I like to think of myself as an evidenced-based person. For most of my life) I have taken a daily multi-vitamin going back to One-A-Day and probably even trying a Flintstone multi-vitamin along the way (that my Mom bought of course). My father offered that multi-vitamins can help round out deficiencies in a diet and that whatever my body did not use would just void as waste.
On Tuesday an article in a publication entitled ‘The Annals of Internal Medicine’ (no don’t worry I did not and do not read this – it was covered in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal provided what it considered to be conclusive evidence that when it comes to multi-vitamins “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.
So now the evidence is that something that I have taken most every day of my life is both a waste of time and a waste of money. My children do not take, nor have they ever regularly taken a multi-vitamin. It appears that my wife and I (who both take a daily multi-vitamin) have been taking vitamins under false pretenses and on some sort of a strange legacy basis. I kind of feel a bit used and a bit duped.
I don’t believe that it was marketing or peer-pressure that was responsible for my ingesting a multi-vitamin more than 17,000 times. I really did not notice any difference on the days I did not take one, (why do you ‘take’ a multi-vitamin and not eat one?). None-the-less I would go back to my routine at the next nearest opportunity. And maybe that’s the answer. Taking a daily multi-vitamin became a daily habit. It seemed odd to not do so.
Yet, despite all that now that I am aware that there’s no reason at all to take a multi-vitamin I will continue to take one until they run out. Of course we recently bought another bottle so I will be continuing the routine deep into 2014 before finally retiring that ritual. I don’t think I will miss it at all.
I also think it might be a good time to short companies like Nature Made, Centrum and One-A-Day. Maybe it’s also time that the Vitamin Shoppe should think about changing its name?
Have you been taking a multi-vitamin? If so will you stop?