Multivitamins Show Little Benefit to Reduce Diabetes Risk
Every year, Americans spend around $23 billion on multivitamins. That’s how big business it is there. However, such a widespread use is not compensated with enough evidence that indeed, vitamins and supplements intake can actually make for a healthier society. In a recent study backed up by the National Institute of Health and which was published at Diabetes Care, findings showed that using multivitamins provided very little benefit in reducing a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes.
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health StudyIt was a conjunction of American and Chinese researchers that made way for such a big study. Their goal was to explore the potential benefits of vitamins and supplements in reducing a person’s likelihood to contract diabetes. This is in light of some existing researches that suggest some of the same biological mechanisms in developing not just diabetes but also heart disease can be put off by antioxidant vitamins.
The international group of researchers from NIH, AARP, Chinese Academy of Medical Science, and Harvard Medical School utilized some 232,007 participants’ health data, which was gathered in 1995-1996 and then followed up in 2000. Their age ranges between 50 and 71. They are also diabetes-free at the start of the study. The details that were gathered from them include variables regarding their multivitamins intake as well their demographics. Some information that pertains to their current health status like lifestyle habits, weight, and overall wellbeing were also noted.
Expectedly, more than half of the participants said they were routinely taking multivitamins and/or supplements. Most of them are taking the multivitamins daily. When they were followed up in 2000, 14,130 of the participants had been diagnosed with diabetes.
The lead researcher, Dr. Yiqing Song of Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and his colleagues took into account the established risk factors and then compared vitamin users and non-users. What they found out was quite surprising – multivitamins intake neither reduced nor increased the participants’ future diabetes risk.
Not Completely UselessThat is not to say, however, that taking vitamins -- any kind at all -- is completely useless. They have found some evidence that intake of vitamin C or calcium reduced the risk of diabetes compared to non-users. But Dr. Song confessed that a more powerful clinical trial is needed to back that one up.
For now, you can only depend on the traditional means of beating diabetes to ensure that you will not develop it sooner or later. Significant lifestyle change is a key factor for keeping yourself healthy and disease-free, making way for a better quality of life.