Don't throw out your vitamins yet

Take your vitamins, and toss 'em right out the window -- because they're a waste of time and money, according to an angry new editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The editorial even declares the "case is closed." That's how science works, right? You make a big, bold statement, and then declare it's no longer open for debate.


One of the authors of the editorial has had it out for vitamins for years, but he's a guy who barely does a lick of the actual science himself. No, his game is to cherry-pick other studies that agree with his agenda.

That's not science. That's a vendetta.

So here he is, cherry-picking away -- yammering on, for example, about a recent study that supposedly proves multivitamins won't prevent cognitive decline.

Now, I'll leave aside the fact that the study found little real cognitive decline in anyone, whether they were on a placebo or vitamin. You can't really claim vitamins failed to prevent a disease if it never showed up in the first place.

No, the real issue is that multivitamins aren't magic brain pills -- and no one ever claimed they were.

Multivitamins are there to cover you on the basics by supporting your overall health and immune system. But when you're facing serious disease, you need to break out some bigger guns.

In this case, high-dose B vitamins have proven to slow, stop and even reverse the signs of cognitive decline -- and they do it so well that B vitamins are being rushed to market right now as the next great dementia "drug."

Another cherry-picked study claims vitamins won't stop future heart problems in heart attack patients.

Again, I'll leave aside the big, glaring flaw: More than half the patients in the study stopped taking their vitamins, so you'd have to be brain dead to make any grand statements based on that ("Case is closed" comes to mind here).

No, the real issue is that a heart attack goes beyond the scope of a multi the way a nine-inch gash goes beyond the reach of a Band-Aid. When you've had a heart attack, you need more -- you need a few nutrients you won't find in a typical multi, such as coenzyme Q10 and magnesium.

Oh, and unlike the author of the editorial I can provide you a STACK of studies to back up those claims.

So don't toss your multivitamin just yet. Just remember it's not a magic cure all pill but rather a starting point -- not the "case is closed" final word on your nutrition.