The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry with more than 2,000 members, including suppliers and retailers of vitamins and other dietary supplements. Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Cara Welch, Ph.D., and NPA CEO and Executive Director John Shaw comment on a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that suggests multivitamins do not play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer or mortality from those diseases in healthy adults.
Cara Welch: The scope of this analysis certainly has its limitations. The meta-analysis focused on studies that researched generally healthy people, avoiding any instances for targeted use of nutrients. Additionally, the researchers only concentrated on studies with vitamins and mineral supplements as the primary source of prevention. Multivitamin supplements should not be expected, without the combination of a healthy lifestyle, to prevent chronic disease. The results of this review should not lead to widespread concern among consumers who take vitamin and mineral supplements.
John Shaw: Dietary supplements are used by more than 150 million Americans on a daily basis. Research has shown that when taken in combination with other healthy lifestyle practices, such as consuming a wholesome diet and exercising regularly, people can benefit from dietary supplements. Consumers should be comfortable following a variety of healthy habits, which includes supplementation. As always, NPA encourages consumers to speak with their health care professionals regarding their dietary supplement regimen.