Of Course Low-Dose Multiple Vitamins Don`t Work: But High-Dose Antioxidants Do 01/24/14

The Dec 17, 2013 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (journal) contained several recently completed North American research studies, which showed that taking an every day, low-dose multiple vitamin and mineral supplement (e.g. Centrum Silver) did not provide any significant protection against cancer or heart disease in well nourished North American subjects, who had no signs of nutrient deficiencies. (1)
These findings are not surprising because low-dose multiple vitamins have been shown to not contain high enough doses of antioxidant nutrients to provide a significant benefit. This is no different than taking 5 mg of aspirin to treat a headache or whiplash injury. It`s not that the aspirin is not an effective pain-killer and anti-inflammatory, but rather that taking an extremely low dose is simply not strong enough to combat pain and inflammation. Thus, most aspirin products are available in 350 mg caplets, not 5 mg caplets. The same is true for vitamins and mineral that provide antioxidant protection in the body. This fact was again highlighted in 2011 in the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition), which showed that individuals, who were taking antioxidant supplements at the start of the 11-year study period, had a 48% reduction in the risk of cancer mortality. In addition, the risk of dying from all-causes (all-cause mortality), was 42% lower in the antioxidant supplement users. Of interest is the fact that taking only a basic, everyday, low-dose, multiple vitamin and mineral supplement (i.e., not enriched with meaningful doses of antioxidants) did not confer any protection against cancer or all-cause mortality. (2)
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (The EPIC Study) was initiated in 1992. The EPIC Study has been following over 500,000 people, living in 10 European countries since (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). A great deal of data including weight, height, lifestyle factors (including dietary behaviours) personal history, as well as blood samples, were collected at the beginning of the study, with periodic follow-up of these parameters collected on an ongoing basis. The study clearly shows that antioxidant supplements, when taken at high enough doses, is associated with a significant reduction in cancer and all-cause mortaligy, including cardiovascular disease. (3)
High Dose Antioxidants Proven To Work in Human Studies
At this point in time It`s hard to believe that North American researchers would waste their time studying low -dose multiple vitamins and minerals in view of the many published studies that have shown remarkable success when high-dose antioxidants have been used to treat patients with very challenging and life-threatening health conditions. A partial list of some of these studies appears below:
High Dose Antioxidant Supplements Showing Positive Outcomes In Human Clinical Studies:
1. Slow the progression of prostate Cancer – Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium with low fat diet plus soy foods (Ornish Dean, 2005)
2. Reduce overall cancer mortality – Vitamin C (Blot WJ, et al. 1993; Li K , et al EPIC Study 2011)
3. Reverse the precancerous conditions leukoplakia (a precancerous mouth condition) and cervical dysplasia (precancerous changes on the cervix of the uterus) – Beta-carotene, Folic Acid (Garewal HS, 1995; deVet HC, 1991).
4. Reverse a precancerous stomach condition known as atrophic gastritis – Vitamin C (Rembiasz K, 2007)
5. The study by K Lockwood and fellow researcher in Molecular Aspects of Medicine (1994 and 1996) showed that breast cancer survivors had better outcomes by taking high dosages of certain antioxidants supplements as a follow-up to surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy, compared to women who receive standard medical care only – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium CoQ10, Beta-carotene, Multiple Vitamin, Essential Fatty Acids.
6. Block the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines linked to colon cancer – Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Block G, 1991).
7. Slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease – Vitamin E (Grundman M, 2000 and Dysken MW, et al. 2014)
8. Slow progression of Parkinson’s disease – CoQ10 (Schultz C. 2007)
9. Boost immune function in older subjects – Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium (Meydani SN et al JAMA 1997)
10. Slow progression of macular degeneration – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Beta-carotene, Zinc (AREDS study 2001, Archives of Ophthalmology)
11. Reduce skin damage from ultra-violet light – Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Selenium, Vitamin C (Firkle T, 2000)
12. Improve blood circulation (endothelial function) in diabetics with vascular disease – CoQ10 (Hamilton S et al. Diabetes Care 2009)
13. Decrease restenosis of coronary blood vessels in coronary by-pass patients – Vitamin E (Hodis,1995)
14. Reversal and Treatment of Fatty Live Degeneration – Vitamin E (Zaman A. Hepatology 2012)

High-Dose Multiple Vitamins Are the Answer
Based on evidence of this nature, a number of years ago I created a High-Dose Multiple Vitamin and Mineral for Adeeva Nutritionals that matches up with the research showing the positive health effects of antioxidant enrichment, along with sufficient Vitamin D, calcium and higher doses of B-vitamins. The Adeeva Multiple Vitamin and Mineral contains the following daily antioxidant doses:
Vitamin C – 1000 mg
Vitamin Succinate – 400 IU – the most impressive anti-cancer form of a vitamin E
Selenium – 200 mcg
Beta-carotene – 15,000 IU
Lycopene Powder – 6 mg
Lutein Powder – 6 mg
As well as a B-50 complex, 1000 IU of Vitamin D and 500 mg of elemental calcium.
My Advice
Don`t waste your money on low-dose multiple vitamins, but at the same time appreciate the fact that higher doses of antioxidants, vitamin D, certain B-vitamins and calcium, have all been shown to provide important health benefits in human studies. So don`t throw the baby out with the bath water. Instead purchase a High-Potency Multiple Vitamin and Mineral if you are looking for significant protective benefits from a multi-vitamin. That is what the research supports

1. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=176785 Annals of Internal Medicine 2013
2. Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, Rohrmann S. Vitamin/mineral supplementation and cancer, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality in a German prospective cohort (EPIC-Heidelberg). European Journal of Nutrition. Published online July 22, 2011.
3. Bingham S, Riboli E. Diet and Cancer – The European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition. Nature Review – Cancer (www.nature.com/reviews/cancer) March 2004, vol 4:206-215

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