (For example, Omega 3 Fish Oil alone has over 4,000 positive studies)
The most ignorant and baffling statement in the article is as follows:
“generally, people should get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy and balanced diet”
There is ZERO proof for this cited in the article, and I would argue ZERO substantial proof that can be found for this statement in any large body of research. In fact, consensus points to the numerous published studies showing you cannot get all your vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet (see here and here), primarily as our soils are depleted in minerals. The USDA began reporting this in the 1930′s.
For a Legitimate Long Term Study on Vitamin Supplementation and It’s affects on health, check out The Landmark Study done over a 20 year period with the University of Cal-Berkley
Another journalist repeating mantras that may kill you sooner if you read and don’t think.