Ever since the mid-seventies there has been an ongoing debate as to whether vitamin supplements really do work. Over the decades there have been numerous studies and articles saying yes they work and know they don’t. Here are some new thoughts:

“ Multivitamins Found To Have Little Benefit”, “No Effect Seen in Preventing Cognitive Decline, Heart Disease. By Jeanne Whalen; Wall Street Journal

Multivitamins offer almost no benefit in preventing chronic disease “and they should be avoided,” experts said Monday in a medical-journal editorial accompanying the publication of two new clinical trials.

The rigorously conducted trial, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed multivitamins had no effect on cognitive function or cardiovascular health. They are the latest in a series of reports—including a review last month of 26 vitamin studies—indicating that supplements have little health benefits in generally well-nourished, Western populations.

“The message is simple: Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided,” four physicians and public health experts wrote in an editorial accompanying the studies.

The editorial added that beta-carotene, vitamin E and possibly high doses of vitamin A in-creased the risk of death in some other trials.
The global vitamin industry is huge, with sales last year of $23.4 billion up 3% from 2011, according to Euromonitor International. Sales of multivitamins specifically rose 2.5% last year, to $14.2 billion. About 40% of Americans reported to taking multivitamins between 2003 and 2006, the most recent data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vitamin –industry groups criticized the edito-rial, and pointed to a study last year of 15,000 men, which indicated that daily use of multivitamin modestly reduce the risk of cancer. Some experts consider the results an outlier.

“It’s no secret that many consumers in this country don’t get the recommended nutrients from their diet alone, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are an affordable alternative, said John Shaw, executive director of the Natural Products Association, a trade group…

Dr. Lamas and others noted that certain vita-mins and minerals have proved beneficial in targeted populations. Folic acid, for instance, is widely recommended to pregnant women to prevent birth defects of the brain or spine. And the possible benefits of vitamin D in preventing falls among the elderly require further study, according to the authors of the editorial.

How about this Article in the University of California Berkeley

Wellness Letter April, 2013:

“Is being overweight okay after All?”, “It may actually help you live longer, says a new study– but questions remain.”
In January a study looking at the relationship between body weight and mortality rates got lots of press, and for good reason. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The researchers, from the CDC and else-where, pooled data form 97 studies done in more than a dozen countries, totaling nearly 3 million people. The surprising results: Overweight people were found to have a 6 percent lower overall death rate than those of “normal” weight. The data were adjusted for age, gender, and smoking.
And while moderately or severely obese people were 29 percent more likely to die during a given period, the mildly obese were at no greater risk than normal-weight people. For people over 65, the mortality benefit of carrying some extra pounds seemed to be most notable.

Research on this subject has produced mixed results. This was not the first analysis to indicate that being overweight may be the “sweet spot” on the weight spectrum, especially for older people, bit it is the largest and most rigorous study so far.

Commentators had a field day with the news, lambasting “overzealous” health experts who’ve warned about the dangers of the obesity epidemic. In contrast, others worried that junk-food companies would use the study to encourage consumers to forget about weight control and healthy eating.
But the picture is not black and white. Before you stock up on ice cream and dough-nuts and cancel your gym membership, it’s important to look at the bigger picture…

Calculating the adverse effects of being overweight or obese is complex, and this study is not the last word. The fact is, no one knows how many people die as a result of obesity per se. Obese people often have a poor diet and are sedentary, so it’s hard to tell whether it’s obesity itself that puts them at increased risk.

Previous research has found that if you’re obese and stay physically fit and thus “metabolically healthy” ( that is, have normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels), you’re actually less likely to die prematurely than those who are thin and sedentary.
Were you pack on the extra fat also matters. Excess fat in the abdominal area (as in an “apple-shaped” body), especially if it surrounds internal organs, is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Meanwhile, fat in the thighs and hips (“pear-shaped” body) is not a health problem and may even be protective. That’s why waist measurement is considered a good indicator of risk…

For many people, the main problem with be-ing simply overweight or slightly obese is that they continue to gain more weight. Obesity is epidemic in America and many other countries, increasing even among children.

So what are you going to do, stop all vitamins, increase your eating and stop working out, right? Let me share some of my thoughts.
I take calcium/magnesium and vitamin C, I believe these supplements help me with muscle cramping, pain and sleep. I base this decision on my bodies response to when I do and don’t take these supplements. If you eat like crap vitamins help.

I believe if you are to fat, that is unhealthy and if you are to skinny, especially when you are older, that is unhealthy as well. Take you clothes off and look in the mirror.

The most important exercise you can do as you get older is lift weights. Muscles move bones and being strong and moving is the best for your health and having a fun and active lifestyle. Weight training was extremely beneficial in my recovery from total hip replacement the last two months.

I find many marketing tools in the fitness industry and the medical industry tap into people’s fear of dying, which is something no one can avoid. Be thankful for health and enjoy every workout. If you are fearful stop by my office for a talk. Happy New Year