Findings for both iron and calcium supplements were replicated in separate, short-term analyses with follow-up occurring at four years, six years and 10 years.
"Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements," the authors conclude. "We recommend that they be used with strong medically based cause, such as symptomatic nutrient deficiency disease."
(Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1625-1633. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor's Note: This study was partially supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, a grant from the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the Fulbright program's Research Grant for a Junior Scholar. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Commentary: The Importance of Food
In an invited commentary, Goran Bjelakovic, M.D., D.M.Sc., of the University of Nis, Nis, Serbia, and Christian Gluud, M.D., D.M.Sc., of Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, discuss the findings of Mursu and colleagues saying they "add to the growing evidence demonstrating that certain antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin E, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, can be harmful."
"Dietary supplementation has shifted from preventing deficiency to trying to promote wellness and prevent disease," the authors write. "Until recently, the available data regarding the adverse effects of dietary supplements has been limited and grossly underreported. We think the paradigm 'the more the better' is wrong. One should consider the likely U-shaped relationship betw
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